IntVolunteerDay_THANKYOU

iNTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER DAY 2016

AFS Volunteers create change!

To all of our awesome and hardworking volunteers, thank you! Their dedication, passion and expertise are what makes the #AFSeffectpossible. On this International Volunteer Day they not only deserve a #GlobalApplause, they deserve a standing ovation! See the winners of the AFS Outstanding Volunteers Awards 2016, watch an interview with the President & CEO of AFS, and read about how volunteering is shaping the world around you.

Take me there!

AFS transforms volunteers into global citizens and changemakers

We call that the #AFSeffect!
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Create change

Change the world by changing minds. Help AFSers and your community appreciate and celebrate cultural differences.

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Create community

Join a global community of change-makers and people like you. Serve as a change agent in your community.

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Create yourself

Develop practical cross-cultural skills and find your place as a global citizen, leader and changemaker in your community.

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Create future

Lead diverse teams at home or around the world and promote inclusive societies for sustainable development. 

How to become an AFS Volunteer

STEP1

Send an inquiry

To ensure the safety of and support to AFS students, all volunteers must be registered. Our application process is thorough and provides what we need to make volunteers successful. Feel stuck? We’re here to help. 

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Meet AFS volunteers

Find out more about us and what volunteering with AFS is all about. Then together we can clarify the best role for you based on availability, and what you want to learn and do. 

STEP3

Get trained

Receive basic training to be an AFS Volunteer, including What Every AFSer Should Know About Intercultural Learning™,  to prepare for an engaging, meaningful volunteer assignment. 

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Begin your journey

You will have an amazing time no matter what you do for AFS. You’ll meet interesting students, make friends from around the world, work with passionate volunteers and gain intercultural and other skills that will last a lifetime. 

Every volunteer makes a huge impact at AFS

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Support

  • Match AFS students with host families
  • Help host families get to know their AFS student
  • Be a liaison for host schools
  • Introduce international students to your community
  • Check in with students or host families regularly to monitor programs
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Plan

  • Organize orientations for study abroad and hosting programs
  • Arrange awesome social events and cultural trips
  • Bring host families together to share experiences
  • Set-up information sessions for students, families or volunteers
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Train

  • Guide AFSers and others through intercultural learning journeys
  • Introduce students to your country’s culture
  • Facilitate learning through creative activities
  • Share your own global experience and cultural insights
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Manage & Lead

  • Launch community projects helping others learn how to respect, appreciate and value other cultures
  • Serve on local AFS groups and boards
  • Learn how to manage local volunteers
  • Inspire others to serve their community

Engaging with my community; meeting people from around the world

“Joining my local group of AFS volunteers gave me the opportunity to develop many skills, such as how to work in a team and interact with people from different backgrounds. As an AFS volunteer, I am more engaged in my community and I meet people from all over the world. Helping students, teachers and families embark on intercultural learning adventures makes me appreciate the importance of world peace and intercultural understanding.”

—Marcela Vazquez, AFS Argentina volunteer 

Challenge yourself while supporting others

By volunteering with AFS you can:

  • Work closely with experienced volunteers to find creative solutions
  • Take on challenging situations for personal growth
  • Polish practical skills to gain a competitive edge at school or work
  • Train to become an intercultural learning facilitator
  • Learn how to make better decisions and solve problems
  • Develop leaderships skills you will use forever

AFS community changemakers in action

Be inspired by innovative AFS changemaking, social impact and community service projects that use intercultural learning activities to address local challenges and bring diverse communities together. 

Award-winning AFS volunteers and changemaking projects

Meet AFS volunteers and their projects

"What I love the most about AFS is that I never fail to leave an event feeling changed in one way or another. Every time I come in contact with these wonderful people I learn more about myself and the world and can only hope I have as big of an impact on participants and other volunteers." -- Vinni, AFS volunteer from Germany

AFS Mission

AFS 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. 

Read more about what we stand for

AFS supports UN Sustainable Development Goals

AFS believes the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) #4 and #16 provide a roadmap to help make our world a better place for all people.
GOAL4

Global Goal #4:

QUALITY EDUCATION

Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning

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
GOAL16

Global Goal #16

PEACE, JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS

Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies

Goal #16 has three main objectives: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Learn More

Empowering people of all ages to respect and appreciate differences

AFS is an inclusive community of global citizens committed to fostering intercultural learning as a powerful peace-building tool. Through AFS study abroad and changemaking programs, our volunteers help students, young adults, families and others take their first steps to becoming global citizens. 

Resources and Good Reads

VV

Volunteer Voices

This volunteer-driven blog is a platform where AFSers exchange ideas about their local and global changemaking and social impact activities. At the start of every dream, change and impact, there is a good story.

Read Blog
connect

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 here
perspectives

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 Blog
FORAFSNFRIENDS

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
VOL_CURRI

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.

Get the curriculum

Volunteer on the other side of the world

Want to volunteer abroad to tackle issue that you are passionate about? AFSNext lets you choose your area of interest—from working with youth to environmental issues—in a part of the world that you would like to work in and learn from.

Volunteer Abroad Programs