PDPI - Brazil English Teachers Program

This program is sponsored by the Brazilian government. Only participants selected by the sponsor are eligible for the program.

The purpose of this 6-week certificate program is to offer English language enrichment and professional training designed specifically for high school English teachers from Brazil to:

  • Strengthen teachers' English language proficiency, with emphasis on conversational fluency and pronunciation
  • Enhance teachers' English language teaching capabilities in the Brazilian high school context
  • Foster opportunities for the teachers to network with US ESL faculty members and education specialists
  • Offer the cultural experience of US campus life and opportunities for cultural and social activities in the US Midwest

We hope the information on this site will answer all of your questions.  If you need more information, please email your question to glamer@ku.edu.

Program funding comes from the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia. Institute for International Education (IIE) administers the program. 

Travel Information

The Brazil High School Teachers Program arrival date is January 13, 2018.

Flying into Kansas City International Airport, Missouri (MCI)

  • The Kansas City airport is a one-hour drive from Lawrence, Kansas where the University of Kansas is located.
  • Staff from the AEC will meet you at the airport and assist you in catching the bus to Lawrence.
  • Once you have gotten off the plane, AEC staff members will be waiting for you at the gate with a sign that reads: The University of Kansas Welcomes PDPI - Brazil English Teachers
  • The staff members will help you find your luggage and catch the bus to Lawrence.
  • If you have a delay at any point on your journey, please contact Geri Lamer at (785) 764-2781.
  • The staff will ride the bus back to Lawrence with you and help you get settled into the residence hall where you will be living during your program.

We hope your journey is a safe one and we look forward to meeting you.

Housing and Meals


Participants will live with a roommate from the program in a double occupancy room in Naismith Hall on the University of Kansas campus. You will be provided with sheets, a blanket, a pillow and a towel for use during your program.

We will contact you two weeks prior to your arrival with the name and contact information for your roommate so you can be in communication prior to starting the program.

Naismith Hall Amenities

  • Every resident room is suite-style with attached semi-private bath
  • Vanity and sink in every resident room, with regular in-room housekeeping
  • Lobby Lounge with 9-ft fireplace, large-screen TVs, pool and ping pong tables
  • Swimming pool and sundeck
  • Community kitchen for resident use
  • On-site fitness center
  • Free on-site tutoring
  • Fully air-conditioned
  • Basic cable, high speed internet and free WiFi included
  • 24-hour computer lab
  • On-site laundry facilities


  • Participants will be provided 19 meals per week.
    • During the week, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided by Naismith Hall each day.
    • On the weekends, two meals a day (brunch & dinner) will be provided by Naismith Hall
    • There is a small kitchen available for use in Naismith Hall if you wish to do some cooking on your own. You will be responsible for buying the food supplies you will need for this.

In case of sickness, you should first go to the Watkins Student Health Center on campus.

  • They will decide whether to treat you at the Health Center or to send you to Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Do not go to the hospital without a referral from the Student Health Center. It will be expensive, and the insurance company may not reimburse you.


  • As a student at the Applied English Center, you will be eligible for the full services offered by the Watkins Student Health Center at KU. You must have your KUID with you to receive medical treatment.
  • There is a charge for many services, including medications, x-rays and minor surgery. You and your health insurance company must pay these charges.
  • Prescriptions filled at the Student Health Center are not free, but they are less expensive than other pharmacies.
  • Dental care is not available at Watkins.

Regular office hours are:

  • Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 6:00pm
  • Saturday: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Sunday: Closed

During student breaks, hours are:

  • Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 4:30pm
  • Saturday: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Sunday: Closed

Appointment Line: 785-864-9507
Pharmacy: 785-864-9512
Automated Line: 785-864-9500
Emergency: 911

Health Insurance

You will be covered by KU student health insurance.

As a student at the AEC, you will be able to see a doctor for free while you are at KU. 

Any medical tests, medications or treatments you receive will be partially covered by your insurance but you will also be responsible for part of these costs.  The exact distribution of charges will depend upon which tests, medication or treatments you require but, in general, insurance covers about 80% of your medical charges.  During the break times between semesters, there will be a charge for visiting a doctor but your insurance will help pay for that charge.

Medical Check-in

As a short-term program student at the AEC your medical requirements will be:

  • Two (2) Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination
  • Answering a Tuberculosis questionnaire

If you have an official vaccination record that shows you have already taken the MMR vaccinations in your home country, you can bring it with you. The record must be in English, show the date you took the vaccination, and be signed by a doctor.

If your vaccination record is not in English, you can print the form found at this link and ask your doctor to fill it out and sign it.

In the U.S., the MMR vaccination contains three vaccines – one each for Measles, Mumps and Rubella.  In your country each of these vaccines might be given separately.  Your records must show two vaccinations for each disease.

The Tuberculosis test must be taken in the U.S., so any test results regarding TB that you bring from your country will not be accepted.

If you do not have the correct vaccination record, you will be required to take the vaccinations here. 


Communicating in English for Brazilian EFL High School Teachers

  • This course emphasizes conversational fluency, including prosody (e.g., phrasal stress, intonation, etc.), key segmentals such as vowels, oral grammar, and organization.  The course will also focus on pedagogical strategies starting with the language of classroom management.  Other pedagogical strategies include the ability to use English to introduce, define, explain and demonstrate relationships among key concepts in the teacher’s discipline.

Pronunciation Enhancement for Brazilian EFL High School Teachers

  • This course focuses on the Brazilian teachers’ English pronunciation.  Teachers will do a variety of exercise to increase awareness of American English pronunciation.  They will also work on pronunciation of sounds compared to those of a native speaker.  The courses include discussions on what is learned in the course that could be adapted into lessons for their students.

Curriculum Development: Teaching Strategies for the EFL Classroom

  • This course will introduce a variety of strategies for student communication and engagement in English as a foreign language teaching.  Participants will familiarize themselves with various lessons and teaching approaches in listening, speaking and pronunciation accuracy and fluency. 

Technology in the High School EFL Classroom

  • This course will use the TESOL Technology Standards as well as 21st Century Learning Skills as a framework for developing teacher foundational technology skills and abilities.  The focus is on helping the teachers discover ways to use technology effectively in their EFL classroom context and learn about useful digital resources.

Guest Lecture Series: Topics for High School EFL Teachers

  • Participants will attend lectures on topics of interest to high school EFL teachers in Brazil.  Sessions will focus on areas of curriculum and instruction for EFL high school students.  Ample time will be reserved for group discussion.  
Field Trips

You will take two out-of-town field trips during your program. One to Kansas City and one to Topeka (the state capital of Kansas). Possible destinations in each city:

  1. Kansas City Trip
    • American Jazz Museum
    • Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
    • Country Club Plaza
    • Legends Outlet Mall
    • Cabela's
  2. Topeka Trip
    • Kansas History Museum
    • Old Prairie Town
    • Westridge Mall
    • Brown vs. Board of Education
Optional Activities
Contact Information

The office is open from 8:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday. You may call the office to contact Geri Lamer or an AEC instructor during those hours. During the evenings or weekends, if you need to speak with someone from the AEC, you should call Geri, Aaron or Mindy.

Geri Lamer (Contact for emergencies)
(785) 864-1321
Mobile: (785) 764-2781

Margaret Coffey
(785) 864-1307

Aaron Huerter
(785) 864-5316
Mobile: (785) 845-5043

Mindy Van House
(785) 864-1496
Mobile: (517) 605-4998

Pre-arrival Information
Climate and Weather

Lawrence experiences four distinct seasons. Temperatures during spring (March to May) and fall (October and November) can be quite mild, with more extreme temperatures on each end of these seasons. Summer (June to September) temperatures can be quite hot, and winter (December to February) temperatures can be cold, dropping below freezing on a regular basis.

Please keep in mind that the weather in Lawrence can be quite varied, with large temperature changes from day to day and even during the same day.

When packing, you may want to pack clothing that you can layer based on the day’s weather – and don’t forget an umbrella!

Below are some links to help you identify average temperature and precipitation patterns as well as see the current weather forecasts.

Climate:  http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/lawrence/kansas/united-states/usks0319/2016/1

Weather:  http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/lawrence-ks/66044/weather-forecast/328846

Different Systems

The United States is one place that does not use the metric system.

There are numerous websites to help you with that.

There are even apps for iPhone and Android that you can download and keep on your phone.

The mathematical formulas to convert temperature are:

Fahrenheit to Celsius: (⁰ F – 32) ÷ 1.8 = ⁰ C

Celsius to Fahrenheit: (⁰ C × 1.8) + 32 = ⁰ F

Here is a website that includes a quick temperature equivalency as well as a converter and other useful information: http://www.mathsisfun.com/temperature-conversion.html

Here are some charts for common measurements:  http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/metric_conversion_chart.html

Here is a website where you can convert between the metric system and the units of measure used in the U.S.:  http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/conversions.html

And finally, here is a currency converter:  http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/

Electrical power supply

The electrical current used in the United States is 110-125 volts AC (alternating current), 60Hz (cycles per second). This is different from that of many other countries.

If you bring appliances from home, you may need an adapter to make sure your appliances work properly.

Chargers for cell phones and computers may work on multiple power systems.

Make sure to check any electronic devices (computer) or appliances (hair dryer) that you are thinking about bringing to the US to see if you will need an adapter.

It is often easier to purchase an adapter in your own country. Even if you have an adapter or a device that works on both power systems, you will probably need a device that adjusts to the American outlet shape.

Here is a link for more information: http://www.howtogeek.com/168564/what-you-need-to-know-about-power-outlets-and-voltages-when-travelling-internationally/ .

Coins and currency

Like other countries in the world, the U.S. issues their own coins and currency. The coins, in particular, can be somewhat confusing because of their size and special names. Below are the common coins and bills you will see. (Note: There are additional coins and bills that exist but they are not common.)

Coins ¢


Currency (bills) $


Portion of dollar



1 dollar

1 cent




5 dollars

5 cents




10 dollars

10 cents




20 dollars

 25 cents

¼  or 25/100



50 dollars





100 dollars

If you would like to see the coins and bills you might see in the U.S., please visit the following websites:


https://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/circulatingCoins/index.html Currency:




The standard address format for mailing items to and within the U.S. is as follows:


Street Address

(Additional information for the street address, if needed)

City, State (2 letter code)  zip code

On an envelope or package, you should include the sender’s name and address in the upper left hand corner in case the item needs to be returned to the sender.

The recipient’s name and address are in the center of the envelope.

If you would like to see what an addressed envelope should look like, you can visit: http://www.nhcs.net/parsley/curriculum/postal/envelope.html.



Feeling unwell in a different country can be one of the hardest parts of travel. It is difficult to know how to treat various pain or illnesses without familiar medications or natural remedies.

Medications in the U.S. are tested thoroughly and are generally safe. Many common medications, such as pain relievers, stomach medicines, and allergy and cold medications are even available without a prescription.

Some medications can seem expensive to visitors from other countries. Other people prefer more natural remedies, which may or may not be available in the U.S. Still others need prescription medications for chronic medical conditions.

It is possible to bring medications into the U.S., but you need to do thorough research on your particular medication before bringing it.

Some general guidelines, which may or may not apply in your situation, are:

  • The item should be in the original container.
  • You should only bring enough of the product for personal use during your program. No more than a 90 day supply is allowed.
  • Prescription medications are often not allowed unless the medication has been approved for use in the U.S. or is for a serious condition for which there is no treatment available in the U.S. (there are many requirements for the latter)
  • If you have a prescription medicine, you should bring a prescription or doctor’s note in English about the medication and why you need it.
  • Natural remedies or medications which have ingredients from animals may be banned.

You can also start a more thorough search at:  http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm484154.htm

Currency Exchange

The airport in Kansas City is small and does not have any currency exchange kiosks. If your first stop in the U.S. is at a major airport, you may be able to exchange money there.

It can be difficult to exchange money once you reach Kansas. Although there is one bank in Lawrence that will exchange money, it can be a difficult and time-consuming process.

It is recommended that you bring either a bank card so you can withdraw money from an ATM (automated teller machine) or bring traveler’s checks (in U.S. dollars). Although both will likely involve some fees, these are the simplest and safest methods for accessing money.

Although it is a good idea to bring some U.S. currency to Kansas with you, it is not recommended that you carry large amounts of cash with you.

Once you arrive in the U.S.

What to expect when entering the U.S.

When entering the U.S., you will need to show your passport, visa, and KU I-20 (if F-1) or DS-2019 (if J-1). Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your arrival.

You may be fingerprinted, photographed, and an entry stamp may be placed in your passport. You may be asked to go to another line where they will look at your documents and ask additional questions.

Do not be scared. This is all normal.

This may take 2-4 hours or longer to complete. Allow enough time between flights to complete all steps.

Your arrival will be registered electronically.

What to expect in Lawrence


The U.S., and the middle of the country in particular, has a car based culture. Most Americans who live outside of major cities have a car and bus systems are either unavailable or not as extensive or convenient as they may be in other countries around the world.

Lawrence does have a bus system. It is free to ride with a KU ID card. However, there is no service on Sundays and service in the summer, during university breaks, in the evening, and on Saturdays is limited.

Unfortunately, transportation to places outside of Lawrence, such as Kansas City, is very limited and can be expensive. Taxis, Uber, and shuttle services are all available but must be arranged ahead of time. Sharing the costs of these services with several other people can make them more cost-effective.

The K-10 Connector is a bus service that runs between Lawrence and Johnson County Community College (JCCC) in Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City. From JCCC you should be able to take Kansas City buses into downtown Kansas City.

The K-10 Connector is primarily a commuter service and only operates Monday – Friday from about 6 am until 6 pm, with a couple of buses Monday – Thursday evenings. More details will be listed in the Handbook you will receive when you arrive.


As a KU student, you will be able to connect to the internet on your cell phone or computer using the free Wireless internet available in all campus buildings and residence halls.

Computers are available for use in the KU libraries and in several computers labs on campus.

Printing is available but does cost additional money - $0.08 for each black and white page (1 sided) and $0.48 for each color page (1 sided). Printing is connected to your KU ID card and can be purchased via credit card or cash. See your handbook upon arrival for more details on how to print on campus.

There are no public or pay phones on the KU campus. There are also no landline connections in the on—campus residence halls. To speak with your family and friends you will need to use an online phone service such as Skype, purchase an American cell phone, or have U.S. service set up on your cell phone from home.

One of the first 12 intensive English programs in the United States
Each semester year, the AEC enrolls about 250 students representing more than 35 countries on six continents.
Start working on your degree now! You can take university classes for credit at the same time you are taking English classes.
Earn university credits now! You can use 9 AEC credits as elective credits toward your KU degree in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Business, and Architecture.
Fulfill a university requirement! Completion of your English proficiency requirements means you have finished your foreign language requirement at the University of Kanas.
CONNECT with the AEC