The Philippines is the third largest English speaking country in the world. It has a rich history combining Asian, European, and American influences.  Many Filipinos celebrate traditional festivities known as barrio fiestas (district festivals) to commemorate the feast days of patron saints.

Teens in the Philippines attend dance schools, participate in sports like basketball, tennis, badminton, volleyball and biking. and belong to youth groups at churches and community organizations. Joining in and being part of group is expected.

Culture & Community

You will probably live in an urban area, like the capital city of a Filipino province. Family life is highly treasured and households often include extended family. 

School

lovin' school!📚🇵🇭

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You will probably attend a private school, and it may be an all boys or all girls school. The school year runs from June to March, Mondays to Fridays (7am until 5pm). Typical subjects include English, math, science, Filipino, humanities, etc. Most classes are held in English and students wear uniforms. Schools also offer a range of extracurricular activities such as contests, exhibits, games, and workshops.

Language

English and Filipino are the official languages of the Philippines. However, depending on the classification, 120 to 175 languages are used. Although Filipino and English are used in schools and everyday life, most people outside cities do not speak much English. Having a basic knowledge of English will be helpful. You will participate in language lessons provided by AFS, and local volunteers may help arrange independent language study for you during your first months in the Philippines.

Osmeña Peak in Cebu —Photo by @jacob— #cebu #philippines

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Food

Filipino cuisine is one of the richest cuisines in the world influenced throughout its long and colorful history by the Malays, Spanish, Mexican, Arab, Chinese, American, Indian and Japanese. Different regions and islands of the country also have their own unique flavors and produce. The staple food is rice, and it is usually served at every meal. Dishes range from the very simple, like fried salted fish and rice, to the more elaborate ones, such as the paellas, which include rice, beans, meat, snails, and seasoning. Filipino taste buds tend to favor robust flavors, but the cuisine is not as spicy as those of its neighbors.

Explore the Programs Available in Philippines