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A world-class intercultural educational organization; a global movement to develop and activate global citizens AFS Intercultural Programs India 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.

Newsletter AFS Intercultural Programs India

JULY 2017

Issue - VII

Your source to stay up to date with AFS Intercultural Programs India’s activities, events & opportunities |

study abroad

host an AFSer

Discover new things about yourself and find your place in the world. Learn how to turn challenging situations into valuable opportunities to grow and become more mature.

Hosting an international student in your home is a great way to learn about a new culture and share your own culture and values. Experience your world through the eyes of a young person from another country.

Inside this Issue


From Director’s Desk Prepare Yourself for a Better Tomorrow


AFS Perspectives Young People Crucial for Achieveing Global Goals





Intercultural Learning Interaction with our Partners

Orientations Arrival & AFS Re-entry


Impact of YES Programs The Joys of Blending Countries and Cultures & My Exchange Story


Stories from the World Staying in Japan: Of Sakura Blossoms and Ohaiyos

​ AFS Intercultural Programs India Anand Bhawan, 12, Hailey Road, New Delhi - 110001 ​Phone Number -+ 91-11-42512498/41501672/41540827



Join a Global community of changemakers and people like you. Serve as a change agent in your community. Change the world by changing minds.

A world-class intercultural education organization. AFS helps the world learn to live together.


Being Indian Hosted Students in Various Chapters of India

Chapter Activities Welcome Party in AFS Gandhinagar Chapter


SENTIO Event Global Competency - Guiding the Way into the 21st Century


events August YES Gateway Orientation SENTIO: Global Competency - Guiding the Way into the 21st Century

September Mid-Stay Orientation (Regional Level) Annual Volunteer Meet

SENTIO Stories & Experiences Wonderful Experiences

Banner Image: AFS Returnees at Re-Entry Orientation with AFS India Staffers

Edited & Designed by Aadil F.

For any Suggestions or sharing stories & experiences, reach us at:

AFS Intercultural Programs India | July 2017 | Page No - 1 |




How do we prepare for the future? How do we get ready to face what future brings for us? We make plans for regular affairs and hold rain checks for contingencies. For any successful person, the first important step is to give his children, both sons and daughters a sound, competitive education. Through their growing years, while they are students, a large amount of time will be spent in getting educated, but as parents one needs to focus on teaching their kids values. It can be anything: value of money, value of being consistent, value of respecting all, and much more. One of the important value I want to talk about is discipline. Making strict but reasonable rules that the family must follow is a very good way of ensuring a healthy attitude to live. Discipline is an essential factor that must be built into growing children to give them



- Helping the world learn to live together -

a sense of security as well as teach them about not taking anything for granted, and having rules can bring discipline. My father was very clear in telling us that if ever we did anything wrong we must tell him first and he will help us. This simple statement gave us the confidence that someone has our back, and motivated us to try new things and be responsible young girls. I grew in house where early morning I was woken up to the sounds of bhajans from my parent’s room, and BBC news from the TV room. We were given the liberty to choose how to lead our lives provided we do not forget our values. It was the responsibility of our grandparents to share stories and give us the values of our Indian culture. There were very basic values that we had to follow: no wasting of food; respect for all irrespective of age and class; be home before sundown; and share everything with mother over lunch. All our needs were taken care of by our parents, and we were never given unreasonable amounts of cash to spend, no matter what. We were taught to have a respect for the hard work that goes into earning money. When I engage with my niece, I teach her what I was taught. It is never advisable to give children whatever they ask for. This will make them understand the fact that life is not a bed of roses and that one must earn a living. As soon as I entered college my father helped me to get internship opportunity in Escorts and later in his management company which made me learn value of money from very start of my career. I learned the value of hard work and gained knowledge of budgeting. It helped me focus on following the mantra: before spending

Many of you may give the assurance today that you have worked hard and saved a lot of money for your future and your children, but we all know nothing about the unpredictable future and what tomorrow holds. One market crash, one earthquake, a war or a single bad decision can destroy everything in a few moments, so preparing yourself or your kids for future is equally important as doing other things which you are doing, and that can be achieved with having a discipline for a better tomorrow. Excerpts from the book by Mr. Promod Batra

The greatest legacy that you can leave your children is to make them worthy, independent human beings who can survive challenges and start anew.

Young People Crucial for Achieving Global Goals

What role do the young people play in achieving the Global Goals set for the world to work to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030? At a recently held UN ECOSOC Youth Forum some of the key figures claimed that youth is central in creating a better future for all. Read more in this that post comes to us from Ana Carolina Cassiano, a Fellow for the Intercultural Link Learning Program at AFS International. She started her journey with AFS two years ago as a staff member of AFS Brazil after finishing her BA in Social Sciences and participating in a young professionals exchange program in Norway.

Following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the 2016 United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum focused on the role of young people in implementing, communicating and realizing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets of the Agenda. The event took place on 1-2 February at the UN Headquarters in New York, gathering young leaders and senior Member States representatives in plenary sessions and interactive thematic discussions. AFS was represented at the first day of the event as I attended the plenary sessions and the breakout session on Education. The overall discussions highlighted that youth-related issues are crosscutting and present through several parts of the Agenda. But engaging youth in the implementation of the Agenda goes beyond that, it puts young people at the forefront of change and development. Youth is no longer seen only as “the future” or supporters to sustainable development, youth is the present and actively engaged in shaping the discussions.

In the Education session, UNESCO New York Office Director Ms. Marie Paule Roudil called attention to SDG 4: Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all She emphasized that education is a common effort and that goes beyond formal education spaces. In this scenario, one of the main roles for young people is the innovative use of social media and new technologies to promote mobile education and awareness regarding the SDGs. At this same session, Ambassador Hahn Choong-hee (Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN) called special attention to target target of Goal 4: 4.7 By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and nonviolence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development Mr. Choong-hee noted that a fundamental action to achieve not only the targets related to this goal, but for all SDGs is to promote Global Citizenship Education: “through GCE we develop a sense of belonging to a global community, mutual respect, solidarity, tolerance and understanding. (…) This allows us to foster our relationship with others and with the planet”. Mr. Choong-hee also called attention to the importance of

Copied from AFS Perspectives: Helping the world learn to live together AFS Intercultural Programs India | July 2017 | Page No - 2 |

money, think if it’s needed and if it’s a must, and don’t forget to save for the rainy day.

intercultural exchanges as part of non-formal education initiatives to promote GCE. Being an organization committed to prepare and empower our exchange participants and volunteers to become global citizens and change-makers in their communities and around the world, this is a topic aligned with AFS’ values and mission. But beyond that, it is also our role to continuously support youth in taking action to implement the 2030 Agenda. Members of the AFS global community already engage in sustainable development initiatives in multiple ways: from innovative local projects to international events (such as the 2014 100 Years Young! AFS Youth Workshop & Symposium and the 2015 AFS Young Volunteers Forum). Currently, a group of AFSers is working on “The AFS Green Paper: Empowering young people for a bigger, better, strong AFS”. Promoting change and multiplying the effect of our “learning to live together” philosophy is part of who we are and what we do.


We still have a long way ahead of us to conclude we are successful on this initiative. But we are sure this is the only way to go.


- Interaction with our Partners -

Conversations with Juan Medici , Partner Director of AFS Argentina Interviewed by Divya Arora, National Director, AFS India As a learning organization, we have decided to lead by example, trying to encourage and foster innovation as the only way to remain relevant to our society. Innovation especially in our programmatic contents that are the mean to achieve our educational goals. In line with this, we strongly believe that we cannot promote a more just and peaceful world if we are not able to achieve that in our “backyard”. That is why AFS ARG & URU since 2010 (two countries working together under the same I have business degree and a master in finances. I worked for private structure and organization) has is aiming to encourage companies such as Price Waterhouse Coopers and Johnson & our students to become global leaders that act locally. Johnson. In 1996 I joined the AFS staff as finance assistance. After How? Basically, combining intercultural competencies a break, I became the Finance Director and since 2003 I serve as with social entrepreneurship skills. And we found this Partner Director. In 2009 Argentina and Uruguay became part of combination quite exciting and relevant. In summary, we the same structure so I am in charge of running the operations in see international education as a mean to encourage both countries.” people to engage in improving our world, our societies, but especially our local communities. How do you feel that AFS as an organization can contribute to fostering intercultural competence around the world especially during these times of uncertainty? Any suggestions as to how the intercultural learning can be given due importance/ awareness in lesser I strongly believe that the contribution AFS can make in explored areas so as to reach out for more openness and these days to our society is critical and more important awareness in obtaining intercultural learning. Juan Medici says “I am 44 years old. I am married with 3 wonderful kids. I was an AFS exchange student to Australia back in 1991. I learnt about AFS thanks to my mom that went to the US in 1962 with AFS. 3 brothers and one sister went abroad with AFS. My mum was an AFS volunteer and hosted a copule of students at home. So I can proudly say we are a truly AFS family.

than ever. Technology has created an interconnected world, much smaller. But at the same time, a significant proportion of our societies still underestimate the importance of developing the necessary intercultural competencies to properly interact with different cultures and enrich ourselves through diversity. It will be imperative that the world goes beyond multiculturalism to finally embrace interculturalism as a meaningful way to connect and share.

I would say this is the 1 million dollar question in these days as it is becoming more and more relevant to NGOs to find ways to reach more and more people in order to have real impact and become more relevant. Here a few suggestions: •

Finally, the fact that AFS is a volunteer base organization sends a strong message in these days inviting people to become part of the solution, challenging us to leave our comfort zones and engage in our communities to build a better society. And that, in these days, is a very strong • message. Education has always been the key to expanding the vision of people. How do you feel intercultural learning incorporated within the educational framework to help in broadening the overall learning process for individuals?

Have a clear understanding of the territory you are working in. E.g. in our case we face a significant challenge creating awareness across the society to a) develop intercultural competencies and b) consider other destinations or type of programs. We should develop a thorough strategy to address these aspects in order to reach more people. Embrace technology and embrace innovation, thinking out of the box, challenging our own paradigms. As a learning organization, learning starts at home. Embrace collaboration with other like-minded NGOs. NGOs must understand that in order to have impact we cannot do it alone. I am not sure why the NGOs have follow certain practices that come from the corporate world when our goals are completely different. We should work with others, even similar NGOs that promote intercultural learning. Sharing knowledge, learning from others and leveraging each other.

I would say that in the last decade, we have heard that the educational systems are in crisis across the world. We can count just a few countries where the educational systems are working properly to address the current needs of people to adapt to these times of uncertainty Schools are important partners in growth of AFS and finally help them to strive and evolve. programs. How has AFS involved schools in country to make them strong partners? What are some kinds of Facing these challenges is where I find intercultural learning as part of the educational framework extremely activities that AFS has been doing to improve school useful. Not only to help the people to develop the skills relationships, and can be an example for others in the to interact with different cultures, also to help them feel field of Global Education? comfortable with uncertainty or ambiguities that they will encounter during their lives. Finally, to help them understand that diversity and differences it is a great source for learning to enrich ourselves.

Indeed, schools are one of our most important partners to carry out our programs. Back in 2005 we realized we needed to change the approach that could help us develop a more consistent and fluid relationship with the schools. The idea behind was to help schools to What initiatives has AFS Argentina undertaken to shape understand the benefit of being part of an international network. To do so we launched a national plan with two the international education worldwide? areas: AFS ARG is part of a dynamic and complex international network. As a member of this network we have committed to become more relevant by expanding our programs, trying to reach more lives on a consistent and sustainable way.

The idea is also to provide additional benefits to these schools. For example: webinars and trainings for teachers, international programs for teachers, etc. At national level, develop a solid relationship with the national educational authorities to develop better regulations that promotes international experiences.

At local level, we created new roles for our local volunteers that would be in charge of the relationship with the schools at the local level. We also should identify a contact person in each of the schools that work with us or are 4 interested to join.

There are of course some barriers or prejudices from the school system since AFS is considered a non-formal educational entity but this is something that we have to work as well. Volunteers are the pillars when it comes to the functioning of AFS. What can more initiatives be brought forth to garner motivation amongst the volunteers? This is another great question as there are several and very different challenges and trends that we must tackle at the same time. Let me share some of these challenges and trends we find: •

The need for the organization to find a balance between the social impact and the roles volunteers have while they carry out the routines and tasks to achieve consistency in our services (what we promised to our participants and parents). The way millennials would like to engage. More and more, our volunteer composition is influenced by this. This is affecting those tasks and roles where volunteers are not inspired to continue working. The challenges we have find in terms of diversity in our volunteer structure. This is something important and difficult to change. But we must lead by the example

To address In AFS ARG & URU we have tried and carried out different plans to address these challenges. Let me share a couple of them: •

We are working in terms of the aptitudes or competencies our volunteers need to develop to engage and fulfill their responsibilities. Basically, this is done through training. A critical one is our “Leadership School” as we strongly believe that these our main change agents in the field. We are launching a new recruitment plan which includes: a local assessment to identify the type of profiles we would need to recruit to have the volunteers capable to do their job and strategies to deploy the plan on a local level. As part of this, we encourage the local chapters to develop a more diverse volunteer group. Collaboration and Knowledge management. We have launched a virtual platform as a knowledge community that foster collaboration between volunteers and staff. This is a great way to democratize information and share knowledge among the volunteers. This platform also creates incentives to volunteers to share their knowledge by recognizing their contribution with different levels of expertise. Support. We offer different ways to support the work our volunteers do. In order to do so we follow different indicators and measures that help us understand the areas that need to be developed on a local but also on a national level.

How has the AFS experienced/helped you? The AFS experience is still helping me as find myself learning every day. Meeting extraordinary people and their different ways of thinking that helps to learn, more about me and improve myself. The AFS experience has helped me to question myself, to doubt and by doing so, opening the door for learning. During my life, I could say thanks to AFS I have been able to adapt to different circumstances, many of them, feeling quite uncomfortable at the beginning but thanks to the learnings I was able to live the experience as a journey of learning. Finally, the AFS experience has helped me to find friends all over the world and live amazing moments!

AFS Intercultural Programs India | July 2017 | Page No - 3 |

ORIENTATION National Arrival Orientation 2017 Arrival Orientation was conducted at National Level in Delhi for 44 participants from nine countries. Arrivals of the first batch of students started from early morning of 27th June’ 2017 followed with the rest. Staffers from AFS India office with volunteers from various chapters came together to facilitate the Arrival Orientation. The orientation has a broader vision to prepare the hosted participants with right expectation from the Program with intercultural learning. The orientation provided great opportunity make new friends and help settle in before getting into the host community. Orientation helped participant to get familiar with the supporting staff, volunteers and fellow exchange students. Orientation was fun and engaging for the Participants. It covered various activities where participants were guided by the group leaders to make sure that they understand various concepts and components of each sessions through the assistance of the leaders. Various sessions took place to focus on risk management, support structures, communication guidelines, rules, cultural differences, expectations and much more.

to share information about their different countries and cultures at one platform. Many of these participants presentations were inclusive, such as singing and cultural dances, etc and other country participants also joined them which was greatly enjoyed by the volunteers and participants.

(Photo Above: Group photo with hosted students, trainers, group leaders & staffers) thankful to all the volunteers who came together to facilitate the orientation.


We had a cultural evening by the volunteers and host participants. The volunteers put up their chapter stalls to showcase their chapters cultures. They were dressed in traditional attire while they had brought yummiest delicacies from their cities to add essence to the chapter stall. Hosted students loved the snacks and delicious food and got to experience the little India presented by the volunteers. Participants also got an opportunity to interact with the volunteers and staff and get to know interesting facts and sketch about the different chapters and diverse cultures within India. The1hosted students put up performances country-wise

(Photo Above: Group Presentation) AFS India is happy to host such fun and enthusiastic group of hosted students this year and looks forward to providing them with great learning experience. We’re

(Photo Above: Chapter Stalls to showcase diversity) We had an external speaker Karolina Goswami (Polish living in India) to share her experiences of living in India as a foreigner. She gave useful tips of how our students can adjust quickly in Indian culture.

AFS Programs Re-Entry Orientation of 2016-17 Batch AFS India conducted the AFS Re-Entry Orientation in New Delhi from 21st July to 23rd July’2017 for the AFS Students of 2016-17 batch. The orientation was facilitated by AFS-IND staffers. The Orientation Sessions were mainly focused on: • • • • • •

Reflecting on their Experiences and Impact of the Program, Dealing with Reverse Cultural Shock, Weaving AFS experience in Participants’ Life, Intercultural Learning Concepts (Cultural Dimensions), Common Challenges & Solutions with the tips for re-adjustment in the Family, School and Society

One of the highlights of the orientation was when participants got to read Dear Me letters which they wrote a year back. They were surprised and delighted to see the positive changes that they have had in them ranging from Language Skills to Development in Personality. The participants found it very easy to relate with the Sessions especially AFS Education Goals, as now they can understand the Concept in a much better way after the Program. With the intercultural learning components added in the orientation, they were able to explore their AFS learnings in a significant way. Throughout the orientation, they were given ideas of how to use their learnings and skills gained from AFS experience in their future. AFS India staffers introduced AFS Intercultural Programs India | July 2017 | Page No - 4 |

the available resources and means to provide help in adjusting back and welcoming the future with open mind. Participants actively participated throughout the sessions and shared their experiences & challenges.

(Photo Above: AFS Returnee with India Staffers) We wish all the participants best for their future and look forward to having them in AFS India family.

thank them enough for their kindness. We shared a great bond which made everything so much easier.

Impact of



The Joys of Blending Countries and Cultures by Neha Somani, YES India 2016-17, hosted with AFS in Peachtree, GA “I often used to wonder what exactly the word ‘blended’ meant! Coming back from my exchange, I have realized the true meaning & significance of ‘blending in.’ I was not even sixteen when I learned that I was one of the YES 2016-17 finalists in India. After reading that email, my family was thrilled, excited, overjoyed, fascinated with the idea that their kid is going to live in the USA for a year! I was of course overjoyed inside, but I could not express it all. Thanks to all the loving mentors and all my lifelong friends that I met during the Pre-Departure Orientation in New Delhi! After that, everything felt like a fantasy, like a dream coming true, “WOW! I’m going to America.”

My host sister and I would have so much fun every single day. Even shopping at Walmart for simple things was fun. Irritating my host dad for fun along with both of my sisters and getting teased back ten times as much was itself funny. I was super curious to go to church. My host mom took me to church for the first time and I loved it. I made friends there and it was something we would do together as a family. We celebrated all the festivals where I learned a lot about Christianity. My family too was really curious about my religion and culture and we had a lot of discussions about it, which actually helped me learn more about my own country! I have become more confident, independent, appreciative, and much more. I have become a much better person and gained the ability to ‘step in someone else’s shoes’ to see the world from his or her perspective. This program has impacted me greatly. I am a global citizen now where I not only have best friends all over India but all over the world. Whenever I talk about something going on with my family, I am often asked which family I am talking about, my Indian or American family. This program enabled me to develop a spirit of volunteerism. It helped me develop new hobbies and passions and improve the ones I already had. Most importantly, this program helped me find my true self and my capabilities. In future, I am definitely going to host an exchange student and keep on connecting lives and sharing cultures! I absolutely know the joy of blending!!! Once again, I would love to thank the State Department, AFS, YES, my family and friends, and every other person who helped make this dream come true.” My Exchange Story by Snehal Ghule, YES India 2016-17, hosted with YFU in Michigan

(Photo Above: With friends) I had an awesome host family and I had a really great experience in my host school. I was the only exchange student in my school. At the beginning, I felt a little alone but in the next week of my school year, almost everyone in the whole school was my friend. I loved being in the school surrounded with the most loving teachers. I have learned so much from them. I learned to debate on any topic presented in front of me no matter whether it is global, political, cultural, or social etc. The difference between the English I spoke and wrote before and now is tremendous. Apart from that, my knowledge about American History and American Government has increased vastly. Learning Tech Theatre in Drama and Photography and Journalism in Yearbook was incredible! My school gave me lifelong friendships, great teachers and most importantly a platform where I could express myself without the fear of being judged. My host family is a true blessing for me! I love them from my whole heart. I learned so much from them; most importantly, how to find joy in little things. I cannot



Staying in Japan: Of Sakura Blossoms and Ohaiyos By Mohd. Anfaz Kuthoo, Hosted in Japan “It has been almost three months since I left the stronghold of my hometown Srinagar, India to leave for

“In my school, a program called YES scholarship was announced and I started thinking about applying for the program. I started applying for the program thinking that I would never get this opportunity because there were a lot of competitive students, amongst whom I considered myself nothing but I just thought I should still give it a try. All this process took a year and in April I got to know the result that I’m selected, I couldn’t believe that I got selected but I guess I did had some hope and confidence about me. A girl who had never sat in airplane even in the train got the opportunity to enjoy all this which she never did just because of this scholarship. Well after that I met all exchange students who got selected for the program all over India. I was a shy and quiet girl between them. Well, my journey began there… And that day came when we had to leave for America and our flight was 17 hours long. We flew in the night and we reached there in the morning when it was still dark. After having orientation in DC I got ready to fly for my host city and we entered in the domestic airport with a group, after doing all security checking, I realized that I’m the only one who is traveling to Detroit, my other friends were flying in group. I got so scared as I was not familiar with the airport system, thinking of how I would mange everything I almost started crying and then my plane took off to Detroit. I forgot for little while that I was alone as I was talking to the guy sitting next to me and my flight finally landed in Detroit. I was confused about the exit

Saitama Prefecture in Japan. Being selected for this Study Abroad Program from my school through a rigorous AFS selection process had made me exuberant. But I was apprehensive like most 17 year olds normally are, on their first visit abroad. Reaching Japan and meeting my host family dissolved all unnecessary fears and marked the start of my good fortune here. My host family was exceptionally warm hearted and welcoming. Mama-san, Papa-san and my twin sisters Hiroka and Kaho made me comfortable and helped me learn the tricks of trade in the life a normal Japanese individual. I have started to enjoy life here and am sure to gather many beautiful memories lasting a lifetime. My school, Omiya Senior High School, is well reputed in the Prefecture and I have been blessed to be assigned to a wonderful class with equally wonderful classmates and teachers. They have helped me develop Japanese language skills along with constant tutoring by my host family. The end result being, I can speak the language nearly as fluently as the next Japanese.

gates and my luggage, courageously in my broken English I asked a lady about where would I get my luggage and I followed her directions After the baggage claim door opened and my host mom gave me a tight hug, I just said huuushhhh…. It was such a relief to me. I would never forget this experience, today when I look back I find it funny and scary at the same time. So here I’m in Ann Arbor in Michigan. I had a month before my school got started, so I did some volunteer work in that time and I also joined a theatre workshop. Another exchange student from Germany was here as my

(Photo Above: With friends) sister. Our school started, Me and my host sister joined the theatre after school. I participated in soccer knowing nothing about it all my life but you never know how good you are, I wasn’t great as I never liked to kick a ball but I was still a good player. I tried so many new things during my exchange year I learned guitar and ceramics also. When I was in theatre I participated as actor and worked in crew. I also learnt how to sew. In February, I applied for a BUBW conference and I got selected in it. And at the end of April I went to DC. I made so many friends during this time. I have made good friends from Pakistan and Bangladesh. We discussed our countries’ issues and some other problems peacefully having responsibility as youth ambassador. Also, we experienced diversity in different religions like Christianity, Judaism and Islamism. We visited church, synagogue and mosque and we discussed about importance of respecting each other’s culture and preferring humanity more than any other religion. We discussed that how we can save our world from world war 3. We share our culture by doing cultural dance and it was the best. And now the best part was playing games mostly cards with my host mom and my sister, this was our favourite activity for spending quality time together. We used to do lot of things mostly we like to talk with each other and sharing some stories, funny stories we had in our past. Also, my host mom likes Indian chai so I used to make chai for her and myself, sometimes for my sister too. There were a lot of activities that we used to do together as family. Well now it has been almost a month that I left my host town and I am missing my host mom and host sister. But at the end I’m so thankful that I got this opportunity and my host family that they accepted me as daughter & sister.”

Participating in Sports Festivals, grooming my music skills in the Choir club and meeting new AFSers has shown me the immense potential of learning through interaction. I hope to involve myself in fruitful activities in the future that will bring laurels to my school, host family and to the AFS community as a whole. Arigatou Gozaimasu!!! Sayonara.” (Photo Right: With friends in Disney Land)

AFS Intercultural Programs India | July 2017 | Page No - 5 |


Hosted Students in various chapters of India

After the hosted students arrived in India, they were part of Arrival Orientation, and moved to their hosting chapters throughout India. Through these photos (in this page), you may find their experiences & stories of being Indian.








1. Welcoming Elena De Novellis (Italy) at her host family 2. Noe Robert (France) received by his host family; Hosted in Pune 3. Graziana Antonacci (Italy with her host family 4. Yonladee Kittiyopas (Thailand) welcomed by her host family & volunteers; hosted in Varanasi 5. Manuela Giulia Lenosti (Italy) with Anand volunteer 6. Lucas Coudert (France) and Filippo Pretotto with their Host Community in Jamshedpur 7. Joan Ribaudi Perez (Spain) with his Host Family; Hosted in Mumbai AFS Intercultural Programs India | July 2017 | Page No - 6 |

Thank you, host families!

CHAPTER ACTIVITY Welcome Party in AFS Gandhinagar Chapter “Amid the pleasing atmosphere displaying Indian culture and tradition, Gandhinagar chapter members cordially and lovingly welcomed Annika from USA, Noemie from Canada and Johnty from Germany along with their families. Being true to what we Indians believe “Atithi devo bhava “, all the three students were welcomed by applying tilak, offering garlands and ‘aarti’. They were blessed and wished well for their stay in India.

in them with dedication. The exchange student from Gandhinagar, Isha Bhatt was bid farewell for her one-year exchange journey to USA.

The meet was then followed by traditional dinner. Gujarati sweet Kansaar was offered to everyone and later on everyone departed on a happy and hopeful note. The event took place smoothly and successfully. This was credited to the event organizers Utpal Patel, Dhaval Khatana and Megh Buch. Abhinna Shah captured the memories of the event to cherish for a long period of time.”

(Photo Above: Hosted students posing) Hardi and Dhruv had prepared a quiz on AFS and thus by participating in it all the members got a good knowledge about the history and ongoing activities of AFS.

(Photo Above: Volunteers with hosted participants) (Photo Below: Big AFS Family during welcome party)

(Photo Above: Traditional welcoming) Hardi and Dhruv excelled in anchoring the program with enthusiasm and energy. Prachi and Saloni performed Rajasthani dance, puppet dance and garba to welcome the exchange students. The president of Gandhinagar Chapter, Dr. Varsha Parekh briefed everyone about the ongoing activities of the chapter. She and the Vice President of the Gandhinagar Chapter, Mr. Keval Gajjar, by presenting flowers, welcomed the Principals of the host schools, M B Patel English Medium Secondary and Higher Secondary School and Vado School respectively. She also welcomed and introduced the new volunteers of the chapter and motivated all the volunteers to develop the chapter in the true spirit of AFS. Chapter office bearers were introduced to the exchange students and new volunteers. Everyone was briefed about the future activities of the chapter and all were asked to participate

AFS Intercultural Programs India | July 2017 | Page No - 7 |

Participate in

Global Competency

Guiding the Way into the 21st Century 29th August for University 30th August for Corporate Timing: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in New Delhi

Chief Facilitator Bert Vercamer, CEO Sentio Inc. - Global Education Network

AFS Intercultural Programs India is honored to invite Universities & Corporates to a special event organized by our subsidiary, Sentio Inc. that is aimed at preparing the future citizens of the world for the workplace and other roles that they might take up, in our globalized and inter- connected world. As a business leader with an emphasis on the development of Human Assets within your organization and in the community, your presence at our forthcoming one-day interactive workshop to be held in Delhi will be enriching for all. Once considered optional, global competencies like language proficiency and cultural competencies are now prerequisites to compete in the global marketplace. In addition to these capabilities, the not-so-soft skills that are often developed or enhanced with global exposure and that correlate highly with global mindsets are increasingly in demand by hiring employers. These “power skills” include but are not limited to: open-mindedness, tolerance for ambiguity, resilience and flexibility, creativity, teamwork, problem- solving, capacity for compromise, and an ability to excel in a diverse workplace to address common problems. In effect, future employees need to be able to think, engage with others, and act appropriately in all situations. Sentio believes that international mobility is desirable and every young person should spend some time in diverse cultural environments, and get familiar with the way work is accomplished in different regions of the world. However, Sentio also pursues its goals on the premise that international mobility with proper global competence programming, including cultural adjustment, is far better. Confirm your participation for the event by dropping an email to stating your name, your organization, your role and your contact details. Once we hear from you, we will send you a confirmatory email, which you need to carry with yourself on the day of the event to gain entry. 
We look forward to welcoming you in our midst on August. {No fees are payable by our guests, since this is by invitation only )

I went with our students to see how it really is. Even though coming from India, there was so much new things I was getting to know. It was indeed very interesting to be there! Winter is gone and now I am so happy to have spring

Her grandparents, her parents all were thanking me for hosting Amelia and I couldn’t stop feeling blessed to have such a relationship with the people from other end of the world. It was so nice to meet her after such a long time and I was enjoying every tiny second with her and her family

here and soon to have holidays!!

(Photo Above: Anushree with her colleagues)

The month of April was full of excitement, because my Easter holidays were scheduled in April and I had some amazing plans for my holidays. It is rightly said AFS gives many hidden benefits. And I realized some while I was on my holiday to Italy to visit my host sister, Amelia hosted in Ahmedabad. First of all Italy is one of the most amazing places I visited. That place made me so happy just to see how beautiful it is. I visited Maximillian. He showed me around some really cute places in Italy and we spent lots of time talking about his time in Ahmedabad.

Here we finally have summer and it is making me just happy after such long winter.


STORIES & EXPERIENCES Wonderful Experiences by Anushree Modi, Volunteer, Germany Volunteer Service Program, 16-17 “I am having a wonderful experience on my program. Every month here is better than the last month. In February, we celebrated the Chinese New Year. I presented a song, Thousand Years, for which I was complimented. I got a chance to work and sell in the student kiosk. I also visited the Carnival in Munster and spend a wonderful day collecting lots of chocolates and having a good time. In Loburg they had organized a photo shooting for all the staff members of 2016-2017, and since they have many international employees so we had an amazing photo shoot. In March, it started with our AFS seminar. The theme of the Seminar was politics and we were to talk for a week and that was all we were going to talk about. I was pretty excited to see my batch mates again and also to see new groups there from different organizations. And it turned out to be more than what I expected. People I met there were simply amazing, we discussed about our countries, our politics, security, education, corruption and people. Those topics were very intense but interesting. I learned a lot in this one week. I was talking about the current affairs that took place in India. After such great seminar we all decided to take a small tour to France. One of the most interesting activities I did with students here was a visit to South Indian temple. Said to be the biggest temple in the continent of Europe. And of course AFS Intercultural Programs India | July 2017 | Page No - 8 |

It was simply amazing. Later I went to see Amelia and I was pretty excited to meet her family for I had just heard about them. Going at her place and meeting her family was not any different than “going home” I was so beautifully welcomed and they treated me like one of them.

The month of May was very beautiful. It started with the celebration of the Labors day on 1st of May. We decorated the castle with the flags of all the nationalities, studying/working in my project and people were invited in the castle for coffee and cake! It was long, busy but a great day! Sanjana Rastogi, came to visit me and we had an amazing time meeting after months. We talked a lot in “Hindi”, watched a Bollywood movie and also ate some homemade Indian Food. It was a great feeling. The last weekend I worked with my boss’s sister-in-law Mrs Nidoestadek and we baked some cakes pops with our students. In the end I and my mentor, Hubi, had our monthly counseling. The month of May was unbelievably fast. I’m sure June is going to be more awesome and exciting.”

AFS Intercultural Programs India Newsletter | July 2017  

Your source to stay up to date with AFS Intercultural Programs India's activities, events & opportunities. AFS provides intercultural learni...

AFS Intercultural Programs India Newsletter | July 2017  

Your source to stay up to date with AFS Intercultural Programs India's activities, events & opportunities. AFS provides intercultural learni...