Uruguay, sandwiched between Brazil and Argentina, is South America’s smallest country. In fact, it’s about the same size as the state of Washington. Uruguay’s landscape remains relatively unchanged over time, as it has not been subject to many natural disasters. The gaucho (a cowboy-like figure) is held as a symbol of Uruguay’s resilient independence in Uruguayan culture. Uruguayans often take pride in being one of Latin America’s more culturally advanced and socially progressive nations.
- Airport Pick-up
- Host Family Placement
- School Placement
- Medical Insurance
- 24/7 Emergency Support
- Field Trips
- Cultural Tours
- Assistance with Application Process
- Visa Application Assistance
- Pre-Departure Orientation
- Orientations during your time abroad
- Access to Alumni Network
- Continuous Support
- Worldwide Presence
- 70 Years Experience
- Visa and Passport Fees
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Language and Culture
The official language of Uruguay is Spanish.
Uruguayan people tend to be politically aware and socially conscious with progressive attitudes. Uruguayans can be opinionated and place a large value on individualism and education. They typically favor an indirect communication style where people are expected to implicitly gather meaning.
In Uruguayan culture, personal space tends to be limited during conservation, and individuals might touch or stand closely while conversing. Direct eye contact may be interpreted as confrontational unless greetings have already been exchanged.
Uruguayans are emotive communicators. They tend to ask many personal questions and it can be considered impolite if one does not ask questions. It is also common for Uruguayans to show their passion or enthusiasm for a topic by interrupting others mid-conversation. Interruptions are viewed as a demonstration of one’s interest, similar to asking many personal questions.
In Uruguayan culture, families are interwoven tightly together. The average Uruguayan family has one or two children. It’s common for families to have grandparents living with them at their home. Parents and children tend to have an open relationship in which they discuss their opinions and plans, and the parents usually have the final say. Uruguayan parents seem to always emphasize what their children don’t do, or what they do poorly. It’s somewhat normal for Uruguayan children to be lectured. This attitude doesn’t represent a lack of trust or respect. On the contrary, in Uruguayan culture, it is a sign of attention, and above all, affection and care. Parental decisions are respected and followed, and parents have the last word in family matters.
Uruguayan teens have very active social lives, meeting with friends after school and going out to eat, the cinema and dancing on weekends. Friends are around so often in fact, that teens seem to lack much privacy and may consider their friend’s property theirs as well. Most teenagers are a part of sports teams. In Argentinian culture, teenagers are expected to help their parents with chores around the house.
Let AFS guide your intercultural adventure
Kick-start your future with AFS and discover who you really are, make new lifetime friendships and immerse yourself in a fascinating intercultural experience.
This programme begins at your home country with a pre-departure orientation and continues with orientations, other supported learning activities and facilitated conversations which will help you maximize your experience, cope with the challenges of navigating a new culture and community as well as gain knowledge, skills, and a global understanding throughout your time abroad, and as you return to your home country. AFS volunteers will be there to support and guide you and your host family the whole way through.