One of the questions we are asked most frequently is how to go about meeting local students. Those of your predecessors who have been successful in this respect would say that the best approach is to find a group activity that includes local people: choral singing, hiking or sports, volunteer work or internships, etc. You will need some courage and a good deal of initiative; results may not live up to your expectations, especially right away, but be patient. Keep in mind the strategies you would use at home to meet people you are interested in knowing: you try to be where they are, you try to share an interest or an activity that will bring you into contact with them, you get to know people who know them. It goes without saying, if you have one or two Portuguese speaking acquaintances to start, it can only make things easier. Conversely, if you decide to break the Language Pledge and insist on speaking English it will make interacting with locals more difficult. Here is a video about making friends abroad, produced by returned study abroad students.