In 2001, Washington and Lee University, Fairfield University, the Universidade Federal do Amazonas (Manaus) and the Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense (Campos dos Goytacazes) were awarded a FIPSE-CAPES grant entitled "The Environment, Economic Development and Quality of Life Nexus: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Undergraduate Education."
In 2007, Washington and Lee University, the University of Florida, the Universidade Federal do Amazona (Manaus) and the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro were awarded an extension of the FIPSE-CAPES grant. The extended four year grant is entitled "Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development: The Central Role of the United States and Brazil."
The US-Brazil Consortium fosters university partnerships through the exchange of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff within the context of bilateral curricular development to increase cross-national education, training opportunities, and joint research in a wide range of academic and professional disciplines. Students benefit from having an international curriculum and cultural dimension added to their studies through a combination of bilateral curricular innovation and study abroad. The Brazil-US Program is administrated jointly by the Brazilian Ministry of Education (CAPES) and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) of the U.S. Department of Education.
The US-Brazil Exchange is unlike most study abroad programs. The exchange is a six-month cultural immersion experience where students learn Portuguese, live in Brazil with host families, take courses, and perform research related to energy and the environment. This exchange focuses on the process of informing decision-making on development of future energy, environmental, and sustainable-development, faculty-mentored student research, internships, collaborative faculty research, and university-industry cooperation.
The fall of 2010 marked the ninth year of the international cooperation between Washington and Lee and two Brazilian universities. The exchange promotes student-centered cooperation between the two countries to increase cross-national education, training opportunities, and joint research in a wide range of academic and professional disciplines.