AFS transforms volunteers into Active Global Citizens

We call that the #AFSeffect!

Create change

Change the world by changing minds. Help AFSers and your community appreciate and celebrate cultural differences.


Create community

Join a global community of change-makers and people like you. Serve as a change agent in your community.


Create yourself

Develop practical cross-cultural skills and find your place as a global citizen, leader and changemaker in your community.


Create future

Lead diverse teams at home or around the world and promote inclusive societies for sustainable development. 

How to become an AFS Volunteer


Send an inquiry

To ensure the safety of and support to AFS students, all volunteers must be registered. Our application process is thorough and provides what we need to make volunteers successful. Feel stuck? We’re here to help. 


Meet AFS volunteers

Find out more about us and what volunteering with AFS is all about. Then together we can clarify the best role for you based on availability, and what you want to learn and do. 


Get trained

Receive basic training to be an AFS Volunteer, including What Every AFSer Should Know About Intercultural Learning™,  to prepare for an engaging, meaningful volunteer assignment. 


Begin your journey

You will have an amazing time no matter what you do for AFS. You’ll meet interesting students, make friends from around the world, work with passionate volunteers and gain intercultural and other skills that will last a lifetime. 

AFS Students Participants volunteers

What does it mean to be an Active Global Citizen?

AFS volunteers are Active Global Citizens: people whose informed, compassionate, and ethical compass drives them to lead lives and make decisions that contribute to a more just, equitable, peaceful and sustainable world.They:

  • Value and belong to a common and diverse world
  • Inquire critically about the world beyond immediate environments
  • Understand and relate to others across differences
  • Take action toward collective well-being

AFS engages and motivates volunteers to deliver on our impact goal and broaden our reach into local communities.

Find out more

Every volunteer makes a huge impact at AFS



  • Match AFS students with host families
  • Help host families get to know their AFS student
  • Be a liaison for host schools
  • Introduce international students to your community
  • Check in with students or host families regularly to monitor programs


  • Organize orientations for study abroad and hosting programs
  • Arrange awesome social events and cultural trips
  • Bring host families together to share experiences
  • Set-up information sessions for students, families or volunteers


  • Guide AFSers and others through intercultural learning journeys
  • Introduce students to your country’s culture
  • Facilitate learning through creative activities
  • Share your own global experience and cultural insights
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Manage & Lead

  • Launch community projects helping others learn how to respect, appreciate and value other cultures
  • Serve on local AFS groups and boards
  • Learn how to manage local volunteers
  • Inspire others to serve their community

AFS Volunteer Awards

Meet the AFS volunteers who received the 2023 Galatti Award, the Peggy and Art Howe Award, and the AFS Award for Young Volunteers for their extraordinary commitment to the AFS mission.

Two new awards were introduced in 2023: the AFS Community Impact Award for Standout Local Chapters and Beyond the Call of Duty Award for Exceptional Volunteer Actions.

Meet the 2023 AFS Volunteer Award winners
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Challenge yourself while supporting others

By volunteering with AFS you can:

  • Work closely with experienced volunteers to find creative solutions
  • Take on challenging situations for personal growth
  • Polish practical skills to gain a competitive edge at school or work
  • Train to become an intercultural learning facilitator
  • Learn how to make better decisions and solve problems
  • Develop leaderships skills you will use forever

Engaging with my community; meeting people from around the world

“Joining my local group of AFS volunteers gave me the opportunity to develop many skills, such as how to work in a team and interact with people from different backgrounds. As an AFS volunteer, I am more engaged in my community and I meet people from all over the world. Helping students, teachers and families embark on intercultural learning adventures makes me appreciate the importance of world peace and intercultural understanding.”

—Marcela Vazquez, AFS Argentina volunteer 


AFS Global Ideathon: A Hackathon for Ideas

How can we create sustainable solutions for a more just and peaceful world? The AFS Global Ideathon is an opportunity for people who believe international education and intercultural exchange can make a difference and want to be involved in shaping the future by encouraging creativity and exchanging ideas. For two years in a row, this 48-hour digital event (a marathon for ideas = ideathon) was run by AFS volunteers for everyone around the world who identifies with our mission. Together they brought forward solutions to help our organization work towards our mission to make the world a more just and peaceful world.

Find out more

AFS Mission

AFS is an international voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world. 

Read more about what we stand for

How do we enhance the volunteer experience?

Anyone who has been part of ensuring volunteers have a positive impact on their communities understands this requires constant planning. In the Volunteer Toolkit you’ll find training, tools, manuals and more to help you increase your volunteers’ engagement.

Learn more!