Colombia is located in the northwestern corner of South America and borders Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. The northern coast faces the Caribbean Sea, the western towards the Pacific Ocean. The Andes Mountains divide in western Colombia into three smaller mountain ranges that stretch from north to south and divide the country into three: the western slopes, the central valley and to the east the lowlands with the Amazon rainforest and the great swamp savannah Los Llanos.
Colombia is a stunningly beautiful country, which accommodates many different habitats from snow-capped mountains and volcanoes at the equator to fog rainforest, mangrove forest, desert and savannah. On the Caribbean coasts there are almost paradisiacal areas with white sandy beaches and coral reefs. Colombia also includes the idyllic islands of San Andres and Providencia, located far to the north off the coast of Nicaragua.
One of the words that best characterizes Colombia is diversity. Located between two seas, Colombia is the bridge between Central and South America. After centuries of European influence, and a history full of mysteries and adventurers, Colombia today has an incredibly diverse mix of cultures, languages, dialects, landscape, cooking and an almost infinite amount of raw materials.
Colombian society is undergoing a major change in these times, where a showdown with crime and drug barons, as well as peace negotiations internally with rebel movements, herald new and more peaceful times. Colombia’s cheerful and hospitable people and culture have fascinated tourists and visitors for centuries.
- CAPITAL CITY: Bogotá
- LANGUAGE: Spanish
- CURRENCY: Peso (COP)
- AREA: 1,141,748 km2
- POPULATION: 48,663,285
People and community
Your host family will play a big role in your leisure activities and the intercultural experience you get in Colombia. Colombian families can be very conservative and protective of their children, no matter how old the children are. Therefore, you should always tell your parents what your plans are and ask permission.
You may attend either a public or private school in Colombia. Depending on the school, the school year will extend either from February to November or from August to June. The most normal is from February to November. According to TopSchoolsintheUSA, the school week runs from Monday to Friday, and the hours also vary depending on the school. All students wear uniforms. Leisure activities are offered in some schools, and most schools offer bus connections in the morning and afternoon.
Spanish is the most widely spoken language in Colombia. You must have a basic knowledge of Spanish before the program, and AFS will provide you with links and materials so that you have the opportunity to improve your Spanish before your stay.
In Colombia, food is rich in carbohydrates, and meals usually consist of meat, potatoes, rice beans and patacon , which are fried bananas. Fruit juices are very popular and you may be surprised at the diversity of fruits that you can get your fingers into.