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Forge Our Shared Future

The AFS Youth Assembly

The 29th Session of The AFS Youth Assembly will take place on August 16-18, 2024 in New York City.

As global citizens we need to come together to save our planet, our people, our shared prosperity and create a peaceful world where we and future generations can live and thrive. The AFS Youth Assembly is a global platform that cultivates an international network of young leaders and changemakers through exchange, education, action and impact. The 2024 event agenda will focus on:

  • Global Shocks: Tackling Humanitarian Crises
  • Future of Education: Leveraging Technology & Innovation
  • Save our Planet: Unite for Climate Action
  • Food Security: Strengthen Global Food Systems 

Read the Concept Note

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Watch AFS webinars

Click on the playlist below to watch AFS webinars or read more about them in the following menu.

AFS Intercultural Programs partnered with the University of Pennsylvania Center for Social Impact Strategy, in collaboration with the UN Department of Global Communications, for a side event during the UN ECOSOC Youth Forum. This virtual youth-led discussion focused on how young people as global citizens and innovators can create social impact and tackle the SDGs. Watch the recording here.

Training Programs for AFSers

Discover all the skills development opportunities AFS has to offer for volunteers and staff!

AFS International offers these training opportunities to help you become more prepared and effective in your role within AFS as a volunteer, board member, or staff.

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Stay informed about AFS events

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Past events


28TH YOUTH ASSEMBLY: Breakthrough to a Better Future

Powerful discussions took place at The 28th Session of the AFS Youth Assembly (August 11-13, 2023 in New York City)! More than 30 different panels and sessions explored the topics of Reducing Inequalities, Education & Employment, Climate Action, Global Trust and Global Solidarity. Hundreds of dynamic young global citizens from over 100 countries gathered in New York City aspiring to make a Breakthrough to a Better Future and take important actions towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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27TH YOUTH ASSEMBLY: Dare to Reshape the World

The 27th Session of The AFS Youth Assembly (August 12-14, 2022 in New York City) cultivated a global network of young leaders and changemakers through exchange, education, action and impact. Hundreds of dynamic young global citizens from 76 countries gathered in New York City aspiring to reshape the world and take important actions towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.We focused on four core areas where there are urgent challenges and exciting potential for young people to take action: Youth, Global Health, Global Citizenship, Technology and Inclusion.

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2023 International Education Week

Join us in celebrating International Education Week (November 13-17, 2023)! AFS hosted a week-long virtual webinar series celebrating the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. Sessions cover the AFS Educational Framework, global competence research results, youth leadership, sustainability and more.

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2022 International Education Week

November 14-18, 2022

International Education Week (IEW) is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. To mark this occasion, AFS organized a series of webinars on topics ranging from intercultural and global competence pedagogy and assessment, virtual exchange, diversity, equity and inclusion, to international and teacher education. Professionals and enthusiasts across fields are invited to explore:

  • Intercultural Pedagogy for Transformative Learning Experiences
  • A Journey to Understand Indigenous Worldviews of Global Citizenship
  • Assessing Intercultural and Global Competence
  • Global Competence in Teacher Education: Resources for Teaching & Learning
  • Virtual Exchange: Not Just Your Pandemic Solution
  • Global Competence as an Essential Power Skill for Education Advocates
  • Expanding Access to Intercultural Education: Best Practices in Advancing DEIB
  • Discussion: Reflection & Recovery for IE Professionals
Watch all webinars
IEW is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education
14 Nov 2022, 10 AM ET

International exchange offers amazing opportunities for people to develop their capacity to engage more effectively, appropriately, and authentically across difference (known as intercultural competence). However, research indicates that exposure to—even immersion in—other cultures does not consistently lead to intercultural development unless these experiences are intentionally and effectively designed and facilitated to do so. Join intercultural competence expert, Tara Harvey, Ph.D. to consider intercultural pedagogical practices and discuss practical ways to use them.

  • Panelist: Tara Harvey PhD, True North Interculutral
  • Moderator: Linda Stuart, Director of Global Education Innovation, AFS Intercultural Programs

Watch the recording


AFS Global Ideathon

The AFS Global Ideathon is an opportunity for people who believe international education and intercultural exchange can make a difference and want to be involved in shaping the future by encouraging creativity and exchanging ideas. This digital event run by AFS volunteers for everyone around the world who identifies with our mission.

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AFS Global Conference

From 2018 to 2020, three annual AFS Global Conferences convened leaders in global education from hundreds of organizations around the world to build synergies in making global competence education a priority for educators, governments, civil society, businesses and other stakeholders. Our distinguished partners included the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), Teach For All, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Qatar Foundation International, bp, and many others.

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2020 ALEI events

The Latin-American Alliance for Intercultural Education (ALEI), composed of AFS organizations in this region, organized online educational events, provided scholarships for teachers’ professional development and curated a resource library to reach close to 9,000 teachers and students throughout 2020.

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The Competitive Edge: Global Experience for a Diverse Workplace

A discussion with business and human capital development leaders as we presented the findings and shared impact of global experience in building a diverse and dynamic workforce, and how it paves the way for connecting with diverse communities where business is located. Speakers included Kathleen Martinez, BP Global Foundation; Chris Michel, Bloomberg; Hosai Omarkhil, Apple; and Keith Stock, First Financial Investors.

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2018 International Education Week

International Education Week (12-16 November 2018) was an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. To mark this week, AFS shared the recordings of plenary sessions from this year’s AFS Global Conference, that focused on Global Competence: Our Future, Our Responsibility.

Watch the recordings
Melissa Liles at AFS CZE Education for Life Symposium

Education for Life Symposium III: “Xenophobia and Diversity -- Face-to-Face”

AFS Czech Republic’s Education for Life Symposium III: “Xenophobia and Diversity — Face-to-Face” took place in Prague on Friday, 9 March 2018. The symposium was addressed by distinguished speakers including Prof. Tomáš Halík of Charles University; Dr. Sumer Bahadur Singh, comparative religionist; Doc. Martin Soukup, cultural anthropologist and others. Read the remarks of Melissa Liles, Chief Global Engagement Officer, AFS Intercultural Programs delivered at the symposium on “The power of mobility programs in fighting xenophobia and promoting diversity.”

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AFS Global Competence Webinars for International Education Week

Becoming globally competent requires more than simply interacting with someone from a different culture. AFS Global Competence Webinars were full of inspiration, learning, and sharing of best practices on the hot topics in global competence development. Catch up on the recording of AFS’s series of webinars for International Education Week and you’ll experience both personal growth and become better prepared to make a positive impact on others seeking to become more globally minded.

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Empowering African educators with global citizenship education

Global Citizenship Education Forum organized by AFS Intercultural Programs and the British Council tackled key intercultural learning and global competencies required for the economies and jobs of tomorrow, and explored how these competencies are defined, delivered and measured by employers and educators in Africa and around the world. The Forum took place on 10 October 2017 in Accra, Ghana.

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AFS in Africa: Global Citizenship Education Forum

The AFS in Africa: Global Citizenship Education Forum addressed the status of and possibilities to advance global citizenship education in Africa, as well as the competencies teachers need to work towards global citizenship education. It included interactive workshops about experiential learning activities that help create meaningful interactions and enhance intercultural skills. The forum took place on 7 July 2017 in Tunis, Tunisia.

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AiA – GCED Forum ICL Workshop

Second AFS forum in the Caribbean region on global citizenship education

The second AFS forum in the Caribbean region on global citizenship education was organized under the main theme, Education and Global Citizenship: Developing Essential Competences for the 21st Century. Forum participants discussed global citizenship education in the region as a basis for the essential 21st century competences. The forum was organized under the patronage of UNESCO on 1 July 2017 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

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12191271_1092480050776117_5806995768499558995_oGuillaume Kerhervé

Managing Volunteers for More Impact

The AFS Managing Volunteers for More Impact was a hands-on, interactive workshop for new and experienced coordinators to maximize the potential of volunteers and improve the volunteer experience. The workshop took place on 28 June 2017 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and trained volunteer managers on how to do their jobs more effectively, use volunteers more strategically and develop the trainings and tools that will make volunteer activities more successful.

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Global Citizenship Education: Essential for Employability

The 3rd Annual AFS Asia-Pacific International Global Citizenship Education Forum took place 20-23 April 2017, in New Delhi, India. Participants discussed the relevance of global citizenship education for employability and the 21st-century workforce, calling for increased collaboration between educators and emplyers.


Developing Global Mindsets for Hong Kong’s Future

AFS Intercultural Exchanges Hong Kong and the Asia Society Hong Kong Center convened a joint panel discussion Developing Global Mindsets for Hong Kong’s Future, on 29 March 2017 at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center. Panelists tackled issues such as youth development, intercultural learning and appreciation, education for students to cultivate interpersonal perspectives.


The Unspoken Sacred

The Unspoken Sacred, organized by the Intercutura Foundation in Bari, Italy took place from 31 March to 2 April 2017 and focused on the difficulty of dealing with religious differences in intercultural dialogue and training. Conference participants concluded that having more open and informed discussions will help people understand the roots of our cultural behavious and mindsets.

Guillaume Kerherve AFS FRA 2017

Living, Learning and Innovating Together Events in France

AFS Vivre Sans Frontière (AFS France) convened an international forum about Living, Learning and Innovating Together in Paris, France on 4 March 2017. Almost 150 participants interested in creating bridges between diverse organizations and individuals discovered concrete and innovative initiatives responding to the significant need for intercultural dialogue in our society. The Forum included interactive workshops which inspired participants to explore various aspects of intercultural understanding.

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Forum on Intercultural Learning and Exchange (FILE)

The topic of the seventh annual Forum on Intercultural Learning and Exchange (FILE) was The intercultural training of teachers: what, when, how?. This event is sponsored by the Intercultura Foundation (AFS Italy), the European Federation for Intercultural Learning (EFIL) and AFS Intercultural Programs, and it took place in Colle Val d’Elsa, Italy. Sixty experts, researchers and practitioners in the field of international youth exchanges and intercultural learning exchanged research and practical ideas on teacher training and tools to provide intercultural learning opportunities for pupils, especially in secondary schools. They concluded that teachers have the ability to transform lives and the responsibility to help students learn to live together.

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IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit

AFS Intercultural Programs and AFS USA facilitated a highly interactive workshop, Fostering Global Competency and Creating Pathways to Study Abroad, preceding the 2016 IIE Generation Study Abroad Summit. The workshop was attended by Generation Study Abroad partners, leaders in education, faculty members, teachers and students. The workshop focused on how intercultural learning experiences and study abroad can address and reduce cultural barriers. Participants left this session with easy-to-implement experiential learning activities, resources to develop global competency and strategies to promote study abroad in different settings.


EFEITO+ Global Citizenship Education Workshop & Forum

AFS Brazil and AFS International jointly hosted a community impact event during the 2016 World Congress. The EFEITO+ Global Citizenship Education Workshop & Forum leveraged the principles of global citizenship education and intercultural learning to help Rio de Janeiro-area students address critical local social challenges and advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their country. This public event connected the AFS global leadership with local youth and schools for a meaningful community intercultural learning opportunity. The event had two parts: an all-day Workshop on Sunday, 23 October and an evening Forum on Wednesday, 26 October.

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AFS convenes events on global citizenship education

AFS celebrated its 100th anniversary by holding two international Symposiums at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France in November 2014. The high level Learning to Live Together—from Ideas to Action: AFS Global Intercultural Education Symposium and the 100 Years Young! Youth Workshop & Symposium addressed the critical challenges, concerns, opportunities and debates surrounding global citizenship education.

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AFS Centennial Events celebrations

More than 1,200 members of the AFS Global Community, representing 57 countries, convened in Paris to observe the 100th Anniversary of the American Field Service (AFS). The AFS 2014 World Congress kicked off the event. The theme—The AFS Effect: Daring to Create Change—encouraged delegates to identify future opportunities for the organization. As a world leader in intercultural learning, AFS held two symposiums at UNESCO Headquarters to advocate expanding global citizenship education. To celebrate, AFSers of all ages reconnected at the AFS Returnee Day and Centennial Gala.

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