Learn Portuguese before coming to Rio?

Football Coahcing - Sports Develpment Programme in Rio

Should I learn Portuguese before arriving in Rio de Janeiro? The question comes around, when planning to volunteer in Rio. While not obligatory, some words of Portuguese will open doors, and make people happy. However, if you are going to a four weeks or longer trip, Portuguese lessons are included in the program. Let’s listen to some alumni, what they think:

I would advise future participants to try and learn as much Portuguese as possible before coming to Rio to give you a head start on being able to communicate with the locals. Don’t assume that they may speak some English, because many of the locals don’t and it will go a long way to show you have made the effort to learn their language. However, you will have lessons from a great teacher who is really patient and friendly. She will help you a lot with whatever level of Portuguese you are currently at and help you improve quickly. I learned a lot from her and really grateful for her time. – Afonso, 31 years, from London

Try to get some basics in Portuguese, I could already understand and speak a little bit, but sometimes it was very hard because not everyone speaks English and they really do appreciate it if you try. – Katrijn

I was accepted and treated with extreme kindness even though there was a language barrier. I made some amazing friends with the students who taught me so much about Brazilian culture. – Jissaura

I didn’t struggle to communicate with the locals as I already had quite an extensive knowledge and practice of Portuguese. Sometimes there would be a problem with the accents of the different people, especially those from the various states of Brazil, but it wasn’t a big hindrance. – Savannah Peiser

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