If you are planning to learn Brazilian Portuguese but is unsure if it is better to find an online teacher or travel to Brazil, this blog post might be extremely helpful. We have compiled a list of pros and cons of studying Portuguese online and studying Portuguese in-person in Brazil. You can relate these things to your personal life and assess which option is better for you.
Whether you choose to learn Portuguese from home or study abroad, you should check these other blog posts: Why learn Brazilian Portuguese? and Best way to learn Portuguese: Private Lessons or Group Classes?
Studying Portuguese Online
Pros – Advantages of Studying Portuguese Online
You can manage your studying around your work schedule and personal activities. Studying Portuguese online gives you total flexibility to work around your daily tasks and projects. You do not need to plan a vacation or gap year in order to learn a new language because you can fit your classes into your normal routine. Moreover, you can choose the time and duration of your classes, try different teachers and teaching methods, and find a better way for you to learn Portuguese.
In the end, it is cheaper to have online classes because you will not have to pay for plane tickets, accommodation, and all the other costs of living abroad.
- Studying at home
You can learn from home, wearing your pajamas while lying in bed with your laptop during classes.
With the advance of technology, it is possible to have access to the same materials and support you would have in a traditional classroom. With videos, file-sharing systems, virtual whiteboards, online exercises, and other features, you do not miss any of these advantages of in-person classes.
Cons – Disadvantages of Studying Portuguese Online
- It is easier to procrastinate
If you have a hard time forcing yourself to do things sometimes you do not feel like doing, online studying might be hard for you. All your motivation and effort will depend 100% on you. It is much easier to procrastinate when you do not have to get up, leave home, and go to school.
Learning Portuguese online means studying along with your online teacher and, sometimes, virtual classmates. This will not give you a chance to hang out with other people to practice the language and make new friends.
- Lack of immersion
Even though you might learn the new language just fine, experiencing the culture is also an important part when you are learning Portuguese. You will not often be confronted by slang, mannerisms, speech pace, accents, and other specificities of the language you would see daily otherwise.
- Less time practicing Portuguese
When studying online, in most cases you will only have contact with the language during classes. Therefore, after turning your computer off, you will stop practicing Portuguese immediately until the next class.
Studying Portuguese in Brazil
Pros – Advantages of Studying Portuguese in Brazil
First of all, if you really want to learn Brazilian Portuguese and become fluent, you need to immerse yourself in the language and culture. The only way to do so is by spending time in Brazil.
- Cultural experience
Brazil is a multicultural country, with different dialects, traditions, and accents all around its territory. The culture from the South of Brazil is totally different from the Northeast and being able to check that with your own eyes is an amazing experience.
- More practice
Of course, being in Brazil means you can practice Portuguese 24/7. You must speak Portuguese when buying groceries, taking public transportation, asking for information, and such. You will be forced to speak even if you only know a few words, and that is great to boost your confidence and learning.
- Learning with others
Enrolling in group classes gives you the chance to learn with the questions other people might have. You will also be involved in interactive sessions with other classmates and your instructor, practicing your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in Portuguese.
- Traveling around Brazil
Once in Brazil, you can take time to travel around and visit different places and cultures. Exploring the country is not only a great way to visit new cities and have fun, but also learn the language and its specificities along the way.
- Meeting new people
You will never master Portuguese if do not practice with natives. Therefore, making friends is an amazing way to broaden your vocabulary and practice your new language every time you want.
- Good for your CV
Studying abroad is great for your professional life. It shows recruiters you are a well-traveled person, with a cultural baggage. They will see you as someone who is not afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something different and challenging. It also shows you are an independent person, open to different cultures and points of view.
Cons – Disadvantages of Studying Portuguese in Brazil
Once you travel with the purpose of studying, you will immerse yourself to reach your goal of truly learning. That means going to classes on time, doing homework, reading books, searching for new information, and preparing for tests and qualification exams. If you are enrolled in a Portuguese school, you must also follow the provided schedule for classes and activities.
Besides, you will need to take some time off work to travel and focus on your studies.
- More expensive
You need to plan your expenses ahead and save a lot more money to study Portuguese in Brazil. Studying abroad will not only cost you the price of the classes, but also accommodation, food, plane tickets, documents, travel insurance, and other additional costs.
Check the prices of Portuguese courses at Caminhos Language Centre here.
- Cultural shock
Even though this is all a matter of getting used to it, you may find yourself shock by the sudden shift in culture. From food to clothes, lifestyle and interactions, many things might differ from the ones you are used to.
Being far away from home might be difficult after a while. You may miss your neighborhood, your family, your favorite comfort food, and the weather in your home country.
Studying Portuguese Online vs. Studying Portuguese in Brazil
Whether you decide to study Portuguese online or in Brazil, have fun while doing so and practice every time you can. Portuguese is a beautiful language, with great music, and sounds. Moreover, learning Portuguese will give you the chance to travel around Brazil, exploring this astonishing country and culture.
If you are interested in studying Portuguese in Brazil, join Caminhos Language Centre, the largest and most exciting Portuguese school in Rio de Janeiro. We offer different types of group and private classes, and free after-class activities every day, promoting interaction between students and locals.
Caminhos also offers online classes, so you can learn Portuguese wherever you are with native teachers and exclusive material.