Guide for foreigners

Pre-Arrival Information

A Student Visa is required to enroll at Molecular and Cell Biology Graduate Program and to live in Brazil during the master an phD courses. It can be obtained from the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate in the student’s country of origin. A visa must be requested early enough to allow time for bureaucratic procedures, which can be quite lengthy in Brazil.


Once in Brazil

To be registered in Brazil, you will need to do all the procedures for registration at the Federal Police within 30 days after your arrival. For this, go to the Federal Police building in Curitiba city and book an appointment. You will need to present your passport and your visa application form. They will check your documents and book another date for you to come back with the some other documents (#Link). After this registration and paying the fee (#Link), you will get at the Federal Police a temporary foreign identity card (CRNM – Carteira de Registro Nacional Migratório – Foreigners National Registration).



One important document you will need is the CPF (Register of Physical Person), which is something like the ‘Social Security of the US’. This document is necessary to opening a bank account, buying flying tickets, activating a cellphone account and so.

If you are already in Brazil, you can get a CPF at the Receita Federal (#Link) or you can go to a ‘Banco do Brasil’ (Bank of Brazil) branch office (or to the ‘Correios’ Post-office), pay the fee (it is very cheap), and book an appointment by phone at the Receita Federal to go and get your CPF card.

If you rather take care of this issue before arriving in Brazil, you must fill and print the form,  take the form and personal documents to the Brazilian Consular Service with jurisdiction over your area. Please contact the consular service for more information.


Bank account

If wou will receive a scholarship you will need a bank account at ‘Banco do Brasil’ bank. Else, you can choose any bank to open an account. When you go to the bank, take your CPF, CRNM, passport, a document from the Graduate Program or the University document (student card or the enrollment declaration) and a bill with your address in Brazil (water, electricity or phone) in your name. If you do not have any bill in your name, you can take a bill in someone else’s name, but this person must write a declaration saying that you are living with him/her. Inform that you want to open a ‘Conta Universitária’ (University Student Account), because thee fees are lower.


Student card

Once you are enrolled in a course at Molecular and Cell Biology Graduate Program, the secretary will request to the University a student card. This document will allow you to get acess to the Universitary restaurant and pay as a student (which is very cheap), as well as get 50% off on tickets for cinemas, theaters, concerts and other cultural events.


Life in UFPR and Curitiba city, Brazil

Email and Wifi

After enrolling at the Graduate Program, you can request an institutional email ( #Link. With the email, you can access the wifi inside any UFPR campus, many scientific journals with restricted access from home (#Link) and use online version of Microsoft Office sofwares.


SIM card and Phones

Brazil has 4 major phone’s service companies (Claro, TIM, Vivo and Oi) and you can contract the service in almost any Shopping Malls. If you prefer, you can also buy prepaid SIM cards.

To make phone calls to other states use: 0 + operator code + city code + number. To other countries use: 00 + operator code + country code + city code + number.

Important phone numbers:
153: Municipal Guards
190: Military Police (thefts/robberies/crimes)
192: Ambulance
193: Fire Department (firefighters)
199: Civil Defense
International Relations office at UFPR (ARI): 3360-5343



Curitiba city has a good public transport system so that you can go almost anywhere by bus (#Link). You can also go to some places on foot or by bicycle. Using Uber or having a car is also an option to some students. UFPR provides ‘the Intercampi’ bus (#Link), which has no fees and stops in all UFPR-campi.

You can get directions for public transportation on Google Maps.



Curitiba city has many options for good food. You can have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the University Restaurant (RU – #Link) for a very cheap price (much cheaper than a bus ticket), or you can go to the university cafeteria, a shopping mall, some local restaurants and snack bars. You can appreciate the very diversified Brazilian food, as well as Chinese, Arab, Japanese and Italian food.



All students must have a health insurance plan that covers medical expenses and repatriation from the day you leave your country, and it must be valid for the entire period of intended stay in Brazil. The choice of a specific travel insurance is the student responsibility.

Brazil has two main types of health services, public and private services, which provide medical, dental and psychological treatment, as well as emergencies.
Public services will make you wait very long in line but are free and offered to Brazilians and foreigners with no restrictions. In the case of an emergency, look for a “Unidade de Pronto Atendimento”, which provide medical services 24 hours a day during the whole week. Always take your documents with (passport, CRNM and a bill with your residence adress). In case of non-emergency medical treatment any student can use the Unified Health System (SUS) at the Health Units ‘Unidades de Saúde – US’. UFPR students can also use ‘Casa 3’ at ‘Centro Politécnico’ of UFPR for non-emergency treatment. They don’t take in emergencies.

Private services are much faster than the public ones, but you will have to pay for the doctor’s visit and the exams. See company’s policy about reimbursement before choosing the health insurance to hire.


Money and costs

The official currency in Brazil is the Real. Brazil uses the decimal system of currency (100 cents = R$1,00). Notes come in denominations of R$2, R$5, R$10, R$20, R$50, R$100 and R$200. Coins come in denominations of 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents and R$1.

In Curitiba city, you can rent a house or apartment ranging from R$800,00 to R$ 2.000,00/month (price of 2020). It is very common for two or more students to share an apartment. You can also live with a host family or rent an individual room in houses prepared to receive many students. Renting a room usually cost from R$500,00 to R$800,00 (price of 2020) and they can include a private bathroom, electricity, water and internet within the price.

For food, you can expect to spend about R$500,00-R$800,00/month at the supermarket and University restaurant.

For public transportation, you will spend R$4,50 for one-way ticket in city buses.


Programa de Pós-Graduação em
Biologia Celular e Molecular-UFPR

Where we are

Setor de Ciências Biológicas
Departamento de Biologia Celular
Caixa Postal 19031
CEP 81531-970 - Curitiba, PR - Brasil
Fone +55 41 3361-1676
Fax +55 41 3266-2042

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