Embark on your study abroad experience in China—one of the most an awe-inspiring, friendly and delightful countries. Discover its blend of traditional and modern: centuries-old temples surrounded by gleaming skyscrapers, colorful street food and imperial palaces, striking natural formations and ancient pagodas.

Like most teenagers in China, you will probably focus on school and studying. School is also a great place to make friends who will share their culture with you. Chinese teenagers get together at friends’ homes, go to movies, dance, watch television or play sports like soccer, basketball and ping-pong. Parents are usually very involved in students’ lives, so you should always check with your host family before you go out. Chinese teenagers seldom date and prefer to socialize with their classmates in single-sex groups.

AFS Youth exchange in China


Host Family & Community

You will most likely live in east or south China. Some exchange students live in big cities like Shanghai, Tianjin and Beijing, but most are in small cities, such as Jiangsu, Sichuan, Anhui, Heilongjiang and Guangdong.  Families in cities tend to live in apartments. Grandparents may live with your host family. Spending time with family is expected. Chinese people respect hierarchy and appreciate proper social relations, full of harmony and with minimal conflict.


You will probably attend the Senior 1 level in a high school with a special class schedule for you as an exchange student. This means that you’ll focus on learning the Chinese language, culture, history, art, and music with other AFSers in the first half of your day. The rest of your day will be dedicated to taking classes with other Chinese students. School in China runs from Monday to Friday (7.30 am to 4.30 pm), and students usually wear uniforms. Parents are very involved in their children’s lives and education. School commitments and study take precedence over recreational activities.


China has 55 different ethnic groups, each with its own language or dialect. However, Mandarin Chinese is spoken by more than 70% people in China (and in most schools), however, you may also be placed with a family who speaks Cantonese. AFS volunteers and your school will provide Chinese language classes during the first three months of your stay. You should have a basic knowledge of English before the exchange, and some experience with Chinese will help.

文化课 • culture class #nsliy #afs

A photo posted by Emily Morley (@emilycmorley) on Mar 30, 2015 at 1:56am PDT


Blacky’s favourite. We will be eating together again soon brother. 🦀🍜

Ein Beitrag geteilt von C&K (@cnk.888) am 3. Apr 2017 um 0:56 Uhr

Chinese meals usually consist of vegetables, rice, noodles and a meat dish. Traditional Chinese dinners may include Peking duck (roasted duck covered with sweet wheat sauce and wrapped in a thin pancake), Mongolian hotpot (a Chinese version of fondue),jiaozi (dumplings with pork, chives and onions) and delicious teas. Have fun learning how to perfect your chopsticks technique, guided by your host family and your new friends. Following a vegetarian diet in China can be very challenging, as meat is often used as a flavor enhancer, even when it is not directly in the dish.

Explore the Programs Available in Cina