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In year of World Cup, rising costs prompt cancellation of Princeton in Brazil

The Princeton in Brazil program will not be held this year due to complications brought about by the country’s hosting of the 2014 World Cup.

Karen Gonzalez, manager of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures, explained that the decision to have the program go on a hiatus was brought about by anticipated increased costs and logistical difficulties.

“We were anticipating an inflation of costs due to the World Cup, as well as limited availability of housing — the demand for housing will be great during that time,” she explained. These difficulties, she said, would make it hard for the department to offer an affordable program to the students this year. The program cost $3,900 in 2013.

Gonzalez added that the decision to cancel the program this year was made as early as last summer.

“Toward the end of the program last summer, we started looking forward to the next year, and started making our plans,” she explained. “We realized that it might be too expensive for us to hold the program this summer.”

Gonzalez added that the large amount of people expected to attend the World Cup this year would bring about additional security concerns and explained that it would be a risk to send students to Rio de Janeiro when the event was taking place.

Protests impacted Brazil’s hosting of the Confederations Cup in the summer of 2013, with the movement becoming Brazil’s largest protest since 1992. However, University students in Brazil at the time remained safe and largely insulated from the protests, and the program was completed as planned.

Gonzalez said that they tried to schedule the program to take place at another time, but the University’s partner institution, Instituto Brasil-Estados Unidos, could not accommodate a different schedule.

However, Gonzalez noted that this would just be a one-year hiatus, and the program would resume in 2015.

Former participants in the program said that it was unfortunate that the program would not be held this summer because it was a great experience, but added that the hiatus was the right decision.

“It’s unfortunate that they won’t be able to do it this year, but I definitely understand it,” Kathryn Moore ’15 explained. “I think this summer would be a hard time to be in Brazil and get the real Brazil experience with all the people coming down for the tournament.”

Isaac Lederman ’15 also said that the concerns about security and cost were justified. Both Lederman and Moore said they were hopeful that the program would be even more successful once it resumes next year.

Lederman added that he would absolutely recommend that people apply for the program once it resumes next year, saying that he “would go back to Brazil in a heartbeat.”

The 2014 World Cup will be held in 12 cities across Brazil, with Rio de Janeiro hosting several matches in the group stage, as well as the World Cup final. More than 1.1 million tickets are expected to be sold, according to FIFA.

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