Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy –
Semester Abroad in Brazil

In addition to the ERASMUS+ & Swiss-European Mobility Programme and the International Student Exchange Program, university partnerships also offer students the opportunity to spend a semester abroad. Dr. Kirste is responsible for one of the university partnerships held by the University of Salzburg. More specifically, this concerns the partnership with the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), which each semester offers some Salzburg students the chance to gain experience abroad and outside of Europe – namely in Brazil. A small sample of what the PUCRS has to offer and what students from Salzburg can expect is provided below, in addition to information on the application process.

© Bruno Todeschini

PUCRS – a brief portrait

PUCRS is now the best private Higher Education Institution in the South of Brazil, as shown in the most relevant national and international rankings, such as Times Higher Education, QS and Folha University Ranking. The University relies on a large number of facilities, including the University Hospital (HSL), the Science and Technology Park (Tecnopuc), the Science and Technology Museum (MCT), the Sports Park, the Brain Institute (BraIns) and the Audiovisual Technological Center (TECNA). In addition to having more than 40,000 students,  including online and on-site, as of today, PUCRS has an alumni network of more than 170,000 students. PUCRS is organized into seven academic schools, offering 55 undergraduate programs, 23 graduate programs (Master’s and Doctorate) as well as 70 certificate and extension programs. PUCRS is partners with 226 institutions in 36 countries all over the world, in an effort to consolidate the international cooperation in several areas. Academic mobility, excellent research, language programs, double degrees, and international events are some of the initiatives of internationalization the University endeavors. All these actions reaffirm its vision of becoming an international reference in Higher Education through innovation and social, environmental, scientific, cultural and economic development by the year 2022. [Source: Office for International Cooperation (PUCRS), 2021]

A more detailed presentation of the PUCRS can be found here and for further information we would like to refer you to the website of our partner university  PUCRS.

From PUCRS to PLUS – Interview with a doctoral student  

Interview AlffIn December 2023, Hannah Perera Alff travelled from her home university PUCRS to the Paris Lodron University in Salzburg to continue her research for her doctoral thesis in law. In this interview, the exchange student gives us an insight into her experiences so far, reflects on Brazilian culture and talks about her studies in Porto Alegre at PUCRS. She also gives valuable advice and tips for students planning a semester abroad in Brazil.

You can find the interview here .



PUCRS – a field report from Salzburg

“YES, it pays off, I made a lot of new friends, gained experience and travelled to new places. All in all, it was probably the best six months of my life and I hope that everyone else will also take the opportunity to do a semester abroad. It is not only very useful from an academic point of view, but even more so for personal development and the many friendships. I don’t regret it for a second and I’m glad I took the step into the uncertain distance.” [free translation]
A student about his semester abroad at PUCRS

You can find the detailed field report here.

© Camila Cunha
© Camila Cunha










PUCRS – the application process

If you are interested in a semester abroad in Brazil, the first step is to contact Dr. Kirste. He will then provide information about the available spots and by which deadline which application documents must be submitted. The application documents must be submitted to Dr. Kirste by the deadline, who will then select the suitable applicants and nominate them. In the past, due to the number of application requests, it was possible to offer all interested applicants a place at PUCRS and to nominate them accordingly – but this depends on the rush. If there are more applicants than spots, the first-come-first-served principle applies. From the moment of nomination, it is possible to apply for a study abroad scholarship – just as with an Erasmus exchange. Students who receive a scholarship from the scholarship office (study allowance, self-supporting scholarship) have to apply for the study abroad scholarship at the scholarship office. All other students have to apply to Ms. Dott.ssa. Elona Memisha-Schnappinger (Office for International Relations). More information on applying for the PLUS Study Abroad Scholarship as well as the application forms can be found on the website of the Office of International Relations.

At this point, we would also like to point out that courses in legal philosophy (provided there is equivalence in terms of content and scope) are particularly suitable for recognition alongside international courses and the subject bundle “Foreign Law”.


PUCRS – current information

The Fact Sheet 2023 provides more detailed information for the winter term 2024/25 as well as for the summer term 2025.

Picture Gallery: PUCRS Campus (© Bruno Todeschini)

Picture Gallery: Porto Alegre (© Stephan Kirste)