Foreign Student Guide
Since its founding in 1966, Unicamp has greatly valued the presence of foreign students and faculty members within its academic community. Unicamp welcomes citizens from all countries and their presence has made our campus a lively multicultural place.
The purpose of this Guide is to acquaint the students with our institution and to make their stay here a rewarding one. Also, we will provide useful information that will help them plan their trip to Brazil and to Campinas. We are confident that if they chose to study at Unicamp they will find their time here stimulating and enjoyable.
The University campus is named after its founding father, Zeferino Vaz, who dreamed of Unicamp and saw its birth in 1966. The sloping verdant meadows where it is located used to be coffee and sugar cane plantations. Nowadays they house a two-million square-meter university campus, luxuriant with parks and flowering trees. There are also a campus in the city of Limeira and one dedicated to Dentistry in Piracicaba, another neighboring city.
The University has approximately 17000 undergraduate and 20000 graduate students. The majority of the undergraduate students come from São Paulo state, while the graduate students come from literally all over the nation. There are nearly 1,800 faculty members, 98% with a Ph.D.
Unicamp is a public university fully supported by the State of São Paulo. It has also access to private and public research funds.
Like in all Brazilian public education institutions, our students (Brazilian or foreign) do not pay tuition fees and have access to subsidized restaurants in campus.
A city originally named for its meadows, Campinas was founded in 1774. With a population of nearly one million people, Campinas is today an important and growing educational, industrial and financial center. The main university campus lies 16 kilometers north of the city center.
As most Brazilian big cities, Campinas has cinemas, theaters, museums, parks, and fine shopping malls. Restaurants serve a variety of regional and international dishes while pubs, here caled “barzinhos”, are popular meeting places for stimulating conversations and great live music.
Campinas is also the home of two popular soccer teams: Guarani and Ponte Preta. Recreation in the vicinity of Campinas is rich and varied. São Paulo, one of the world´s largest cities and an important cultural center, is located 100 kilometers southeast of Campinas - a one-hour ride by car or bus. In addition, many country resorts and parks are accessible, offering a taste of life in the countryside. Finally, some of the famous beaches of the Brazilian coast are only a two-hour drive away.
Campinas is served by a comprehensive transportation network that can take you from any part of town to another in a fast and comfortable trip.
Getting to Unicamp
There are two international airports serving the Campinas region.
Viracopos International Airport (VCP) is located at 30 kilometers from the campus. It serves most Brazilian major airports and currently receives international flights from Uruguay (Pluna) and Portugal (TAP Air Portugal). There is a shuttle bus connecting Viracopos and Campinas central bus station.
Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) is where most international flights land. It is located 135 kilometers from our main campus. There is a shuttle bus connecting Guarulhos Airport and Campinas central bus station.
Of course, it is also possible to take a taxi from either airport.
There are intercity and interstate bus lines linking Campinas to Brazilian major cities. There are regular meetropolitan buses connecting the Central Bus Station and our campus.
Admittance to UNICAMP
1. Undergraduate Students
1.1. Regular students
To enroll as a regular for-degree student in one of UNICAMP’s undergraduate courses the student can be admitted through an entrance examination (vestibular – offered once a year), as a transferred student from another university, the Brazilian Student Exchange Program (PEC), or, if applicable, as refugee or exiled student.
For the semester starting in August, apply until May 15th
For the semester starting in February/March, apply until November 15th
1.1.1. The entrance examination (vestibular)
Like many Brazilian universities, Unicamp prepares and applies her own entrance examination.
This examination is very competitive and requires a solid knowledge of the Portuguese language. It is given in two phases. Registration for the test is in September, the first phase is at the end of November and the second phase is in the beginning of January. The academic year at UNICAMP begins in February, with classes generally starting the first week in March. More detailed information (in Portuguese) can be found in www.comvest.unicamp.br.
1.1.2. Transfer students
A student can be transferred from another institution of higher education, Brazilian or foreign. This process depends on the availability of openings. Registration goes from late August to early September. More information can be found following the link "Vagas Remanescentes" at www.comvest.unicamp.br.
1.1.3. The Program for Student Exchange - Undergraduate (PEC-G)
The Program for Student Exchange - Undergraduate (PEC-G) offers opportunities for higher education to citizens of developing countries with which Brazil maintains educational and cultural agreements. Developed by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education in partnership with public (federal and state) and private universities, PEC-G selects high school graduates between 18 and 25 years to undertake undergraduate studies in the country. Unicamp participates in this program. More information (in Portuguese) can be found at the Ministry of Education webpage.
1.1.4. Refugees and exiled students
Unicamp welcomes students that were forced to leave their countries due to human rights violations and that are legally considered refugees in Brazil. These students are admitted in an individual basis at any time of the year. For more information please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1.2. Special students
Unicamp has student exchange agreements with several universities in the world. If this is the case of your university, you should contact your local International Office for information. It is also possible to enroll directly at Unicamp, but these students have lower priority on the application process and credit recognition cannot be guaranteed. Unicamp can provide free intensive Portuguese language courses.
For inquiries send a message to email@example.com.
Unicamp accepts graduate students seeking a degree (M.Sc. Or Ph.D) or special students that are interested only in taking graduate level courses.
2.1 Degree-seeking students
Unicamp offers M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs in several areas. To be eligible for graduate studies, the student must hold a valid university degree. Admissions to such programs have special standards and requirements which vary from one field to another.
Foreign students will have their requests and documents initially reviewed by the Director of the specific Graduate Program. A letter of Conditional Acceptance at the university can be issued. This letter will enable the student to apply for a student visa, which is a strict requirement for registration. However, registration will be completed only after the candidate has fulfilled all the remaining admissions requirements.
All information about graduate programs shall be requested to the specific Graduate Program. See Programs for more information.
2.2 The Brazilian Student Exchange Program for Graduates (PEC-PG)
PEC-PG is a program ran by Brazilian agency CAPES to enroll and provides financial aid to M.Sc. and Ph.D. to increase the qualifications of professors, researchers, professionals and graduates of higher education in developing countries with which Brazil maintains a Cultural or Educational Cooperation Agreement. More information (in Portuguese) and a list of eligible countries can be found in CAPES' webpage.
Students in Brazil must have a student visa VITEM IV. No foreign student can enroll at Unicamp without a VITEM IV. Information can be found in the Ministry of Education.
Students should apply for a VITEM IV visa in the Brazilian Consulate responsible for their residential jurisdiction. The list of documents may vary from country to country, but it always includes a non-criminal record for all applicants 16 years of age or older, issued by the Police Department of the applicant’s place of residence. Be careful about the due dates because in some countries it may take a while to obtain one.
Up to 30 days after your arrival, Brazilian regulations require that a VITEM IV holder registers his address in a nearby Federal Police office. CORI personnel can help you with that.