What is a “Shitty Tour”?
When we first started our Portuguese school in Rio de Janeiro, we were a non-profit organization created to support an orphanage in Brazil. Our school was mainly run by volunteers and sometimes during the activities they lost people along the way or took the wrong bus to get to the destination. It became a bit of a joke at Caminhos and our team quickly renamed the City Tour in Rio de Janeiro to the ‘Shitty Tour’ activity. Today the ‘Shitty Tour’ name remains but the tour itself is guaranteed to be one of Rio’s best tours, with Davi, our fantastic tour guide, showing the students around the city of Rio.
So, what happened to the orphanage?
As mentioned before, Caminhos was created to support an orphanage in Rio de Janeiro. Since the orphanage closed in 2012, we kept helping the kids who lived there and some other underprivileged children in the city. Today, we have our own social program called Mais Caminhos and we are tightly connected with the nearby communities – Cantagalo and Pavão-Pavãozinho. That being said, Caminhos does not have ties with the orphanage anymore.
Is Rio de Janeiro safe?
Everyone knows Brazil has many problems – the safety, social inequality and poverty are a few of them. But don’t trust everything you see on foreign media – Brazil is not the worst place in the world as it may seem. Of course, you need to take some precautions when it comes to walking on the streets of Rio: don’t wave your expensive cell phone or camera around everywhere you go and try not to go for a walk late at night, for example. The truth is Caminhos Language Centre is located in Ipanema, one of the safest areas in Rio, where the streets are crowded with people walking around all the time.
What is Caipi-Sexta?
Every 6 weeks, more or less, we hold our famous ‘Caipi-Sexta’ street party in front of the language school. It’s a friendly welcome party where our students have the chance to mingle with fellow Portuguese classmates and the Caminhos team. It is an excellent opportunity to meet people and get a good sense of the vibe at our school. Every student gets their first Caipirinha for free and we also have some free snacks if you’re hungry. Caipi-Sexta has now grown into a big event where we often have around 100 students and friends of the Caminhos family showing up to socialize with us. The atmosphere is always great! You are welcome to bring your friends and partners.
How do I know my Portuguese level?
In order to place you in the right level of Portuguese course, we ask you to do a level test. Our teachers’ coordinator will analyze your test and place you in the right class. We are the only school in Brazil able to offer Portuguese group courses throughout the year with 9 levels – Beginner (A1), High Beginner (A1+), Elementary (A2), High Elementary (A2+) Pre-Intermediate (B1), Intermediate (B1+), High Intermediate (B2), Advanced (C) and a special beginner course for Latin speakers, called Caminhos Latin Group (L). If after the test we’re still unsure about the level of your Portuguese, we will ask you to come to Caminhos beforehand for a quick oral test.
What’s the A Plan?
The levels for groups courses at Caminhos lasts for 2 weeks each. We use the A plan for students who are complete beginners but want to start the A1 Group course in the 2nd week. We try to be as flexible as possible, so you can start group classes whenever you want, but if you do start A1 in the 2nd week, it’s natural you will miss out on the 1st week of material. We devise you do the A Plan because when you take extra 5 private hours, you will cover all of the material missed out in that 1st week of the A1 Group course.
- We give you 3 FREE hours and ask that you purchase 2 more hours only
- 2 FREE private classes (Monday and Tuesday morning, 8am-9am)
- Support Hour (FREE, Wednesday, 3pm-4pm)
- 2 private classes (R$180) – try to book these for Monday and/or Tuesday
- Extra Homework – given by your teacher (FREE)
You also have the option to wait an extra week and start from the beginning of the A1 Group course. Here you can see the start days of the A1 course. Students who already know a bit of Portuguese or Spanish can start any Monday and don’t need to worry about the A plan!
When can I start Portuguese classes?
You can start your Portuguese Group Course every Monday of the year, but we advise, if possible, to start at the beginning of a level. See start dates here. Private classes are tailored for you and you can start any time/day you need – as long as we have a teacher available. Once you have paid, we can find a teacher for you and set a schedule.
What is Bate-Papo?
Bate-Papo it’s the equivalent to ‘chit-chat’in English – it’s a casual conversation with friends. For our Bate-Papo activity, you have one hour of free conversation class every week that can help you improve your Portuguese. It’s a great way to improve your speaking skills in a fun way. Our teacher will always bring a different topic to be discussed in the class or a game to be played.
How do I book a course?
First of all, you need to choose the type of Portuguese course you’re interested in – group classes, private lessons, Rio Immersion, CELPE-Bras preparation or other. Then, just complete the online form and book your course. You need to pay at least R$500 before coming to the school so we can secure your spot in the class. You can pay the rest on your first day at Caminhos. You can also email Caminhos at [email protected] to ask for more information about booking a class.
Where can I stay in Rio de Janeiro?
Some of our students look for accommodation themselves and like to stay in Hostels while in Brazil. Rio is an expensive city, so you could potentially be paying a lot of money for a nice room in a top location. Caminhos can also help you find a better place for your stay in Brazil, so you don’t need to look around for places and people you may not know. We work with trustworthy people and companies that can better provide you with a good room and friendly vibe, which is great for beginning to understand the way people from Rio are. We have a few options for you: Homestay in Rio de Janeiro and apartment share or apartment rental. Also, if you have any problems with your accommodation, Caminhos is guaranteed to help you as soon as possible, so your stay in Rio is as smooth as possible. Contact us and we can give you a price for the time you’re staying in Brazil and the type of accommodation in Rio de Janeiro that better suits you.