As a high-rise megacity, and the largest city in Brazil,with a population of over 11 million, São Paulo is a thoroughly rewarding student destination.
Visitors will love its sprawling size - take it all in on the observation deck of the 46-story Itália Building on Avenida Ipiranga - and the large population makes it a beehive of jovial nightlife activity alongisde the many intense cultural experiences to explore.
A trip to Beco do Batman, or Batman's Alley, in the Vila Madalena neighbourhood certainly won't disappoint for its fantastic array of vibrant imagery and eclectic designs courtesy of local street artists.
Having recently hosted the FIFA World Cup, and with a reputation for national football prowess, a trip to the football museum at Pacaembu Stadium is also well worth a visit.
In the heart of the city lies the Pateo do Collegio Church, a historical Jesuit church and school. Nowadays the historical-cultural-religious complex is an ideal starting point to learn about the city's history and students can roam its monuments, museum and attend the Catholic Sunday mass which takes place with a beautiful Gregorian choir.
Historically attractive to immigrants, São Paulo is home to the largest Japanese diaspora. There are one and half million people of Japanese origin living in the city's Liberdade neighborhood, or 'Japantown', which even has a McDonald's with a Japanese-style garden.
City life here starts early, with Paulistanos heading to work as early as 7am but at night-time locals enjoy mixing with international people, so students from all over the world will certainly find someone to talk to while drinking or dancing.
Things to do in São Paulo
Vila Madalena District
Known for its history as the centre of the city's culture and art, this neighborhood is "the most famous Bohemian district, with lots of bars, restaurants and pubs for all kinds of different tastes", says Denise Cabral at Global Tailor Made Idioma www.gtmi.com.br. "People will also find many art galleries and alternative clothes stores here."
Catedral da Sé
Building began on São Paulo's picturesque Cathedral in 1913 and was completed four decades later - inhibited by the two world wars. Over 800 tonnes of rare marble were used in its construction, with all mosaics, sculptures and furniture shipped in from Italy. It can hold up to 8,000 people making it the largest church in the city.
Visit the 7,500 m² Japanese Pavilion here to enjoy a permanent exhibition of Japanese culture, with pieces from the 11th century. The area is also surrounded by a beautiful garden and lake with carps.
A taste of São Paulo
One of the greatest symbols of São Paulo is the 300g 'Mortadela sandwich' found at the large public market, Municipal Market. "This bologna sandwich is the real taste of São Paulo's soul," says Paula Prado at Ci Experience Brazil www.cibrazil.travel
"There are many 'kilo restaurants', which are self-service where they weigh your plate and you pay for what you eat," says Mônica Navarro at Idiomas To Go www.idiomastogo.com.br. "I would say it's quite cheap for what you get."
Joseph da Silva Pavão Neto at FIA Fundação Instituto de Administração www.fia.com.br recommends Terraço Italia for some of the best views at the centre of the city, as well as Maní in the Jardins neighbourhood for good Brazilian food.