• Paraguay
12 - 52 weeks
Program Categories
Study Abroad Volunteer Abroad

Program Details

Academic Year Fall
Host Family


Starting Price
$10,000 USD
Jul 27, 2018
Dec 18, 2015

About Program

Year or Semester: Your host family may live in a town without some modern conveniences that are ubiquitous in many parts of the US (dishwashers, microwaves and central air conditioning), though cities are nearby. After their economic boom in the mid-2000s and increased stability, Paraguay is experiencing rapid change while still remaining true to its cultural traditions. You will have the opportunity to experience both the ancient and the modern. Teenagers in Paraguay spend a great deal of time with their families, so you can expect to get very close with not only your host parents or siblings, but also extended family. Most social and extracurricular activities are organized outside of school. This gives you the opportunity to get to know fellow classmates through afternoon and weekend study groups, as well as other kids in the neighborhoods through social activities.

Video and Photos

Gap community service: Take a semester or year after high school to immerse yourself in Latin American culture while building useful skills, developing lifelong passions, and improving your Spanish language skills. The community service program in Paraguay offers a variety of opportunities across various fields of work. Your project will be assigned based on your personal skills and interests. There are two official languages in Paraguay: Spanish and Guaraní. Most Paraguayans either speak or understand both languages. A basic level of Spanish language would be very useful as it would help you integrate into the community more quickly, but is not required. This program gives you the opportunity to share in and contribute to the life of a community in Paraguay by living and working alongside its members in a community-based service organization. You will be placed with an organization based on your personal interests and experience, and will have the opportunity to learn new skills that will be useful across a broad spectrum.

Program Reviews

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews
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Yes, I recommend this program


I had a totally life-changing experience in Paraguay. I was placed with an amazing host family in Pilar. I had a lot of really difficult cultural adjustments to make, but working through those issues are what makes going abroad worth it. :) The Asunción national office staff and volunteers are wonderful, and most AFSers are placed in that area. I was one of the few people in my arrival group outside the Asunción and Ciudad del Este areas, and I didn't have a ton going on locally, but that's OK. I think I was more immersed because there were so few AFSers around me and I loved getting to experience a smaller town.

AFS is one of the best organizations out there. If you're looking for a 5-star hotel and a tour bus, this isn't for you though. It's not a vacation or a trip, it's regular life in another country, with all of the linguistic, cultural, social, introspective, and academic learning that entails. AFS will provide you with the key components you need to make an amazing experience for yourself- a safe host family, a school or community service placement, and ongoing volunteer support. You bring the adventurous attitude, very open mind, and lots and lots of patience. :)

I recommend Paraguay to people who are truly looking to expand their horizons and break out of their comfort zone. There's no chance to fall back on English here- you'll learn Spanish very quickly and will also get the chance to learn some Guaraní. It's not on most itineraries, so you'll never be mistaken for a tourist. Paraguayans are some of the most patient, generous people I've ever met.

I've since lived and traveled many other places in Latin America and elsewhere, but Paraguay will always have a special place in my heart. <3 Rohayhu Paraguai!

What would you improve about this program?
I had some communication issues with AFS USA- calls weren't returned promptly, transferred to the wrong people, etc. The offices have since been restructured though, so I wouldn't anticipate that it'd be a big problem anymore.
9 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

An experience of a lifetime

My time in Paraguay was the best time of my life! I experienced many new things a meet so many great people. My favorite part of being a foreign exchange student was actually becoming like a local. Where I live in the United States there isn't a whole lot of public transportation but in Paraguay that was how I got around. The busses were my life, I had the lines memorized to get to about anywhere! My time in Paraguay was amazing! I encourage everyone to go because you really have the chance to become apart of the culture because Paraguay isn't a highly tourist country. You will get to eat, speak and do things just like the paraguas do! You will even learn a little of their other national language, guarani!

What would you improve about this program?
If I could improve the program I would say that having things be more efficient. However, I come from the United states where everything is go go go, and it is part of the culture for things to be more relaxed, so it was frustrating to go in turn something in and not get it back for a long time, however hora paraguaya is part of the culture.
8 people found this review helpful.

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