A land of diversity, Colombia has a unique mix of cultures, languages, dialects, landscapes, culinary and an almost infinite amount of natural resources. Cheerful and friendly people will be there to turn your study abroad experience into a unique adventure. Explore the Caribbean and Pacific Coast, the amazing Amazonas rain forest or snow topped mountains at Ecuadorian latitudes—and experience a lifestyle influenced by indigenous, African, and European heritage. Colombians love their variety of greetings, which are important in everyday encounters.

Teenagers in Colombia spend a lot of their free time with their families, or socializing with friends. They enjoy dancing and music from all over Latin America, the Caribbean and North American. They will be happy to show you their moves and teach you how to dance!

Family Trip #colombia #bogotá #family #monserrate #cold #rainyday #awesome #gopro #selfi

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People & Community

Your extended host family will play a major role in your spare time activities and intercultural experience in Colombia. Colombian families can be very conservative and protective of their children, no matter how old they are. You should always tell your parents what you are going to do and ask permission.


You can attend either a public or private school in Colombia. Depending on the school, the academic year may follow Calendar A (from February until November, which is more frequent) or Calendar B (from August until June). Classes run from Monday to Friday and the hours differ depending on the school. All high school students wear uniforms. Extracurricular activities are offered in some schools and most schools provide bus service in the morning and afternoon.

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Spanish is the main language spoken in Colombia. You should have a basic knowledge of Spanish before the program, and AFS will provide you with links and materials to help you improve your Spanish.


Food in Colombia is rich in carbohydrates, and meals usually consist of meat, potato, rice, beans and patacon (fried banana). Fruit juices are very popular and you are likely to be surprised by the diversity of fruit available.

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Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure

Go abroad with AFS to discover who you really are, make new lifetime friendships and immerse yourself in a fascinating intercultural experience.

Our learning program will prepare you for an amazing AFS intercultural experience. The program begins at your home country with a pre-departure orientation and continues with orientations and other supported learning activities and facilitated conversations will help you maximize your experience, cope the challenges of navigating a new culture and community and gain knowledge, skills, and a global understanding, throughout your time abroad, and as you return to you home country. AFS volunteers will be there to support and guide you and your host family through your learning journey abroad.


The Global Competence Certificate (GCC) program will support your intercultural learning experience. This state-of-the-art program prepares you to successfully navigate new cultural environments—during your AFSNext experience and long after you finish the program. Online intercultural learning modules combined with in-person sessions help you develop practical and global skills, knowledge and attitudes that employers need and mission-driven organizations believe will help achieve their social impact goals. You will receive your certification upon completion of the training program.