New Opportunity: Summer School Study Abroad Program in Brazil for U.S. Undergraduate Students!

Wauja Summer Experience

A Collaboration with Indigenous Scholars

(Deadline extended to April 1, 2020!)

The Americas Research Network (ARENET) has announced a 3-week, 6-credit summer school program for U.S. undergraduate students to explore central Brazil for three weeks. Students will have the opportunity to participate in field ethnography as part of the ARENET Wauja Language Revitalization and Documentation Project. This program is run in collaboration with Purdue University.

Students will fly to the international arrival point of São Paulo, then on to the city of Cuiabá, where they will visit the nearby Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park, a spectacular plateau with dramatic red sandstone cliffs very different from the lowland Wauja terrain that they'll see later. They will then take an air taxi into the Xingu Indigenous Territory, arriving in the Indigenous Wauja village of Piyulaga.

Students live as guests in Wauja longhouses, participating in domestic life, and being taught by U.S. faculty, local Wauja elders, and young Wauja scholars. Based on the interests and goals of both the U.S. students and Wauja scholars, each U.S. student is teamed up with a young Wauja scholar who is their one-on-one "learning partner" for several hours a day.

Program Dates:

April 1, 2020 - Applicant Deadline (applications accepted on rolling basis until all seats filled)

April 2020 - Welcome and details on course, visa, itineraries, and flights provided

April 5, 2020 - $500 Deposit due

May 2020 – Pre-trip orientation

July 20 –August 13 Brazil Abroad: Cuiabá, Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park, Wauja village of Piyulaga in the Xingu Indigenous Territory, and finally, São Paulo.

Explore the summer school highlights:

About the program directors:

Emilienne Ireland: Faculty Co-Director, is a Fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Dept. of Anthropology, and Director of the Wauja Language Revitalization and Documentation Project at ARENET. Emi received her training in anthropology from Columbia and Yale universities, speaks Wauja, and has worked with the Wauja community since 1981. Clip from a 2012 BBC documentary.

Phil Tajitsu Nash: Faculty Co-Director, has served as a Curator at the Smithsonian Institution and as co-leader of courses based in the Wauja and Mebêngôkre-Kayapó communities in Central Brazil. He is affiliated with the Asian American and Latin American Studies Centers at the University of Maryland, and has been documenting and supporting the Wauja community in Piyulaga since 1996.


  • U.S undergraduate students are eligible for this program, including students at community colleges.

  • Portuguese language skills are not required for this program.

  • All majors are welcome! No prerequisites are required.

Estimated program cost: $4,600

Costs that are covered: The estimated $4,600 covers 6 course credits, international student insurance, ground and air transportation within Brazil, food and housing, international student insurance, and teaching by U.S. faculty, Wauja elders, and young Wauja counterparts. The exceptions are lunch and dinner during the 4-5 days we are in cities, and any souvenirs or other personal items you may purchase. Note: After all the students sign up, we will calculate the exact cost based on the exchange rate at that time and let you know. It will not vary more than $100.

Costs that are not covered: The course does not pay for passport costs, the pre-trip travel clinic visit, or personal excursions. You also pay for your own round-trip ticket from your U.S. location to São Paulo Brazil.

Deadline: April 1, 2020

Apply Now:

For Questions: Contact Prof. Emi Ireland at

ARENET is a member center of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers. ARENET promotes and fosters international exchange and collaboration among scholars, students, institutions, existing organizations, and communities within the framework of innovative programs in research, education, and outreach throughout the Americas. To learn more about ARENET, please visit