We need more young people to solve world problems

“There is a real urgency to provide opportunities to all young people to engage with the unfamiliar, appreciate and respect differences, and use the knowledge gained from understanding cultural differences to find and act on solutions for the problems in the world.”

Dr. Vishakha Desai, AFS Board Chair, speaking at the WISE Innovation Summit (Qatar, 2017)

Intercultural experiences; innovative learning journeys

Study Abroad

Study Abroad

AFS international programs are supported by facilitated intercultural and global competency curriculums. 



AFS volunteers are trained to guide unique intercultural learning journeys for students, families and other volunteers. 

AFS Host Family

Host Families

AFS transformed hosting into a creative intercultural learning program, complete with objectives and activities. 



AFS helps schools create dynamic intercultural workshops, class exchanges and events to enrich the entire school community.

Global Competence Certificate

A blended learning program that develops tangible global skills essential to live, work, and make a real social impact around the world, including:

  • GCC at Home gives learners the opportunity to collaborate effectively across difference through the online program that requires no travel.
  • GCC Study Abroad develops learners’ global competence before, during and after their international experience.
  • The special edition of the GCC, provides and educational platform for students whose study abroad has been disrupted by COVID-19.
Find out more

AFS Global Competence Readiness Index for Schools

Join a growing movement of educators looking to globalize their schools.

Global competence education helps students take their first steps to becoming global citizens. Young people need global skills, knowledge and understanding to thrive and develop meaningful connections with others no matter where they live, study, volunteer and work—now and for their future. The AFS Global Competence Readiness Index for Schools provides an easy-to-use way to assess where your school is at in terms of helping students develop essential 21st-century skills.

Explore the Index


Empowering and activating global citizens through local workshops

Effect+ Program

AFS Effect+ Program are customizable, interactive workshops that introduce young people to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they can work together to help advance these goals in their communities. The program also helps teens take their first steps to becoming active global citizens by including intercultural learning and discussions of global issues.

Find out more

AFS Student Intercultural Learning Journey & Curriculum

Universities and employers seek students and young adults who have a sense of the world beyond their own communities—and are comfortable interacting with people from other countries and cultures. Find out how our skills-building curriculum prepares young people to live, work and help make the world a better place at home or across the globe.

Read more

Host Family Intercultural Learning Journey & Curriculum

The AFS Host Family Program is now supported by the AFS Host Family Intercultural Learning Journey. The Learning Journey helps families support their hosted students’ intercultural experience—and prepares family members to become global citizens. 

Read more

Intercultural Learning Program for AFS Volunteers and Staff

The AFS Intercultural Link Learning Program helps our volunteers and staff improve their intercultural skills, teaches them about key education theories and practices, and makes them better able to support the learning of others.

Read More

Intercultural education reinforces 21st century education goals

We educate global citizens and the world leaders of tomorrow, and help them to:

Broaden perspectives

about themselves and the world around them


Learn and respect differences

and believe a diverse world is a stronger and more interesting place


Communicate and collaborate across cultures

in a sensitive and mindful way


Appreciate other cultures

and encourage others to be open to new ideas, attitudes and traditions


Build skills to use in STEM and other key areas

by using critical thinking and problem solving activities


Become part of the AFS global community

to build bridges across cultures and bring diverse communities together

AFS for Educators & Schools

Schools play an important role in the AFS student exchange experience. They send and host AFS students, and work with AFS to create school-based intercultural learning programs. AFS also collaborates with educators and education ministries to develop local, regional and national intercultural learning and global citizenship education policies and initiatives.

Inquire about AFS School Programs

AFS Teacher Exchanges

AFS offers international professional development opportunities designed specifically for educators to become more global in their classroom practice. 


AFS Classroom Exchange

AFS arranges short classroom exchange programs for a group of students to meet peers from another country and engage in intercultural learning together. Online and in-person options are  available.   

AFS Alliances & Partnerships

“There is a clear relevance of AFS’ work to the current programs and activities of UNESCO, particularly in the fields of education, youth, and intercultural dialogue. Indeed, cooperation between UNESCO and AFS has a solid foundation based on many areas of common interest, synergies and previous collaborations.”

—Irina Bokova, Director General, UNESCO

AFS has official recognition by Ministries of Education in 24 countries


As of 2015, AFS is proud to have entered into a “consultative status” partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This status enables both organizations to collaborate on initiatives of mutual interest and social good.

AFS works closely and creatively with schools, universities, humanitarian and peace groups, governments and other NGOs on the issues that reflect our mission.

Go to UNESCO's Global Citizenship Education site

AFS Global Citizenship Education Agenda supports

UN Sustainable Development Goal #4

Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning  

Specifically, Goal #4 focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to promote “sustainable development” and “sustainable lifestyles,” human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.

Learn more about Goal #4

Events for active global citizens

We believe fostering intercultural learning is a powerful tool to bring diverse communities together and address conflicts and challenges. Be inspired by AFS intercultural learning events around the world.

Learn more about education events

AFS Now: Insights for Active Global Citizens

Find out what’s trending at AFS—and how AFSers are changing the world.

Subscribe now!

Education Inquiries

Please complete the form below for to reach out to the Education & Intercultural Learning department at AFS Intercultural Programs. To get in touch with AFS in your country, please find your country in the list below and contact the local office directly. We will do our best to respond to your inquiry promptly.
    Read the AFS Privacy Policy here: https://afs.org/global-privacy-policy.