AFS is excited to offer exchange programs across 50 countries in 2021. After successfully returning to in-person exchanges in the second half of 2020, we are well-prepared to run study abroad programs this new year with a robust risk management and support system in place.  

AFS programs will run in countries where health and safety conditions allow, and student visas are possible. We observe the continually changing situation on a daily basis and are in very close contact with our member organizations.

AFS exchange programs are currently running or about to begin in the following countries:

Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, France (certain regions only), Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan (Asia Kakehashi program only), Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, and the USA (certain states only).

Planning for Safety, Minimizing Disruption

As a global network of organizations, AFS is actively re-assessing conditions on a country-by-country basis. Some countries may require a later program start date than originally planned. Moreover, either because of safety restrictions or a lingering economic impact, we may not be able to run our programs in all countries. If planned abroad experiences must change – and we hope very few will – we will let our participants know as soon as we are able. We will do all we can to minimize the disruption. 

The safety and well-being of our participants remain our number one priority. We are closely monitoring health and travel recommendations from authorities, as well as receiving information from our robust, on-the-ground volunteer network. While we cannot predict precisely what will happen before our programs are set to begin, we pledge to be nimble and responsive to circumstances as they change.

Enhancing Student Learning and the Impact of Our Exchange Programs

Our students experience study abroad, learn global skills, practice social impact and return home to become active global citizens with the essential global skills they need to live, learn, work and volunteer to contribute to society and change the world.

Before, during and after their program, every AFSer benefits from an educational curriculum based on a proven educational methodology that we have developed over 75 years of intercultural learning, and recently updated in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Impact Strategy (CSIS).

At the end of their learning journey, every student leaves with the “AFS superpowers” that they need to make the world a better place through active global citizenship: adaptability, critical thinking, self-awareness, empathy, communication, valuing differences, open-mindedness, global awareness, and change-making.

Reinforcing Our Commitment to Active Global Citizenship

With more than 70 years of experience in study abroad and cultural exchange, AFS remains steadfast in our dedication to our mission of intercultural learning. And while study abroad programs may be delayed, disrupted, or changed as the pandemic persists, we are developing new ways of working, in partnership with our 50,000 volunteers, to provide intercultural learning through virtual and blended learning, and new program opportunities for our participants. 

In uncertain times especially, cultural exchange must continue and will. AFS is always prepared to educate more young people to become global citizens with personal development and a passion for making a difference that is crucial in times like these.

For more information about studying abroad with AFS, or if you are interested in hosting an AFS exchange student, please contact the AFS organization in your country. 

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