UAE climbs ranks as student exchange route for Brazilians

According to a study from the Brazilian Exchange Agencies Association, the Arab country was the 18th most sought destination in 2017.

André Barros

São Paulo – The United Arab Emirates were the 18th most-sought destination by Brazilians looking for student exchange programs last year, as per a survey from Associação Brasileira de Agências de Intercâmbio (Belta), the Brazilian student exchange agencies association. The country outranked a few regular destinations for Brazilian students, like Mexico, the Netherlands and Japan.

Interest in the UAE is picking up in Brazil; in 2016, it didn’t even make the top 40. “Brazilians are looking for new destinations, and the UAE provide both education and unique features for tourists,” Belta told ANBA via email.

Options available from Brazilian agencies in the UAE – mostly in Dubai – include language courses, prep courses for exams, internships, overseas work programs, volunteer work, and programs for people over 50 years old.

Over-50 programs are trending, according to Belta: in 2017, the age bracket saw the strongest growth, going from 2.6% of total exchange students in 2016 (considering all destinations) to 7.9% last year. Most Brazilian students go for language courses, especially in English and Spanish.

Overall, 302,000 Brazilian students went on exchange programs last year, up 23% from 2016. They spent USD 9,989 each on average, up 12% year-on-year. Belta estimates that the student exchange market in Brazil was worth between USD 2.7 billion and USD 3 billion in 2017.

Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Ireland, in that order, were the most-sought destinations by Brazilian students last year.

Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

Peter Muller/Cultura Creative/AFP

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