Brazil (IFMSA Brazil) - Recife-UPE
General Surgery, Infectology
April, May, June, July, August, September, Octouber, November, December, January, February, March
Host Family, Hospital
Host Family
None, just general IFMSA Brazil conditions.

Recife is the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Brazil with 3,743,854 inhabitants, the largest metropolitan area of the North/Northeast Regions, the 5th-largest metropolitan influence area in Brazil, and the capital and largest city of the state of Pernambuco. The population of the city proper was 1.625.583 in 2016.

The former capital of the 17th century Dutch Brazil, Recife was founded in 1537, during the early Portuguese colonization of Brazil, as the main harbor of the Captaincy of Pernambuco, known for its large scale production of sugar cane. The city is located at the confluence of the Beberibe and Capibaribe rivers before they flow into the Atlantic Ocean. It is a major port on the Atlantic Ocean. Its name is an allusion to the stone reefs that are present by the city's shores. The many rivers, small islands and over 50 bridges found in Recife city centre characterise its geography and led to the city being called the "Brazilian Venice." As of 2010, it is the capital city with the highest HDI in Northeast Brazil.[3]

The Metropolitan Region of Recife is the main industrial zone of the State of Pernambuco; major products are those derived fromcane (sugar and ethanol), ships, oil platforms, electronics, and others. With fiscal incentives by the government, many industrial companies were started in the 1970s and 1980s. Recife has a tradition of being the most important commercial hub of the North/Northeastern region of Brazil, with more than 52,500 business enterprises in Recife plus 32,500 in the Metro Area, totaling more than 85,000.[4]

A combination of a large supply of labor and significant private investments turned Recife into Brazil's second largest medical hub (second only to São Paulo);[5] modern hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment receive patients from several neighbouring States.[6][7]

Recife stands out as a major tourist attraction of the Northeast, both for its beaches and for its historic sites, dating back to both the Portuguese and the Dutch colonization of the region. The beach of Porto de Galinhas, 60 kilometers (37 mi) south of the city, has been repeatedly awarded the title of best beach in Brazil and has drawn many tourists. The Historic Centre of Olinda, 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) north of the city, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1982, and both cities' Brazilian Carnival are among the world's most famous.

The city is an education hub, and home to the Federal University of Pernambuco, the largest university in Pernambuco. Several Brazilian historical figures, such as the poet and abolitionist Castro Alves, moved to Recife for their studies. Recife and Natal are the only Brazilian cities with direct flights to the islands of Fernando de Noronha, a World Heritage Site.[8]

The city was one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Additionally, Recife hosted the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cupand the 1950 FIFA World Cup.


The Universitary Hospital Oswaldo Cruz (Hospital Universitario Oswaldo Cruz, HUOC) is a teaching hospital of Pernambuco's University (Universidade de Pernambuco, UPE). It's a hospital of regional reference in cardiology, videolaparoscopic surgery, pneumology, oncology, infectious parasitary deseases and in liver transplant sugery. HUOC was the first public hospital of the state to perform this kind of proceadure and it's also pioneer in the North/Northwest of Brazil in liver transplant in kids.

The HUOC is also responsable for the construction of the biggest Cardiology ER in North/Northwest of the country (Pronto Socorro Cardiológico de Pernambuco Professor Luiz Tavares, PROCAPE) wich will make of Pernambuco a center of excelence in Cardiology.

Also part of UPE's Hospitalar Complex is Centro Integrado Amaury de Medeiros, CISAM wich is reference in ginecology/obstetry in the state.


Project 01: Genetic polymorphisms in chronic and infectious diseases. 
The project takes place in the Pernambuco Hepatic Institute (or Instituto do Fígado de Pernambuco - IFP).

The host student or family will provide at least one meal per day

Our traditional local meal consists in bread and coffee with milk in the morning, and lunch and dinner with rice, red beans, some kind of meat (beef, eggs, chicken, pork or fish), vegetables and salad. Also, there are lots of italian, german, french and japanese culinary references.

The incomings are alocate in student's flat house, family houses or republic houses, where students share a house and create a family bound. They will have their own bed and will be provided with one bathroom that can be shared or not, and internet acess, on the house or on the college.

Have in mind that the main form of lodging in UPE is the model of HOST FAMILY HOUSES, the incoming will be succeptible to the house rules. There are usually no problems at all with this model specially because brazilians do tend to love having "gringos" in their house and will very much show you the kindness and love Brazil is well known for.
The Hospital/University campi is located on the Santo Amaro neighborhood and there are many direct bus lines avaliable from all over the city.


Recife's modern Guararapes-Gilberto Freyre International Airport (REC) is efficient, user-friendl, close to the city and has lots of direct flights to most of the big cities in Brazil and South America.

Have in mind, however, that the avarage distance from town to town in Brazil is actually pretty big, so don't expect to catch lots of cheap flights when planning backpack traveling or similars.


  • Taxis/Uber from the airport to Boa Viagem cost about R$10, to the city center R$20 to 25 and to Olinda R$ 40 (2011), airport taxis are more expensive
  • Pick up at the airport with members of the local comittee is possible 
  • There's also options for public transportations at the airport

The main form of public transportation is by bus.
There's also the option of Taxis and Ubers that can take you pretty much anywhere in the city

The local coordinators and members of the comitte with the usual brazilian hospitality, always do their best to welcome our "gringos" with great excitment and special parties. We always do have lots of fun together. 

We usually throw a party with all incomings, where we exchange some typical local foods and drinks. At The Food and Drink party you get to try some Brazilian dishes and share with us your culture! Besides that in Recife you can also find Clubs, Pubs, Bars.

Also of interest is a program offered on July by our NMO called B.E.A.C.H project (Brazil’s Exchange Assistance on Care and Hospitality). Traveling in this program the incoming will have the opportunity of getting to know people from all over the world at some of Brazil's most breathtaking locations. For more details contact your LEOs


The capital of Pernambuco state in northeast Brazil, Recife is a fluid mix of new and old. In order to make the  trip even more interesting one simply cannot leave Olinda out of the schedule. The Neighboor city of Recife (Sister Cities as locals use to say)  has some of the most famous historical centers of the country and churches which are truly masterpieces.

Make room for at least one day to walk by "Recife Antigo" and visit all the places nearby. Such as Marco Zero (where the oficial distance count begins) the new street art market, Rua do Bom Jesus and its coloful buildings, the embacy of huge puppets (Embaixada dos Bonecos Gigantes), Jew Cultural centre and Tower Malakoff. You can also cross "Ponte Buarque de Macedo" bridge and go to Capela Dourada which is possibly recife's prettiest church, built around XVII and XVIII centuries and totally covered with gold. There's also Forte das Cinco Pontas and the Casa da Cultura where there used to be prision and now is a space dedicated handicraft art merchants .

It's also almost mandatory to get to know Praia de Boa Viagem tha city's most famous beach. Oficina Brennand, Instituto Ricardo Brennand, Cais do Sertão and Paço do Frevo are a few of the city's best museums and are definetly worth the visit.

By the way, one of the greatest sides of doing tourism in Recife and Olinda is that most of the touristic attractions cost only a few reais, making it really cheap to visit most of the touristic highlights.

Bring your enthusiasm and your own white coat and stethoscope.
You have to respect Brazil's norm NR 32: do not use accessories, wear closed shoes and tie your hair.