Administered through Professional and Continuing Education
Portuguese is the official language of approximately 240 million people in eight countries on four continents. After English and Spanish, it is the third most widely spoken European language, and the sixth most spoken language in the world. Situated in the heart of the region that boasts the largest concentration of Brazil, Cape Verdean and Portuguese immigrants in the United States, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Summer Program in Portuguese provides a unique environment to learn Portuguese in a richly varied immersion setting.
Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, the fifth most populous country in the world, the largest country in Latin America, and the fifth largest global economic power. Portuguese is also one of the languages of the European Union, of which Portugal is a member.
Five African countries use Portuguese as their official language: Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Principe, Angola, and Mozambique. As one of the five working languages of the African Union, Portuguese is one of Africa’s main vehicles of intercultural communication.
Even in communities across Asia, Portuguese continues to be an important element of a complex cultural mosaic, sharing official status with Chinese in Macau, and with Tetum in East Timor. Moreover, Portuguese is widely spoken outside of its officially recognized borders by over two million people across the U.S., Canada, and in other corners of the global diaspora.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth boasts the largest Department of Portuguese in North America, and a full graduate program, offering an MA and PhD in Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies. The university is located on a spacious, green and modern 710-acre campus in the heart of southeastern Massachusetts, an area that, when combined with populations in metropolitan Boston and the neighboring state of Rhode Island, is North America’s oldest and largest Portuguese-speaking region. Sizable communities from Portugal, Cape Verde and Brazilian have created a diverse cultural scene in Portuguese, reflected in traditional festivals, as well as in the local cuisine, art, and music. UMass Dartmouth provides a unique cultural environment for learning Portuguese in a natural immersion setting, including Portuguese-language television, radio, local print media and day-to-day communication.
Among the resources available on campus are an extensive collection of books, videos and archival materials held in the university library, including the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, one of the main centers for advanced research on the Portuguese immigrant experience. New Bedford Public Library’s Casa da Saudade and Whaling Museum libraries provide additional research opportunities.
The campus is within walking distance from the center of Dartmouth, and just a few miles from the historic cities of Fall River and New Bedford. The summer climate is pleasantly warm, with days and nights that enjoy a sea breeze; the beaches of Dartmouth and neighboring Westport are a short drive away. Larger cities such as Boston or Providence are about an hour from campus, as are the popular summer resort areas of Cape Cod and Newport. One-hour fast ferries from downtown New Bedford provide connections to the island of Martha’s Vineyard. In all of these areas, you will hear Portuguese spoken in local businesses, cultural associations and public spaces.
The 2013 Summer Program will provide a schedule of cultural events showcasing the diversity of the Portuguese-speaking world as reflected in the region, including: excursions to nearby cities, museums, beaches and other natural areas, as well as traditional community festivals. Students enjoy dinners at local restaurants and culinary evenings featuring food from the Portuguese-speaking world; a Portuguese-language film series; a concert series with local professional artists performing the music of Brazil, Cape Verde and/or Portugal; and lectures from scholars in the field of Luso-Afro-Brazilian studies.
Intensive Elementary Portuguese (6 credits)
This course is designed for beginners who wish to master the basic structures and vocabulary of the language. Students earn two semesters of academic credit in five weeks, by practicing four main language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Each day includes three one-hour sessions in the classroom and an additional hour in the language laboratory.
Schedule: MTWThF 9 am-12:30 pm, Lab MWF 8-9 am
Intensive Intermediate Portuguese (6 credits)
This course is designed to review and expand on the grammar and syntax of first-year Portuguese. Stress is on development of competency in the four language skills, expanding vocabulary, and using Portuguese in practical situations, as well as reading and analyzing short texts. Each day includes three one-hour sessions in the classroom and an additional hour in the language laboratory. Prerequisite: One year of elementary Portuguese or equivalent.
Schedule: MTWThF 9 am-12:30 pm, Lab MWF 8-9 am
Informal twice-weekly sessions are designed for both Elementary and Intermediate Portuguese (POR 103 & 203) and focus on the oral practice of the grammatical structures and vocabulary learned in class.
The Art of Portugal (3 credits)
Brazil: History and Culture (3 credits)
From a comparative historical perspective, this course surveys major themes in world history and its interconnections in Latin America with a focus on Brazil. Themes range from Western European contact, colonial rule, independence, integration into the world economy in the 19th century, development of industry and agriculture in the 20th century, to globalization. Itprovides students with a critical understanding of contemporary Brazil through the analysis of texts and images and examination of historical processes embedded in modern representations of identity, gender, race, class, nation and urban space. Taught in English.
“I’m privileged to have been taught by stellar professors from Brazil, Cape Verde, and Portugal. The Summer Program is a window on the lusophone world, and that big-picture/wide-angle lens is invaluable.”
- Jeremiah ('miah) Paul Connell, University of New England
“The program provided me with a new perspective on the Portuguese language and its global influence: learning from a distinguished linguist from Portugal could only be equaled by traveling there! The best part about the program is the fellowship developed with others that share the same love of the language.”
- Ashley Larson, Vanderbilt University
"I came from 8000 miles away to join the Portuguese summer program at UMass Dartmouth, and I can tell you that it was worth it! I learned a lot about Portuguese language and culture, not only in class, but from the various well-organized activities as well. The staff here are also very friendly and helpful."
- Marselha Ma, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China
“I found UMD’s Summer Program in Portuguese to be exactly what I needed to develop my language skills and facilitate my research into Portuguese overseas history. The instructional and support staffs are excellent, and the program gives students a broad and helpful exposure to the Portuguese speaking world.”
- Stephen Berkwitz, University of Missouri
"The program provided the structure and intensity that I needed to prepare for my doctoral research in Mozambique. The field trips were fantastic because we visited places of personal significance to our professors.”
- Ingrid Nelson, University of Oregon
"My time at UMass Dartmouth studying Portuguese was absolutely rewarding. I found myself invigorated by the enthusiasm of my Portuguese teachers, peers, and the focused, intensive curriculum. My weekends were filled with exciting cultural activities from eating at a popular Portuguese restaurant to rowing with the local boating community. The class dynamic turned out to be my favorite aspect of the program; I studied with such a diverse group of peers."
- Shanika Audige, Amherst College
"The UMD Summer Program in Portuguese is a great way to spend five weeks. Not only do students immerse themselves in the Portuguese language in class, they experience it firsthand in the local Portuguese-speaking communities of southeastern Massachusetts. The program was intellectually challenging and exciting, and served as the gateway to my continuing studies as a Master's degree student in Portuguese, as well as to my career as a high school language teacher."
- Matt de Matos, UMass Dartmouth
"Taking summer courses at UMD has enabled me to pursue doctoral studies in Portuguese language and pedagogy. With New England’s diverse Portuguese-speaking communities as a backdrop, participants can expect engaging course content and a rich cultural agenda among fellow students and professionals who share a passion for the language."
- Alex Lee, UMass Dartmouth
"In two words-- quality and diversity! The intensity of the language classes and the variety of activities organized were impressive. They have presented to us not only the diversity of Portuguese language, but also the diversity of the (diasporic) communities in the US and in other continents, which I have truly enjoyed. I am thankful for this enriching learning experience that has also broadened my perspectives in my approaches to my PhD."
- Raan Hann Tan, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia/ISCTE, Lisbon, Portugal
Admissions and Enrollment
As the Summer Program offers courses for students at all levels of linguistic and academic proficiency, anyone interested is encouraged to apply for admission. Local undergraduates and high school students interested in beginning, intermediate and advanced language courses; undergraduate and graduate students from the US and abroad who wish to complement course offerings at their home institution; and Portuguese language teachers committed to professional enrichment are all encouraged to apply.
For those students accepted to the program, placement levels in language courses may be determined by a short interview and/or written exam before classes begin. Students can register either by mail or by phone by contacting the University Enrollment Center at +1 508.999.9129.
To download the admission and scholarship application (PDF format), click here. Applications can be submitted by post or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The university provides on-campus housing for the Summer Program in its Woodland Commons residence halls. All students who opt for summer housing receive on-campus single rooms clustered in suites. Students are strongly encouraged to speak Portuguese as part of a thorough immersion experience.
Housing and meal plans may be coordinated with the UMass Dartmouth Housing Office
Tuition, Fees and Scholarships
The cost for the Summer Program is set by the Office of Professional and Continuing Education. Updated information on tuition and fees may be obtained here. The Summer Program offers a limited number of partial scholarships based on academic merit and financial need. Some of the scholarships are reserved for teachers of Portuguese. Application forms are available online and at the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture. The deadline for U.S. students is April 30, 2013; for international students, the deadline is March 31st to allow time for visa processing. Some applicants may be considered after these dates depending upon the availability of funds.
Summer Program in Portuguese
Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
285 Old Westport Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300 USA
Tel.: +1 508.999.8255
Fax: +1 508.999.9272