AFS-USA (formerly the American Field Service), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a leader in intercultural learning and offers international exchange programs in more than 40 countries around the world through independent, nonprofit AFS Organizations, each with a network of volunteers, a professionally staffed office, and headed up by a volunteer board.

We've been exchanging students throughout the world for more than 65 years. That's six decades of history and experience in international education with an exemplary record of safety, security, and service to students, parents, and educators.

The AFS Network around the World

Programs from AFS

Program Reviews

  • Illiana Celia
    Age: 18 or younger
    Paris, France
    My Time in France and What I Gained From This Experience.

    My experience while in France was one I will never forget. The program allowed me to discover the type of person I was and am today as well as prepare me for college. The experience allowed me to meet a ton of people. Not only did I meet many of the French but I was able to share this experience with 256 other student from 50 different countries who were in France with me at the same time, it was great. Through the program I was also able to find myself a second family which is not what I ever expected and at this point my host siblings have really become my actual siblings. I honestly wouldn't change a thing and would do it again if I could!

    How could this program be improved?

    I don't see much to be improved. There was a perfect balance between how involved AFS got when it came to filling out applications and then the relationship I had with the AFS volunteers when it came to being with my host family. I wasn't seeing them all the time nor was I talking to them all the time but I know that when I needed them, they were there to help.

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  • MichelleM
    Age: 25-30
    Reno, Nevada
    University of Nevada Reno
    A review from a study abroad year

    My year abroad in Belgium through AFS was full of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Full disclosure, I went abroad at 16, a mere junior in high school, 10 years ago. With these 10 years of hindsight, I can give the full report, and how it has affected me all these years later. The AFS program, while set up to help each student succeed, failed on a few accounts. I was explicitly told that the host families were not paid to host the participants. The host family in which I was placed was unable to provide adequate food and the family was extremely hostile towards me and Americans in general. I understand this is not within the control of the program necessarily, but when I complained and asked to be switched, I was unable. The country is divided into districts where you are not able to move freely. There was not another host family in my district, and so I was out of luck. My host family was informed (without my consent) that I was unhappy and that made the situation even worse. I feel that AFS put me into a potentially dangerous situation with regard to my host family.

    On the other hand, I loved the other people that participated in the program. I was able to learn a great deal about myself. It was a year that was truly full of growth and learning. The experience itself, while difficult at times (especially with my host family) was ultimately transformative. It enabled me to become a stronger person and trust myself. I would highly recommend study abroad as a teen, but I would be wary of the difficulty that could arise with the structure AFS uses to place their students.

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