At a time when understanding others is more important than ever but travel remains challenging, AFS Intercultural Programs is providing a new way for teens to connect internationally while building their global skills and taking social action. Based on AFS’s research-grounded Global Competence Certificate, AFS Global You Adventurer is a new, all virtual peer-learning program for 14-17 year olds worldwide.
Beginning in June 2020, participants will join fellow teens from different countries online to explore current affairs through the eyes of their peers. Over five weeks, they will build new international networks and develop global competencies. These include learning how to be part of a globally-connected local community, identifying and appreciating the strengths of diversity, building and practicing empathy, and how to take action when encountering inequalities.
Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement show we are more, not less interconnected
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic’s effect on student mobility, recent events—most notably the increased exposure of racism across the globe—underline the importance of intercultural learning and create a new urgency of equipping young people with competencies to tackle global challenges.
In response, AFS has combined its 75 years of expertise running educationally-proven exchange programs in more than 60 countries with its recent expansion into digital learning for adult learners to create the AFS Global You Adventurer program.
“Borders may be closed right now but Active Global Citizenship is not,” says Melissa Liles, Chief Global Engagement Officer at AFS Intercultural Programs. “We have a unique opportunity and even obligation to make global skills more accessible to more young people. AFS is fortunate to have an award-winning virtual learning program that we can adapt and offer to teens around the globe.”
How this new program empowers teens with key competencies
AFS Global You Adventurer is truly global. Young people between the ages of 14 and 17 years old from anywhere in the world can participate in the program, starting in June 2020. The program consists of 20 different online modules, including videos, forum discussions and fun, interactive assignments to reinforce learning. These are enhanced by four facilitated live online sessions in which teens connect with their peers and a Global You coach to exchange ideas, share reflections and get inspired.
The program culminates with all participants receiving the award-winning AFS Global Competence Certificate to help them stand apart, prepare for their future studies and work, and become a member of the AFS global network. Close to 6,000 high school students in 50+ countries whose study abroad programs were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year have already been using the AFS Global Competence Certificate program. The program has also been used by more than 10,000 university, intern and language abroad students in 50 countries.
“I really learnt and gained a lot in those modules, such as understanding myself and others, how to communicate, what is empathy, and more. I met interesting people from other countries and had a chance to chat with them. This program is really amazing and meaningful for me,” says one teen who earned a AFS Global Competence Certificate earlier this year.
Enrollments are now open, with more than 20 start dates planned already. More AFS Global You Adventurer programs are available through July and August 2020. For more information and to enroll, please visit afs.org/adventurer or contact [email protected]. For press inquiries, please contact Milena Miladinovic at [email protected].