AFS Year and Semester High School Abroad in Brazil

Video and Photos

Students in Brazil
Students in Brazil
Students in Brazil
Students in Brazil
The first day of the 2014 Fifa World Cup at school where we were required to wear the Brazilian jersey as our uniform.
Students in Brazil
Students in Brazil
The market in Joinville, SC which is located in the southern region of Brazil. A region that received a lot of influence from the Germans that colonized the area.
Praia de Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro ca. 01/01/2014
Brazil
Brazil

About

From Carnaval, one of the world's most famous celebrations, to the ever-present fútbol culture, Brazil never fails to excite all the senses. It is the largest, most populous, and only Portuguese-speaking country in Latin America. It is a land of diversity, present in its Amazon rainforest, beaches, cities, and people, including indigenous peoples and people of Portuguese, European, and African ancestries.

You'll easily make friends, since Brazilians love to share their culture and learn about others. You will be invited to join in soccer matches, traditional dances, festivals, street parades, guitar gatherings, barbecues, parties at the beach, and much more. If you're up for a challenge, try your hand at capoeira, the 400-year-old Afro-Brazilian art form that combines martial arts, music, dance, and ritual. Brazil is an ideal place to step outside of your comfort zone, become a cultural insider, and engage in an exciting new adventure.

Highlights
  • Immerse yourself in Portuguese – the best way to become fluent.
  • Live with a host family to deepen your immersion and connection to Brazilian culture. If you’re like most AFSers, you won’t want to leave this second family and home.
  • Learn Samba dancing, a mix of African rhythms and European-style singing.
  • Make connections and memories you'll never forget with other AFS exchange students from all over the world.
  • Become a global citizen. Gain intercultural communication skills. Build your college and career resume. Help create a more peaceful, understanding world.

Scholarships

AFS-USA Scholarships
AFS-USA Grants & Scholarships

The opportunity to study abroad should be available to everyone, regardless of their financial means. Annually, we award scholarships to about half of our study abroad students.

Value
$1,000 - $5,000

Questions & Answers

Reviews

95%
based on 4 reviews
  • Growth 9.5
  • Support 8.8
  • Fun 8
  • Housing 8.8
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
Default avatar
Cori
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Brasil or Nothing

I’m so glad I went with AFS. They were very helpful along the way even when problems came up from travel to host family issues. I really learned a lot and without this experience I never would have met some of my life long friends or gotten the courage to travel as much as I have. Learning Portuguese makes me more versatile and flexible. It also helped pave the way for me to later on learn Italian through a separate program in college and additionally to understand Spanish now that I live in Arizona and am surrounded by Spanish speakers. Without programs like this I never would have gone to South America and experienced the rich and amazing culture and people that live there. Going to Brazil has changed me and opened my eyes to so many possibilities and opportunities.

What would you improve about this program?
At the time, AFS BRAZIL was still getting more conntected, but my former Portuguese teacher became very involved and he says it is getting much better.
Default avatar
Chelsea
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Never Expect What You Have Been Expecting

With the help of the AFS BP Global Citizens Scholarship, I was able to spend an entire year in the exciting and hot country of Brazil! Like many think before arriving in Brazil, I believed I would walk the boastful streets of Rio everyday, see the giant Amazon Rainforst, catch a parahna or two, and make friends along the way. Well, after landing in my designated state of Rio Grande do Norte my thoughts immediately changed. Brazil was at the peak of its dry season when I arrived and along the two hour drive to my host families house nothing but dessert and rocks was all the scenery I was greeted with. I remember when I first met my host family; they met me at the door with balloons and hugs. She invited me and my abroad councilor inside and gave us baloney on white bread. I couldn’t eat it! Everything smelled awedul but I did not want to be rude on my first day so I forced myself to eat it calmly. From that first day on I continued to meet different kinds of issues. Some of those issues included, not having anyone to help me learn the local language, being the only AFS student during orientations that had never traveled the world before, making friends, and having financial issues. Many times I had to learn how to adapt on my own because I had no one who could understand me. I wanted to shut myself in my room so many times while I was in Brazil. Things got so bad at my host families house between me and my host sister that I decided to change families. From this day I do beleive that was the best decision I had made that entire year. Better things began to happen to me; my new host family were much easier to communicate with, I joined a gym for an extracurricular activity, and I was able to take a trip to Rio de Janeiro for a week! I enjoyed my trip to Rio so much that I plan to return with my sister so I can give her the same experience there that I had. The plans I had made before arriving in Brazil did not go at all like I had imagined. The cultural adjustment was not easy and neither was the language barrier. However,the trip gave me many life lessons that I learned discovering things in my own. Probably, my biggest regret was not becoming fully fluent in Portuguese yet I am still very happy with myself for learning more than the basics of the language. I to this day recommend other student in high school and in college to take the oppurtunity to go abroad. I learned that it does change your life and that everyone should have that experience of a lifetime.

What would you improve about this program?
Greating attention to the host families the students are being put into.
Other than making student take an online language class before their program, give them a language class at their foreign school for them to take instead.
Default avatar
Naomi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best year of my life

I still feel so attached to this part of my life and I got back from Brazil in July of 2011- it's been 5 years!
I wouldn't have wanted to go with any other company other than AFS. I made lifelong friends and shared my best experiences with a close knit group of people. I learned to speak very fluent Portuguese because of my small-town placement within 4-5 months. I still am so connected to many of my friends and host families there even though I have not had the opportunity to go back yet.
The program is long and Brazilian culture is so warm and close, you won't want to have more than 1 or 2 host families if you can avoid it. I went to private school, volunteered to teach English, got involved because of my AFS liaison. I recommend this to anyone that is looking for a very rewarding and authentic Brazilian experience!!

Default avatar
José
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I LOVE BRAZIL! EU AMO O BRASIL!

It's hard trying to forget about Brazil! I had an AMAZING time down there. If you're thinking in going down there, prepare yourself to eat coffee and bread for breakfast, rice and beans everyday, and eating pizza with silverware. Drinking lots of Guaraná and having some açaí. Oh yeah and churrasco of course!
Brazil is honestly a beautiful country with so much culture and most people don't realize that unless they spend a good amount of time there. From the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, to the hills of Belo Horizonte to the German colonized towns in Santa Catarina, Brazil is filled with so much diversity and attractions.
Brazilians are also some of the nicest people you'll ever meet in your life! They're really open and touchy so get used to giving hugs and kisses when you greet people. Brazilians love to go out in a big group of friends and have a good time.
Also, you're not the only one so you'll meet lots of kids from all over the world! For example in my town I was the only american and there were 2 girls from Thailand, a German, and a boy from Greenland. Since you meet in the capital of your state for orientations you'll meet all the kids in your state. I was able to meet more Germans, Italians, and boy from Austria and another boy from Turkey.
School in Brazil is also great since its shorter than school days here in Texas. You'll be in a classroom with about 20-30 kids and the teacher will show up at your classroom. Usually school is from around 7:30 to about 12:30 and most if not all schools offer a little 25-30 minute interval.
Coming to Brazil was perhaps one of the best decisions I made in my teenage years. Being able to have that experience of studying abroad and learning Portuguese, has opened so many doors for me now that I am heading off to college. Being away from home made me realize how we take lots of things for granted and I also learned how we should also take advantage of our time. I wish I would've had more Guaraná, açaí, and pizza de frango com catupiry (pizza with chicken and catupiry; a special Brazilian cheese.)
If anyone is thinking in going down there, I totally recommend it. If you make the best of it, you'll have perhaps the best year of your teenage life. If I could, I would do my exchange all over again since it was that fun.
Venha pro Brasil! Come to Brazil!

What would you improve about this program?
AFS-Brasil could be a bit more organized.

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 AFS-USA

AFS-USA (formerly the American Field Service), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a leader in intercultural learning and offers international exchange programs in more than 40 countries around the world through independent, nonprofit AFS...