An amazing cultural journey for the entire family

Becoming a Global Family means having the opportunity to share your home with an international student, make life-long connections and embrace a new culture in your family. All family members share, learn, and expand their global skills. Everything from preparing a meal to sightseeing are opportunities to discover and experience the #AFSeffect. Host a student in your home, become a Global Family!

Welcome discovery

Share your home, heart and culture. You and your family are going to become global citizens.


Welcome adventure

Experience a global adventure without leaving home.


Welcome change

Bring cultural diversity to your family and your community. Make an impact on the world.

It can't be described, it has to be experienced

“There are times in a life that you cannot describe, those you simply have to experience. It’s that feeling we as parents had when someone else’s child called us mom and dad when he called us from across the world to tell us he enrolled in a university or that he has a girlfriend. These things are indescribable, and only those who experience it can understand.”

–Alisa Salopek, host mother, AFS Global Family from Serbia

What is an AFS Global Family?

An AFS Global 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! 

Read more FAQs

Being a Global 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

Learn why Global Families are so important to AFS programs. Our application process is thorough so we can make the best match for your family.

To apply reach out to AFS in your country

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. 

AFS Global Family Programs


AFS High School Program

Duration: 3 to 10+ months, starting at the beginning or the middle of the school year. Students will be 15 –18 years old.


AFS Short Programs

Duration: 2 –11 weeks, starting throughout the year. Students will be 15–18 years old.


The AFS Host Family Learning Journey

How does AFS prepare Global Families?

The AFS Global 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 Global Family program, including meeting with you and your family at least once a month to make sure everything is working out.


Your support volunteers will guide your family and student through the AFS Global Family Intercultural Learning Journey activities to help make the entire experience more meaningful and lasting.

Who are AFS students?

AFS students come from more than 99 countries, and have demonstrated the maturity and motivation to study abroad. AFS students are screened and selected by the AFS Organization in their home country. AFS students are:

Usually between 15-18 years old on arrival

Committed to actively participate in their AFS program

Considered a good student in their home country

In good general health

Curious, flexible and open-minded