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Be part of the #AFSeffect, visit india.afs.org 1


Content 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Introduction Austria Belgium Flanders Belgium French Brazil Canada China Costa Rica Czech Republic Denmark Egypt Finland France Germany Hungary Indonesia Italy Japan Mexico Netherlands Norway Philippines Portugal Russia Switzerland Sweden Thailand United States Partner Country Specific Criteria


AFS helps the world learn to live together

GO ABROAD STUDY ABROAD

Discover new things about yourself and find your place in the world by going abroad.

HOSTHOST AN AFSer Experience your world through the eyes of a young person from another country.

VOLUNTEER VOLUNTEER

Join a Global community of changemakers & serve a change agent in your community.

EDUCATION SCHOOLS

Implement AFS Intercultural Learning Programs at your school for your students & educators.

inception, AFS India has hosted more than 900 students and sent around 1200 students on its programs and has been able to build its association with 150 plus school pan India. The volunteer body of AFS India primarily comprises of AFS alumni and their families; current & former host families; and educators. These are the people who keep the wheels of AFS running, dedicating their time and efforts for the organization. AFS is an international, voluntary, nongovernmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world. AFS began as ‘American Field Service’ in WWI & II when nearly 5,000 young men from all over the world volunteered as ambulance drivers. These young men who had seen the horrors of war pledged to promote peace and global understanding through intercultural exchanges. AFS has been doing intercultural programs since 1947, currently present in more than 54 countries with over 14,000 exchanges per year. In India, AFS was present in 1960s. However, due to political reasons, it ceased its operations. In 2005, AFS India restarted and registered itself under section 25 of Companies Act, 1956 and since then has been growing in terms of its visibility, its offerings, and diversity of programs over the country. With a pool of 1000+ volunteers, AFS India has its foothold in 25+ cities of India. Since the

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AFS India’s vision for 2020 is to be the leading organization in intercultural education and experience that focuses on growing its programs for the underserved. We have been encouraging students, volunteers and families to embrace changemaking and social impact projects to improve local, national and global communities while supporting and valuing initiatives that extend our “learning to live together” philosophy to make a real difference in the world. We look forward to using all the structured intercultural learning tools to help everyone involved to collaborate with each other and lead across cultural differences. Active Global Citizens + Impact Goals = #AFSeffect: The new AFS strategy focuses on building a larger, more prepared and engaged community of responsible citizens to achieve our peace and justice mission. We are working even harder to ensure that these global citizens are prepared to lead, think critically and be comfortable communicating, collaborating and solving problems across cultural and other differences.


Austria

Start

End

September

July

15.5 to 18 Age Preference years

Capital Vienna

Currency Euro

Population

Over 8 Million

Religion Roman Catholic (majority); Protestant and Muslim (minority)

Location

Central Europe (on the bank of “Blue Danube” river)

Language

German (official) and English (second language)

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ Austria is the home of Ferdinand Porsche, who is the founder of the German sports car company ‘Porsche’ ҄҄ The sewing machine was invented by Josef Madersperger, an Austrian ҄҄ Vienna has the oldest zoo in the world, founded in 1752

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

The family forms the basis of the Austrian social structure. The family is generally small and closely knit within a certain town or village. Weekends are generally devoted to family indulging in outdoor activities, visiting grandparents, and/or, enjoying a hike in the country together. Austrians value the environment, cleanliness, good manners and punctuality. Austrians are known to be highly open-minded and innovative people. In rural and suburban areas, families are traditional in their ways; a relatively patriarchal and authoritarian family structure is common.

Austrian teenagers enjoy visiting each other’s houses, relaxing and chatting in the local cafes, watching movies and going out to dance clubs. As Mozart’s homeland, music is highly appreciated and many people play music or attend concerts. Austrians love the outdoors and sports, and taking walks is a national pastime. Soccer is the favorite sport, although winter sports obviously have an important role. Outside of school, students have a good amount of free time, most of which is dedicated to family and other activities.

Presentation and dressing well are important to Austrians. There is sometimes a strict protocol for dressing appropriately in different situations: formal wear for a theatre/concert, and semi-formal wear for restaurants.

In Austria the compulsory school system was introduced in 1774 (Empress Maria Theresa) and so all children between ages 6 and 15 must attend school. After that they can choose between “higher schools providing general education” (AHS) and “vocational schools” (BHS). The Austrian school system gives pupils the opportunity to spend their spare time any way they like, since lessons go on until noon only.

Austria has a temperate, continental climate, i.e. hot summers, very cold winters and is one of the countries experiencing 4 seasons in a year: Spring (March to June); Summer (June to August); Autumn (September to October) and Winter (November to February).

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Diet & Meals Austrians love food and have a rich and varied cuisine. They eat a lot of meat, vegetables, pasta and pastries. Austrian families generally enjoy eating together. Snacking or raiding the refrigerator is not commonly done.

AFS Austria will expect participants to have some a basic knowledge of German

Money: Most convenient and probably least expensive for obtaining funds are the ATMs found at the airport and train stations. Money can also be changed at banks and other financial institutes. One can also use ‘Cirrus’ card at ATM’s and cash card is still often cheaper. Major credit and debit cards are also accepted at most of the places. Austria is rather an expensive country and we recommend that you budget at least 150 Euro, per month to spend.


Belgium Flanders

Start

End

August

July

15 to 18 Age Preference years

Capital Brussels

Currency Euro

Population

Approx. 6 Million

Religion Roman Catholic (80%)

Location

Northern part of Belgium

Language

Belgian Dutch (Flemish); French, German and English

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ The world’s biggest chocolate selling point is Brussels National Airport ҄҄ The Royal Palace of Brussels is 50% longer than Buckingham Palace ҄҄ Antwerp is the world’s diamond capital

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Family life is very important. The Flemish are well-organized and self-disciplined people Cleaning and other daily chores is normally a shared task for each and every family members which reflects the particularly Flemish style of working out compromises and “pragmatic anarchism. Smoking is accepted by some families and not by others. Social life and free time of Flemish people are rather organized and are very particular about timings. Individual privacy is highly valued. In some families, friends and neighbors do not need to call before they knock the door while other families will not appreciate it if you bring a friend without warning beforehand.

Teenagers are used to deferring to parents at all times, and parents maintain authority and expect the children to follow their rules as long as they live at home. Their social life probably center around family and a small group of friends. Flemish youth enjoy attending concerts, going to the movies and sharing a drink or meal together. Besides sport activities they also enjoy participating in youth movement activities (such as the scouts or social and political groups). The two most popular sports are soccer and cycling.

Dress is casual, but neatness and cleanliness are important. Teenagers wear jeans, t-shirts, sweaters and shoes or sneakers

Primary system is for 6 years followed by another 6 years of secondary system before final graduation. There are examinations three times a year and promotion to the following grade is subject to approval by the teachers’ council. School education (compulsory until the age of 18) tends to be rather intellectual (based on the acquisition of knowledges) and quite demanding. Sport activities are sometimes linked to school but then they are mainly team sports competition and only take place during free time. There are “General Secondary Schools” where the learning is mostly theoretical.

Flanders has a temperate climate, with strong maritime influences in the west.

Diet & Meals Flemish cuisine is much more than the good chocolate and beer. Flemish people enjoy eating (they are said to be real bon vivants) and families get together regularly for the evening meal. Meat and seafood are common staples, accompanied by bread and potatoes, and often cooked with oil or broth. Some other Flemish foods include Frites (chips or fries), the stoofvlees (stewed meat in a sauce prepared with brown beer) and waffles. Junk food is not much encouraged. 5

AFS Belgium Flanders will expect participants to have some basic English knowledge, dedicated to learn Dutch.

Money: It can be changed at ATM’s, in banks, at the airport and main railway stations, at some hotels and in exchange offices, many of which are open on Sundays. Host families are asked to pay only for ordinary family events in which you are expected to participate. You are recommended to budget about 100 Euro to 200 Euro per month.


Belgium French

Start

End

August

July

15 to 18.8 Age Preference years

Capital Brussels

Currency Euro

Population

Approx. 3.6 Million

Religion Roman Catholic (majority); Protestants, Islam, Jews (minority)

Location

Southern part of Belgium

Language

French; Dutch, German and English (other)

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ Belgium is the home of Adolphe Sax, who invented saxophone ҄҄ The longest tramway line in the world at 68 kms is the Belgian Coast Tram which operates from the French border to the Dutch border ҄҄ Belgium is the world’s leading exporter of billiard balls (nearly 80 percent)

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Family life is very important. Due to urbanization in this part of Belgium, nuclear family (parents and children only) is highly preferred. However, it is not unusual for an elderly grandparent to join the household. Contact with neighbors is not as close as it might be imagined, even in the smaller villages. The family’s immediate members and relatives will usually be close to each other. The people are generally formal and polite. Conversations are marked by frequent exchanges of compliments and repeated handshaking.

Teenagers are used to refer to parents all the time; parents have a lot to say. Parental authority is essential in education. As long as children live at home, they depend on their parents and must follow the rules of the house. Their social life center on the family or a small group of friends. Many youths join sports activities and other activities such as the boy scouts and girl guides. It is very common for young people to have a drink in a café.

Dress is casual, but neatness and cleanliness are important. Teenagers wear jeans, t-shirts, sweaters and shoes or sneakers

There are two basic types of educational institutions: the schools run by the regional, provincial or local authorities and the independent or “free” schools directed by private individuals or by NGOs, usually religious and, for the most part, catholic. Primary system is for 6 years followed by another 6 years of secondary system before final graduation. There are examinations three times a year and promotion to the following grade is subject to approval by the teachers’ council. Sport activities are sometimes linked to school but then they are mainly team sports competition and only take place during free time. Almost all the classes would be in French. AFS Belgium French will highly recommend the knowledge of French

It enjoys an oceanic temperate climate: mostly mild winters, warm summers, with regular but moderate rainfall.

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Diet & Meals The cuisine is much more meat based and the main meal of the day, which is eaten at noon, might consist of a pork dish, potatoes, and salad with mayonnaise. Both breakfast and supper are light meals that may include the popular regional cheese, makèye, served on slices of bread. Soup is a staple diet, often served as a first course for the midday and evening meals. People in this region are fond of drinking both coffee and beer. Waffle is also savored highly.

Money: It can be changed at ATM’s, in banks, at the airport and main railway stations, at some hotels and in exchange offices to name a few. You are recommended to count on about 150 Euros a month to cover personal expenses as the cost of living is high.


Brazil

Start

End

August

June

15 to 18 Age Preference years

Capital Brasilia

Currency

Brazilian Real

Population

Approx. 191.5 Million

Lifestyle & Family Living

The family is a very close unit in this country. Parental decisions are Roman Catholic respected and followed, (majority); Protestant, and the parents Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist have the last word in (minority) disciplinary and other Location family matters. They are East Central Coast of concerned about the South America responsibility of having a new child at home and they expect you to learn their habits and Language live as another family Portuguese (official) member. They are strict about asking permission to go out with friends or to have a curfew. Household task is taken care of by women while man is responsible for outside job like paying KNOW? bills etc.

Religion

DID YOU

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Night life on weekends is an important part of Brazilian social life, especially when it comes to dancing, drinking in a café or eating out, which usually begins late in the evening. As a rule, children are financially dependent on their parents until they enter University or even until they finish it. Boys are usually allowed more freedom than girls. People are used to sharing the costs of outings and girls are expected to pay their own share.

In general, the dress code is casual and comfortable. Men appreciate comfortable yet stylish dress shoes, slacks and shirts while jeans are essential clothing for women. As the weather is generally on the warmer side, cotton dresses, shorts, t-shirts are generally preferred.

The School year goes from February/March until December, with 2 to 3 weeks winter vacation in July. There are few or no social clubs or events in Brazilian schools and many schools do not even have sports teams. Students spend large parts of their outside school time doing homework or take language classes after school at private language institutes.

Being a continental country, the weather in Brazil varies quite a lot from region to region. Winter lasts for only three months from June to August and from December to February it is summer, accompanied by moderate rainfall.

Diet & Meals Most Brazilians are used to having two large meals: lunch and dinner. Breakfast is quick and light. Some families are also used to having a snack in the afternoon. Brazilians enjoy eating which consists of rice, beans, some sort of protein (pork, beef, chicken or fish) and a green and tomato salad.

҄҄ There’s an underground river 4 KM beneath the Amazon River in Brazil, that might be as long, but 100s of times wider ҄҄ Brasilia, the country’s capital, took just 41 months to build, which looks like an Airplane from above. ҄҄ Brazil is the first South American country which had hosted 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 7

AFS Brazil will recommend to have some Portuguese Language Skills

Money: It can be changed at ATM’s, in banks or at the airport. Foreign currencies can be exchanged in shops with signs showing “Cambio”. You are recommended to bring around 1,500 USD to face your own personal expenses for a yearlong stay (excludes optional trips).


Canada

Start

End

August

July

16 to 17.5 Age Preference years

Capital Ottawa

Currency

Canadian Dollar ($CAD)

Population

Approx. 35.16 Million

Lifestyle & Family Living

Canadian families come in all shapes and sizes. Religion Most families have Roman Catholic (45%); single parents, some Protestant and other have young children and (55%) some don’t. In many Canadian house- holds, Location both parents work Northern North America, outside of the home surrounded by the and everyone pitches Pacific, Atlantic, & Arctic in to take care of the oceans daily chores and meals. Canadians tend to be Language quite private people and French and English there are often rooms that are re- served for specific use. Social relations between men and women are quite informal.

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Majority of teens are very active and engage themselves in playing various sports like hockey, soccer, baseball etc. For fun, they love to see movies, listen to music, hang out with friends, etc. They prefer public transport to commute.

Canadians dress more conservatively and formally when going out. In the spring, generally long-sleeved stuff and a sweater is preferred. It rains a lot during the spring, one always need an umbrella or something with a hood. In summers, shorts, skirts, tee-shirts works well while in winters, it is good to have a thick coat, a scarf, and gloves etc.

Canadian schools are primarily controlled by local school boards. Additionally, local schools are comprehensive; they try to meet the educational needs of all schoolage children in the community, often in one building. Thus, university-bound and vocational training students have contact with each other even though they may be in different programs. Education in Canada is generally divided into primary education, followed by secondary education and postsecondary. Due to the basic flexibility in most Canadian school systems, a student can take some special courses in school or can plan with the school administration for advanced, independent study in a subject they already know well.

Summers (Jun to Aug) is hot and dry on the prairies, humid in central Canada, and milder on the coasts. Spring (May to Jun) is generally pleasant across the country. Autumns (Sep to Nov) are crisp and cool adding vivid colors to fields and woods. Winters are generally cold and long with periods of snow while on the west coast, winters are mild and wet.

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ Canada is the Second largest country and has the longest coastline in the world ҄҄ License plates in the Canadian Northwest Territories are shaped like polar bears ҄҄ The longest highway in the world is the Trans-Canada Highway which is over 7604 kilometers in length

Diet & Meals

Canada’s food staples include meat (bacon), dairy and wheat breads and pastas. Maple syrup and maple products are popular throughout. Poutine (Canadian French Fries), Butter Tarts, Kraft Dinner etc. are some of the famous Canadian cuisines. Many households eat meat every day and green vegetables are not always served. Wine is normally served with meals.

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Money: Money or travelers’ cheques can be exchanged at airport, banks and other financial institutions (fees applicable). Money can be withdrawn from Automated banking machines (ABM) or ATMS, available everywhere. Major credit cards are also accepted at some places. You are recommended to bring around 1,500 USD to face your own personal expenses for a yearlong stay.


China

Start

End

August

June

15.6 to 17.6 Age Preference years

Capital Beijing

Currency

Chinese Yuan or Renminbi

Population

Approx. 1.35 Billion

Religion Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Islam, Protestantism and Catholicism

Location East Asia

Language

Mandarin Chinese (national); Cantonese, English (other)

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ The world’s first paper money was created in China about 1,400 years ago ҄҄ China uses 45 Billion chopsticks per year ҄҄ Chinese cuisine enjoys high reputation in the world due to its abundant and exquisite cooking, delicious taste and charming appearance.

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

The Chinese people are friendly and welcoming. They have a strong sense of family, and they respect hierarchy and interpersonal obligations. In most families both parents work full time. Families generally have one child, and it is not uncommon for grandparents to live with the family. Most Chinese families in the cities live in multi-story buildings and all space within the home is generally considered shared. Shopping, visiting relatives and friends, going to exhibition, attending extra-curriculum classes, etc.

Education is a priority for teenagers in China. The students typically spend a great amount of time in their school work. Their bend towards modern fashion, music and political involvement have increased in the past few decades. To spend the leisure time, the youngsters meet at the teahouse where they have tea with friends, play chess or cards or chat.

Chinese teenagers, while dressing very much according to popular teenage styles worldwide, wear their school uniforms most of each school day and at all school-sponsored events. Preferred clothes are jeans, casual pants, T-shirts, collared shirts, sweaters, comfortable shoes for walking,

Basic education in China comprises of pre-school education, primary, junior and senior middle schooling. They start primary school when they are six years old and study for six years. Then they go to junior middle school for three years followed by senior middle school. Compulsory education is 9 years in China. The school year typically runs from early September through the early of July. During the class interval, students participate in exercising.

China has a climate dominated by dry and wet monsoons, which make clear temperature differences in winter and summer. In winter, northern winds coming from high latitude areas are cold and dry; in summer, southern winds from sea areas at lower latitude are warm and moist.

Diet & Meals

Typically, the Chinese diet consists more of vegetables, rice and noodles and meat. Noodles and dumplings are popular in the north, while rice dishes are more common in the south. Fish, Tofu and soup also form the main part of the diet. Tea is an essential part of their life with different approach to drinking tea.

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AFS China will expect participants to have some knowledge of Chinese and English

Money: Money can be obtained through ATMs and major credit cards are also acceptable. Now mobile payment is very popular in China such as Alipay and Wechat payment, one can shop without any cash on street


Costa

Rica

Start

End

August

June

15 to 17 Age Preference years

Capital San Jose

Currency

Costa Rican Colon

Population

Approx. 5 Million

Religion Roman Catholic (76.3%); Islam and Judaism (4.8%)

Location

Central America

Language

Spanish (Official); English (other)

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

The family is considered the very foundation of society and a high value is placed on being close-knit and spending time together. Sharing is a given within the family. Siblings often use each other’s clothes and personal items without asking permission first. Free time is usually shared in the evening on weekdays and on weekends, Sunday being the traditional family day.

Costa Rican teens go out together in groups; they enjoy movies, dancing, parties at friends’ homes and sports. Soccer is the most popular sport, although it is played almost exclusively by men. Many people enjoy basketball, volleyball, swimming, tennis or fitness training. Local carnivals and festivals are popular. Costa Rican teenagers and young adults are much more dependent and the amount of freedom they enjoy is restricted.

Teenagers and young adults dress informally but very seldom wear shorts, tattered jeans, etc. They don’t use the sloppy look and their jeans are always clean, even pressed. The standard school uniform is dark blue pants and light blue shirt (some schools allow or request dark blue skirts for girls). All wear black leather shoes and blue socks. Costa Rica is related to conservation and the rain-forest,

Costa Rica has one of the best educational systems in Latin America. AFS students are usually placed in 9th, 10th or 11th grade, and this last one is the graduating class in most Costa Rican schools. Most foreign students attend public schools (only 5% of them go to private schools); and most schools are coed (for boys and girls).

Because Costa Rica is located between nine to ten degrees north of the Equator, the climate is tropical year round. Costa Rica’s seasons are defined by how much it rains during a particular period and not to the four seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. The “summer” or dry season goes from December to April, and “winter” or rainy season goes from May to November.

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ Costa Ricans refer to themselves as Ticos (males) or Ticas (females) ҄҄ Costa Rica is the second largest exporter of bananas in the world, after Ecuador ҄҄ Costa Rica has no standing army ҄҄ A Soda is a small, informal restaurant that serves traditional meals like chicken, rice, beans and salad for $2$3 a plate

Diet & Meals

The Costa Rican diet is rice, beans, corn, vegetables, meat, chicken or fish and is usually served with corn tortillas. The diet also includes fresh fruit, milk, fruit juices, dairy products and eggs. Especially during weekends, it is customary for the whole family to eat the same foods at meals together. It is a time to be enjoyed together and spent as a family. Corn, prepared in several ways (such as “tortillas”), is also a frequent food.

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Money: Host families pay only for ordinary family events in which you are expected to participate. You are recommended to budget about $100$150 per month and bring travelers cheques (preferred).


Czech

Republic

Start

End

August

July

15 to 18.6 Age Preference years

Capital Prague

Currency

Czech Koruna

Population

Approx. 10.4 Million

Religion Roman Catholic; Protestant

Location

Central Europe

Language

Czech; Slovak and English (other)

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ Czech Republic is regarded as the castle capital of the world having over 2,000 castles, keeps and castle ruins ҄҄ The sugar cube was invented in Czech Republic in 1843 ҄҄ A large proportion of the population speaks English, but you will meet a lot of people who speak only Czech.

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Often both parents in a family work outside the home. Families are hospitable and friendly. They are usually close-knit, and it is not uncommon for members of the extended family to be living at home, especially grandparents. Like most Europeans, Czechs must deal with limited space. People address each other by their last names unless they know each other well. Czechs often gesture with their hands when they talk. Most families like to receive visitors which are usually well planned in advance by the family.

Czech students mostly join sport clubs or pursue other types of out-of-school activities (e.g. dance classes, pottery, choir) organized by various youth or other organizations. Most of them have one or two extra-curricular activities to attend regularly one or twice a week. School and these courses are places where the teenagers develop friendships with each other. The Czech students always use part of the afternoon for doing home works or studying for the exams.

In winters warm boots, a warm waterproof jacket, warm sweater, mittens, socks and winter coat and during summer light clothes are preferred. Young Czechs dress rather casually and comfortably such as jeans, t-shirts and sweaters. Suits are for special occasions.

: AFS students are placed in junior class in public high schools called gymnasiums. These schools are intended to prepare students for further academic education. The senior class or last year is oriented for preparing Czech students for their final examinations and for entrance into university. Schools try to adjust students’ schedules so that the course content is not too heavily dependent on their Czech language ability. School runs from September to June. Czech students are very friendly and ready to help. Students are expected to attend classes regularly. All instruction, with the exception of foreign languages, is done in Czech.

The Czech Republic has a continental climate, winter (Dec- Feb) is usually not too severe, and summer (JunAug) is rather warm, sometimes even hot. On the whole climate is pleasant.

Diet & Meals

Czechs enjoy eating hearty dishes such as roasted meats, wild game, vegetables, dumplings, and pastries. One of the most popular Czech dishes is vepro-knedlo-zelo made up of roast pork and bread dumplings. Typical Czech dishes are rather heavy and do not include enough vegetables and fruit. Dinner is typically a unique opportunity to meet all the family members and talk.

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Money: Credit cards are the easiest to use. There are cash machines almost everywhere and they accept all types of credit cards. There is also a possibility to open a new Czech bank account with a support of your host family. Traveler’s cheques are also preferred. You are recommended to budget about 1200 USD for yearlong expenses.


Denmark

Start

End

August

June

15.6 to 18 Age Preference years

Capital Copenhagen

Currency

Danish Krone

Population

Approx. 5.5 Million

Religion Evangelical Lutheran; Islam, Roman Catholic and Protestant (other)

Location

Northern Europe

Language

Danish (Northern Germanic) and English

DID YOU

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Most Danes focus on having a good family life, work life and social life. In most families, everybody is expected to take a part of the housework. Danes are well educated and respected for their accomplishments in science, art, literature, and architecture. The nuclear family is still the most common lifestyle, but divorce rates are quite high in Denmark and many kids stay with single parents or have step parents and stepsiblings.

Everyday life of Danish teenagers is characterized by wellknown daily routines, duties, obligations and pleasures. On weekends, Danish teens like to get together with friends to talk, go to parties or see a movie. Danish schools and local community organizations offer various activities. These include sports, music, crafts, drama and scouting.

The most common fashion apparel choices are casual dresses and jeans. In summer, jeans, T-shirts and light pants are common. Skirts and stockings are considered trendy for women. Danish weather tends to be unpredictable, hence coat or jacket preferred even in summer. Danes also wear heavy coats, hats, scarves and gloves. Danes avoid dressing sloppily, especially for formal events.

Most school placements are in public schools which are co-ed in nature. The teaching methods used in the Danish educational system are based on debate and discussion which means that the students are expected to participate in the class. In June, when the Danish schools prepare for and carry out exams, one has to participate in Erhvervspraktik (unpaid work experience) if you do not do any or only do a few exams. This way, you will be able to experience being part of the Danish workforce. There are no school uniforms.

Denmark has a temperate climate, characterized by mild winters, with mean temperatures in January of 1.5 °C (34.7 °F), and cool summers, with a mean temperature in August of 17.2 °C (63.0 °F). Autumn is the wettest season and spring the driest. Rain falls fairly evenly throughout the year.

KNOW?

҄҄ Acknowledged in 1219, Denmark’s national flag is the oldest flag in the world still in use by an independent nation ҄҄ Denmark is the world’s biggest producer of ranched minks ҄҄ Gracefully curving lur horns, found in Denmark, are the world’s oldest surviving musical instrument

Diet & Meals

Staples of the Danish diet include roast pork, fish, beans, brussel sprouts, fresh vegetables, and grains. Typical meals: Breakfast of Cereal or bread with cheese or jam; lunch consists of dark bread with meat, tomato, egg and cheese and dinner usually includes meat or fish, potatoes, rice or pasta, and vegetables. Sometimes dessert is served. Traditional open-faced sandwiches known as smörrebröd are popular. The evening meal is usually the main meal of the day and is often a time when the whole family is together. Danes tend to eat meals rather than snack from the refrigerator.

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AFS Denmark will expect participants to have basic knowledge of English

Money: For personal spending money during the year, we recommend that you bring a minimum of 2500 US$. It can be exchanged at airports, banks or other financial institutions. Money can be received using Visa or credit cards through ATMs.


Egypt

Start

End

September

June

15 to 17 Age Preference years

Capital Cairo

Currency

Egyptian Pound (EGP)

Population

Approx. 84.7 Million

Lifestyle & Family Living

While Egyptian life is centered on family and religion, there remains Islam (83%); Christian a great difference majority Orthodox (15%); between the rural and Others (2%) urban peoples of Egypt. Family ties are very Location strong and neighbors are Northeast Africa and often treated as family. Southwest corner of Asia People in urban centers bordered by Red sea such as Cairo and Alexandria still maintain these traditional values, Language but to a lesser extent. Arabic (Official); Shopping at outdoor English, French, bazaars, shopping malls, German and Italian spending a day in a sports club and visiting relatives are favorite family activities.

Religion

DID

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Teen activities vary from region to region. Boys commonly play soccer with friends while girls often meet at each other’s homes in the evening, and strict curfews are enforced and respected. In their free time, Egyptian teenagers meet their friends to go to cafés, sports clubs, cinema or to shopping malls. The concept of dating for teenagers is usually not accepted by most families in Egypt.

Most Egyptian teens dress conservatively; girls tend to keep their shoulders covered, and shorts are uncommon among boys and girls with the exception of beachwear. However, Egyptian style is becoming more westernized, particularly in the larger cities. At school, most students wear uniforms.

In Egypt, schools are administered by National Ministry. Language of instruction is mainly in English only in private schools or international ones otherwise language of instruction is Arabic. Courses set by the Ministry of Education, such as English as a Second Language, science and math classes, history and geography. Weekends are Friday and Saturday. School day starts by 8am and ends no later than 4pm.

Throughout Egypt, days are commonly warm or hot, and nights are cool. Egypt has only two seasons: a mild winter from November to April and a hot summer from May to October. The climate is generally extremely dry all over the country except on the northern Mediterranean coast which receives more rainfall in winter.

YOU KNOW?

҄҄ The shape of ancient Egyptian pyramids is thought to have been inspired by the spreading rays of the sun ҄҄ Egypt’s Nile river is the world’s longest running river. ҄҄ The tradition of exchanging wedding rings goes back to ancient Egyptian times ҄҄ The World’s Oldest Dress was found in Egypt and it is 5,000 years old

Diet & Meals

The Egyptian diet is typically rich in beans, bread, rice, vegetables, and fruits. Breakfast normally consists of beans and falafel sometimes eggs and cheese also. Breakfast is rather late in Egypt while lunch is the most significant meal of the day and it is between 4 and 8 pm it tends to be high in starches. Supper is also a light meal and not everyone has it.

13

AFS Egypt strongly recommends participants to know basic English

Money: As per the cost of living in Egypt, you are recommended to budget about $150-$250 per month and bring travelers cheques (preferred).


Finland

Start

End

August

June

15.8 to 18.8 Age Preference years

Capital Helsinki

Currency Euro

Population

Approx. 5 Million

Religion Lutheran (88%); Orthodox (slight over 1%)

Location

Northern Europe bordering Sweden and Russia

Language

Finnish and Hungarian (official); Swedish, Lappish and English

DID

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Family and friends are important to Finns. Tolerance, kindness and independence are qualities that are highly valued. The parents are “heads” of the family and they make the rules. It is common that the whole family helps out with the house work. Children have a weekday and a later one on weekends, and the family will expect you to keep them informed of your whereabouts and activities.

After school, Finns have homework to do and do not have much free time on weekdays. Some schools even offer different types of clubs like photography, computer science, ice hockey, drama and languages. Finns love sports such as camping, swimming, jogging, bicycling, skiing, basketball and ice hockey.

Both girls and boys wear pants of various types (commonly jeans), and a sweater/blouse/ shirt. In winters, heavy sweaters, a knitted/ warm hat, mittens or gloves, a warm scarf etc. is preferred and for summers spring type clothes, like a summer dress, shorts, a skirt are comfortable.

It is composed of comprehensive schools upper secondary schools, vocational and professional education institutions and universities. Compulsory education consists of a nine-year comprehensive school starting at the age of seven. It is free of charge for the pupil. Most subjects are compulsory, but there are also optional courses one could opt for. AFS Finland will expect participants to have moderate knowledge of English strongly preferred

There are long, cold winters in the north, but milder seasons in the south. It snows in late November or December in Southern Finland and in October in the North, and the snow stays until late April in Lapland. Due to the low humidity, the climate is actually not as cold as temperature readings might seem to indicate. Summer in Finland is bright and warm, sometimes even hot.

YOU KNOW?

҄҄ Finland is also called as the land of midnight sun, because in June and July the sun shines all day and all night in the north, not dropping below the horizon ҄҄ There are around 2.2 million saunas in Finland, 1 for every 2.5 people

Diet & Meals

Everyday food of Finns tends to be simple and not very spicy but nutritious and mealtimes less formal. Finnish cuisine is based on meat, fish, potatoes, bread and dairy products. In the fall some families eat game meat and one may get to taste reindeer. A lot of families have dinner together, especially on weekends.

14

Money: There is no problem exchanging currency at banks. Many international credit cards (for example Visa, American Express and master card) are accepted in most restaurants, department stores and shops and you can also withdraw cash with most of them in banks. You are recommended to budget about US$1,600 in traveler’s checks for a full academic year to cover your spending money needs.


France

Start

End

September

July

14.6 to 17.9 Age Preference years

Capital Paris

Currency

Euro and CFP Franc

Population

Approx. 65 Million

Lifestyle & Family Living

There are certain rules and customs of the family to be followed Roman Catholic (64%); and respected. It is usual Protestant, Jewish and in French families to Muslim (other) talk about oneself and ask for advice. Showing Location your feelings, expressing Western Europe your satisfaction or incomprehension is usual in France. French parents are quite cautious about their Language children’s outings. French (official); Children are very often Provencal, Breton, Catalan, Basque, Alsatian, required to inform anywhere they are going Flemish and with whom, and to respect a curfew.

Religion

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ The French like national sport events especially Rolland Garros, le Tour de France & Euro. ҄҄ The world’s first artificial Heart transplant and Face transplant both took place in France ҄҄ Even if it can be seen as oldfashioned, but French people are very attached to “la politesse” i.e. being polite.

Diet & Meals

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Because schools place a heavy emphasis on academics, few extracurricular activities are offered during the week. However, limited sports and drama opportunities are available. Soccer and Rugby are popular. French teens, like most teens, enjoy socializing by going to the movies or getting together at each other’s homes or in local cafés.

Men often wear pants that end at the midcalf length and are made of light fabrics. French women choose patterned skirts or capri pants for spring and summer. Both men and women pair these warm-weather bottoms with short-sleeved shirts or T-shirts. The scarf is a favorite accessory for both French men and women.

The school is statecontrolled by Education National (Ministry of Education), which sets the same school programs throughout the country. In addition to school vacations, there are several national days off throughout the year. There are regular tests in schools. At the end of each trimester, your teachers meet during the class council to discuss each student’s results and behavior. After this meeting, the school sends a school report to your host family. There are no school uniforms. AFS France will expect participants to have some basic knowledge of French

France has an affable climate with long hot summers and cool winters, which bring snow to higher ground. Summer (June-August) is the peak season, when it is warm and sunny across much of the country. The country also experiences spring (March-May) and autumn (SeptemberOctober. DecemberMarch is suitable for skiing.

The French love to eat and spend a lot of time on a table, especially with family and friends. French cuisine is very diverse, and there are many food specialties in every region such as crêpe in Bretagne, cassoulet in the South-West, tartiflette in Savoie, etc. There are about 400 different cheeses produced in France. Dinner is the most important meal where the whole family eats and socializes together.

15

Money: Money can be changed at most post offices, banks and airports (charges applicable). Credit cards are widely accepted in shops, restaurants and bars in major towns. You are recommended to budget about 80-120 Euro per month to cover your spending money needs.


Germany

Start

End

September

July

15 to 18 Age Preference years

Capital Berlin

Currency Euro

Population

Approx. 82.5 Million

Religion Christians (70%); Islam (4%); Judaism & Buddhism (1%)

Location

Western Central Europe

Language

German (Official); Danish and Romany (other)

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ Berlin is 9 times bigger than Paris and has more bridges than Venice ҄҄ The famous Nutcracker was created in the small villages of the Erzgebirge region in Germany ҄҄ The first magazine ever seen was launched in 1663 in Germany ҄҄ Berlin has the largest train station in Europe

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

The average family is small, and family structures are diverse. Equality is valued not only in public life but at home too. Most Germans keep appointments exactly at the time they agreed on. People value honesty and obedience to rules and regulations. Many Germans are actively engaged in their social life, community, or school life. People are very interested to talk about politics, culture, environment, or sports. Though they may appear reserved at first, they have warm hearts filled with real values of friendship and family.

German society is cultural and social. Many Germans enjoy sports, hiking and bicycling, as well as watching TV and visiting friends. Soccer, taking walks, and cultural events are particularly popular activities. Teenagers generally devote their time to academics during the week. Bicycling is not only a sport but also a popular and convenient means of transport.

German teens dress in a style similar to teenagers elsewhere; they wear jeans, T-shirts, sweaters and sportswear. In winter, warm clothing such as a heavy jacket, heavy sweaters, woolen tights or long underwear, thick socks, gloves, scarves and boots are appropriate. For special occasions, more formal dress is expected.

The relationship between students and teachers is usually quite good. Required courses include German, English, mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, history, social studies, art, music, geography, religion or philosophy and physical education. Courses call for independent, in-depth study and research.

Germany has a temperate climate throughout the country with warm summers and cold winters. Rain falls throughout the year. Summer temperatures are typically between 20°C and 30°C, with more rainfall during summers. The weather is continental in the sense that it varies from year to year, meaning a chilly spring and rainy summers one year can be followed by spectacularly warm and sunny the next year.

Diet & Meals

16

AFS Germany will expect participants to have some basic German Knowledge

German cooking is generally very good and often rich. In most families, red meat, poultry, or fish are served with potatoes, dumplings, noodles or rice, and vegetables. Germany is also famous for its many types of bread, and cakes and coffee are sometimes served on afternoons. Snacking and raiding the refrigerator are usually not done. Meals are served at regular hours, and all family members are expected to take part in them.

Money: The cost of living in Germany is high, so plan to bring sufficient spending money. AFS recommends that €1,800 in traveler’s checks or credit card should be sufficient for a full academic year to cover your spending needs.


Hungary

Start

End

August

July

15 to 18 Age Preference years

Capital Budapest

Currency

Hungarian Forint

Population

Approx. 9.9 Million

Religion Roman Catholic (67.5%); Calvinist (20%); Lutheran (5%) & Others (7.5%)

Location

Central Europe

Language

Hungarian (official); English, German, Slovak and Romanian

DID YOU

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Hungarians are very independent and value human rights. Parents are usually protective of their children. Everyone shares in the housework, and families enjoy spending time together on the weekends. The Hungarian people usually spend New Year’s Eve with friends. Please keep in mind that Christmas is a family event in Hungary. The family members don’t go out to celebrate with friends, but the close family has a peaceful celebration.

Teenagers in Hungary do the same things as students all around the world. You may notice that Hungarian students take school very seriously, and that is why a considerable part of their afternoons is spent studying on weekdays, so you cannot expect them to go out with you all the time.

Dress for boys is comparatively casual; slacks and a dress shirt by no tie, or with a tie, or with a jacket and no tie; slacks, jacket and tie are infrequent but not as rare as to seem stuffy; for girls comparably casual conservative dress will work fine. All in all school uniform is compulsory.

School is probably the best place for AFS students to meet people and make friends during their time in Hungary. An AFS student in Hungary will be expected to attend classes regularly. Schools in Hungary require motivated students and provide fewer extra-curricular activities that some other countries do. The students accepted into high schools consider it to be an honor and take great pride in their learning abilities.

The climate of the Hungary can be described as typical European continental influenced climate with warm, dry summers and fairly cold winters. January is the coldest month. Heavy snowfall or even snowstorms are also possible on some days.

KNOW?

҄҄ Hungary is a landlocked Central European country, that shares a border with seven countries. ҄҄ Hungary is in the geometrical center of Europe ҄҄ Founded in 897, Hungary is one of the oldest countries in Europe (before France and Germany became separate entities) ҄҄ Literacy of total population is 99%

Diet & Meals

It is said that the Hungarian kitchen is the third best after the French and the Chinese. Culinary habits are changing now, so the food is lighter than in the past but without losing its great flavors. Typical Hungarian dishes tend to be hearty. A traditional favorite is goulash, a soup with meat, potatoes, onions and paprika; another is pörkölt, a stew. Paprika and other spices and sauces are used in many dishes.

17

Money: Host families pay only for ordinary family events in which you are expected to participate. As per the cost of living in Hungary, you are recommended to budget about $100-$200 per month and bring travelers cheques (preferred). Money can also be obtained by using a Debit Card (ATM and currency exchange fees applicable) or using wiring services like Western Union.


Indonesia

Start

End

August

July

16 to 18.6 Age Preference years

Capital Jakarta

Currency

Indonesian Rupiah

Population

Approx. 249.9 Million

Religion Muslim (88%); Protestant (5.1); Catholic (2.9%); Hindu and Buddhism (2%)

Location

South East Asia

Language

Bahasa Indonesia (official); Arabic, English, Tringgus-Sembaan Bidayuh (other)

DID YOU

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Indonesian people are very family-oriented. The relationship between each member of the family is close, although you would seldom see each member showing their feelings and affection openly. Parents have a very dominant role in the family. This is why the decisionmaking process in the family tends to be authoritarian. Obedience is a very important value in the family. Children are seldom questioning the parents’ decisions and rules.

Teens in Indonesia enjoy surfing the Internet, going to cafes, movies and shopping malls, reading and spending time with friends. Social life for Indonesian teenagers usually means mixing in-groups rather than going on individual dates. Most of the social life activities take place within family. Objects or personal things may be considered as belonging not to one individual, but to be shared by everyone in the family.

It is advisable to wear dress/shirts with sleeves and longer skirts/pants. Indonesian people prefer light clothing such as trousers, shirt and a tie for male, skirt and blouse or a dress for female. To go outside, a pair of jeans and a polo/T-shirt is preferred. Formal attire is suitable for special occasions.

Indonesian citizens are required to attend a 9 year compulsory education which includes 6 years of Elementary School (SD) and 3 years of Junior High School (SMP) followed by 3-4 years of Senior High School (SMA). The National Education System of Indonesia is generally aimed at elevating the intellectual life of the nation and developing the Indonesian people fully. There are two terms in an academic year. Schools are closed during the fasting month of Ramadhan for which timing is based on the lunar calendar. School uniform is practiced in almost all schools.

Indonesia has a tropical climate with two seasons; the dry monsoon, lasting from June to September, and wet monsoon, lasting from December to March. On the lowland plains or coastal areas, the air temperature is rather high, around 27°30° Celsius, while on the plateaus or mountain areas, it is relatively low, around 22°-25° Celsius.

KNOW?

҄҄ There are around 17,500 islands in Indonesia taking up almost the same space as the United States ҄҄ Indonesia has five main islands: Borneo (Kalimantan), Sumatra, Papua, Sulawesi and Java. ҄҄ Indonesia is one of the world’s largest producers of nutmeg, which is native to its Banda Islands

Diet & Meals

Rice is the staple food in most parts. Other staple food ranges from fish, chicken, corn, sago, cassava to sweet potatoes. Most meals are prepared from scratch using fresh ingredients. Processed foods are rare, and sometimes considered unhealthy. Generally dinner is eaten together depending on the family schedule. More likely, the family eats quietly, even silently, and takes conversations elsewhere after the meal.

18

Money: Money can be directly sent in the form of a bank draft or cash transfer. You may ask your host family to help you in opening a local bank account. You are recommended to be considerate about spending money.


Italy

Start

End

September

July

15 to 18 Age Preference years

Capital Rome

Currency Euro

Population

Approx. 61.1 Million

Lifestyle & Family Living

Italians are often described as warm and friendly people. Roman Catholic (85%); Most parents want Judaism; Islam; Hinduism to know where their child is going when he/ she leaves the house. Location Italians are happy and Southern Europe easygoing, always ready bordered by France, to have fun or to laugh Slovenia, Austria & at a good joke. They Switzerland place great importance on friendship and loyalty Language and are usually very Italian (official); French, willing to help others. German and Slovene Italians are passionate (other) in the way they talk– loud and with lots of gesturing and emphatic facial expressions but they are not arguing.

Religion

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Because schools do not organize many extracurricular activities, students usually organize their own free time. Young people can generally stay out until late on Saturday night and, if the family is more liberal, perhaps one or two other nights during the week. Young people tend to live at home until they get married. Teens do not usually have part-time jobs.

Italians believe it is important to dress well at all times. In general, young people dress informally but with care, wearing jeans and T-shirts during the warm season. Seasonal and regional clothing are appropriate. If you are sent to the alpine region of Italy, come prepared for a long, cold winter. Schools seldom require uniforms.

All subjects are compulsory. Italian schools are very demanding. Intercultural students are expected to study hard and to participate in school life as Italian kids their age do. They are usually placed in the third or fourth year of high school. Attendance and participation is compulsory for AFSers.

The climate varies considerably from the north to the south of Italy. In the north, the climate is harsh, with very cold winters and very hot, particularly humid summers. In central Italy the climate is milder, with a smaller difference in temperature. In southern Italy and the islands winters are never particularly harsh.

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ Italy is said to have more masterpieces per square mile than any other country in the world ҄҄ The University of Rome is one of the world’s oldest universities and was founded by the Catholic Church in A.D. 1303 ҄҄ Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo and Maserati are well known Italian car manufacturers

Diet & Meals

Italians generally have a light breakfast of coffee with milk or tea along with cookies, crackers or bread with jam or honey. Lunch is the biggest meal of day, with a big plate of pasta followed by meat, fish, cheeses, vegetables or salads. Dinner is a little smaller than lunch, but with bigger portions of meat, fish or vegetables together. During meals, Italians drink water and wine. It is a great time for socializing. Italians are very proud of their cooking, which they believe to be the best in the world.

19

AFS Italy will expect participants to have some a basic background of the Italian language

Money: The cost of living in Italy is high, so plan on bringing sufficient spending money. AFS recommends that students bring €200 to €250 per month for spending money. One can also use travelers’ checks or credit cards. Every student, however, should arrive in Italy with at least €100 in cash.


Japan

15 to 18 Age Preference years

Start

End

March

February

Capital Tokyo

Currency

Japanese Yen

Population

Approx. 127 Million

Religion Shinto; Buddhism; Christianity

Location

East Asia bordered by Pacific Ocean, Sea of Japan, Korea & Russia

Language

Japanese (official); English (other)

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ Japan is a world leader in robotics. ҄҄ It’s no surprise that Japan is the largest automobile producer in the world. ҄҄ Some of the most wellknown companies in the world are Japanese such as Toyota, Honda, Sony, Canon, Panasonic, Toshiba, and Sharp

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Family is the foundation of Japanese society, bound by a strong sense of position, obligation and responsibility. Seniority is respected, and Japanese children are taught to hold their elders in the highest regard. Parents tend to keep a close eye on their children’s behavior, and high school students are rarely allowed to go out after the evening meal. When one enters a Japanese house, they leave their shoes at the doorway and will wear slippers provided by the host. There are even special slippers just for using the bathroom.

School is probably the best place to make friends and meet people. Japanese teenagers devote themselves almost entirely to schoolwork and extracurricular clubs that fall into two general categories: sports (baseball, soccer, judo, kendo, track, tennis, swimming, softball, volleyball, rugby, etc.) and culture (English, broadcasting, calligraphy, science, mathematics, yearbook planning, etc.). Japanese teens also enjoy going to movies or shopping as a group on weekends.

Japanese youth wear the latest American and European fashions. AFSers should bring casual clothes, jeans, T-shirts and other items for hot or humid summer wear. Most students are required to wear uniforms.

With an adult literacy rate exceeding 99%, Japanese society clearly places a high value on education. Students are expected to study hard. During the first term, exchange students may have a chance to receive Japanese language training and take a modified academic program (English, PE, home economics, music and art). Most schools have a summer holiday from mid-July to end of August and winter holiday from late December to early January.

The weather in Japan is generally temperate, with four distinct seasons: Winter, from December to February, is quite dry and sunny along the Pacific coast and the temperatures rarely drop below 32°F. Spring is from March to May. Temperatures are warm but not too hot. Summer, from June to August, hot and humid accompanied by a three to four-week rainy season. Autumn is from September to November

Diet & Meals

20

The Japanese diet consists largely of rice, noodles, fresh vegetables, fruit, meat (mostly pork and chicken) and seafood. Meals are eaten with chopsticks. Rice and green tea are part of almost every meal. Nowadays, western style dishes are also served.

Money: Host families are asked to pay only for ordinary family events in which you are expected to participate. When you do such things as shopping for yourself or going out with friends, the expenses are your responsibility. To cover your spending money needs, AFS recommends you to budget approx. YEN 50,000 for an entire year.


Mexico

Start

End

August

July

15 to 17.9 Age Preference years

Capital Mexico City

Currency

Mexican Peso

Population

Approx. 127.5 Million

Lifestyle & Family Living

Mexicans are typically relaxed, casual, and always ready to be Catholicism (80%); with family and friends. Protestantism (9%); Mexicans value the art Buddhism (2%) and Islam of eloquence. Mexicans (2%) are warm and hospitable Location people. The family is the North America bordered strongest institution in by USA and North Pacific the society. The family Ocean is the center of social activity. There will likely be many family outings Language to museums, parks, Spanish (official); etc. Most families are English (other) conservative and tend to be overprotective (especially towards girls).

Religion

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

A lot of teenager’s social life will revolve around school and classmates. On weekday afternoons, teenagers love to hang out at malls and cinemas, but also they love to engage in many things like traditional and non-traditional food dishes preparation, recreation, religious practices and cultural ceremonies.

Dress codes are very strict in Mexico, especially at work and school. Mexican clothing for men is mostly the trousers and the shirt and a large blanket cape, called “Sarape” is an additional garment preferred. Men often wear Mexican boots too. Typical women clothing includes a skirt, a “huipil” (a kind of sleeve-less tunic), a “quechquémitl” (a closed shoulder cape) and a “rebozo” (a kind of shawl).

Mexican schools don’t accept students with any kind of piercings in any part of the body and colored hair. The academic year is set by the SEP for all public and private-incorporated schools. The year consists of 200 working days of classes usually beginning in the last week of August and ending in the first week of July. The official language of instruction is Spanish. In primary and secondary school, students wear uniforms.

The Climate in Mexico varies according to its topography. Along the coast, it is hot and humid, unbearably so in the summer but it can reach freezing temperatures in the winter. You’ll be surprised to find snowcapped volcanoes. Instead of spring, summer, autumn and winter, most of Mexico has only two seasons: wet and dry.

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ The border between Mexico and the United States is the second largest border in the world ҄҄ Tomatoes originated in Mexico - as did dragon fruit, chia seeds, corn, chili, chocolate and vanilla ҄҄ Mexico is a home to a very rare rabbit called the volcano rabbit which lives near Mexican volcanoes

Diet & Meals

Mexican staple foods include rice, corn, beans and chilies. They are combined with spices, vegetables, meats or fish in daily meals. Mexicans generally have a light breakfast of coffee and/ or fruit; halfway through the morning, a warm tortilla-based snack or a bread roll is preferred. The most important meal of the day is served in the afternoon i.e. soup, rice, meat or chicken accompanied by tortillas and refried beans; and dessert. Dinner consists mainly of sweet rolls, coffee, and milk.

21

AFS Mexico will expect participants to have desirable Spanish language communication level

Money: The basic cost of living in Mexico is lower than that of the US and Europe; particularly for items such as fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and other grocery items. You are recommended to budget about $500-$550 per month.


Netherlands

Start

End

August

July

15 to 18 Age Preference years

Capital Amsterdam

Currency Euro

Population

Approx. 16.8 Million

Religion Roman Catholic (30%); Dutch Reformed (11%); Muslims (5.8%);

Location

In Western Europe bordered by Germany and Belgium

Language

Dutch (Official); French, German and English (other)

DID

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

The Dutch have a strong sense of family. Dutch parents are the heads of the family. Children help with the housework and respect the family’s rules. In Dutch homes, all family members share chores. Family time is mostly at dinner, on weekends and vacations. Dutch people enjoy quiet evenings at home with the family, watching TV, reading a book or newspaper, or playing games together. The Dutch depend on their bicycles to go anywhere.

Dutch teenagers like to watch TV, read and get together with friends. The most popular sport is soccer. During the week a lot of time is of course spent on homework. After school, kids go to hobby clubs or sports clubs (soccer, tennis, volleyball or field hockey), take music lessons, etc. In winter, skating is popular as are water sports in summer such as sailing, surfing and swimming.

Jeans, t-shirts, sweaters and comfortable but attractive shoes will take you anywhere. Make sure you take comfy footwear for daytime as there are loads of cobbled streets and museums with wooden floors. Lightweights with rainwear for summer, waterproof and warmer clothing for winter are preferred. An umbrella and a sweater are necessary almost any time of year. For skating, it is good to have hat,

From the age of five to sixteen, attending full-time education is compulsory by the Dutch law. After primary school, and partly based on how well they have done, a student can choose for different levels of secondary education: Pre-vocational education (VMBO); General secondary education (HAVO) and Pre-university education (VWO).

The Netherlands have a temperate maritime climate influenced by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Summers are generally warm and winters can generally signify mild weather. Rainfall is common throughout the year. The average temperature of Netherlands is approximately 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit).

YOU KNOW?

҄҄ 70% of the world’s bacon comes from Netherlands ҄҄ The Dutch are the tallest in the world with an average height of 184 cm for men and 170 cm for women ҄҄ Netherlands is one of the six founding members of the European Union ҄҄ The Dutch are the world’s biggest coffee drinkers. They drink no less than 140 liters of coffee a year on average.

Diet & Meals

Dutch food is simple and nourishing, and represents a mixture of European cooking styles. A typical meal consists of potatoes and gravy with vegetables in season and meat or fish. In winter, it is common to make a heavy dish of potatoes mixed with vegetables. Many people also eat pasta and rice. Often on Sundays, the family will eat a special breakfast together. Dinner is important. It is a time when most families get together to talk and socialize.

22

AFS Netherlands will expect participants to have a basic knowledge of the Dutch language

Money: Host families pay only for ordinary family events in which you are expected to participate. As per the cost of, you are recommended to budget about €200–€400 per month and bring travelers cheques (preferred).


Norway

Start

End

August

June

15 to 18 Age Preference years

Capital Oslo

Currency

Norwegian Krone

Population

Approx. 5.1 Million

Religion Christianity (88%); Islam (1.8%)

Location

In Northern Europe bordered by Sweden, Finland & North Atlantic Ocean

Language

Norwegian (official); French, German, Spanish and English

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ Norway has the world’s deepest underwater tunnel at 287 meters deep ҄҄ Norway is the birthplace of modern skiing. The word “ski” is Norwegian for “piece of wood” ҄҄ Norway gets 98-99% of its electricity from hydroelectric power, more than any other country

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Family and friends are very important to Norwegians. Tolerance, kindness and independence are highly valued. Families and friends get together on weekends; during the week, Norwegians are often quite busy Parents still expect to know when their children are going out and where they are going. Family tends to be small and in family, everyone shares in the housework. Most Norwegians are physically active and love nature. In winter, many people ski. In summer, they hike and spend time in the forests and mountains.

Young people are involved in many activities outside of school such as sports, music, arts and crafts. Children are fairly independent, and some teenagers have part-time jobs. They also take part in organized activities in the community such as scouting, political organizations and the Red Cross.

Norwegian schools do not have uniforms. Norwegians’ dress is generally casual but neat and clean; sports and outdoor gear are common away from the cities. Long pants, longsleeved tops and boots are good to pack all year round - with extra warmer layers including sweaters, fleeces and knitwear for the winter. It rains throughout the year, so pack a waterproof jacket or light raincoat whenever you visit.

The Norwegian school system offers 10 years of compulsory schooling, starting with Elementary school (1st -7th grade); and Junior high school for 3 years (8th -10th grade). Upper secondary school is for 3 years (11th - 13th year) and there are several areas of study in Norwegian secondary school. Most AFS students will be placed in the general and business studies, music/dance/drama or sports/physical education of study.

Norway has four quite distinct seasons: Winter (Dec - Feb) when the mean temperature are above freezing all along the coast and are very low in both the southern and northern part of Norway; Spring (Mar - May) when the increasing solar energy during springtime eventually melts the snow cover; Summer (Jun to Aug) when the weather is warmest and the days are long and bright; Autumn (Sep to Nov) when the coastal areas have the highest temperatures.

Diet & Meals

Food in Norway is often based on meat, fish, potatoes, vegetables, milk, cheese and sweets in wide varieties. A common meal is meatballs, potatoes, brown gravy and vegetables. Open-faced sandwiches are also popular. Fish is part of the everyday diet and bread is often consumed twothree times a day.

23

AFS Norway will expect an average proficiency in English, and a strong motivation to learn the local language

Money: Host families pay only for ordinary family events in which you are expected to participate. As per the cost of living, you are recommended to budget about €150€300 per month and bring travelers cheques (preferred).


Philippines

Start

End

July

May

15 to 18 Age Preference years

Capital Manila

Currency

Philippine Peso

Population

Approx. 100.6 Million

Religion Roman Catholic (85%); Muslims (11%)

Location

Southeast Asia situated in the Western Pacific Ocean near Vietnam & Taiwan

Language

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Extended family plays a large role, especially in socialization of women. Children are raised to respect their elders and parents are protective of their children. When one is asked to join a family for a meal, the offer must be refused. If the invitation is extended a second time, it is permissible to accept.

As in many cultures, education is viewed as the key to a better life and Filipino students concentrate hard on their studies. In summers, students spend their days at the beach or hike into the mountains. Parks and museums are also common places to frequent.

Tropical Must Haves as though as shorts, mini-skirts, tank tops and flip flops come into mind when thinking about a paradise like the Philippines. In formal functions like attending classes, orientations, courtesy calls etc, it is expected that one is dressed accordingly (i.e. long pants, blouses, dress shirts, etc). T-shirts are generally acceptable.

The educational system of the Philippines is modeled largely after the educational systems of Spain and United States of America. Senior High School students may choose from following specific tracks: AcademicBusiness, Accountancy and Management, Humanities, Education and Social Science, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, vocational learning and sports & arts.

Most of the Philippines have a typical tropical marine climate. From June to September, the country experiences a rainy season. From October to February, cool and dry weather. From March to May, hot summers. The country’s average temperature can range from 25 to 32 degrees Celsius. Highland areas are much cooler.

English & Filipino (official); Tagalog and Cebuano (other)

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ The islands were dubbed “The Philippines” after King Philip II of Spain ҄҄ 3 of the top 10 largest shopping malls in the world are found in the Philippines: Megamall, North Edsa, and Mall of Asia ҄҄ The Philippines is the world’s largest exporter of coconuts and tropical fruits, such as papaya and mangosteen

Diet & Meals

Freshly cultivated fruits and vegetables form the main ingredients of any meal along with meat, fish and poultry, rice. Salt water and freshwater fish and shellfish are eaten daily, served either fresh or salted. Filipinos consume three major meals a day – almusal (breakfast), tanghalian (lunch) and hapunan (dinner) and merienda (light snack) in the afternoon.

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AFS Philippines will expect participants to have basic English Communication

Money: Host families pay only for ordinary family events in which you are expected to participate. As per the cost of living, you are recommended to budget about $150$200 per month and bring travelers cheques (preferred). Money can also be obtained by using a Debit Card (ATM and currency exchange fees applicable) or using wiring services like Western Union.


Portugal

Start

End

September

June

15 to 18 Age Preference years

Capital Lisbon

Currency Euro

Population

Approx. 10.6 Million

Religion Roman Catholic (97%)

Location

Southwestern Europe bordered by Atlantic Ocean and Spain

Language

Portuguese (Official); English (other)

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ Portugal hast the longest bridge in Europe - Vasco da Gama Bridge (17.2 km) ҄҄ Portuguese Fado, a music genre was classified as world cultural heritage by UNESCO ҄҄ Lisbon was totally destroyed after a powerful earthquake on 01 Nov 1755. This earthquake encouraged the birth of seismologythe scientific study of earthquakes

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

The Portuguese are open, friendly and hospitable to people of other nations. Because people and relationships are more important than time, punctuality is not always stressed. On weekends, a lot of time is spent with relatives. Families are also very strict in terms of family schedules. During the year, Portugal hosts numerous celebrations, fairs, religious pilgrimages and festivals. Each region keeps its particular traditions alive through colorful decorations, food and drinks, dances and songs.

The youth is always busy with attending a party or other event such as a rock concert or soccer game. Because few schools offer extracurricular activities, students organize their own activities after school such as volunteering with the community organizations. On weekends, teens like to get together with friends in each other’s homes, the town square, and a local café or at the movies. As family is so valued, it’s not uncommon for an older child to live at home with their parents.

Please note that most Portuguese schools do not have uniforms! You wear your own clothes to school, even for sports. Both girls and boys – pants of various types, jeans, shorts, T-shirts, sweaters, sport clothes, tennis shoes, boots in winter, etc. Girls might wear skirts and dresses.

At secondary school there is a considerable range of options. AFS students are usually placed in General Courses, although there is the possibility (in some specific cases) to place them in other kinds of courses. Portuguese schools usually don’t provide extracurricular activities.

Portugal has a temperate maritime climate. Winter is cold and wet with rain showers (mid Nov to last Feb). Hence a couple of good warm clothes and water proof coats are preferred. In winters, it even snows in Portugal. Summer is really hot (May to Sep).

Diet & Meals

AFS Portugal will expect participants to learn some basic Portuguese

The Portuguese are proud of their food. Breakfast normally include bread or toasts with butter, cheese, ham, jam and milk. Lunch is the main meal that includes soup, main dish, sandwich and fruit or dessert. Dinner will be same as lunch. Wine is often consumed with meals.

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Money: Host families pay only for ordinary family events in which you are expected to participate. As per the cost of living, you are recommended to budget about €90– €120 per month and bring travelers cheques (preferred).


Russia

Start

End

August

June

15 to 18 Age Preference years

Capital Moscow

Currency

Russian Ruble

Population

Approx. 144 Million

Religion Orthodox Christianity (75%); Islam (5%); Judaism (1%); Buddhism (1%)

Location

Northern Eurasia bordered by China, North Korea, Poland & USA

Language

Russian (official); Tatar, Ukrainian and Chechen (other

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Russians are warm and intelligent people. The family is the principal stabilizing factor in society. Russian parents are mostly super protective towards their kids and usually make important decisions regarding their children. Tied to the land, Russians also put great effort into tending their gardens.

Teenagers like to get together with their friends at someone’s home, go to movies, watch television, go to theaters. In rural areas, students often organize dances at the local high school. Football (soccer) and hockey are popular sports, and many people participate in volleyball, cross-country skiing and ice-skating. Chess is both a favorite leisuretime undertaking and a competitive activity.

Russia is fairly conservative, and if you choose to wear bright colors particularly in the winter months you will stand out. For both the genders, Jeans and T-Shirts are always popular here and teamed with lighter layers for the summer and warmer ones for the winter. School uniforms are a must.

Education in Russia is organized and coordinated by the state. Russian general education is aimed at the intellectual, emotional, moral and physical development of the individual. It aims to develop the abilities that will allow a student to adapt to life in society as well as helping individuals to make conscious choices concerning professional education. The language of instruction is Russian in all state-accredited educational institutions

The climate of Russia is mainly continental, with a big arctic section in the north. The east of the country experiences harsh, long, bitterly cold winters. The north of the country is always covered with snow and subject to permafrost. Southern Russia enjoys warm to sometimes hot summers with a lot rainfall, and very cold snowy winters.

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ The world’s first satellite, named Sputnik was launched by the Soviet Union in 1957 ҄҄ Lake Baikal is the largest fresh water lake in the world which is 1642m in depth and contains around 20% of the world’s unfrozen fresh water ҄҄ In Russia there are 9 million more women than men ҄҄ The oldest plant ever to be regenerated has been grown in Russia from 32,000-year-old seeds

Diet & Meals

Russians are hearty people. The bases of their main meals are pork, noodles, chicken, potatoes, cabbage, rice and soups. Pastries, preserved fruit and sweets are often served at the end of the meal. Everybody drinks tea or coffee at meals and elsewhere, but tea is a mainstay of Russian life.

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AFS Russia will expect participants to have some knowledge of basic English

Money: Host families pay only for ordinary family events in which you are expected to participate. As per the cost of living, you are recommended to budget about $100$120 per month and bring travelers cheques (preferred). Money can also be obtained by using a Debit Card (ATM and currency exchange fees applicable) or wiring services like Western Union.


Sweden

Start

End

August

June

15.8 to 18 Age Preference years

Capital Stockholm

Currency

Swedish Krona

Population

Approx. 9.76 Million

Religion Evangelical Lutheran (82%)

Location

Northern Europe bordered by Norway, Finland and Denmark

Language

Swedish (official); Sami, Romani, English (other)

DID

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Sweden is one of the most egalitarian societies in the world. Swedes may appear reserved at first, they tend to have terrific senses of humor and genuinely appreciate a joke. Family life is important, but family structure is diverse. Mutual respect between children and adults is nurtured at an early age. Swedish houses tend to be small and tidy. In this country, young people generally do not smoke.

Swedes are very sportsminded. Soccer, skiing, tennis, ice hockey are all popular. Ice skating and other winter sports are common. Favorite leisure activities include reading, attending cultural events such as the theater and concerts, and watching movies and television. In Sweden, boys and girls normally go to the cinema or coffee at the café for instance.

Swedish youth dress very casually. Both boys and girls wear blue jeans with shirts, T-shirts and sweaters. During the summers, casual summer clothes, like a few medium-weight sweaters, a light jacket or raincoat are preferred. An overcoat is necessary in the autumn, winter and spring. Low-heeled

Schools open in the middle of August and continue until early June. There is a oneweek vacation in November, two-week vacation at Christmas, one-week in February or March and one-week at Easter. The atmosphere in Swedish schools is fairly relaxed addressing teachers by their first name. Students in the upper secondary school also have many opportunities to choose different subjects. These choices should be made at the beginning of the year.

Most of Sweden has a temperate climate, despite its northern latitude, with four distinct seasons and mild temperatures throughout the year. The country can be divided into three types of climate; the southernmost part has an oceanic climate, the central part has a humid continental climate and the northernmost part has a subarctic climate.

YOU KNOW?

҄҄ Stockholm, capital of Sweden, is built on 14 islands and the city center is virtually situated on the water ҄҄ The pacemaker, ultrasound, safety match, astronomical lens, marine propeller, refrigerator, and computer mouse are all famous items that were invented in Sweden or by Swedes who weren’t living in Sweden ҄҄ The world’s first ice hotel was built in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, in the 1980s by architect Yngve Bergqvi

Diet & Meals

In recent years, Sweden has attained an international reputation for culinary excellence and standards are high at all levels. Common items of foods include potatoes, cheese, seafood, meat, fresh vegetables, salads and open-faced sandwiches. International dishes from various countries have now also become common.

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AFS Sweden will expect participants to have some basic English knowledge

Money: Host families pay only for ordinary family events in which you are expected to participate. As per the cost of living, you are recommended to budget about $200$300 per month and bring travelers cheque (preferred). Money can also be obtained by using a Debit Card (ATM and currency exchange fees applicable) or using wiring services like Western Union.


Switzerland

Start

End

August

July

16 to 18.5 Age Preference years

Capital Bern

Currency

Swiss Franc

Population

Approx. 8.2 Million

Religion Roman Catholic (41%); Protestant (35%); Islam (4.95%)

Location

Western-Central Europe bordered by Italy & France

Language

German; French; Italian; Romansh

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Family life is important to the Swiss and they often spend time with family taking trips to nearby natural resorts, as well as having healthy meals together. The Swiss have a love for the outdoors in this country and like to go hiking, skiing, and bicycling in the beautiful mountains and forests. The Swiss like to plan family outings and events.

Teenagers are generally given a fair amount of independence and privacy. During the week, high school students usually don’t go out with friends, but they are frequently involved with after-school sports, music lessons, and extracurricular clubs During the weekend, teenagers join clubs or to get involved in community activities such as village festivals, gymnastics meets or historic celebrations during the week. Many young people are involved in scouting.

Most Swiss teenagers don’t dress up for school. It is good to bring clothes that can be easily layered, including T-shirts, light-weight long sleeve shirts, heavier long sleeve shirts or sweatshirts and a coat. In general, Swiss people dress casually. Dark colored clothing is always popular. A light raincoat and travel umbrella are useful all year round.

The majority of exchange students will be placed in Matura schools or in Specialized Middle Schools. However, it can also be that exchange students will be placed in the Upper Secondary Level, depending on the age of the student and the school situation at his/her host place. Compulsory subjects are important to attend. Exceptions are made for foreign language classes of which the students do not have any previous knowledge.

Switzerland is located within a temperate climatic zone. The climate in the North is moderate. Winters are cold, while summers tend to be warm and sunny. Temperatures drop in the mountainous areas of Eastern Switzerland, and several mountain passes are closed during winter because of the snow.

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ For over 190 years Switzerland has been a neutral country during wartimes ҄҄ For the most part, the fresh water is so clear that you can drink out of rivers and lakes ҄҄ There is a giant three-legged chair in Geneva, Switzerland dedicated to the opposition of use of landmines ҄҄ The first ever youth hostel, established to protect the travelers from bandits, has been operating in the Swiss Alps for nearly 1,200 years

Diet & Meals

The evening dinner is the main meal of the day and is an opportunity for the family to eat together, exchange views and make plans. Swiss families tend to care about healthy foods. One famous dish is fondue, in which cheese is melted with white wine and eaten with bread cubes while rosti (a crispy, fried, shredded potato) is the Swiss-German national dish. Switzerland is famous for its chocolate. It is eaten frequently and used often in cooking.

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AFS Switzerland will expect participants to have some previous knowledge of German

Money: Host families pay only for ordinary family events in which you are expected to participate. You are recommended to budget about $100-$200 per month. Money can be obtained through ATMS and Currency exchange can be found in most SBB/CFF train stations as well as in any bank.


Thailand

Start

End

July

May

14.9 to 17.11 Age Preference years

Capital Bangkok

Currency Thai baht

Population

Approx. 67.2 Million

Religion Buddhist (93%); Muslim (5%); Christian, Hindu and Jews (2%)

Location

Centre of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia

Language

Thai (official), English

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ Thailand is home to the world’s ninth tallest statue, The Great Buddha of Thailand at the Wat Muang Monastery ҄҄ Kitti’s hog-nosed bat thought to be the world’s smallest mammal, found in Thailand. It weighs just 2 grams ҄҄ Bangkok was once crisscrossed by dozens of canals and it stood on stilts, earning it the nickname, ‘Venice of the East’

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Thais are generally respectful and reserved. They are also caring, warm-hearted and sensitive. Extended Thai families are very close and are customarily patriarchal. Both parents usually work. Caring for the children and managing the household are generally the responsibility of the wife. The father is more involved with work outside the home. Families are protective. Families enjoy spending weekends together at home. Thais don’t normally shake hands when they greet each other, instead they press the palms together in a prayer -like gesture called a “wai”.

Soccer, table tennis, badminton, and volleyball are the favorite sports. Thai schools are the center of the community and a teenager’s life revolves around schools. Some Thai siblings share clothes and accessories if they are the same gender and size and usually they ask for permission first.

Women wear kneelength or short skirt with a matching top or blouse. Many women also prefer to wear long wrap around skirts with a floral print top. Men generally prefers western clothes. Other types of dresses that are popular with Thai people are colorful batik sarongs, fisherman’s

Most of the schools are also the center of the community and the teachers are considered very important persons, to be respected. The school year starts mid -May and ends in March. There is a mid -year break in October. School days are Monday – Friday. Most AFS students take cultural subjects such as sword fighting, boxing, cooking, religion and meditation. At school, students must wear school uniform. As a rule, students should keep their hair short. Also revealing dresses, shorts, or sandals are not allowed.

The weather in Thailand is tropical and humid interspersed by the arrival of the rainy season or monsoons. The Thailand weather remains hot almost throughout the year. The weather in northern part of Thailand is predominantly dry and rain falls from (May to Nov). The southern peninsular region has two seasons: hot season and the dry season. Monsoon rain in this region falls from (Apr to Oct).

Diet & Meals

Rice is the staple food of Thailand often served with meat, fish, vegetables or egg dishes. Curry, peanut and pepper sauces are popular. Most Thai families share the evening meal together. Each person has their own bowl of rice and the other foods are placed in the center of the table to be shared by others.

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AFS Thailand will expect participants to know some basic English

Money: As per the cost of living In Thailand, you are recommended to budget about $200 per month and bring travelers cheques (preferred). Cash exchanges in Thailand incur NO commissions or fees.


USA

Start

End

August

June

15 to 18.6 Age Preference years

Capital Washington D.C.

Currency USD

Population

Approx. 320.09 Million

Religion Christianity (70.6%); Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam (collectively 6%)

Location

Central North America between Canada and Mexico

Language

English (primary); Spanish, French and Chinese (other)

Lifestyle & Family Living

Teen Life

Dress & Appearances

Education System

Climate

Families in the US come in all shapes and sizes. A family’s cultural background will most likely influence the rules and values of their home life. There really is no typical American family. Many US families have pets such as dogs, cats, birds, etc. and are often treated as a part of the family. In most families, all adult members of the family work. Many American families are actively religious.

The life of teens in the United States is centered on high school. Besides learning, studying, and socializing, teens spend their time participating in extracurricular activities such as sports (i.e. football, volleyball, swimming etc.) theater, debate, yearbook and student newspaper, clubs for photography, chess, international students, etc. During their leisure time, teens spend much time watching television or listening to music but many also have after school jobs.

For most of America casual is the main dress style. Blue Jeans are always popular among both the genders. Boys wear shirt, jacket and trousers while girls wear jackets and trousers or skirts. Both men and women in business wear suits. In casual settings, exercise and sports clothing is widely worn by men, women and children.

American classes usually do not have formal lectures. Teachers often prefer discussions in their classrooms and expect students to ask questions and contribute their own ideas and analysis. Class participation is a means by which teacher judge a student understands of the subject. The school year begins anywhere from mid- August to early September and runs anywhere from mid-May to late June.

The overall climate in the United States of America (USA) is temperate, with notable exceptions. Alaska has an Arctic tundra climate, while Hawaii and South Florida have a tropical climate. The Great Plains are dry, flat and grassy, turning into arid desert in the far West.

AFS USA will expect participants to have English test with a score of 50 or higher

Money: Host families pay only for ordinary family events in which you are expected to participate. As per the cost of living In USA, you are recommended to budget about $2500 for a year for personal expenses. Travelers’ cheques can be cashed at local banks. Opening a bank account with the help of host family is convenient option for easy money management.

DID YOU KNOW?

҄҄ The US is the 4th largest country in the world by land area and 3rd by population ҄҄ Americans eat about 100 acres of pizza each day, with about 3 billion pizzas sold annually in the USA. ҄҄ Hawaii is the most recent of the 50 states in the US (joining in 1959) and is the only one made up entirely of islands

Diet & Meals

Food in the United States is as diverse as the geography and the people that live here. Three course meals includes: elaborate breakfast (cereal, eggs, toast, pancakes, coffee, and/or fruit juice), light lunch (sandwiches, soups, french fries and more) and Dinner, which is considered the main meal of the day. Full desserts (puddings) are typically only served after dinner. Other dishes include donuts, smoothies, coffee and coffee blended drinks.

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PARTNER COUNTRY SPECIFIC CRITERIA AUSTRIA SR - Basic knowledge of GERMAN is required, strongly advise pax to get vaccination for Hepat. A & B BELGIUM FLANDERS MI - Dedicated to learn DUTCH BELGIUM FRENCH SR - Basic knowledge of GERMAN is Knowledge of French is required, 2 years French class attendance certificate required or official attest of level (min A1) MI - Students will have to take some exams in December and all exams in June BRAZIL SR - Strongly advise pax to get Yellow Fever and Hepatitis B immunization MI - Placement for students taking prescribed drugs is almost impossible. On a consultation basis only CANADA SR - Strong basic knowledge of FRENCH & ENGLISH MI - No allergies to pets and no vegetarians CHINA SR - Basic CHINESE will be welcomed MI - Applicants with any chronic diseases or special health condition should be communicated with AFS China hosting beforehand. Please finish all vaccinations listed on Health Form 3A of the application.

CZECH REPUBLIC SR - Must Vaccinations for MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertusis, Polio, Hepat. A & B MI - ENGLISH on communicative level, Students with allergies to dogs or cats are difficult to place DENMARK MI - Dedicated to learn DANISH EGYPT MI - Basic ENGLISH is required FINLAND SR - Good general health, Tetanus vaccination required. Students with ADD/ADHD diagnosis not accepted MI - Average ENGLISH skills required FRANCE SR - Basic comprehension of FRENCH and ENGLISH, Participants must be immunized against diphtheria, poliomyelitis and tetanus MI - Immunizations must for Pertussis, BCG and Hepatitis B GERMAN SR - Basic GERMAN is preferred as it is useful for school HUNGARY SR - It is recommended to speak basic ENGLISH and learn some basic HUNGARIAN

ITALY SR - Italy is very strict about not accepting students with psychological difficulties. Vaccinations needed Diphtheria, Tetanus, Poliomyelitis, Hepatitis B MI - A good knowledge of ENGLISH or ITALIAN is extremely helpful for students during the initial adjustment period JAPAN SR - No vegetarians and no lacto ovo, NO students with ADD/ ADHD/LD/Asperger’s Disorder, Candidates with severe allergies are very hard to place MI - In the light of tuberculosis prevention, exchange students may require a chest X-ray examination MEXICO SR - No physical disable participants, no eating-disorders, no epilepsy disorders, no heartdiseases, psychological disorders MI - Spanish language communication level desirable NETHERLANDS SR - Strong willingness to learn Dutch. For all non-European students, require an ELRF upon admission. In some cases a English test to be taken MI - Candidates must be in good general health and meet the medical criteria

INDONESIA SR - Basic ENGLISH is a must

COSTA RICA MI - Some basic to intermediate skills in SPANISH

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NORWAY SR - Basic knowledge of Norwegian language is highly recommended. Do not promote the program as an English-speaking destination MI - Candidates must be in good medical health, both physically and mentally, cannot accept a large number of students with allergies PHILIPPINES SR - Basic English Communication MI - Cannot accept vegetarians PORTUGAL SR - Basic Portuguese skills required

SWEDEN SR - Students should have good knowledge of SWEDISH & ENGLISH upon arrival MI - Only few candidates with allergies or pet allergies can be accepted every year THAILAND SR - No graduate students are acceptable MI - Basic ENGLISH is required, Mental sickness not acceptable

MI - Preferably students with no pets allergies, since most families have pets

UNITED STATES SR - Candidates must be in good general health and meet the medical criteria, Can consider students with diabetes, appreciated if clearly mentioned earlier about pet allergy

RUSSIA SR - Graduate students must be ready to go back to high school, possibly not senior year

MI - English test with a minimum score of 212 (English Language Recommendation Form handwritten)

MI - basic English is recommended, Candidates must be in good general health and meet the medical criteria SWITZERLAND SR - Previous knowledge of GERMAN. The BMI must fall between the 5th and the 85th percentile of the respective age group MI - AFS SUI prefers students within the top quartile. French placements are not possible without previous language background (at least 2 years)

*According to our understanding and as per Indian terms, school graduate means student who passed 10+2 SR - Special Requirement(s) MI - Most Important


AFS Mission AFS Intercultural Programs is an international, voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world. AFS Values AFS enables people to act as responsible global citizens working for peace and understanding in a diverse world. It acknowledges that peace is a dynamic concept threatened by injustice, inequity, and intolerance. AFS seeks to affirm faith in the dignity and worth of every human being and of all nations and cultures. It encourages respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction as to race, sex, language, religion or social status. AFS activities are based on our core values of dignity, respect for differences, harmony, sensitivity and tolerance.

Learn more about AFS at india.afs.org Be inspired by our history at india.afs.org/afs-timeline/ Connect with us at: facebook.com/afsindia youtube.com/afsindiaofficial afsindiablog.wordpress.com/ twitter.com/IndiaAFS instagram.com/afs_india/

AFS Intercultural Programs India Anand Bhawan, 12, Hailey Road, New Delhi - 110001 Office:+91-11-42512498/41501672/41540827 www.india.afs.org | india@afs.org

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Profile for AFS Intercultural Programs India

Open Up Your World to New Possibilities  

Check out this exclusive booklet prepared for you to get an insight about various AFS countries' culture, traditions, lifestyle, teenage lif...

Open Up Your World to New Possibilities  

Check out this exclusive booklet prepared for you to get an insight about various AFS countries' culture, traditions, lifestyle, teenage lif...

Profile for afsindia