Brazil covers nearly half of South America and is the continent's largest nation. It extends 2,965 mi (4,772 km) north-south, 2,691 mi (4,331 km) east-west, and borders every nation on the continent except Chile and Ecuador. Brazil may be divided into the Brazilian Highlands, or plateau, in the south and the Amazon River Basin in the north.
The Federative Republic of Brazil is the biggest country in South America, home to nearly 200 million people who enjoy one of the world's fastest-growing economies. Brazil's coastline is contiguous to the Atlantic Ocean, with its remaining borders edging the countries of Guyana, Venezuela, Suriname, Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, and French Guiana. A founding member of the Latin Union, the G20, the Union of South American Nations, and the United Nations, Brazil is considered a "megadiverse" country, one of only 17 in the world. It is home to many varieties of natural environments and wildlife as well as protected habitats containing a vast amount of natural resources.
Politically, Brazil is a democratic republic governed by a president who is the head of government. This country has also been recently identified as a significant emerging power among other developed nations.
Essential Facts about Brazil
Brazil has a complex and compact system of rivers that include the Amazon, Negro, and Parana Rivers. The Amazon River has the largest volume of water contained in any river in the world and is the second-longest river on Earth. Nearly one-quarter of the world's rainforests are found in Brazil, mostly consisting of the Amazon jungle. The Amazon rainforest is also home to more species of monkeys than any other place on Earth.
Soccer (futebol) is Brazil's most popular sport. Students will find that any medium to large city they visit while studying in Brazil has one or more soccer stadiums.
One-third of Brazil's two million inhabitants work in the agricultural industry. Coffee beans, corn, wheat, sugar cane, rice, and soybeans are Brazil's primary crops
One of the seven wonders of the world, the Christ Redeemer statue, is found in Rio De Janeiro.
The capital of Brazil is Brasilia, where major higher education institutions such as the University of Brasilia, the Cental University of Brasilia (UniCEUB), and the Catholic University of Brasilia (UCB) are located>>Anthropologists have estimated that as many as 60 tribes exist in the Amazon rainforest that has yet to make contact with civilization.
Although mostly tropical, Brazil's climate does encompass several other different subtypes such as semiarid, temperate, equatorial and subtropical.The northern section of Brazil exhibits hot and humid equatorial temperatures conducive to the growth of vast rainforests while central Brazil offers tropical savannas.Semiarid deserts greet visitors traveling in northeastern Brazil and people living in southern Brazil are surrounded by temperate forests thick
with coniferous trees.Northern and central Brazil experience large amounts of rainfall and
do not have a so-called"dry"season. Average temperatures over the entire country range from 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 Celsius) to a low of 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 Celsius), with the lowest temperatures occurring around the Sao Paulo area.
Languages in Brazil
The Constitution of Brazil affirms the official language as Portuguese, which is spoken by 98 percent of the population. In addition, Portuguese is the only language used on television, the radio, in newspapers and for the purpose of all business transactions. Recently, the government enacted a law that mandates using Brazilian Sign Language (LIBRAS) in government and education-related services. The only country in the Americas to speak Portuguese, Brazil considers the language a vital part of its culture and national identity that distinguishes them from neighboring countries that speak mostly Spanish.
Religion in Brazil
Brazil is home to more practicing Roman Catholics than any other country, with 75 percent of the population claiming to practice Catholicism. Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Protestantism and Afro-Brazilian religions comprise the remaining 25 percent. Currently, Brazil's Ministry of Education reports that nearly 35 Catholic universities have been established in the country.
The"real" is the name of Brazil's currency, which is indicated by an "R$" sign or the code"BRL". Each real equals 100 centavos. Students desiring to earn a degree in Brazil should be aware that the cost of living in Brazil is relatively high, especially expenses related to accommodations, manufactured items (appliances, clothing, electronics), and transportation. Moreover, having some kind of health insurance is highly recommended because the average cost of visiting a doctor is approximately 250 reals, or over $100 in U.S. dollars. Monthly utility charges vary widely, with electricity and water usually included in the monthly rental fee for an apartment.