Culture Quests

Brazil

South America
Capital: Brasilia
Languages: Portuguese, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, English
Useful links: Kids Culture Corner: Brazil | CIA World Factbook

The following information is generalized and compiled from questions posed to the agents and interviewers in Brazil. Although au pairs from this country may or may not have had these experiences/beliefs, Au Pair in America wishes to share this general information with our families.

Au Pairs in General

  • The idea of being an au pair is not common in Brazil.
  • Applicants from Brazil are motivated by the desire to improve their English.
  • An au pair’s job potential is improved upon her return to Brazil.
  • Applicants sometimes have difficulty finding the program fees.
  • Young people in Brazil have the freedom of their family to socialize and date.
  • Curfews are common.
  • Young women are accustomed to sharing in household chores.
  • Nudity is not common in Brazil.
  • Brazilian people are known for being social, open-minded, happy, energetic, hard working, very optimistic, open toward other cultures, and extremely caring with people.

Child Care Practices

  • The attitudes/types of discipline vary a lot according to the social class; middle class parents tend to be more liberal and would explain the situation to the child, whereas working class families handle discipline in a physical manner.
  • Sometimes some families slap the hands or the bottom when a child misbehaves.
  • Applicants obtain childcare experience through formal schooling or by working or volunteering in a school day care center, hospital or church.
  • Both parents are responsible for childcare responsibilities.
  • It is common for both parents to work and be away from home during the day.

Driving Skills

  • The driver’s license in is available at age 18, and is not difficult to obtain.
  • To obtain a license in Brazil, candidates must take 15 driving lessons (practical and theoretical) and 30 lessons that include first aid, mechanical, citizenship and a psychological test.
  • The International driving permit is available.
  • It is not common for the parents provide a car in which to practice because it is expensive to have and keep a car in Brazil.
  • Most cars have manual transmission.

English Language Skills

  • English is compulsory from middle school until the end of high school. Lessons would be given once or twice a week for about 50 minutes.
  • Classes focus more on written than oral skills. Private lessons are taken too in order to speak more advanced English.

Education

  • Very few young women continue their studies at University.
  • Most applicants start work as soon as possible.
  • The academic year starts in February and ends in November.
  • The educational opportunities of the program are very important for their future career.

Health

  • The most common inoculations are MMR, diphtheria, hepatitis and polio.
  • Most young women are inoculated and tested for TB (Tuberculosis).
  • Brazil a free health service, but it is of low quality.
  • Most young women visit the dentist on a regular basis, which is expensive.
  • “Eating disorders” are not common.

Diet

  • Most young people in Brazil eat meat.
  • Vegetarianism is not common.
  • A typical Brazilian diet includes rice, beans, beef, chicken, fish, vegetables, salads, and fruits.

Religion

  • The most common religion in Brazil is Catholic.
  • Most young people in Brazil do not practice their religion regularly.
  • A young person would rarely choose to practice a religion that is different than her family’s religion.
  • Church services are attended once a week, and meat is not eaten during Lent.

Telephone & Internet

  • Most homes have a telephone and a computer with access to the Internet.
  • Family members will not be able to take a message from a potential Host Family.

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