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Study Abroad in Brazil

With its delicious food, diverse population, and world-famous festivals, Brazil is an ideal place to immerse yourself in a new culture. By living with a host family and attending a local high school, you’ll learn the ins and outs of Brazilian daily life. This is your chance to step outside your comfort zone and rewrite your high school experience. Why not spend a year or semester swaying your hips to the Samba, enjoying churrasco (Brazilian barbeque), and forming lifelong bonds with family and friends?

Things to know about Brazil

You’ll notice that Portuguese sounds quite different from Spanish when spoken, but when written the two languages are actually very similar. Brazilians tend to be expressive; they usually talk and laugh loudly and touch each other during a conversation. You can expect to be kissed on the cheek up to three times when you meet someone or say goodbye. Fashion is a hobby for many Brazilians, so you’ll have the opportunity to check out new trends and add on to your wardrobe. You might also hear people talking with pride about the jeitinho, or the particular Brazilian way of finding creative solutions to everyday problems.

What's included in your experience

  • Airfare


Graduates Eligible? Yes, high school graduates are eligible for this program.
Minimum GPA 2.5
Age Range March Departures:
15 yrs, 0 months to
18 yrs, 6 months at start of program
*This program accepts students with birthdates between August 10, 2004 to February 10, 2008.
COVID-19 Vaccine Required

Based on differences in culture, strict government regulation of medications, and other local customs, it has been our experience that not all of our international AFS partners are able to support students with certain diagnoses, including but not limited to, severe allergies, strict dietary restrictions, ADD/ADHD, and those currently taking or who have taken psychotropic medications and/or received counseling for mental/psychological issues within the past year. If this applies to you, please get in touch with an AFS Study Abroad Specialist early so that we can determine the right experience for you.

Your Journey to Brazil

Visa Information

AFS will provide visa guidance and support documents (if applicable). Visa processes can be lengthy and complex; you may be required to travel long distances to apply for the visa if there is not an embassy, consulate, etc. close to your home. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months beyond a return date from your host country. We urge you to apply for or renew your passport as soon as possible if applying to an AFS program. We recommend not taking any trips (domestically or internationally) within 2 months prior to your AFS program as it may interfere with the visa application process and result in a late program start date.

Travel & Orientation

In the months before your departure, AFSers have the opportunity to participate in various preparatory activities, including an online Student Learning Journey, which is an interactive course that brings AFSers from around the world together to learn how to develop essential global skills, intercultural communication techniques, and practice social impact, maximizing the outcomes of the AFS learning experience.

Also during this time, AFS-USA will coordinate and share your international travel with you.You will need to coordinate your own travel to the point of international departure. From there, your journey in Brazil will begin when you land, where you’ll be met by staff and volunteers…as well as your fellow AFSers from around the world! Shortly after arrival, you will attend an arrival orientation and get a crash course on Brazilian culture, living with a host family, safety, and support structures.


Your Accommodations

AFSers have lived all throughout the country (the fifth largest in the world), but you’ll most likely be in a suburban or urban area during your study abroad in Brazil.


Meeting Your Brazilian Host Family

Brazilians are generally open and affectionate. Families tend to be tight-knit, with grandparents and aunts and uncles close by. Many homes have backyard barbeques where friends and neighbors gather on weekends and holidays. Your host family might have a maid, which is more common in Brazil than in the US, but you can still expect to help out around the house.


Your High School in Brazil

The academic year in Brazil runs from February to December, with a 2 to 3 week winter vacation in July. You could be enrolled in either a private or public high school where you’ll likely attend classes in either the morning or afternoon. Morning classes typically begin at 7 am and end at 12 pm, while afternoon classes start at 1 pm and finish at 6 pm. With your free time you can learn first-hand about Brazilian culture by hanging out with friends and getting involved in community activities like sports or Portuguese language lessons.


Daily Life

Teenage Life in Brazil

Dances and festivals are a common occurrence in Brazil, especially during Carnaval, the celebration leading up to Ash WednesdayParties often include Samba dancing, which is a mix of African rhythms and European-style singing. You might encounter other kinds of dance music like Pagode (similar to Samba), Axé (soul music), and Bossa Nova (a mix of Brazilian pop music and jazz). Don’t forget to check out Capoeira, which is an energetic mix of dancing and martial arts that is quickly gaining popularity worldwide. The most popular sport is futebol (soccer), particularly among teenagers. You’ll find that futebol has a lot of enthusiastic fans, especially since Brazil hosted the World Cup in 2014. You might even get the chance to play in a pick-up soccer match called a pelada. (These games can last up to 24 hours!) Brazilians are very active, but many teenagers also enjoy watching telenovelas (primetime soap operas) and relaxing with their friends.


Food You’ll Encounter

Thanks to the country’s mix of cultures, food in Brazil is extremely diverse. Favorite dishes vary by region, but many include rice, beans, cheese, eggs, beef, and farofa or farinha (manioc flour made from cassava). In Rio de Janeiro, feijoada (black beans with beef, pork, sausage, and trimmings), is popular. Churrasco is Brazil’s take on the barbecue and offers a variety of juicy grilled meats. Bife à cavalo com fritas (meat with egg and french fries) is a favorite throughout the country. There are lots of different types of coffee, including café com leite (coffee with milk), which you can sip while enjoying breakfast. Another kind is cafezinho (black coffee), which is best appreciated during after-dinner conversations. Other common drinks are lemonade, fruit juices, and mate, a South American herbal tea.

What's Included

  • 75+ years of experience delivering high-quality programs through a worldwide network of 32,000 dedicated volunteers
  • Accommodations with a vetted host family
  • Round-trip international airfare for the designated program dates
  • School enrollment fees
  • Worldwide, 24-hour emergency assistance
  • Access to an in-country support team and network, as well as our Participant Support Department based here in the U.S.
  • Orientations and intercultural education before and during your program
  • International secondary medical travel coverage
  • Visa support and guidance
  • Inclusion in a worldwide returnee and alumni network of over 1,000,000 people

Scholarships and Aid

We believe that studying abroad should not be contingent on personal finances. When you apply, we work with you to understand your family’s needs and match you with available scholarships and aid. 100% of accepted applicants with demonstrated need receive funds.

Learn More

Visa Info

Do I need a visa/residence permit for Brazil? YES. Visa
How do I apply for the visa? (By mail, In-person, In host country) In-person
Visa/Residence Permit Process Difficulty Level (Easy, Average, Complex) Complex
Estimated Visa/Residence Permit Expenses
($ – $$$)
Frequently Asked Visa Questions Visit our general visa FAQ page for more information.

Returning Home

“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. “Transformed” is another one. When you return home from your study abroad in Brazil, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and developed the confidence and resilience to accomplish anything you set out to do.

That transformation isn’t only visible to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers. Second language fluency, intercultural competence, creativity, and critical reasoning will help you succeed, whatever path you take. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning. It’s not just an adventure abroad; it’s a whole new reality. The perspectives and personal connections you gained will stay with you and likely draw you back to the second home you found in Brazil.

In fact, our alumni reviews have made AFS one of the top-rated organizations in the study abroad industry.