Take a look at the trailer:

What is it?

Foundations is our flagship ICL program here at AFS. Participants, including Staff and Volunteers, will discover how AFS creates impact and gain intercultural skills that are crucial to achieving the best results with the work we do at AFS. Since 2020, over 3,700 volunteers and staff across the AFS Network have been enrolled in Foundations.  

In this course, you will:

  • Discover how AFS creates impact
  • Learn tools to understand differences and suspend judgment
  • Explore cultural dimensions and intercultural communication strategies
  • Reflect on ways to make AFS more inclusive at the local level
  • Get inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals to take action in your community
  • and more!

Who should take this course?

This course was designed for all staff members and volunteers . Please note: and our AFS organization must approve of your enrollment before registering.

Available Languages

The Online Version of Foundations is available in English, Spanish, Japanese, French and Arabic (videos are recorded with English audio and feature subtitles in those languages).

The different versions of Foundations

Foundations was designed to be a flexible program, which can be delivered in three formats: fully online , fully in-person or blended (a combination of both). Besides that, there are two versions of the in-person training: a 1-day version (which is fully equivalent to the online course content), and a 1.5-day version (which also includes additional 6 hours of more in-depth experiential sessions). The blended version of Foundations is a combination of the online course and the additional 6 hours of more in-depth experiential in-person sessions.

What is the workload of the online version?

This is a self-paced course, which means you decide how fast or slow you want to go. The online course consists of 11 modules with videos, forum questions, quizzes, and activities. Each module should take between 20 to 60 minutes to complete. During the course, your Qualified Trainers will invite you to attend three 90-minute Live Sessions where you will meet others from your global cohort and dive deeper into the course topics.


Why take it?

  • You’ll meet AFS volunteers and staff from around the world!
  • You’ll increase your intercultural awareness and global competence which will make you more effective in your role within AFS.
  • It’s self-paced but there are also live sessions where you’ll meet your fellow cohort members.
  • It’s engaging and fun!
Foundations of Intercultural Learning

I took the original “Level W”, should I take this one?

We encourage you to do it because:

  • There is new and improved content (Understanding Inequality, Active Global Citizenship, etc.)
  • There are new tasks and activities
  • It will be a great refresher
  • There are forum reflections, 2D animation videos, quizzes, activities and more.

What participants say about this course

“Make sure this course reaches as many people as possible. It’s wonderful!!”
Sherifa Fayez, AFS Egypt Partner Director

“I think Foundations should be made available to all stakeholders of AFS, it’s very insightful and a great refresher even if you’ve gone through a previous ICL training.”
Zeenat Ameena, AFS Ghana volunteer 

“The Foundations online course is really engaging. I am sure it will receive a wonderful response from whosoever that opts for it. Thank you for creating such a wonderful course.”
– Ajay Mehta, AFS India volunteer 

“I like the fact that new but very relevant topics are added, for example Understanding Inequality & Active Global Citizenship. Doing this made me realize that conducting Level W online is actually possible! I initially had doubts, but after completing it, I can see that this is feasible. I was able to relearn certain topics and view it from a different angle.”
– Sophie Ismail, AFS Malaysia staff member

“The Foundations online course is really engaging. I am sure it will receive a wonderful response from whoever opts for it. Thank you for creating such a wonderful course.”
– Ajay Mehta, AFS India volunteer 


This course is free of charge.

2024 Cohorts:

5 February – in English

26 February – in Spanish

1 April – in English

29 April – in French

6 May – in Spanish

3 June – in English

8 July – in Spanish

5 August – in English

2 September – in Spanish

9 September – in French

5 October – in English

11 November – in Spanish

Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish, and Japanese for all cohorts

Register Now