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Colombia’s diverse, vibrant lifestyle is influenced by its indigenous, African, and European heritage. On this two week Global Prep program, you and your group will explore the country’s dynamic culture, starting with the city of Popayan, which offers ornate churches, colorful markets, and fascinating archeological sites.

You’ll also have the chance to venture into Colombia’s lush natural landscape and take part in activities like horseback riding and hiking. By living with a local host family, you’ll truly become a part of Colombian daily life as you share conversations and cultural insights around the dinner table.

Eligibility Requirements

Age
14years 0month(s) to 17years 11month(s)

Language
Medium English will ensure you can enjoy the program and are able to interact with the other multinational participants.
Spanish will also be useful.

If you want an authentic experience to fuel your passion for social change, culture, nature, or science—make friends while making a real impact through AFS Global Prep!

Start Here!
With a simple formula, your AFS Global Prep will empower you to change your world, engage in hands-on activities, and create benefit for the community.
EXP2

Thrive in an incredible new place, unlike anything you’ve experienced so far, and create authentic connections that will last a lifetime!

Where else can I go?
LEARN2

Pursue your interests, while becoming a real global citizen through an AFS structured intercultural learning program

What is Global Competency?
IMP1

Leave your mark on the communities you touch and work towards impacting your future prospects

Your Program

COL-Group

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fter you settle in, you’ll take a tour of Popayan, exploring twisty, windy streets and visiting the amazing churches and museums that make the city unique.

One of the highlights is sure to be El Morro del Tulcán, a Pre-Colombian pyramid built by the indigenous people of the area. Next you’ll head to the nearby town of Silvia to learn about the indigenous Guambiano people (who still live in the town today) and visit a local market.

For one of many hands-on cultural experiences, you and your group will visit Santa Julia to learn how traditional foods like arepas and tortillas are made.

Enjoy Colombia like a local!

Exploring the area

Round out your cultural experience with fun activities like dance lessons, nature walks, and city bike tours.

To unwind, you’ll have the chance to go horseback riding and play paintball. You and your group will also spend a few days at the Puracé national park, where you can visit natural wonders like hot springs and towering volcanos.

You might even spot a condor (a gigantic bird native to the Andes Mountains) soaring overhead! When you get back to the city, you’ll have some time to see more of the highlights of Popayan, like Parque Caldas.

This central plaza is a good place to relax while munching on a light snack and having a long chat with your friends.

Apply now!

Accommodation

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Ajiato and Tostones

During your two week program, you’ll get an inside look at Colombian culture by living with a local host family. This is a great chance to learn about life in Latin America and maybe even practice some Spanish phrases! Together, you and your host family can visit nearby sites or go shopping for local crafts to bring home to your friends. Whether you eat at home with your host family or go out to local restaurants with your group, you’ll get to enjoy some delicious local foods like ajiato (chicken and potato soup) and tostones (fried plantain slices).

Returning Home

“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. “Transformed” is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.

Apply now!

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