What we do


Educate and activate global citizens

AFS prepares and activates future leaders, global citizens and changemakers with essential 21stcentury intercultural skills to engage, lead and collaborate effectively in different cultural settings. Our international exchange, study abroad and volunteer programs are supported by research-based intercultural learning journeys facilitated by trained AFS volunteers and staff.

AFS Exchange and Study Abroad Programs 

From High School Study Abroad, Language Learning, Volunteer Abroad, Gap Year Opportunities, Adult Study Abroad, Internships Abroad, Teacher Exchanges and Summer/ Short-term Study Abroad we are a pioneer on Intercultural Education.

Host Family Programs 

Hosting an AFS student is a rewarding and meaningful intercultural learning adventure for the entire family—sharing cultures, traditions and gaining new perspectives. 

Volunteer Opportunities 

AFS local volunteers are the driving force of AFS programs and active at all levels—supporting students and families through their AFS intercultural journeys, participating in governance and policy development and leading social impact projects with local schools and communities.  

Intercultural Learning and Global Citizenship Education 

We help people of all ages and backgrounds develop leadership, problem-solving, language and intercultural skills needed to succeed in a global economy and make a positive difference in the world. 

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What we believe in

By linking our “learning to live together” philosophy to the defining global issues facing humanity, AFS fosters intercultural understanding as a powerful and productive tool for building a more just and peaceful world. The AFS global community embraces differences and believes our world is stronger and more interesting because of them.

AFS Mission 

AFS Intercultural Programs is an international, voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.

AFS Values 

AFS enables people to act as responsible global citizens working for peace and understanding in a diverse world. It acknowledge that peace is a dynamic concept threatened by injustice, inequity, and intolerance.

AFS seeks to affirm faith in the dignity and worth of every human being and of all nations and cultures. It encourages respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction as to race, sex, language, religion or social status.

AFS activities are based on our core values of dignity, respect for differences, harmony, sensitivity and tolerance.

How we make a difference

Living, studying and volunteering across borders and in multicultural communities transforms lives, prepares global citizens and empowers changemakers. That’s what we call “The AFSEffect!” Our global community is:
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Transformative: At different stages on amazing intercultural journeys—living, volunteering, working and collaborating with people around the world.


Multigenerational: A global community of students, young adults, volunteers, families, educators, alumni, and staff engaged and energized working together.


Inclusive: A welcoming, supportive network of confident, open-minded AFSers building bridges across cultures.


Everywhere: Making a difference in communities, across industries and at the forefront of important international issues and social causes.  

AFS Alumni

Be inspired by outstanding AFS alumni demonstrating the power of the #AFSeffect.  AFS has more than 1 million alumni (former participants, volunteers, host families and staff) around the world. If you are interested in reconnecting with AFS or want to find out more about AFS alumni activities.

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The AFS global citizenship education agenda

AFS is an inclusive community of global citizens committed to help the world learn to live together.

What is global citizenship education?

Global citizenship education is a transformative, lifelong pursuit that involves both formal learning and practical experience. Global citizenship education helps people of all ages:

  • Respect cultural, gender, faith and other differences
  • Become more aware of the world beyond our own
  • Understand our responsibilities as members of the global human community
  • Embrace our roles in protecting our planet for a sustainable future
  • Be mindful about how what we do locally impacts the greater world

Learn more about the #AFSeffect for global citizens

AFS Alliances, Affiliations & Memberships


As of 2015, AFS is proud to have entered into a “consultative status” partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This status enables both organizations to collaborate on initiatives of mutual interest and social good.

AFS works closely and creatively with schools, universities, humanitarian and peace groups, governments and other NGOs on the issues that reflect our mission.

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