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What drives Generation Z to study abroad?

Mapping Generation Z: Attitudes Toward International Education Programs is an expansive, first-of-its-kind report exploring the motivations for and hindrances to international study among the mysterious youngest generation. This research study reveals the attitudes and perceptions of high school students from Generation Z on studying abroad, experiencing new ideas and immersing themselves in drastically different cultures than their own. Key points include:

  • English speaking destinations dominate in popularity
  • Affordability remains a barrier to student mobility
  • Program specifics emerge as the main choice influencers
  • Apprehensiveness about security tops the list of concerns
  • Cultural exploration as a goal prevails in all global regions
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The impact of an AFS exchange on life and career

Creating Global Citizens: The AFS Effect is the first large-scale, global survey of the AFS alumni community based on responses from over 10,500 former AFS participants across 80 countries. This study explores the effect an AFS experience can have on the lives and careers of our alumni while investigating the impact of secondary school mobility globally. It also includes real-life examples from our former participants of changes alumni can bring to their local communities thereby furthering the AFS mission worldwide. Key findings include:

  • According to 87% of alumni, their AFS program helped them become active global citizens.
  • AFS alumni are highly likely to volunteer after their exchange program.
  • AFS helps participants be prepared to work in a global environment.
  • AFS alumni demonstrate fast progress in their professional lives.
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Partnering with Research Experts

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Catalyzing Research in Virtual Exchange by The Stevens Initiative

AFS Intercultural Programs has received a research grant to participate in The Stevens Initiative’s Strengthening the Field: Catalyzing Research in Virtual Exchange. AFS will look into the efficacy of virtual exchange in strengthening high school students’ global competence by analysing the AFS Global You Adventurer program.

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The Stevens Initiative Survey of the Virtual Exchange Field

AFS participated in The Stevens Initiative 2020 Survey of the Virtual Exchange Field, contributing data on the virtual AFS Global You Adventurer program to help illuminate the field of virtual exchanges. The survey results document the virtual exchange programs that connected young people in the United States with peers in countries around the world from fall 2019 through summer 2020.

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Purdue University Study on Short-Term Study Abroad

A study from Purdue University confirmed that students who participated in the AFS Global Competence Certificate Program to prepare for their short-term study abroad experience achieved significant gains in the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a leading cross-cultural assessment of intercultural competence.

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Mentoring during Study Abroad by Purdue University

Purdue University study finds that university students who received group mentoring through the AFS Global Competence Certificate Program during their semester abroad improved their intercultural competence much more than the students who had no support at all. These results have significant implications for educational institutions looking to foster intercultural awareness, respect for diversity and global-mindedness in their students.

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Intercultural Learning Research

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Overview of AFS Research for AFS & Friends

AFS has a long-standing history of significant contributions to the field of intercultural education, often working in partnership with leading institutions and notable researchers. By exploring a wide range of relevant topics—from the ways that technology affects cultural adaptation processes to the interplay between personality and culture— these research initiatives help identify a variety of factors involved in intercultural learning. This document provides an overview of our research efforts.

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AFS Long Term Impact Study

In 2006, AFS conducted a large-scale research to determine the long-term impact of an intercultural learning experience. The study compared AFS alumni to their peers, 20 to 25 years after their participation in an exchange program. The study found that AFS participants showed significant advantages in language fluency and cultural competence that lasted far beyond the duration of the experience abroad.

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The Assessment of the Impact of the AFS Study Abroad Experience

The Assessment of the Impact of the AFS Study Abroad Experience was an independent research study conducted in 2005 by Dr. Mitchell R. Hammer in partnership with AFS. Thousands of students around the world were evaluated before, during and after an experience abroad. Compared to a control group of their peers, AFS exchange students made significant improvements in language fluency, their knowledge of other cultures and their ability to forge intercultural friendships.

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Intercultural Learning for AFS and Friends

Intercultural Learning for AFS & Friends is a series of short, insightful articles on important intercultural topics featuring AFS’s point of view. There are intended for anyone who either is or would like to become involved with the AFS mission.

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