AFS virtual educational offers, such as our Global Up and Global You programs, have significantly scaled up this year through new partnerships. We are on track to reach 5,000 participants through AFS virtual programs this year, including high school and university students, teachers and other educators. 

Global Up Program Reaches New Milestones Through Partnerships

AFS virtual educational offers provide people with opportunities to develop skills required to collaborate effectively across differences. AFS partners with more than 30 academic institutions, not-for-profit organizations, corporations and government agencies to impact thousands of students, teachers, and professionals each year through our virtual programs. AFS has recently developed several new significant partnerships. Below are a few highlights: 

  • A partnership between Education New Zealand, Massey University and AFS will impact nearly 1,000 students from 13 countries who will participate in virtual classroom exchanges based on the AFS Global Up program. Our Global Up program, for which learners earn the AFS Global Competence Certificate, directly supports the government of New Zealand’s International Education Strategy and helps students and teachers develop their cross-cultural skills together with their global peers. Read this article about our partnership
  • The Hormel Institute, an independent biomedical research department within the University of Minnesota, partnered with AFS to offer the Global Up program to international research fellows who work on cancer research with the University of Minnesota & the Mayo Clinic. Find out more.
  • AFS Colombia entered into a cooperation agreement with ICETEX, a government agency, which has funded 200 full scholarships to the Global Up program for faculty, principals, deans, and heads of the international relations offices of public and private higher education institutions, among which are the largest universities and technical and technological schools in the country. Find out more.
  • The Cyril Taylor Charitable Foundation provided grant funding for a second year for the AFS Effect+ in the Classroom Program, which will provide 300 teachers in 10 countries with an enhanced capacity-building program. Based on the Global Up program and AFS’ experience facilitating virtual exchanges, we are now developing  a customized program for educators to develop their own intercultural skills by connecting with teachers from other parts of the world and learning about key concepts and principles of Global Citizenship Education and how to implement the AFS Effect+ Educator Toolkit with their students. 

The AFS Global Up program helps learners develop tangible global skills essential to live, work, and make a real social impact around the world. Different versions of the Global Up program meet the needs of: high school and higher education students, staff or faculty, professionals across a variety of disciplines from around the world, whether or not they’ll have an experience abroad. Find out more, and contact us if you are interested in partnering with AFS. 

More Scholarships for Young Changemakers

In 2020, AFS launched two new all-virtual, truly global educational exchange programs for teenagers that build global skills. Nearly 700 students from 52 countries have participated so far.  

AFS Paraguay and AFS Finland both received grant funding from the US Embassies in their countries to offer a virtual exchange program based on AFS Global You Changemaker. All participants will receive certificates from AFS and the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Impact Strategy.

In partnership with the Paraguayan Association of Professional Graduates in the USA (APPG), AFS Paraguay proposed a scholarship initiative  to the US Embassy in Paraguay. The Embassy selected the APPG and AFS Paraguay for funding to implement this initiative, which will provide 40 AFS Global You Changemaker scholarships to teenagers in Paraguay aged 15-17, and will also support the following activities:

  • Implementing the students’ social impact capstones developed during the digital program into viable community service projects in their local communities
  • Smart talks (similar to TED talks) focused on youth leadership, global competence and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be organized for the scholarship holders and will be open to other youth as well.
  • Strategic alliances will be held to carry out this project and support the community level work.  

60 Finnish and U.S. American students received scholarships to join a virtual exchange program about active global citizenship and civic responsibility. This new Future Changemakers program is based on the AFS Global You Changemaker and is a virtual version of the program funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education and the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki that AFS has run since 2017. Find out more.

AFS Global You Changemaker is a 12-week interactive virtual exchange program for teens (age 15-17) anywhere in the world, to develop global competence skills, create innovative social impact projects, and earn certification from the University of Pennsylvania Center for Social Impact Strategy. Find out more.