Teens from Greece can now apply to study abroad in one of nine destinations, including Argentina, Belgium, Chile, China, France, Italy, Serbia, Turkey, and the USA on high school programs offered by AFS Intercultural Programs. Thanks to a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, five full scholarships are available for a high school abroad program starting in 2020, with additional partial scholarship opportunities. The deadline to apply is 31 January 2020. 

Equipping young people with the skills to understand and collaborate with people who bring a different perspective is essential and urgently needed in today’s societies. Study abroad programs, like the ones developed by AFS, are a proven path for youth to develop such skills, and become global citizens.

The Global Citizen Scholarship Program will provide Greek youth with scholarships and additional paid opportunities to participate in exchange programs abroad over the next three years. This program will help Greek students develop global competencies needed to communicate across cultures and create personal ties between people in other countries and Greece. Research confirms that such programs are effective in broadening young people’s perspective and helping them get to know the others’ cultures in a positive and personal way. 

Greek youth will have the chance to attend school abroad and live with a local host family for an academic year. Applications, conducted in a combination of online and in-person events, are open for participants who are currently attending the first or second grade in Greek high schools (born 2002-04 approximately). AFS will conduct a competitive selection process that focuses on diversity, academic merit, and attributes that best position participants for a successful program abroad based on many years of experience. AFS will also identify host families and host schools in the destination countries, and provide a guided intercultural education curriculum. 

“Education is not only about what goes on in the classroom, but also about the personal growth that occurs when young people encounter unfamiliar people and experiences, and the new ideas these carry with them,” said Taylor Glazebrook, SNF Program and Communications Officer. “Early international exchange experiences often have profound effects on participants that prove transformative throughout their lives. SNF is proud to support AFS in making this possible for Greek students who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity.”

“We are excited to re-launch AFS programs in Greece for the first time since 1992 by offering these essential programs to Greek youth. The world needs young people who are willing and able to actively engage with people from different cultures and are comfortable with diverse perspectives and ideas,” says Vali Papadimitriou, who is both an AFS alum as well as the Global Citizen Scholarship Program manager in Greece.

AFS is a global not-for-profit network with operations in 60 countries and exchange programs in 99 countries with more than 500,000 program alumni in the past 75 years.  Each year, 12,000 young people from around the world participate in AFS programs. AFS exchange programs lead to measurable and significant improvements in intercultural competence and influence outlooks on social issues. AFS alumni have greater respect for other people and their ideas, beliefs, and viewpoints, even when they are opposed to their own, and are more comfortable in different cultural settings, both professional and personal.

The online application is open until 31 January 2020, for programs that start in the fall of 2020. To apply, learn more or  sign up to receive updates, please visit afs.org.gr.