Teaching English in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Volunteer Teacher

Teach English In Rio
Wasim Hassanali, from England, and his students.

Go for a volunteer trip to Brazil and teach English in Rio de Janeiro. We at Iko Poran are based in Rio, and are dedicated to grant you a rewarding volunteer experience at the best prices in the market! As a volunteer English teacher, you will give the children of Rio’s Favelas the unique opportunity of learning from a native speaker. At the same time, naturally, you will start learning Portuguese from them. Enjoy their open-hearted way of living and welcoming you.

The volunteer English classes in Rio help to introduce students from low-income communities to the world’s most commonly spoken language. Moreover, English opens the door to foreign countries and fuels the global economy.

As a volunteer English teacher in Rio, you will teach local students, ranging in age from primary school age to elderly. You will be sharing perspective and encouraging cultural understanding with the students.

A Native Speaker in the Class Room Makes a Huge Difference

The inclusion of an English speaker leading the discussion makes a tremendous impact on language acquisition.

The Teaching English project supplements what students learn in school and provides those who have never had any English instruction with an opportunity to learn the language.

In class I’d try to do lots of speaking, so we went through the phonetic alphabet and found words starting with a, b, c, etc. according to the sound they make.  – Ute Heinzel

Choose whether to Tutor a Few Students Individually or Teach a Full Class

As volunteer teacher you can choose whether you prefer tutoring a few students or teaching a full class in Rio. Best practice for volunteer teachers in Rio would be to create their own lesson plans. Often, the volunteers work together, planning their English classes.

Please note, volunteers do not need to be a qualified or experienced teacher to participate on the Teaching English in Rio project. There is a minimum duration of 3 weeks for this project.

Make Friends while Teaching English in Rio de Janeiro

Ute Heinzel teaching English in Rio
Ute Heinzel

I already spoke about Felipe, the one that “works his magic”. The local staff in the hostel where the volunteers were staying were absolutely amazing. I can, in all honesty, say that I made friends for life in this place. Those guys were my Portuguese teachers, they helped me get around, they chatted with me when I was bored, and gave me a hug when I was sad. Not to forget the parties they took all of us to. It was because of them that three hostel months in a shared dorm with three others didn’t feel like that at all. – Ute Heinzel, Germany

Teaching English, Art and Dance: “I Met some wonderful people”

Bob Black with his English class in Rio
Bob Black with his English class in Rio

I spent the month of October working with Iko Poran in Rio de Janeiro on projects teaching English, Art, and Dance. I met some wonderful people, some of whom will hopefully remain friends forever. It was good to make a difference, even for a short while, to the lives of people who in some cases have so little. But what they may lack in resources they make up for many times in their enthusiasm for learning. – Bob Black, from Scotland

Start Dates & Duration

The Teaching English Projects in Rio de Janeiro Brazil start on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month. Participants on our volunteer in Brazil programs should arrive on Sundays. You can choose to volunteer from 2 to 24 weeks


Orientation takes place on Monday after the arrival date.



Fees and what is included with the volunteer program

  • The program fee is paid directly to the host organization.
  • All of the projects incur a registration fee of  U$ 149.00 on top of the program fee.

Fees 2020

What is included in the volunteer in Brazil program fee?

  • Airport Pickup
  • Orientation plus tour in the area including some tourist sites
  • Accommodation for all projects
  • Breakfast
  • Support from local staff & Program supervision
  • In-country 24/7 support throughout your stay
  • In-country administration costs
  • Donation to support the local project

There are no hidden costs. These projects are the most affordable to volunteer in Brazil.

Iko Poran is an NGO based in a developing country. We are dedicated to helping you help others, at the lowest possible price. We are interested in making volunteering abroad more accessible so that more people can help do really important work.

Participants in our Brazil programs normally find US$150 to be sufficient for weekly expenses in the country.

The program fee should be paid to the host country and it is due 30 days before the project start date.

When you plan to stay during the New Years Eve in Rio as a volunteer in Brazil, you are required to pay a surcharge of U$ 100 to cover accommodation premium prices from Dec 29 to January 2nd.

Carnaval in 2019 is from March 1st to 9th. If the duration of your program in Brazil includes the Carnival week in Rio, you have to pay a surcharge of US$ 200 to cover accommodation premium prices during this period. Note that all projects will be closed during the Carnaval.


Accommodation & Meals

As a volunteer in Brazil you will be staying in a happy and charming Hostel located on the lower part of Santa Teresa neighborhood.

The hostel has many leisure areas, free Wi-Fi everywhere, and laundry service. Breakfast is provided and there is a fully equipped kitchen that volunteers can use to prepare other meals. All rooms have lockers (just bring your own lock).

The house has 3 floors. On the first floor there is the reception where you can always find a friendly face, a large living/TV room, a veranda with a bar and tables to chill out, a big kitchen with a dinning area next to it, a big dinning table, and even a music room; if you play any instrument you are welcome to bring it along and/ or play with the instruments that the hostel already has.

On the second floor there are the shared dorms where our volunteers and other guests stay, and bathrooms. And on the third floor there are private rooms available at an extra fee.

The hostel tries to book one room exclusively for the volunteers. However, when this room is full, we accommodate volunteers in other rooms.

All services, such as supermarkets, drugstores, banks (ATMs), bars & restaurants, delis, fruit store, bus stops, and others are literally 5 minutes walking distance

The metro station to get to Ipanema, Copacabana and other areas is only 15 minutes walking distance. Volunteers stay in a peaceful oasis right “next door“ to the most vibrant and picturesque area of Rio de Janeiro.

Lapa is Rio’s buzzing nightlife spot with lively bars, pumping nightclubs and street parties that last all night. Lapa attracts foreigners and locals every weekend to drink caipirinhas and dance out some moves with many varieties of music playing. Whilst at night it comes alive, during the day it is a quiet neighborhood where you can wander the winding streets and visit the tourist sites and small bars.

The neighborhood Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro

Santa Teresa is a bohemian area with an intense cultural life. The charming neighborhood stands out for its unusual architecture. Enjoy a trip with the hundred and ten years old tram which still runs through its winding cobbled streets!

A residential sanctuary in the heartbeat of the Mata Atlantica (Tijuca National Park), the world’s largest urban subtropical rainforest, it provides access to the Christ statue of Corcovado as well as to the city centre, Sambodromo (where the samba schools compete during Carnival) and the city´s beautiful beaches.

Santa Teresa prides itself of the atmosphere reminiscent of that of a small town, and also enchants visitors with its panoramic views. Moreover, Santa Teresa offers a variety of options for eating local dishes to international cuisine.



You must be at least 18 years old at the start of your placement.

All volunteers must have adequate volunteer travel insurance and are required to provide a criminal background check to local staff on arrival in Brazil or during orientation.

Language Requirements

Knowledge of basic Portuguese is desired but not a pre-requisite. You will already learn a lot practising in your project where nobody speaks good English, but if you would like to speed up your learning we recommend that you take advantage of a very affordable 20 hours Portuguese course taught at your accommodation for only U$ 180.


You will have a competent support and advices from the local team and project leaders. Someone will always be available in the case of any emergency. Please keep in mind that you are in a different country and should take some precautions to avoid exposing yourself to certain risks.

The local coordinators will give you all the information to have a safe and unforgettable experience. We are based in Brazil and have been receiving approximately 400 volunteers per year since 2003 and we never had any major problem.



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Brazil Volunteer Programs

Find out about all the volunteer opportunities in Brazil here. In Rio de Janeiro, you can also teach sports and football at school, or foster the artistic talents of the pupils, be it painting, photograpy or dancing.

If you love to work with children, you can volunteer as a parenting teacher at a daycare in Rio.

Moreover, volunteers can do valuable work on community development in Rio, in order to improve the living conditions of the residents of the favelas.

In addition, environmental volunteers can help with the reforestation of the Tijuca Rainforest.

Finally, volunteers can participate in the preparations for Carnival at a Samba School in Rio de Janeiro.

Teaching English in more countries…

Find our project page, with all the Teaching English Volunteer Programs around the globe!