South Africa has many ethnic groups, each of whom is proud of their language, traditions and religious beliefs. There are a number of local cuisines, so be prepared to get a lot of new flavors.
Teenagers in South Africa socialize most in school and spend a lot of energy studying and reading. Leisure time is often spent spending time with family and hanging out with friends. If you love sports, this is the place to be, because in South Africa football, rugby and cricket are a hit.
- CAPITAL CITY: Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein
- LANGUAGE: Afrikaans, Sotho, Southern Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu, English
- CURRENCY: South African Rand (ZAR)
- AREA: 1,221,037 km2
- POPULATION: 54,956,900 (2015 estimate)
People and community
You may be staying with a family that speaks one of the 11 languages spoken in South Africa. Family members will probably hug you and openly express their feelings. Courtesy is very important. Religion plays a significant role in most South African families, and it is very common to attend some form of religious gathering on a weekly basis. Host families are often very protective.
According to TopSchoolsintheUSA, schools in South Africa are strict and challenging. Students wear uniforms and treat teachers with great respect. The school day starts between 7:30 and 8:00 and ends between 14:00 and 15:00. English is spoken in most schools. If you want to experience an Afrikaans language school, then it is a good idea to let AFS in South Africa know.
There are 11 official languages in South Africa and some even speak all 11 fluently: Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho and Afrikaans are the four most common languages in AFS host families, but English is also widespread. It is therefore a good starting point if you have a basic knowledge of English, and it can prove useful to also have a little knowledge of Afrikaans.
Meat is a daily sight in the South African diet, although the cuisine varies greatly depending on ethnicity. South Africans love to grill, or braais , which is to grill steaks, chops or spicy sausages ( boerewors ) over hot charcoal. Many South Africans also enjoy dried meat, which is called bilton , or a corn porridge ( cardboard ) with meat or vegetables.