Famous for its rainforests, beaches, and lively city life, Brazilian society includes people of indigenous, Portuguese, European, and African ancestries. Brazil is home to the carnival, a world-famous celebration, as well as neighborhood festivals, street parades, and a music scene unlike anywhere else in the world.

Teens in Brazil socialize by going to each other’s homes on the weekends, as well as cafes and town centers. There are many national fairs throughout the year that you can attend, including the world-renowned Carnaval. Teenagers often take language classes after school at private language institutes, or study music, art or dance. Schools rarely offer extracurricular activities, but there are many community organizations you can join to volunteer, learn about the community and make friends. Sports, especially soccer, are very popular with girls and boys.

People of Brazil

Brazilian people are open and affectionate.

Host Family & Community

AFSers are hosted throughout Brazil, usually in urban centers around the country. Parents tend to be protective of their children, especially girls. You should always keep your host parents informed and involved in your decisions, and help out in the chores.

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School

You will attend either a private or public high school. The school runs in two shifts—from 7 am until noon, or 1 pm to 6 pm in the afternoon. There are about 10 core subjects that all students must take, plus electives like art and cooking. Not all schools require a uniform, but if they do, it will most likely consist of jeans and a school t-shirt.

Language

Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, though English is widely understood. Having a basic knowledge of English will be helpful. You will participate in language lessons provided by AFS before arriving to Brazil, and local volunteers may arrange independent language study for you during the first months.

Food

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Mealtime is family time in Brazil, and while breakfast is light, lunch and dinner are big meals with hearty portions. Brazilian food tends to be quite heavy, and it includes barbecued meat, African-influenced fish, chicken stews, white rice, beans, and farofa orfarinha (manioc flour). Meals are usually served with carne (beef) and a green and tomato salad. A variety of fruit and vegetables are available throughout the year.

Explore the Programs Available in Brazil