Intercultural experiences; innovative learning journeys

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Study Abroad

AFS international programs are supported by facilitated intercultural and global competency curriculums. 

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Volunteerism

AFS volunteers are trained to guide unique intercultural learning journeys for students, families and other volunteers. 

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Host Families

AFS transformed hosting into a creative intercultural learning program, complete with objectives and activities. 

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Schools

AFS helps schools create dynamic intercultural workshops, class exchanges and events to enrich the entire school community.

The AFS Global Citizenship Education Agenda

AFS prepares and activates global citizens of all ages and backgrounds—and we support a global movement to advance intercultural learning and global citizenship education, especially in schools, university and youth organizations.

Our Global Citizenship Agenda

Learning as a journey of change

Intercultural challenges and learning moments are inevitable parts of our everyday lives, our classrooms and public spaces. 

To prepare people to engage effectively across cultural and other differences, we offer transformative learning journeys that are customized to students, families, volunteers, adults and communities.

Each AFS journey is designed around these six principles:

1. Learning as a journey of change
2. Goals-based curriculums + methods
3. Immersive experiences + structured learning
4. Non-formal learning environments
5. Experiential learning = enhanced learning
6. Learning for life + lifelong learning

 

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AFS Educational Approach

AFS Student Intercultural Learning Journey & Curriculum

Universities and employers seek students and young adults who have a sense of the world beyond their own communities—and are comfortable interacting with people from other countries and cultures. Find out how our skills-building curriculum prepares young people to live, work and help make the world a better place at home or across the globe.

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Host Family Intercultural Learning Journey & Curriculum

The AFS Host Family Program is now supported by the AFS Host Family Intercultural Learning Journey. The Learning Journey helps families support their hosted students’ intercultural experience—and prepares family members to become global citizens. 

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Intercultural Learning Program for AFS Volunteers and Staff

The AFS Intercultural Link Learning Program helps our volunteers and staff improve their intercultural skills, teaches them about key education theories and practices, and makes them better able to support the learning of others.

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Intercultural education reinforces 21st century education goals

We educate global citizens and the world leaders of tomorrow, and help them to:
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Broaden perspectives

about themselves and the world around them

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Learn and respect differences

and believe a diverse world is a stronger and more interesting place

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Communicate and collaborate across cultures

in a sensitive and mindful way

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Appreciate other cultures

and encourage others to be open to new ideas, attitudes and traditions

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Build skills to use in STEM and other key areas

by using critical thinking and problem solving activities

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Become part of the AFS global community

to build bridges across cultures and bring diverse communities together

AFS for Educators & Schools

Schools play an important role in the AFS student exchange experience. They send and host AFS students, and work with AFS to create school-based intercultural learning programs. AFS also collaborates with educators and education ministries to develop local, regional and national intercultural learning and global citizenship education policies and initiatives.

Inquire about AFS School Programs
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AFS Teacher Exchanges

AFS offers international professional development opportunities designed specifically for educators to become more global in their classroom practice. 

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AFS Classroom Exchange

AFS arranges short classroom exchange programs for a group of students to meet peers from another country and engage in intercultural learning together. Online and in-person options are  available.   

AFS Alliances & Partnerships

“There is a clear relevance of AFS’ work to the current programs and activities of UNESCO, particularly in the fields of education, youth, and intercultural dialogue. Indeed, cooperation between UNESCO and AFS has a solid foundation based on many areas of common interest, synergies and previous collaborations.”

—Irina Bokova, Director General, UNESCO

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AFS & UNESCO

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.

Go to UNESCO's Global Citizenship Education site
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AFS Global Citizenship Education Agenda supports

UN Sustainable Development Goal #4

Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning  

Specifically, Goal #4 focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to promote “sustainable development” and “sustainable lifestyles,” human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.

Learn more about Goal #4

Events for global citizens

We believe fostering intercultural learning is a powerful tool to bring diverse communities together and address conflicts and challenges. Be inspired by AFS intercultural learning events around the world.

Learn more about education events

Resources and Good Reads

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AFS Perspectives: Helping the world learn to live together

Written by AFS experts from around the world, this blog champions diverse perspectives about culture and education, inspiring readers to become intercultural leaders of their communities.

Read Perspectives
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Connect: Intercultural Insights for Global Citizens

This digital magazine explores intercultural and global citizenship education, voluntarism and social impact, through articles, interviews, and learning tools created by respected thought leaders and experts.

Read Connect
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Intercultural Learning (ICL) for AFS & Friends

Series of insightful and concise essays on key intercultural concepts based on research and practical experiences. The series is produced by AFS education experts for anyone studying about or working with intercultural topics.

Access the series
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AFS Exchange Program Research

AFS research efforts focus on achieving a deeper understanding of the impact of exchange programs, intercultural and experiential learning, often working in partnership with leading institutions and notable individuals.

Read Research
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The Volunteers: Americans Join World War I, 1914—1919

This Curriculum for secondary school educators takes a unique approach to volunteerism, intercultural competence and global citizenship education, since the volunteer efforts of young people during World War I until today.

Read The Volunteers