Top 4 Reasons to Host

Did you know, in a survey of 3,000+ AFS host families from 76 countries, more than half of our families love hosting so much they do it 2 times or more (some even host more than 10 times!)? Or that almost 70% of AFS host families bonded so closely with their host student that they have traveled internationally at least once to visit them? These are the top four reasons families say hosting an AFS Exchange Student is worth it:
host family

Experience a World of Culture in Your Home

“AFS allowed us to enrich ourselves with the culture of our exchange daughters and at the same time help them to know, enjoy, and love our culture. Our family grew larger, and now the world seems smaller to us.”

—Mariel Del Blanco, Host Parent from Argentina

Host Familiy 4

Watch Your Kids Thrive

“Having an AFS student was an amazing experience to our family! It opened the minds of our children to the huge diversity of people in the world, of how people can be so different and from other cultures, but at the same time so close and similar. We created bonds for life. That is indescribable!”

—Susana Liepa, Host Parent from Latvia

JAPAN family

Grow Together as Global Citizens

“I was able to come into contact with diverse cultures from diverse countries, experience them firsthand, and think more deeply about what it means to understand and accept diversity.”

—Kaori Sakurai, Host Parent from Japan

AFS August 28 2022

Continue to Grow with AFS

“My grandparents hosted a young man from Germany in the ’50s. My parents hosted a boy from Ecuador in the ’80s also a girl from Russia in the ’80s. My sister spent a year in Belgium in the ’80s. I lived in Istanbul for a year in the ’80s. I hosted a daughter from Copenhagen in 2014. AFS is the best program in the world!” 

—Anonymous, Host Parent from USA

Discover Our Global Research on Host Families

AFS host families experience world culture at home, see their kids thrive, and grow together as global citizens.
Explore the key findings of our new, global research report, “Global Families, Global Impact: The Experience of Host Families in International Youth Exchange”, which focused on the impact of hosting on families. Over 3,000 families from 76 countries participated in this first major research of host families.
Learn more about the data from the report

What is an AFS Global Family?

An AFS Host Family welcomes connection, growth, a new culture, diversity and opportunity to their communities by hosting an AFS exchange student. Take your family on an amazing journey. Discover the #AFSeffect on families! 

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Being a Host Family means you’re welcoming a student from another part of the world: Germany, Thailand, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Norway, from wherever you can imagine! And by doing that you will be adding someone new to your family, as close as a son or daughter of your own!

You don’t need to send your own children on an AFS exchange at the same time. The only thing you need is to be sure you can provide love, food and a home. We have different types of programs, so you can choose how much time you can be a host family.

Be part of the life-changing experience of hosting a student and share a bond that will last forever.

How to become an AFS Global Family


Learn More and Apply

Connect with AFS in your country and learn why Host Families are so important to AFS programs. Our application process is thorough so we can make the best match for your family.

Get started

Find Your Global Match

AFS selects and matches the students with the best families for the experience, but you have the last call. AFS will share a basic profile of the student so you can make a decision.


Get Ready to Host

Meet the trained volunteers and staff who will support your family and help you learn how to make your AFS experience rewarding and fun. 


Welcome Your AFSer

Experience the AFSeffect with your new family member by sharing your home, your heart and your world as you take your first steps to becoming global. 


The AFS Host Family Learning Journey

How does AFS prepare Global Families?

The AFS Host Family Program provides a rewarding and transformative experience for the whole family. The program is supported by the AFS Host Family Intercultural Learning Journey, a carefully designed curriculum that engages families hosting AFS students with content related to intercultural learning at every step of their experience: before students arrive, during their time hosting an AFS student, and after students return to their home country.

It includes local orientation sessions, guided reflection, online tools and other educational activities that help families:

  • Explore and build their intercultural awareness and understanding as active global citizens.
  • Better support their hosted student’s integration into a new culture, as well as her or his intercultural education experience outlined in the AFS Student Learning Journey.
  • Help AFS students achieve their global and personal ambitions while abroad.
  • Share their culture and learn about new cultures from their hosted students.
Learn more about the AFS Host Family Learning Journey

How does AFS support Global Families?


Experienced local AFS volunteers and staff will prepare your family for the challenges of welcoming a new member from another country.


24 hour local emergency contact and additional support from the AFS national office is available. AFS students have medical insurance, if health care is necessary. 


Trained volunteers and staff will support you throughout your Host Family program, including meeting with you and your family at least once a month to make sure everything is working out.

Who are AFS students?

AFS students come from diverse backgrounds and have demonstrated the maturity and motivation to study abroad. AFS students are screened and prepared by the AFS Organization in their home country.

AFS students come from over 99 different countries and eager to become Active Global Citizens. They choose AFS to connect with new cultures and explore diverse opportunities. They are curious, flexible, and open-minded.

AFS is a voluntary, non-profit organization and provides a variety of scholarships, giving people from different backgrounds the opportunity to become exchange students. Find out more.