AFS High School Study Abroad Program in Brazil

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About

Semester, Year & Gap: Brazilians are experts at enjoying life and living in the moment. Adopt this healthy philosophy by spending your time swaying your hips to samba, eating grilled pineapple and fresh fruit smoothies, and forming lifelong bonds with the family, friends, and whatever quirky character along the way.

Not all high schools offer activities, so kids usually use community organizations to get involved. Your host family can help you find an opportunity to volunteer in one of these groups. It's a great way to make new friends, meet new people and learn more about your community. You'll attend classes in either the morning or the afternoon. There are about ten core subjects that all students must take, and there are some elective classes as well.

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
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Cori
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Chelsea
8/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Naomi
10/10

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!!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
José
10/10

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!

How can this program be improved?
AFS-Brasil could be a bit more organized.
Yes, I recommend

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...