Chile is a friendly country and home to a stunning variety of natural wonders, from the towering Andes Mountains to the penguin colonies of Patagonia to the historic city of Santiago. A passion for the arts, especially literature, is shared by many across Chile’s diverse ethnic groups. Chile’s most famous writer, Nobel Prize Winner Pablo Neruda, called it “the country made for poets.”

Teenagers in Chile like to get together at friends’ houses, go to movies, gather in the town square, go to parties and dance, or just hang out in the local café. You can also join activities organized by your school, like sports, language, drama or science clubs.

Host Family & Community

Most host families in Chile live in or near urban areas. Chileans tend to be very family-focused, and children are taught to have a strong respect for their parents. Check in with your parents before you make plans or decisions.


The school year runs from March through December (8 am until 5 pm), Monday through Friday. You will probably attend a private high-school or a private subsidized school, where you’ll need to wear a uniform. Over the year, you will study 10–13 subjects with the same group of classmates.

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The official language of Chile is Spanish, and some people also speak English, German, or Mapudungun (the language of the Mapuche). Having a basic knowledge of Spanish will be helpful. You can participate in language lessons provided by AFS, and local volunteers may arrange independent language study for you during the first months.


While breakfast is usually very light, lunch is the main meal of the day in Chile. It can include meat (beef, lamb, pork or chicken) or fish with rice or pasta and vegetables, soups and salads. In the afternoon, enjoy an onces: tea or coffee with bread and butter or marmalade and pastry. Some families have a late dinner, which includes similar foods as lunch. A variety of fruits is available throughout the year.

Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure

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

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


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

Explore the Programs Available in Chile