Youth For Understanding USA
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What kind of exchange experience do you want?
I want to spend a all program lengths  studying in Uruguay, or maybe all regions. And I'm looking for something with a traditional exchange  and I definitely want to show off my need for  any language skills. Can I go whenever?
  • All around the world.

    all regions
    Africa & Middle East
    Asia & Pacific
    Eastern Europe
    Latin America
    Scandinavian Countries
    Western Europe
    North America
  • Pick a place, any place.

    Say what?

    Any language requirements?

     Any  Yes  No
  • What I'm into.

    a traditional exchange
    a gap year option
    college & university programs
    language classes
    a connection to the Arts
    sports & outdoors
    a volunteer program
  • How long I want to go.

    All program lengths

    When can I leave?

    May to September
    December to March
Show me my options >


Scholarships Available

385 - Holcomb & Farnell Foreign Stud...
314 - The YFU Americas Scholarship
368 - YFU Community Grant
384 - YFU Financial Aid Fund

Age Requirement

2019 Spring departure: December 31, 2000 - January 1, 2004. 2019 Fall departure: April 1, 2001 - July 31, 2004. 2019 Summer Program: April 1, 2001 - July 31, 2004. Students who do not meet the age requirements or will graduate from high school before the start of their program will be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.


Spanish. Previous language study is not required. Summer Program students will attend a 5 week Spanish as a second language course with 100 hours of class and have the option to receive a certificate. Year and Semester Program students will take an 80 hour intensive Spanish course for 2 weeks after their arrival in Montevideo as well as up to 40 hours of lessons during their program. All students are placed with host families who speak Spanish, though families in the north may also speak Portuñol.

Host Family Placement

Summer Program students will be placed with families in the greater Montevideo area. Year and Semester exchange students may be placed throughout Uruguay in small cities (up to 30,000 people), medium-sized cities (31,000-125,000 people), and the countryside, with occasional placements in metropolitan areas. Family life is very important in Uruguay!


March to November, with summer vacation from December through February.


Optional trips are available for an additional fee to year and semester students, including to the hot springs in Salto, Iguaçu Falls, La Paloma, Córdoba Highlands, Crows' Creek, Colonia and Buenos Aires. YFU Uruguay volunteers also organize cultural activities throughout the year such as outings to carnivals and festivals and soccer matches.

Uruguay offers picturesque scenery of beaches, dunes, and large lagoons. Experience the intimate beauty of Uruguay, where the people are warm and the land is welcoming. You'll enjoy getting to know the people of this small but unique country!
Learn more about Uruguay.

Summer Program

Discover Uruguay: Spanish Language Course 

On this summer program (which is actually winter in Uruguay), students live with a local volunteer host family in metropolitan Montevideo and immerse themselves in Uruguay's unique culture.  After a 2 day arrival orientation, students are enrolled in a Spanish language course according to their level at Academia Uruguay for 5 weeks.  During the final week, students will get a chance to put their Spanish to the test by visiting to a local high school in Montevideo. YFU Uruguay also organizes optional cultural activities that have included visiting a traditional ranch, attending carnivals and football matches, and experiencing all that Uruguayan culture has to offer!


Academic Year and Semester Programs

While in Uruguay you will live with a carefully selected host family and attend a local high school. Whether you stay for a year or semester, you're sure to make life long friends! Part of your experience will be:


School: As a student, you will choose a track of studies such as biology, science, humanities, or liberal arts. Courses within the tracks are generally compulsory. School placement in a private school is possible, and students may be required to wear a uniform. Expectations of students it high, so it will be very important for students to take studies seriously.


Language Courses: All students will attend an intensive 2 week language course after arrival in Montevideo.  With 80 hours of language training, this is especially helpful for students with no prior knowledge of Spanish.  All students will take a Spanish as a Second Language course, consisting of up to 40 hours of lessons throughout the exchange experience, included in the program tuition.  Students will be placed in an appropriate level based on a language test prior to arrival.  At the end of the program, students can take a final exam in Spanish designed by a certified language academy. 


Orientations: All students applying for the semester or year program must be available for a mandatory 3-day National Pre-Departure Orientation, which usually takes place in mid-July. This orientation is a required part of the program aimed at preparing students for their experience overseas. All students will participate in a one-day local pre-departure orientation in May or June. Upon arrival, students attend a four-day orientation where they learn more about life in Uruguay and work on their language skills. To kick off the program, students also attend an intensive Spanish language course, from which they receive a certificate of completion from YFU and a final grade. Year students participate in a mid-year orientation, and all students will participate in a three-day re-entry orientation in order to reflect on their experiences and prepare for reverse culture shock.


Extracurriculars: Uruguayan schools rarely offer extracurricular activities. However, YFU students are encouraged to get involved in their communities by joining local clubs, teams, art institutes, and other activities in their towns.


Optional Excursions: In addition to regional cultural activities and events, YFU Uruguay offers plenty of rich opportunities for you to experience South America through optional trips organized by YFU volunteers and available at an additional cost. These options include:


October: A weekend visit to Crows' Creek to enjoy nature and bird watching in the park, with organized recreational activities.  


November: A 3-day weekend to the hot springs in Salto, with organized recreational activities and stays in cabins.


December: A 6-day YFU summer camp in La Paloma, visiting seaside nature resorts, touring a castle and lighthouse, and enjoying the spectacular beaches.  


February: A 6-day trip to Iguaçu Falls, one of the world wonders on the border with Argentina and Brazil.  Participate in eco-adventure activities like rappelling, hiking, bird-watching, and canoeing or experience a dinner show and attend a festival. 


February: A 6-day trip to Córdoba Highlands with an outdoor adventure camp and activities. 


May: A 5-day trip to Colonia and Buenos Aires, with guided city tours, museum visits, and historical sightseeing. Take a ferry between the two cities and stay in a hotel. 


More information about all of these optional cultural expeditions will be offered at the arrival orientation in Uruguay.



Gap Year Abroad

The traditional Academic programs are also available as Gap Year Abroad options. Learn more about other gap year programs.



Tuition Includes

-Placement with a host family

-Spanish course 
-Enrollment in a local Uruguayan high school
-Airport transfers
-Domestic and international travel
-All pre-departure and post arrival orientations
-Pre-program support by trained YFU staff
-Support from a YFU Uruguay Area Representative while on program
-Comprehensive insurance


Additional Information: 


Visa Information:  Information regarding residence permits, visas and other immigration processes will be provided upon enrollment.  Note: Optional trips to Argentina will also require a visa. 


Additional Costs: Program tuition does not include personal spending money or funds for textbooks, uniforms, extracurricular activities, or transportation to and from school. 




Programs Code Departure Return Full Tuition
Fall Year
Spring Year

0125 *
0168 *

mid August
late January

early July
late January

Fall Semester
Spring Semester

0184 *
0199 *

mid August
late January

late January
early July


0123 *

late June

early August


* Programs also available to graduates