The Philippines is the third largest English speaking country in the world. It has a rich history combining Asian, European, and American influences.  Many Filipinos celebrate traditional festivities known as barrio fiestas (district festivals) to commemorate the feast days of patron saints.

Teens in the Philippines attend dance schools, participate in sports like basketball, tennis, badminton, volleyball and biking. and belong to youth groups at churches and community organizations. Joining in and being part of group is expected.

Host Family & Community

You will probably live in an urban area, like the capital city of a Filipino province. Family life is highly treasured and households often include extended family. 

coastal clean-up 💪 #ontopofthejeepney #pilipinas

A photo posted by Nadja Grace (@graceosaa) on Aug 22, 2016 at 10:45pm PDT

lovin' school!📚🇵🇭

A photo posted by @brittanyemmaaa on Aug 7, 2015 at 4:17am PDT


You will probably attend a private school, and it may be an all boys or all girls school. The school year runs from June to March, Mondays to Fridays (7am until 5pm). Typical subjects include English, math, science, Filipino, humanities, etc. Most classes are held in English and students wear uniforms. Schools also offer a range of extracurricular activities such as contests, exhibits, games, and workshops.


English and Filipino are the official languages of the Philippines. However, depending on the classification, 120 to 175 languages are used. Although Filipino and English are used in schools and everyday life, most people outside cities do not speak much English. Having a basic knowledge of English will be helpful. You will participate in language lessons provided by AFS, and local volunteers may help arrange independent language study for you during your first months in the Philippines.

☀️🇵🇭 #elnido #philippines

A photo posted by Nadja Grace (@graceosaa) on Apr 23, 2016 at 12:55am PDT


Filipino cuisine is one of the richest cuisines in the world influenced throughout its long and colorful history by the Malays, Spanish, Mexican, Arab, Chinese, American, Indian and Japanese. Different regions and islands of the country also have their own unique flavors and produce. The staple food is rice, and it is usually served at every meal. Dishes range from the very simple, like fried salted fish and rice, to the more elaborate ones, such as the paellas, which include rice, beans, meat, snails, and seasoning. Filipino taste buds tend to favor robust flavors, but the cuisine is not as spicy as those of its neighbors.

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.