For the third year in a row, AFS Intercultural Programs is proud to launch scholarship opportunities for Greek students to participate in intercultural exchange programs abroad, supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). For the 2022-2023 academic year, 11 full scholarships will be awarded to Greek and Greek Cypriot high school students, with destinations in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan, the Philippines, Serbia, Sweden, Tunisia, and the United States. Additional partial scholarships and paid program opportunities are also available, with destinations including the Czech Republic, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland.
These scholarships enable Greek youth to develop the global competencies needed to communicate across cultures, and to create personal ties between people in other countries and Greece. This is the third year in which the scholarships are made available through the selective Global Citizen Scholarship Program. SNF made a three-year grant to AFS to offer scholarships for Greek high school students to study abroad beginning in 2020 and to set up a sustainable organization in Greece.
The collaboration between AFS and SNF has yielded remarkable results so far. Since it was re-established after 27 years of absence from the country, AFS Greece was able to send 34 Greek and Greek Cypriot students to 15 destinations worldwide, launch a new digital education program, and expand local activity to include a volunteer chapter in Cyprus. AFS Greece also resumed its hosting activities, enabling Greek families to welcome students from Italy, Serbia, and Canada into their homes and communities, and new partnerships are on the horizon.
“The opportunity to study abroad gives me the chance to discover a whole new world and interact with many people from different backgrounds and cultures. I see my role at AFS, apart from being a student, as an influencer towards human rights, and as a true ambassador of my country, our history, customs, and people,” shares 16-year-old Natalia Mallosi, who received a scholarship to study abroad in Canada in 2021.
The Global Citizen Scholarship Program is in high demand. Last year, this program received nearly 450 applications from more than 80 communities across Greece and Cyprus, for the 13 scholarships that were awarded. This also marks a 50% increase in program participation over the first year of the scholarship grant.
The success of the program has been truly noteworthy, given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the field of international education. AFS Greece staff and volunteers proved they were up to the task, as they managed to support the health and wellness of the students and their families while conducting the educational exchange programs in these challenging circumstances.
Participants in these programs attend high schools abroad and live with local host families for an academic year. Applications are open to participants who are currently attending the first or second grade in Greek high school (i.e. who were born approximately 2004-2006). AFS conducts a competitive selection process that focuses on diversity, inclusion, and academic merit, with the aim of awarding scholarships to students who might not otherwise have opportunities to participate in education abroad. AFS also identifies host families and host schools in the destination countries, and provides a guided intercultural education curriculum.
“SNF is proud to continue to support AFS in providing Greek high school students with the opportunity to connect with others across cultures. As the world continues to reopen and the program enters its third year, we look forward to even more Greek students participating in exchanges on full and partial scholarships,” said SNF Program Officer Casey Russo. “We extend our gratitude to the entire AFS team who worked diligently over the last year to provide safe and immersive experiences for students.”
“AFS provides thousands of students around the world with intercultural learning opportunities that are instrumental in the cultivation of their characters, as well as in the development of their potential for making a difference on a global scale,” says Vali Papadimitriou, AFS Greece’s project lead. “AFS Greece is fully committed to empowering and encouraging the youth of Greece and Cyprus to develop their global communication skills, embrace diversity and difference and become resilient in the context of their intercultural experience and beyond.”
The online application is open until January 31, 2022, for academic year programs that start in the fall of 2022. To apply, learn more about volunteering, or sign up to receive updates, please visit afs.org.gr. For direct inquiries, email [email protected].
About the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is one of the world’s leading private, international philanthropic organizations, making grants to nonprofit organizations in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. SNF funds organizations and projects worldwide that aim to achieve a broad, lasting, and positive impact for society at large, and exhibit strong leadership and sound management. The Foundation also supports projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare. Since 1996, the Foundation has committed more than $3.1 billion through over 5,000 grants to nonprofit organizations in more than 135 nations around the world. See more at SNF.org.
About AFS Intercultural Programs
AFS Intercultural Programs is a global not-for-profit Network that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world. Through our international exchange programs, education initiatives, volunteerism and advocacy, we empower young people from all backgrounds with essential global skills—and the passion for making a difference. AFS Intercultural Programs leverages the power and reach of 50+ National AFS Organizations with more than 500,000 young people all around the world. Learn more at www.afs.org.