Volunteer with the Rotary Youth Exchange in Brazil

Video and Photos

An old man giving a kid a medicine
An old man giving a kid a medicine

About

South America's giant, Brazil is a seductive country with dazzling beaches, tropical islands and picturesque colonial towns. Its verdant rainforests boast an astounding array of wildlife, while its wildly energetic cities are home to a multitude of ethnic groups.

Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country in both size and population, and its thriving economy has made it Latin America's powerhouse, enjoying record growth in the last five years (Brazil currently ranks among the ten largest economies in the world). This is a country revered for its football prowess and rich musical traditions, which include samba, bossa nova, tropicalismo, forró and numerous other distinctive styles.

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

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based on 1 review
  • Housing 10
  • Support 8
  • Fun 10
  • Value 10
  • Safety 10
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Samantha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

This was the best experience of my life. I lived with three different host families which gave me insight into three very different ways of living in Brazil and allowed me to experience the culture more fully than if I had been living with only foreigners. This made learning the local language much easier and encouraged me to become more engaged with the local community.
There was a group of about 30 exchange students in the area and we all had many chances to meet up and get to know each other quite well. This proved invaluable as we were all in the same position and could thus relate well despite our cultural differences. In addition, as we were all from different countries, it made us really become a family and connect to one another without creating sub-groups consisting only of those within our "comfort zone."
The exchange was for a full year and as such I can best explain it as a roller coaster. Some days were low, sad and homesick but other days were amazing and exhilarating. The biggest challenge in the beginning was of course the language but it was the most amazing feeling as we learned Portuguese and could feel ourselves getting better and more able to have conversation until one day we realized that we were fluent.
It was also very challenging to become accustomed to living under someone else's roof and rules after feeling like and being treated like an adult at home.

What would you improve about this program?
A lot of this program is what you make of it. You can choose to stay at home and be on the computer skyping home all the time if that is what you choose. As such, I think my only personal regret from the year is that I didn't leave with more Brazilian friends. I feel as though part of this is a result of the class that I was put in, the equivalent of grade 12. This resulted in many of my classmates being unable to socialize outside of class (and shouldn't in class either) due to their need to study for final exams. In addition, I had 3 other exchange students in my class so we made a group and that gave us a comfort zone that we didn't so much need to socialize with the Brazilians and we were intimidating to them to approach us.
The other regret I have was joining a month-long trip with Belo Brazil. It was a very expensive trip that was quite rushed and I wish that I had saved the money and stayed in my host city instead.

Location

Location:
Brazil
Currency:
Brazil Real
Weather:
Jan-Mar
93 F / 63 F
Apr-Jun
90 F / 52 F
Jul-Sep
90 F / 52 F
Oct-Dec
91 F / 59 F
Airports:
Guarulhos International Airport
( GRU )
Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International
( BSB )
Galeão International
( GIG )

Brazil is home to 2,000+ beaches, 1,000+ islands, and 62 national parks, not to mention an array of carnivals, sporting events, and other city-wide events. Visit the Amazon and Iguacu Falls for a taste of nature, or opt for city life in Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.

About Rotary International

Rotary International, one of the oldest international service organizations, is a community of more than one million business, professional, and community leaders. The purpose of Rotary clubs is to offer and encourage humanitarian services, promote...