At AFS we have carefully considered the issues of importance to young people today and designed programs tailor-made to ensure an in depth educational experience that can fit into your vacations! The AFS Academies provide the perfect opportunity to explore 4 critical themes.

4 Academy focuses in 11 destinations

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Human Rights

explore human rights issues such as racism, gender quality, unemployment, LGBTQ+ rights and more

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for the budding scientists amongst us with options around Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

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Culture and Language

for the young explorers looking to become global communicators, make new friends and experience new cultures

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programs revolving around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals from climate change to conservation

Explore all short programs

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Human Rights in


Students will learn about historic and modern LGBTQ & Human Rights issues in Argentina with three weeks of intensive language classes, academic workshops and cultural activities. Each week students will have the chance to enjoy an intensive Spanish course along with lectures and visits to understand the context of human rights, focusing on the LGBTQ Community in Latin America. Students will also get a chance to escape the city at a local gaucho ranch to ride horses and have a traditional Argentine dishes. 

  • Learn about historic and modern human rights issues in Argentina 
  • Experience the cultural wonders of Buenos Aires including Tango lessons, tours of La Boca, Mate and local food tasting and more
  • Learn Spanish immersed on Argentinian culture
  • Explore Gender Studies in the first Latin American country to legalise same-sex marriage, also cited as an “exemplary country for transgender rights” by the World Health Organisation
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Culture and Language in


Colombia’s diverse, vibrant lifestyle is influenced by its indigenous, African, and European heritage. On this two-week program, you will explore the country’s dynamic culture, starting with the city of Popayan, which offers ornate churches, colorful markets, and fascinating archeological sites. You’ll also have the chance to venture into Colombia’s lush natural landscape and take part in activities like horseback riding and hiking. By living with a local host family, you’ll truly become a part of Colombian daily life as you share conversations and cultural insights around the dinner table. This is a great chance to learn about life in Latin America and maybe even practice some Spanish phrases! You will also spend a few days at the Puracé national park, where you can visit natural wonders like hot springs and hike towering volcanoes.

  • Ecotourism in the Andes
  • Experience Colombian Culture in “The White City”
  • Learn about traditional foods
  • Experience with fun activities
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Culture and Language in


Enjoy a truly transformational experience with one month at a Danish “Efterskole” exploring cultural differences, learning Danish and English and participating in interesting activities and cultural excursions. Experience the vibrant social life at the school, as each year Ranum welcomes hundreds of students from Denmark and around the world.

  • Experience the joy of attending a traditional Danish “Efterskole”
  • Live and learn alongside students from Denmark and diverse cultures around the world
  • Experience a huge variety of exciting extra-curricular activities in your spare time with your new friends
  • Visit a Danish family
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Improve you knowledge of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), while discovering Egypt! Explore the beauties of Cairo and become a member of anEgyptian host families. This program is a unique opportunity to experience the Egyptian culture, visit the great Giza pyramids, Old Cairo and Modern Cairo. In this homestay program, you’ll join a robotics workshop and a recreation day designed by our volunteers.

  • Learn about the UN Sustainable Development Goals workshop
  • Join STEM workshops, find out more about robotics
  • Unique cultural visits
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This 4 week STEM Academy focusses on practical lab learning, company/industry visits, Indian cultural and sports activities. Students will get an opportunity to stay with a host family for the entire duration and be part of a group of high school students from around the world.

  • STEM Classes (both theoretical and practical) for the participants
  • Lab based, hands on and practical learning every day
  • Involvement of participants in extracurricular activities like Music, Dance, Arts etc.
  • Industry/company visits in the STEM field for practical exposure
  • Local Sightseeing
  • Staying with a host family
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Sustainability in


Discover how climate change and wildlife conservation is done in Kenya while you learn about the culture and engage in community service. You will take a climate change tour from Nairobi, Kitengela, Naivasha, Narok and the world famous Masai Mara. See one of the wonders of the world – the wildebeest migration! Discover how the local community and organizations work on wildlife conservation and climate change. Explore the world’s only  national park where wild lions, rhinos and other beasts roam free against the urban backdrop of skyscrapers rising from the nearby bustling city center. Stay with Masai families, engage in community service in a children home care centre.

  • Learn about Masai culture
  • Learn about climate change effects and interventions
  • Stay with a host family
  • Engage in community service
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Sustainability in


Want to learn how to be a changemaker and be more eco-sustainable? Join this program to develop new skills, understand sustainability practices, and build new relationships through outdoor experiential activities. During the program, you will be involved in group activities about sustainability, leadership, tolerance and acceptance of differences, coping with pressure, and teamwork under changing, demanding, and unfamiliar circumstances.

  • Community-based Projects in English
  • Camp-craft & Knotting
  • Kayak Expedition, Whaler Expedition & Swiftwater Rescue Techniques
  • Wall Climbing & Caving
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Culture and Language in


An unforgettable 2 – 4 weeks’ experience for Young Learners at Celtic English Academy in Cardiff, UK. The immersion experience combines a varied social and cultural programme with engaging English lessons so that learners can experience Welsh and British culture and heritage they’ll never forget in one of the top ten places in the world to visit.

  • Improving your English skills with 15 hrs of General English per wk
  • 1 Global Communication & Culture workshop per wk
  • Exciting day trips to historic cities London, Oxford & Bath
  • An interesting and varied Social and Cultural Activity Programme
  • A local community experience, discovering life in Cardiff
  • Stay in homestay accommodation and see British life
  • Connect with people from the UK and around the world

What is Global Competence?

In a more interconnected world, we all must not only learn to participate but also appreciate and benefit from cultural differences

At AFS we aim to develop responsible citizens through intentional intercultural learning, to inspire you to take action in your community and the world.

As a participant in an AFS Academy, you will be guided through the AFS Student Learner Journey. This curriculum is designed to support your international experience, before, during and after. It involves both online modules as well as local orientations and learning moments that encourage you to learn more about yourself, broaden your perspectives on global issues and concerns, and help you understand that workable solutions need to be culturally sensitive to succeed.

The content is designed to meet key educational goals that help learners develop as Active Global Citizens in the following areas:

  • Personal Growth
  • Co-creating with others
  • Understanding the World
  • Taking Action

Find out more

Frequently Asked Questions

The AFS Academies are short-term, theme-based programs for high school students between the ages of 14 and 18, designed to engage students with hands-on activities, learn skills vital to becoming a global citizen, and empower you to change your world.


Why choose AFS for your short program?

AFS has a proud history of over 100 years contributing to a mission founded on the ideals of volunteerism and intercultural understanding. As an exchange organization, AFS has over 70 years experience running programs for high school students and young adults. With over 12,000 participants per year and an alumni of over 500,000 you can rest assured the programs are tried and tested!

All our programs provide extensive intercultural learning opportunities actively guiding your students to increase their Global Competence. Development of this “power skill” is critical for access to 21st century employment and ongoing education. Our portfolio includes themed opportunities in our four focusses around the world.