Bordering Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina, Paraguay is a beautiful country filled with lush green forests, massive waterfalls, and indigenous Guaraní culture.
Spend a full year in Paraguay living with a host family while perfecting your Spanish and local dialect skills. Students looking for shorter term programs can volunteer for a summer to gain experience working on sanitation and construction projects, gardening and nutrition education, as well as other public health initiatives.
Paraguay is great for students who are interested in Spanish, want to learn more about South and Latin America, and have an interest in the environment and community development.Photo credit: rapidtravelchai.
If you're interested in studying abroad in Paraguay, you can choose from:
- A semester or full year exchange
- Gap year community service
- Summer study abroad
High School Exchange
Live with a host family while taking classes alongside other students from Paraguay. At night, you'll get to practice your language skills over dinner with your host family.
Instead of just learning about the history of Paraguay through a textbook, you'll be able to partake in experiential learning by being immersed in a new culture.
Spend a year after high school and before college volunteering in Paraguay! Your community service project will be selected for you based off of your skills and interests, as there are a variety of fields and NGOs to volunteer with while in Paraguay.
Summer Study Abroad
Spend six weeks taking intensive language courses in Paraguay, and attend weekend excursions to nearby sites of interest and cultural significance. Soccer lovers can partake in a summer program to practice intensive soccer training in Paraguay while learning soccer terminology in Spanish. Students interested in community service can spend part of their summer volunteering with education and public health initiatives.
The capital and largest city in Paraguay is Asuncion. In the early 2000s, the city modernized greatly in contrast to many other parts of Paraguay, which still remain very rural. Asuncion is home to the government building, many financial institutions, as well as many museums and historical attractions.
In order to enter Paraguay, students must obtain a passport as well as a visa. According to the Department of State, travelers arriving at Silvio Pettirossi International Airport can purchase a visa there for $160, credit not accepted. If you plan to fly into a different airport, a visa must be purchased prior to your arrival in Paraguay, either at the embassy in Washington, D.C. or at a local consulate in the US. Most program providers will help students with the visa process.
All students will be placed with host families in Paraguay, which will help them increase their language skills, experience home cooked cuisine, and learn about life in Paraguay firsthand.
The official currency in Paraguay is the Guarani (Gs). Most meals will be covered in your program costs and will be prepared by your host family, but if you'd like to eat out occasionally you can plan to spend between 15,000-28,000 Gs (roughly $2-5 USD) for an inexpensive meal.
Program costs vary based on program type and duration. Semester exchange programs cost around $12,600, and year-long exchanges cost about $14,000. Shorter term summer programs cost about $7,700.
Paraguay has a sub-tropical climate, with a rainy season from October until April. Summer lasts between December and March, and temperatures range from the 70s at night to 90s during the day. Winters are between 55 and 70 degrees. Because of its climate, we recommend packing the following:
- Flip flops and sneakers
- A light rain jacket
- An assortment of shorts and long pants, as it sometimes gets chilly at night
- Basic, lightweight, and layerable clothes
- An umbrella
- An adapter for Type C or Type E/F Europlugs
Prior to entering Paraguay, it is recommended that travelers get vaccinated for Yellow fever, Cholera, Tuberculosis, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Rabies according to The Travel Vaccination Companion.
Like many other countries around the world, the only real safety issue in Paraguay is petty theft and pickpocketing. Travelers should keep their important belongings in a hidden money belt when they travel, and make copies of credit cards and passports to leave at their home stay in case of emergency.