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Teaching English Volunteer Program in Brazil - Rio de Janeiro

Teaching English Volunteer Program in Brazil - Rio de Janeiro

Want to Teach English in Brazil - Rio de Janeiro? International Volunteer HQ’s Teaching English project empowers volunteers to assist in a community center, gain teaching experience and pass on English language skills to local children. Learning English gives local students the opportunity to secure a wider range of jobs, pursue higher education and better support themselves financially.

  • Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
  • Affordable fees from $720 for 3 weeks
  • Includes accommodation, daily breakfast, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Teach English to local children from low-income communities

  • Enjoy Brazil’s vibrant culture and atmosphere

  • Stay in a hostel in the pretty bayside area of Gloria, Rio de Janeiro

Key information

Improves access to quality education
Based in communities around Rio de Janeiro
Dormitory-style hostel accommodation
Volunteers aged 18+
Fully hosted experience from $720 for 3 weeks
Durations from 3 - 24 weeks
Portugese language lessons available
Up tp 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who are fluent speakers of English and want to help people of all ages learn the language. No teaching experience is needed, but completing some relevant training, like a TEFL certificate, is encouraged.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

English is a language that isn’t used much in Brazil, but the ability to speak it opens up a range of job possibilities. This is seen as especially valuable in low-income communities, where opportunities are often limited and few English speakers are available to teach the language.

As a volunteer English teacher in Brazil you’ll be taking small classes of children set in community spaces. The atmosphere is more informal than in a traditional school, meaning you’re free to be creative with your lessons. You can assist other teachers or fly solo and teach your own classes. You’ll be encouraged to bring fun ideas to inspire the students and while not a requirement, volunteers who speak Portuguese will find it easier to fully engage with the students and staff.

  • Teaching volunteer work can vary but generally includes:
  • Teaching English language classes
  • Lesson planning
  • Helping with language skills and pronunciation
  • Talking and connecting with students
  • Assist with lessons in other subjects
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

More than half of all children and teens do not meet minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. Quality education provides an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment and is key to preventing poverty, securing long-term employment and improving quality of life.

Why do Teaching English volunteering in Rio De Janeiro with IVHQ?

When you join the Teaching English project in Rio you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Helping improve access to education in Rio
  • Enabling people to speak with a fluent English speaker
  • Practicing your Portuguese
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining teaching experience
  • Immersing yourself fully in the Brazilian culture
  • Exploring the marvelous city of Rio de Janeiro

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.
  • All volunteers are required to speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

Noritaka Kobayakawa
14 Feb 2024

The Carnaval experience program is an exciting program allowing one to see what happens behind the scenes for the preparation for this major event. You also experience how celebratory this event is over many weeks before the parade. It is an amazing experience to see firsthand how the people of Rio de Janeiro celebrate the biggest celebration in the world.

Mariette Kole
10 Aug 2022

My favorite moment from the volunteer experience was, after walking into the favela alone for the first time, lots of thoughts however the feelings of respect, community and warmth seem to be the prevailing ones. Once at the top of the favela, children's voices appear and two kids fly around my neck with joy. Honestly, we are so blessed and these kids deserve all possible to have opportunities to create dreams and make them possible. How lucky am I to learn from them and do my best for them also going forward. People who struggle or have not much are the kindest and warmest people. Our western world problems are no problems compared to people in the favelas, we could all help each other way more. I’ve got more inspired and a humble view on how to do so.

It will be life changing for you to learn how easily you can help people and how they can help you. You will meet people that become a part of your life which you’ll forever be grateful for, not like anyone you’ll meet in your nearby radius. Life’s about the memories you look back on and the connections made!

Sofia Betancourt
25 Jul 2022

Traveling to Brazil to volunteer meant so much more than just that. It meant growing up, dancing, singing, walking and helping others in the most genuine way possible. I met people and remembered people, and I took with me infinite lessons that were tattooed on my skin, for example, being authentic and putting aside the opinion of others a little more and living in a more transparent way. Volunteering showed me realities that are difficult to digest, but for the same reason, they make me feel more useful in the things I do because all the lessons I have had in my life experiences and in my professional career began to materialize and it becomes a joint with other generations that perhaps can learn with the same thing that I learned.
I am infinitely grateful and I return to my country revitalized, full of energy, optimism, and I see the world with different eyes. It was really a life-changing trip, thanks to everyone who allowed me, but above all, thanks to myself because it was years of savings, and many moons, tears and steps, but I made it.

To someone who is still hesitating about volunteering abroad, I would say don't hesitate. I believe that there is no more enriching experience than being able to get to know oneself by helping others. I am a faithful believer that there is no better way to travel than being able to contribute something to the country or community to which we travel. It is not only easier, cheaper and more accessible, but it is an experience that can change many lives, including of oneself. You not only meet many people, but you sow new seeds all over the world so that the next time you go to other countries, you already have a house to stay in and more people to help. We are living beings because we are surrounded by them, and it is a privilege to be able to help others because we grow by lifting others. Infinite thanks, IVHQ.

Anya King
05 May 2022

Rio is an amazing place to visit, and volunteering with children in the favelas is so rewarding. Every day you can see the impact of your help. And to make it better, the children are so grateful and respectful, they are always excited to see you and they are eager to learn - so embrace every moment of it! As someone who has travelled a lot, I can say with certainty that Rio is unlike any other place in the world! Rio is vibrant and so full of life, and this experience really opened my eyes and taught me a lot about myself.

Anita-Bella Biro
21 Feb 2022

My time in Rio was more amazing and fulfilling than I ever expected. Even though we came from different parts of the world, we all shared the same values and mindset with the other volunteers. The kids we were teaching were open and respectful, very eager to learn English. Despite of the poor circumstances of a favela school, I really feel that we could make a difference and give some inspiration to the kids there! Don't be afraid (but be prepared), Rio is a charming place with heartwarming people whom you'll long miss after you leave the city.

Jessica Baker
29 Jan 2021

Volunteering in Rio taught me so much about education and made me more aware of my own teaching philosophies. I'm excited to bring my new knowledge back into my classroom! Come in with an open mind, and heart, and you'll leave with so much more understanding of Brazilian culture and a heart full of memories and happiness.


To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

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Volunteer Abroad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with IVHQ


IVHQ’s volunteer projects are based in the glittering city of Rio de Janeiro. It’s the second largest city in Brazil and home to glorious beaches, breathtaking scenery and a huge selection of cultural activities including the world’s biggest street parade, Carnival.

The volunteer accommodation is based in Glória, a bayside neighborhood in central Rio which is close to Copacabana Beach and many restaurants, bars, art galleries, museums and tourist attractions.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each month and volunteers need to arrive into Rio de Janeiro on the Sunday before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Galeão-Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG) or Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) in Rio de Janeiro. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee. When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation in Rio. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation. If you are traveling in Brazil prior to your volunteer program, you will need to arrange your own transport to the hostel accommodation.

Orientation is hosted by our Brazil team at their office in Rio de Janeiro. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Brazil - an introduction to Brazil, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day

On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local team member and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.


Work and hours at the placement are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at. A typical volunteer day is as follows:

7:30 AM Breakfast at the hostel.
8:00 AM Volunteeers travel to their placements.
8:30 - 2:00PM Volunteers join the placement staff and begin work. There is usually a morning tea break and lunch break.
2:00 - 5:00PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to their accommodation, go sightseeing, hit the beach, or do some shopping.


During the weekends, volunteers have free time to relax or take the opportunity to explore Rio de Janeiro and other areas of Brazil. Popular tourist activities include relaxing on the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, climbing Corcovado Mountain, visiting the statue of Christ the Redeemer, catching the cable car to get a 360-degree view of the city from Sugar Loaf Mountain, horse trekking and wildlife spotting in the Pantanal wetlands, exploring Iguazu Falls and trekking through the Amazon.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers stay in a hostel in the central Rio neighbourhood of Glória, which is a short walk from the metro station.

You can expect to share a bedroom with 5 to 8 other volunteers of both genders. Bedrooms have bunk beds with bedding and air conditioning provided. All rooms have a communal, co-ed bathroom equipped with western toilets and hot showers. You should bring your own towel or can rent one at the hostel for 5 BRL. Lockers are available but you’ll need your own padlock.

Accommodation upgrades to private or matrimonial rooms or homestays can be requested subject to availability at an additional cost after registering for the program. All upgrades must be arranged through the local team prior to your arrival. Additional accommodation before and after your program can also be arranged subject to availability. Please ask your IVHQ program manager for more details.

WiFi is available for volunteers to use at the hostel. You can also purchase a local SIM card with data for an unlocked mobile phone to keep connected.

Due to the higher costs over busy Carnival week, an accommodation surcharge will apply to any volunteers on the program over the Carnival week period.


You’ll be provided with breakfast at the hostel, but will need to arrange your own lunch and dinner. Breakfast generally consists of coffee, tea, natural fruit juice, fruit, bread, butter, jam, cheese, ham and cake.

The hostel has cooking facilities to prepare meals and there are nearby shops to buy food. If you have any special dietary requirements for breakfast, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you.


  • USD
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
3 weeks $720 Equivalent to $34/day
4 weeks $870 Equivalent to $31/day
5 weeks $1,020 Equivalent to $29/day
6 weeks $1,170 Equivalent to $28/day
8 weeks $1,470 Equivalent to $26/day
10 weeks $1,770 Equivalent to $25/day
12 weeks $2,070 Equivalent to $25/day
16 weeks $2,670 Equivalent to $24/day
20 weeks $3,270 Equivalent to $23/day
24 weeks $3,870 Equivalent to $23/day
  • Accommodation
  • Daily breakfast
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately $329) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Brazil generally find US$250 to be sufficient for weekly expenses, including lunch, dinner and miscellaneous spending.

Portuguese language lessons

Portuguese language lessons are available to all volunteers regardless of their ability. IVHQ recommends these lessons for all volunteers in Brazil unless they are fluent in Portuguese. Volunteers with a basic level of Portuguese should strongly consider these lessons to allow them to work and communicate more effectively during their program. These language lessons can be organized upon arrival in Brazil, during the program orientation. These language lessons are tailored to each volunteer’s current level of Portuguese and must be paid for in Brazil to our local program staff.

Check what's required to visit Brazil

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Brasilia
Population 198.7 million
Languages Portuguese
Currency Real (BRL)
Time zone UTC-03:00

Weather and climate

The climate of Brazil has a wide range of weather conditions across a large area and varied topography, but most of the country is tropical. The different climatic conditions produce environments ranging from equatorial rainforests in the north and semiarid deserts in the northeast, to temperate forests in the south and tropical savannas in central Brazil. Many regions have starkly different microclimates.

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How to get started

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