Brazil (IFMSA Brazil) - Goiania - PUC-GO
Cardiovascular Surgery, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Gynecology/Obstetrics, Radiology/Nuclear Medicine, General Surgery
April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, January, February, March
Host Family, Student Flat or Hospital
Host Family, Student Flat or Hostel payed by the Outgoing (on particular ocasions)
White coat and sthetoscope. Long pants and closed shoes for the hospital. 

PS: A basic level in Portuguese is strongly recommended, specially for clinical  departments.

Firs of all, we dearly call our city ''Gyn'' , which is also the form you'll see at the airport as it is  a far easier to pronounce word for foreigners.  Goiânia is the capital and largest city of the Brazilian state "Goiás". With a population of 1,301,892, it is the second-largest city in the Central-Western Region and the 13th-largest in the country. Itsmetropolitan area has a population of 2,063,744, making it the 11th-largest in Brazil. With an area of approximately 739 km², it has a continuous geography, with few hills and lowlands, with flat lands in most of its territory, especially the Meia Ponte River, in addition to Botafogo and Capim Puba streams.

Goiânia is a planned city founded on October 24, 1933 by then Governor Pedro Ludovico to serve as the new state capital and administrative center. Before this, the state capital was the town of Goiás.

It is the second most populous city in Brazil's Midwest, only surpassed by the country's capital Brasília. It is an important economic hub of the region, and is considered a strategic center for such areas as industry, medicine, fashion and agriculture.Goiânia has the largest green area per inhabitant in Brazil and the second-most in the world, after Edmonton, Canada. That can be felt while strolling around its greenish streets.

The Pontifical Catholic University of Goiás (PUC - GO) is a University located in the state of Goiás, with headquarters in the city of Goiânia. It's a Catholic, multidisciplinary, for higher education, being the oldest University of the state. Seventh institution in Brazil with a Ponthifical title and 31st in the world. PUC Goiás has five campuses, four of them in Goiânia, the state capital, and another in the municipality of Ipameri. The university also has a library with over 213,000 books, a school of foreign languages, a local television network (UCG-TV), four research institutes, over 400 laboratories, two school-clinics and two museums.

The PUC GO offers diverse courses and offers 55 undergraduate courses (specializations, masters and doctorates), 250 ongoing research and 458 labs. The magazine "Student Guide" (April 2010) pointed PUC GO as the best private university in Midwest and the 10th best private university in Brazil. 

The lectures of Medical School are located predominantly in the Hospital Santa Casa de Misericórdia (SCMG) and at the Campus I - Setor Universitário in the Area IV, which has the building of the School of Medicine. 

As methodological approach, Problem Based Learning , according to values : generalist and practical driven formation, with broad knowledge in estructural implications of diseases sources and in manutence and health prevention on both  public services and private services.  

The University Hospital of PUC-GO is SCMG Hospital, which is a private institution considered a referral hospital in Midwest, the Unified Health System (SUS) has a agreement with it making thousands of doctor's appointments daily.

However the medical students have as a learning field classes and professional internships in other hospitals in the city, such as:

Hospital Santa Mônica (HSM): traditionally has an excellent service in Neurology and Neurosurgery and added new services such as Orthopedics, General Surgery, Radiology, Cardiology, Nephrology, Otorhinolaryngology, among others. Over the years they were being attached new services such as the wing of private apartments, the amphitheater and the chapel. With the concern to always preserve the rich green area of the hospital.

Hospital Araújo Jorge (HAJ): is a unit of private and philanthropic health, serving on average of 80% of patients by the SUS. The HAJ serves patients of all ages, offering treatment for all cancers with the most moden current resources. The HAJ is considered a benchmark in cancer treatment in the Midwest, but also serves patients from other Brazilian regions, especially North and Northeast (Acre, Pará, Rondônia, Tocantins, Bahia). For over 50 years HAJ is in the group of the largest and best Brazilian hospitals specialized in oncology, serving a month about 30.000 patients and carries on average 83.000 monthly procedures, including consultations, hospitalizations, surgeries, chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions, pathologic examinations, pap tests and clinical phatology, among other services.

Hospital das Clínicas (HC): main public hospital in the state of Goiás, serving patients of several Brazilian regions, particularly the Midwest, North and Northeast. The HC is also an important trainer of knowledge in health, through teaching, research and extension and contributed decisively to the formation of numerous health professionals such as doctors, nurses, nutritionists, dentists, pharmacists, among others, UFG and other educational institutions.

Hospital Encore: private care hospital with includes specialists in various areas and focusing specially cardiovascular Health, Neurology, Minimally Invasive Procedures and High Complexity. It is the best equipped hospital in cardiovascular health in Goiás.

Unique Hospital (Neurosurgery only) : Private hospital in a noble Neighborhood of Gyn , providing world premier healthcare. Training in this hospital during part of the Neurosurgery internship is a great picture of how contrasting  healthcare setting can be in Brazil, compared with the environment experienced in the public system.  

Research projects are currently limited to our internal students.

The student will be searched at the airport by the host, accompanied or not by other Leos and contact persons, whom will take her/him to the student's home where he/she will be installed.

The host will take the incoming to the hospital where he will accompany at the first day and will teach the route and means of transport to the other days.

Also, the host will take the incoming to the airport at the end of his/her exchange.


The incomings usually stay in a family home.  On rare particular ocasions,  when the hosting student is  not able , placing can occur in student hostels payed by the outgoings (remember: only on  particular ocasions). 

They will be provided with one bed and bathroom (that can be shared or not), one meal and free internet access on the house. We try our best to arrange placing according to incoming student preferences, but mixed male-female accomodations may occur. We stress respect, safety and do not reinforce gender stereotypes concerns in any case, because after all it is not relevant if the exchange student is placed in student host house of the opposite sex as long our priority , respect, is being fullfiled.

The host student or family will provide at least one main meal per day . Eating at  the hospital may occur but is not common. Be prepared to pay snacks that will cost around 3 U$D  2 € if snacking out. Or just pack your snacks and ask your contact person for lockers in the internship site.

Our 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.


Get in

By plane

Good air service. Non-Stop flights from Sao Paulo - 1 hour 20 minutes flight time. From Goiânia, there are numerous flights per day to other cities in Brazil, either through Sao Paulo or Brasilia. At Goiânia airport you can do business and exchange, and there are rental vehicles and taxi points.

By bus

Goiânia has a very good bus station at Praça do Trabalhador, (worker's square), which connects it to any other place in Brazil. So, taking a bus to or from Goiânia will not be a big problem. If you visit Brasilia, which is 3 hours away by bus (R$35 - conventional bus [approximetely 20 US dollars]) it's even easier to visit. The bus station is on the northern side, about 1km from the central district. The bus terminal shares its location with Araguaia Shopping.

Get around

From the bottom of our hearts we can say exchange in this state is a must , but also a  challenge in terms of getting around once transportation will surely rise the costs of your travel. Truth be told, mobility issue is relevant to the most of Brazilians cities that do not have the privilege of a subway system, as is the case with goiania. Public bus system can be specially periculous for foreigners and the language barrier will be more evident than in any other situation.  Buses are dangerous, often arrive late ,  signs are in portuguese and most of the users are mainly brazilian must in need population , which very likely won’t speak in English to provide support in case of any emergency.  

We are quite aware about the city mobility situation so our contact persons will surely try to manage rides with friends, residents and even  your tutor to make life here cheaper and easier to our incomings. But  be aware that our course takes sometimes weekly variable  rounds in different services across  the city, making  rides not guaranteed. Come to this city with the possibility of around daily expenses of around at least 14 U$D 12 Euros if you are getting an uber or similar. That is our mainly struggle for exchanges and we usually make the very best of us to help , and sometimes is not possible.

Here are a few options listed:

Taxis are relatively expensive, with fares from the airport to the center of downtown at about R$30. Due to the convoluted pattern of intersecting one-way streets, often at odd angles, heavy traffic times (weekdays between 5pm and 7pm) it is best to avoid travelling by taxi or car. Moto taxis are an option for the brave.

Many locals use the extensive system of buses to get around. Prices as of July 2013 are R$2.70 for normal routes (with automatic transfers up to 2.5 hours from your initial fare using your Carta Facil), R$1.35 for the Anhanguera exio that runs from Terminal Biblia near St. Universitario to Campinas and beyond. Plan routes at the RMTC Goiania website ( or by clicking the metro stops on Google Maps. During peak traffic times, buses can be faster than taxis due to bus lanes. Planning your trip around the exios (the major arteries of the city, for example, T-90, Av. 84, Anhanguera) will save you hundreds in taxi fares in a week if you're going to travel a lot.

Another option within the city is the UBER app , which besides safer  is  a way  cheaper than taxis (in around 50%)  , however it requires a credit card and it alsos uses a diynamic fare while big traffic times .

One difficulty that you can find in any means of transport in Goiania is communication with drivers . They do not speak English and can not understand very well, even in Spanish. So we enhance that  a basic level of Portuguese would be important and it is strongly recommended. This is central, not very touristic Brazil.

We organize social programs according to the number of the incomings and the period of the year.  
During the rest of the year activities are offered by Local Officers and students on a personal basis. Limited social programs in December, January, February and June due to exams.

We have numerous  free running parks like Vaca Brava, Areião and Flamboyant. There are street fairs where you can eat, buy clothes and souvenirs; they are very commom, especially during the weekend. The most interresting of them, when it comes to local products calls "Feira do Cerrado", and has the same name of the natural vegetation in the state, always take place at sundays mornings. 

We also have the skaterolling and open skate park called Oscar Niemyer. There are some swimming clubs, one example is Jaó that has wake boarding and stand up paddling.

For the ecoturist incomings, read 'must see' section above.

Social programs will be designed as far  as possible incomings personal interests. As said, we are a young city without an efervescent cultural agenda like São Paulo, but support, partneship and caring of our incomings is extensively stimuled from generation to generation of Local Excahnge Officers.

Goiânia is a relatively new (less than 100 years old), we look to its provincial towns in search of the historical past, sorrounded by eco-tourism. Must be said that those in search of an intense cultural agenda are not the ones taking the most of the exchange possibilities in Goiás state. We strongly recommend this comittee for the nature trails, lakes and waterfalls lovers. You can also see in some points of the city the architecture "Art Deco" and in the provincial towns the remains of the era of gold mining. 

State Hotspots  -
Speacial remark : all the below mentioned destinations require bus or car transport, with one way bus tickets fare  around  21 U$D  16€, except for Chapada dos Veadeiros, costing around  49 U$D  42 €. In July or in months with  more exchange students, one of CPs may be willing to take the group in his private car sharing transport costs. Sometimes renting a larger veicule or booking touristic packages can be arrenged, if it is the interest of many incomings. Those topics should be discussed in advance as soons as in touch with your contact persons. Please remember that all of his her dispenses are at the cost of the student.

Pirenópolis (129 km from Gyn): town well known for its colonial architecture and sorrounding watterfalls. In a distance of 15 km there are more than twenty spectacular waterfalls with pristine water. Some of them are enormous such as the Salto de Corumbá and others  are formed by a series of small cascades.They may be on private properties and entrance fees of around 7 U$D   5 €  are charged. Other falls can be found on hiking trails.It also has a hippie-like colony which markets clothing and silverwork. The municipality contains part of the 2,833 hectares (7,000 acres) Pirineus State Park.

Goiás  (148 km from Gyn) -  also known as Goiás Velho, portuguese for “Old Goiás” , the city which gives name to the state was  founded in 1727, after the name of the indiginous tribe Goyaz that previously occupied the site. The former capital of the state and preserves much of its colonial material - as the blended Portuguese Vilar Arquitecture Style and Nazareno Confaloni´s muralist afrescos - and immaterial heritage - notably sugary homemade sweets, the very local salty pie “empadão” and Cora Coralina’s poetry. In 2002, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home of the poet that is one of the most important in Brazil and was also a confectioner, the city of Goiás houses yearly during the month of  August the FICA (Festival internacional de cinema e video ambiental), worldwide acclaimed in the international environmental cinema setting.

Caldas Novas (170 Km from Gyn) : thermal spa city with a plethora of water parks. "Hot Park" is the largest  waterpark in state and one of the biggest of Brazil, with tickets targeted as BRL 150,00 (in park) U$D 30,00  € 25,00  (with 20% off if booked in advance at

 Brasília (210 Km from Gyn) : the capital of Brazil is located as a DC in the heart of the state of Goiás. It´s remarkable gem designed by modernist architetc Oscar Niemeyer . In collaboration with other architects one of his other works is the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. His exploration of the aesthetic possibilities of reinforced concrete was highly influential in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Paying a visit to its many buildings and monuments is a must, as the city itself is inspired by a plane, which can be perceived while exploring it.

Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park (400 km from Gyn) is a national park of Brazil located in the Chapada dos Veadeiros, an ancient plateau with an estimated age of 1.8 billion years. Listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2001, it occupies an area of 655 square kilometres (253 sq mi) in the municipalities of Alto Paraíso de Goiás, Cavalcante and Colinas do Sul. Waterfalls, rock formations of the "Vale da Lua" (Moon Valley) and several natural caves are elements of this Brazilian nature wonderplace. If you plan to visit this natural gem, we recommend staying for a weekend and booking accomodation ahead, trough tools like, as it can get specially pricy when not booked in advanced.Official website (in portuguese). Your contact person can provide more information if you are interested.



We are based in flatland in an African Savanna like vegetation called Cerrado. That was developed into a worldwide famous Dairy. Goiás is proud of being a big farm to Brazil and the world. We are Brazilian Texas. Beef plays the main role in the buffet and is inexpensive compared to other states and countries without the same characteristics.  We have the best beef and it´s called “Picanha”. Our tables are full and main meals are heavy. Join us.

Try the food gems “pamonha, ‘pequi’  and regional exclusive   popsicles made of our plethora of fruits you won’t taste elsewhere.



As showed in a report for the British Council in 2014 , a foreign language in Brazil is frequently considered  an extra asset, not a necessity ,  a luxury by some and an extracurricular activity by others. In general, basic education is prioritised first, followed by higher education, and then English.  Your contact persons will be prontly ready to help in the language matter. Hence, don´t expect to walk into a supermarket in SP and Rio and be able to communicate with people working there. The best bets are looking for younger, college-age (or just beyond that), crowd. Although we recognize Brazilian Portuguese is a not an easy to learn language, specially for non-latin native speakers. In our defense, it has approximately 215 to 220 million native speakers and 260 million total speakers and is widely reconized as one of the most beautiful languages. Medicine students will surely speak English since it  can be considered a pre-requisite to enter the faculty in most of Brazil; that does not apply to the brazilian population as a whole, and more importantly to patients in the clinical rounds. If you can manage to learn a few portuguese that will certainly expand your horizons to the real brazil. That all being said, we Brazilians are hospitable, though, and most will figure out a way to communicate.



We do not speak Spanish (even though most of understand it quite well if it is slowly pronounced, we are not able to reply properly unless we have taken spanish classes, the opposite is commonly true).

So please do not generalize  we speak Spanish as a language block in America because it´s somehow rude. We are the only country in South America that speaks portuguese. And we are proud of it.

We use the latin alphabet and accents.

As American and British English,  Brazilian and European Portuguese are not equivalent. Pronunciation and accent vary widely is usually not understandable unless spoken slowly. Nouns and the use of second person range a lot.


Some  phonemes are particular difficult for foreigners to pronounce (as the czech Ř). With that we do not intend to bring tongue-twisters for our incomings, but this matter is particular relevant as  vocallic digraphs are extremely frequent in indigenous nouns, widely used in Goiás State. As the state name itself ‘’Goiás’’, vocallic  and stressing are important.


Here are a few listed:


ão - real nightmare for non-native Portuguese speakers. There is no exact match for it in the English language, but if you think of “oun" being spoken in a very nasal way you’re getting close. The symbol on top of the “a" is called tilde (also “til" in Portuguese), and indicates that the vowel is pronounced nasally.


ç - This symbol under the “c" is called cedilla (or “cedilha," in Portuguese) and it changes the way the "c" is pronounced in languages like Portuguese, French and Catalan. In Portuguese, it’s pronounced like an “s" as in "Saturday."


nh - Another sound with no real equivalent in English, it is pronounced in a similar way as “ny" in “Enya."  Equivalent to n

lh - The “h" after the “l" is pronounced like a very short “i."


“Ai” “ui” “ao” are quite common in portuguese and brazilian indigenous languages , the latter being as common as the word “não” (meaning no).

Plan your exchange ahead, download Duolingo (or just your favorite language learning app) and explore the marvellounesses  of the Portuguese language, is halfway from Spanish and a “few roads away” from the most of latin languages.

Useful phrasebook.

Key phrases to master:

Tudo bom? (How are you? All good?)

Eu não entendo (I don't understand)

Caipirinha (this one being  not unfamiliar to many


Keeping track of all the different beats has made Brazilian percussion the most sophisticated in the world, with a slew of drum instruments found nowhere else. The rural folk music of the south gave rise to musica sertaneja, a romantic ballad style that is the most popular music in the country today. Goias state is the homeland of this style. Many of the musical duos are Gyn Native. You won't have problems finding company among your CPs or college colleagues to visit one of the capital´s Sertanejo Nightclubs. Incomings usually love it.

Bring your own white coat and stethoscope. You can wash your clothes at your loadging place , also at the many laundry facilities  around the city. Good aesepthic and higiene pratices are expected. Brazilian Regulative Norm 32 NR 32 establishes the use of Personal Protective Equipment and guidelines as not using accessories, wearing closed shoes and tie your hair while in healthcare enviroment.

We declare we do not have conflict of interest with brands and services above mentioned. They are all honest insider approved tips.

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e welcome to Goiânia!