AFS Intercultural Programs is an international, voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.

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AFS Values 

AFS enables people to act as responsible global citizens working for peace and understanding in a diverse world. It acknowledges that peace is a dynamic concept threatened by injustice, inequity, and intolerance.

AFS seeks to affirm faith in the dignity and worth of every human being and of all nations and cultures. It encourages respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction as to race, sex, language, religion or social status.

AFS activities are based on our core values of dignity, respect for differences, harmony, sensitivity and tolerance.

AFS Network Strategy 2024-2028

The World Has Changed but Our Impact Goal Remains More Important Than Ever

For the last few decades, the world has experienced increased interconnectedness, creating new opportunities for people to interact and collaborate globally through movement and digital innovation. At the same time, we are witnessing the rise of global inequities, political polarization and conflicts between cultures.

The AFS ambulance drivers returning from the Second World War understood the need for people to overcome the conflicts between cultures in order to build a just and peaceful world.

Today, we see more need than ever to help people develop the capacities and values needed to achieve a world that is not only more peaceful and just, but also more equitable and sustainable.

Developing Active Global Citizens Becomes Our Central Impact Goal

And, more than ever, we believe that AFS is part of the solution by developing active global citizens of all ages through our

  • Exchange programs,
  • Education initiatives,
  • Volunteerism
  • Advocacy efforts.

To achieve our mission worldwide, we need to build a larger, more prepared, and more engaged community of interculturally competent active global citizens.

AFS defines active global citizens as people whose informed, compassionate, and ethical compass drives them to lead lives and make decisions that contribute to a more just, equitable, peaceful and sustainable world.

Becoming an Active Global Citizen Takes a Lifetime of Practice

Global citizenship education programs and offers are about helping individuals to gain or increase their ability in four areas of development crucial for active global citizenship:

  • Value and belong to a common and diverse world
  • Inquire critically about the world beyond immediate environments
  • Understand and relate to others across differences
  • Take action toward collective well-being

Through our programs, education initiatives, volunteerism and advocacy efforts, AFS helps create them.

Find out more about our Active Global Citizenship Framework.

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AFS Annual Report

Dare to Reshape the World

The world needs more active global citizens. Together with our supporters, AFS Intercultural Program helps create them. On behalf of our thousands of exchange students, host families, and volunteers, we are proud to share the global AFS Annual Report for 2022, marking 75 years of AFS high school exchanges.

Download the 2022 AFS Annual Report

2022 AFS Audited Financials
2022 AFS 990 Form

Our Work is Recognized Worldwide

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Select recognitions:

  • 2023: AFS Intercultural Programs has received the 2023 PIEoneer of the Year award, in recognition of our Global STEM Accelerators program. AFS was the finalist for this award in 2022 and 2020 for the AFS Global Competence Certificate.
  • 2022: Winner of Diversity Abroad’s 2022 Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion in International Education (EDIIE) Award, in the  category of Outreach, Marketing, and Recruitment, for our work on the AFS Global STEM Accelerators program, and increasing access to refugee and displaced persons.
  • 2021: Awarded Platinum Transparency rating by GuideStar, a premier destination for non-profit research and data for donors. Charity Navigator gives AFS 100/100 rating, encouraging donors to give with confidence.
  • 2021: UNESCO APCEIU selected AFS Effect+ for the Classroom program as Education for International Understanding/Global Citizenship Education Best Practice. Our program was selected among 70 submissions from 27 countries for its genuine commitment to global citizenship education and ability to inspire others to create similar education programs.
  • 2016: Awarded Franco-American Award of Blérancourt for humanitarian efforts during World Wars I & II and intercultural study abroad programs.
  • 2016: C. Herbert Finch Online Publication Award for The Volunteers: Americans Join World War I, 1914-1919 Curriculum which helps students analyze the history of World War I through the lens of this volunteer service.
  • 1963 and 1964: Stephen Galatti, Director General of AFS from 1936 to 1964 was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize.
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  • 2023: Forum on Education Abroad
  • 2020: Member of Diversity Abroad
  • 2015: Consultative Status with UNESCO
  • 1974: Consultative Status with UN Economic Social Council

Meet Our Select Partners & Sponsors


AFS Intercultural Programs began as the American Ambulance Field Service, a volunteer ambulance corps created in April 1915 by A. Piatt Andrew. Learn about how AFS was transformed from a wartime humanitarian aid organization into a groundbreaking international secondary school exchange, volunteer, and intercultural learning organization in our timeline!

View AFS Timeline

AFS is proud to partner with a large network of Global and Local Affiliates around the world.

Find out more