Study Abroad Program Catalog
Every journey needs a beginning. If you’re reading this right now, then you must be the kind of person who is driven by curiosity and motivated to take action. So, where to start? Go abroad with AFS and you’ll have the unique opportunity to experience immersion in another culture and way of life. Adapt to new customs and discover new strengths and skills. Uncover hidden passions and make friendships and connections that span continents. Stand out as a true global citizen. With a network spanning 50+ countries and more than 70 years of high school exchange under our belt, AFS is fiercely committed to providing you with an authentic international immersion experience. Our 150+ programs are led by locals and supported by a vast volunteer network. This means that whatever program you choose – whether it’s a two-week deep dive into a global issue, or 10 months living with a host family and attending a local high school – can provide unique insights that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Join a family of over 400,000 “AFS Returnees” whose lives have been changed by the AFS Effect. If you’re ready, we’ll help guide you every step of the way. What will your journey be?
BEGINS HERE... The AFS Family is here to support you. With over 70 years of experience and 41,000 volunteers worldwide, we’ll help guide you on your global adventure.
Getting ready 1
Explore the 150+ AFS study abroad programs at afsusa.org to discover one that’s right for you.
Talk to your parents and guidance counselor to plan how the study abroad experience can fit into your school schedule.
on your application by telling us about yourself and your interests, then dive right into your journey by logging in to your personal CultureTrek guide.
Review your application with your Study Abroad Specialist and learn more about scholarships and fundraising.
Once you arrive, you’ll be supported by your group leader and/or host family, as well as a community of local volunteers. That’s the AFS difference.
Get ready for your adventure! Advance in CultureTrek to learn more about your host country, then pack your bags and get excited.
When you return 8
While abroad 5
As you explore our programs and prepare for your journey, your Study Abroad Specialist will answer any questions you have and help with details like visas, health forms, and scholarship opportunities.
Arrive at your destination and get to know your local support network. Meet your host family and/or your fellow AFSers.
Immerse yourself in your new daily routine as you settle in and adjust to the culture. Make friends, try traditional foods, learn the local slang, and say yes to new experiences. THIS is study abroad.
Your time abroad is only the start. Back home, you’ll join a network of more than 400,000 AFS Returnees worldwide, and gain access to workshops and opportunities exclusively for our community.
Make an impact
to your friends and family with new insights and perspectives. The skills gained by going abroad are bound to help you succeed in college and beyond.
as a global citizen. Your intercultural knowledge will stay with you throughout your life as a tool for creating peace through understanding.
Connect with the AFS Returnee community. Get involved by networking, or become a volunteer or host family for a student in the U.S.
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Which program is right for you? Programs for 8th-12th graders Year | Semester Experience full cultural immersion. By living with a host family and attending a local high school, you can learn the intricacies of another culture and experience life from a different point of view. This is your chance to uncover new strengths and advance your language skills while developing true cultural fluency. Build lifelong friendships as you discover what it’s like to call another part of the world “home.”
4-8 week | 2-3 week Dive into an intensive, hands-on adventure. Experience an exciting new culture and explore contemporary global issues with our accelerated, short-term programs. Our 4-8 week programs offer intensive immersion through language classes, host family stays, or volunteering. Or, you could embark on a 2-3 week journey with one of our signature Global Prep programs, where you can gain a new perspective on topics ranging from wildlife conservation to youth education to art & architecture, all under the careful guidance of local staff and volunteers. 2-3 week Global Prep programs accept students in 8th12th grade. All other programs are 9th-12th grade only.
Programs for adults 18 and up
Recapture your global education. Deepen your intercultural understanding and build valuable skills while enjoying the adventure of a lifetime. Our hand-selected AFSNext programs offer opportunities for adults 18+ to volunteer, study, intern, or teach abroad. Take the next step on your global journey as you jump-start your job search, redefine your college experience, or make a sustainable impact through hands-on volunteering.
AFS Global Prep program participants in India mentoring schoolchildren about health and nutrition. Participants lived with local host families and immersed themselves
Program offerings are subject to change. Go to afsusa.org for full details.
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in the sights, sounds and tastes of New Delhi.
Table of contents Programs Africa (pp 5-6)
Europe (pp 15-22)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatia
Americas (pp 7-11)
San Diego, USA
Asia (pp 12-14)
Oceania (pp 23-24)
Australia Fiji New Zealand
More good stuff Timeline (p 2)
Diversity at AFS (p 22)
Program offerings (p 3)
CultureTrek (p 24)
Volunteer and Host Family Scholarships Opportunities (p 11) and Fundraising (p 25) School credit (p 14)
AFSNext (p 26)
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“Fight the urge to set expectations. Your most valuable experiences will be the ones you never saw coming.” -Mary Versa
A Day in the Life of Mary Versa, Year Program in Ghana Morning
When I wake up at 6:30 am, street
We eat lunch around 1 pm at the
From my compound’s balcony, I watch
vendors are already selling knick-
canteen. I fill my plate with jolof rice,
children play soccer in the street. Then
knacks and food. I eat eggs and bread
which is a red-orange color from the
my host sister and I play with our baby
from the bakery and change into my
tomatoes it’s cooked with. School
chicks until dinner at 6:30. My host
school uniform. At 7:30, my host dad
lets out at 3:30 and I hang out with
mom prepares stew and fufu, a starchy
drops me off at school on his way to
friends or go to club meetings before
dish made of vegetables. After dinner,
work. School starts at 8, but many
my host dad picks me up. We buy
I chat with my host family or finish up
students arrive early to help tidy up
plantains from our favorite vendor on
homework, and by 10 I’m more than
the grounds. Classes are taught in
the way home.
ready for bed.
English and we stay in the same room while our teachers rotate. AFS-USA PROGRAMS • (800) AFS-INFO • 5
Imagine breathing in the scent of deep-fried falafel and
Step off the beaten path and join a culture that values taking
freshly-squeezed citrus juice while listening to the calming
time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends.
call of mosques at prayer time. On our year program, you
Our year program in Ghana offers the opportunity to live with
can be fully immersed in Egyptian society and culture by
a host family and attend high school, allowing you to become
attending high school and living with a host family. You could
part of a vibrant community. You could also make a lasting
also get a taste of local food, language, and history over
impact throughout the summer by volunteering with children
the course of a summer. Our four-week summer language
at a local school on our four-week volunteer program. Before
program offers intensive Arabic classes paired with a host
long, you could be settling in to the laid-back lifestyle of this
family stay for increased learning opportunities. Or, opt for
friendly West African nation as you browse through fresh fruit
our two-week Global Prep program to explore the many
and vegetable markets or munch on fried plantains seasoned
facets of Egyptian culture and religion.
with chili pepper and ginger.
Discover the real meaning of safari (the Swahili word for
Have an adventure volunteering in the Seychelles, a group
“journey”) with a stunning summer adventure in Kenya! On
of tropical islands in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar.
our two-week Global Prep program, you’ll experience the
This two-week Global Prep program is based on Curieuse
culture and landscape of this breathtaking country as you
Island, a protected natural park and ideal place to get hands-
explore national parks, visit wildlife reservations, and stay
on conservation experience with local plants and animals.
with a local host family. As you pick up some useful Swahili
Surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the
phrases, you and your group will tour urban centers—such
world, you and your group will contribute to the long-term
as downtown Nairobi—and venture into the habitats of rare
survival of endangered species like the giant tortoise and
animals like lions, giraffes and rhinos. Get ready for two-
Coco de Mer palm trees. This is your chance to take part in
weeks of discovery and exploration in a country dedicated
critical environmental research with experienced leaders and
to preserving and protecting its vast natural beauty.
support the development of new conservation policies.
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“I gained a permanent family that I maintain contact with regularly. I learned how to communicate entirely in Spanish, which I still use every day.” -Rachael
Typical Day in Chile for Rachael, Semester Program in Chile Morning
I wake up at 7:30 am and sit down
I go home to eat lunch with my host
I get home around 6 and spend some
to a breakfast of bread, jam, cheese
family at 1:30 pm. My host mom
time talking about my day with my host
and avocado with coffee or tea. My
prepares a big meal like salmon or
family. Then we visit with extended
high school is just a 10-minute walk
red meat and potatoes. I head back to
family and eat our evening meal, called
away, and I arrive by 8:30 after my
school at 3:30 for some elective classes
once. This is a light snack of tea and
stroll through the neighborhood.
or club activities like soccer and dance.
toasted bread with ham and cheese. For
I take a few minutes to catch up
When school gets out, my friends and I
dessert we have sweet German pastries,
with friends, and then have morning
walk around downtown. We like to go
which are popular in the south of Chile.
academic classes including math,
shopping at the mercado (market) or
Back at home, I get ready for bed and
history, and English.
hang out at our favorite café.
am asleep by 11, excited for whatever tomorrow brings!
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Argentines are known for hospitality, so it shouldn’t be
With its delicious food, diverse population, and world-famous
long before you feel at home in their open, friendly country.
festivals, Brazil is an ideal place to immerse yourself in a new
By going to a local high school on a year or semester
culture. Learn the ins and outs of everyday life while living
program, you can experience immersion in the language
with a host family and attending high school on our year
and customs, and what you learn during the day will be
and semester programs. In your free time, you can hang out
reinforced at night while spending time with your host
with friends at a local café or play popular sports like futebol
family. You could also get a taste of the Argentinian lifestyle
(soccer). You might also get to explore cities like Rio de
from a typical teen’s point of view while living with a host
Janeiro and Brasilia or venture into the country’s lush natural
family and attending school on an eight-week summer
landscape. This is your chance to taste authentic churrasco
homestay program. Or, jump-start your Spanish skills on
(Brazilian barbeque) and form lifelong bonds with welcoming
an accelerated five-week summer language program and
family and friends.
host family stay.
Though Canada is close to the United States, life in the
In Chile you’ll find the cosmopolitan capital of Santiago,
French-speaking province of Quebec is indeed totally
the majestic Andes Mountains, the world’s driest desert in
different. With its historic architecture, thick forests,
the North, and the untamed wilderness of Patagonia in the
towering mountains, tranquil lakes, and picturesque
South. But it’s also a haven for thinking and learning—as
farmlands, there are lots of places to explore. Discover why
Nobel-prize Chilean poet Pablo Neruda said, the country is
the Québécois are so proud of their landscape and cultural
“made for poets.” This is your chance to discover beautiful
heritage on our four-week summer language program
natural landscapes in a place that’s also bound to educate
in Montreal. You’ll have the opportunity to advance your
and inspire. Experience all that Chile has to offer by living
French through classroom experience and day-to-day life
with a host family and attending high school on a year or
with a local host family. You’ll also get to expand your global
semester program. Or, learn about local customs first-hand
awareness by meeting AFSers from all over the world.
by engaging in a seven-week summer homestay program.
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Colombia’s diverse, vibrant lifestyle is influenced by
Costa Rica is known as “The Happiest Place on Earth,” and
its indigenous, African, and European heritage. On our
it’s not hard to see why. Let the country whose national
two-week summer Global Prep program, you and your
saying is pura vida (pure life) show you how to take time and
group could explore the country’s dynamic culture and
appreciate the good things. Our year and semester programs
historic cities full of ornate churches, colorful markets,
offer the chance to fully experience Costa Rican culture by
and fascinating archeological sites. You might also
living with a host family and attending high school. You could
have the chance to venture into Colombia’s lush natural
also learn the language and get to know the people while
landscape for horseback riding and hiking. By living
taking part in a five-week high school and homestay program
with a host family, you can truly become a part of daily
(complete with a one week bus tour). Or, get a taste of Costa
life as you share stories and cultural insights around the
Rica’s tropical climate, fresh food, and relaxed atmosphere on
the two-week Global Prep program.
Discover Cuba’s evolving culture on our two-week summer
Get to know a vibrant, exciting culture by living with a
Global Prep program. You and your group will have access to
host family and attending a local high school in Ecuador.
a unique understanding of Cuban history while discovering
With our year program, you’ll have the chance to advance
local art and learning how different groups collaborate to
your Spanish and make tons of new friends. In addition
foster social change. You’ll meet with local high school
to Spanish, you’ll find that there are several indigenous
students to get involved in community projects. You’ll also
languages spoken in Ecuador as well. As you learn about
have the chance to try traditional dances like the mambo
the country’s rich cultural heritage, you may be able to
and the rumba, and listen to Cuban-fusion music like jazz,
explore the beautiful rainforests, mountains, beaches, and
hip-hop, and salsa. If you’re looking to spend your summer
islands that contain thousands of species of unique plants
in a fascinating, welcoming destination with a rich history,
and animals. In Ecuador, you won’t just be studying abroad,
then Cuba would be the place for you!
you’ll be finding a totally new environment to call home.
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Take part in a hands-on summer adventure with our
Sign up for this semester program for the opportunity to
two-week Global Prep program in Guatemala. You and
skyrocket your Spanish and learn about Mexico’s rich culture
your group can build leadership skills and effect lasting
and history. By attending a local high school and living with
environmental change while discussing critical topics
a host family, you’re bound to create memories that will last
like sustainability at a local school. Work alongside
a lifetime. Mexicans tend to be very community-oriented
Guatemalan community leaders, advance your Spanish
and you can find that most people are helpful and open. As
language skills, and even explore some of Guatemala’s
you wander through streets bursting with colorful markets,
most beautiful attractions. Global Prep in Guatemala is
you can spot signs of the country’s diversity, including
so much more than a typical tourist trip—it’s a once-in-
skyscrapers next to historic 19th century architecture.
a-lifetime opportunity to join fellow teens in making a
Explore the beautiful deserts, jungles, mountains, and
difference in the world.
beaches with new friends to discover the real Mexico.
From the cosmopolitan Panama City, to the Chiriquí
Experience el corazón de Sudamérica (the heart of South
Highlands cloud forest, to the remote San Blas Islands in the
America) while immersing yourself in Paraguayan daily life.
Caribbean, there’s much to experience and learn in Panama.
By living with a host family and attending high school on a
With our year and semester programs, you can soak up the
year or semester program, you’ll get an inside look at the
country’s beautiful landscape and cultural heritage while
country’s fusion of Spanish and indigenous Guaraní cultures.
living with a host family and attending high school. Or, spend
You could also develop your passions and learn valuable skills
your summer helping out at an elementary school or other
with our year and semester community service programs.
local organization with our four-week community service
This is your chance to make a real impact by volunteering
program. In the afternoons, you’ll have the opportunity to
in childcare, development, or education. Or, learn Spanish
take Spanish classes as well as visit nearby historic sites in
through interactive classes while living with a host family on
order to get a complete picture of Panamanian life.
an accelerated six-week summer language program.
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USA (SAN DIEGO)
Whether you’re surrounded by the peaks of the Andes or the
Delve deep into contemporary, international topics at
modern metropolis of Lima, you can bet you’ll find yourself in
the University of California, San Diego and make friends
a warm and welcoming community. With our year program
with students from around the world. With our two-week
in Peru, you’ll attend a local high school and reinvent your
Global Prep program, you’ll take part in fun trips, volunteer
day-to-day. Get the full immersion experience by living with a
projects, and classes. You and your international group will
host family and speaking Spanish from sun-up to sun-down.
explore themes related to the environment, social issues,
There’s actually a tremendous amount of diversity in Peru,
and intercultural communication. For example, one day’s
with sizable populations of Europeans, indigenous peoples,
discussion of immigration policies may be followed by a visit
Peruvians of African descent, and Asians. As for wildlife, keep
to the U.S.-Mexico border. This is your chance to discover the
your eyes out for the many llamas and alpacas whose wool is
world—and your place in it—from a college campus just a
used in lots of Peruvian clothing.
short walk from the beach.
New cultural experiences for the whole family
Host an exchange student
Volunteer in your community
Your family can bring home a global education by
Building bridges between cultures is more important today
welcoming an international student to stay with you for a
than ever. Make a difference in your own neighborhood and
year, semester or 6-12 weeks. Each year, roughly 2,200 AFS
across the globe by joining our volunteer community. Roles
Exchange Students come to the U.S. from 90+ countries.
and commitment levels are flexible.
AFS-USA PROGRAMS • (800) AFS-INFO • 11
“In India you don’t only get to enjoy vivid colors everywhere you turn, you also get to experience warmth and hospitality from your host family and community.” -Prince
A Day in the Life of Prince, Global Prep volunteer program in India Morning
At 6:45 am, I wake up and enjoy some fresh
We head to the cafeteria at 1:30
Around 6, I play basketball with my
fruit with my host family. I take a bus to the
pm for a lunch of curry with dal
host brother and his friends, and at
school and arrive before my yoga class at
(lentils) and rajma (kidney beans).
9, my host family and I sit down for
8—an amazing way to start the day! At 9,
We then attend classes created for
a home-cooked dinner. My host mom
all the students share a traditional morning
us to learn about Indian culture,
prepares a delicious meal of paneer
snack of pao bhaji (bread with spiced
like Hindi, dance, music, or cooking.
butter masala (a sweet-ish sauce) with
and mashed vegetables). Afterward, my
School lets out at 3, and I go home
aloo parathas (fried dough stuffed
group visits different classes and performs
to relax and chat about my day with
with potatoes). By 11, I’m ready for bed
dances or dramas about topics affecting
my host family.
and a good night’s sleep!
children in the local community.
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China’s global influence and diverse population make it an
On a year program in Hong Kong, a city that is both ultra-
exciting place to explore a new culture. With our year and
modern and firmly rooted in tradition, you can have an
semester programs, you’ll live with a host family and be
experience unlike any other. Hong Kong is one of the most
exposed to Mandarin Chinese through classes in your school
densely populated places in the world, so you can expect to
schedule. As you immerse yourself in Chinese culture, you
come across lots of new people! As you join in fast-paced city
can experience a way of life where the ancient and modern
life, you might see wheelbarrows parked next to Rolls Royces,
intersect every day. Or, get a taste of Chinese culture and
and herbal medicine shops side by side with trendy boutiques.
the Mandarin language on our four-week summer program.
Plus, by living with a host family and attending a local high
You’ll take introductory language classes during the day, and
school, you can have a uniquely immersive experience. This is
then put your skills to immediate use in a cultural context
your chance to taste delicious dim sum and learn Cantonese,
with your host family and friends at night.
although many people also speak fluent English.
Indian culture has been heavily influenced by the country’s
Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago, is home to more
rich traditions, and Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism all
than 300 ethnic groups and 700 languages and dialects.
originated there. On a year program abroad, you have the
Experience this unique and fascinating society first-hand
chance to meet lots of people, learn new languages, try new
by attending a local school and living with a host family on
foods, and create lasting memories. By living with a host
a year program, and soon you’ll come to know why their
family and attending high school, you’ll get to experience all
national motto is “unity in diversity.” In the Indonesian
the warmth and hospitality that India has to offer. Or, on our
culture where friendliness and hospitality are of the utmost
two-week program, you can effect lasting change through
priority, you have the chance to experience the culture as
volunteering with local school children. As you get involved
a true member of the community. Immerse yourself in this
in impactful community projects, you’ll also have the chance
totally new environment, and you’re bound to gain a new
to soak up local culture with your host family.
perspective on life and the world around you!
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With its intricate mix of tradition and modernity, Japan is full
Spend time volunteering in scenic Nepal on a two-week
of dynamic contrasts. On our year and semester program,
Global Prep program to make a genuine difference in the
you’ll attend high school and live with a host family, revealing
world. You’ll have the chance to learn about Nepali culture as
why this country’s pop culture, competitive academics, and
you build educational facilities or assist refugees from Tibet.
technological advancements are world-famous. You could
Along with a group of dedicated international volunteers,
also embark on a four-week summer program, where you’ll
you’ll grow close with members of the community and
attend Japanese classes and spend time with a host family.
take part in efforts to provide essential resources to people
Or, visit the island of Hokkaido with Japanese high schoolers
in need. You’ll also get to explore beautiful temples and
on the two-week Global Prep program. This uniquely-
monasteries and go trekking in the mountains. At the end of
immersive adventure offers the chance to study Japanese
your adventure, you’re bound to return home with stunning
while working on a school project with local teens.
photos and new cultural insights.
THAILAND More and more people are captivated by Thailand’s ancient
Getting school credit while abroad Many AFS students are able to get credit for the
traditions, delicious food, and tropical landscape. By living with
classes they take abroad, though ultimately any
a host family on our year program, you’ll be able to experience
credit you receive is at the discretion of your home
the full spectrum of Thai culture while attending high school.
school in the U.S. AFS provides resources and
Or, get to know the “Land of Smiles” on a six-week program
support for helping you navigate the process, from
with impactful volunteering. You’ll stay with a host family
talking points to use with your guidance counselor
and volunteer at a local hospital, school, or other community
to an easy-to-use form to track credits.
organization. You could also experience high school life in Thailand during summer break in the U.S. With the six-week program, you’ll go to school and live with a local host family,
For helpful tips to get started, visit
getting the unique chance to see the sanuk (fun) in all things.
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“Take every opportunity to meet new people or try new things, even if you feel out of your comfort zone. After all, that’s where the magic happens.” -Katie
EUROPE A Day in the Life of Katie, Year Program in Portugal Morning
I wake up at 7:30 am and enjoy a
Lunch is the most important meal of the
Around 6, I go home to relax. At 8, my
breakfast of pastries and ham. My host
day in Portugal. I have a two-hour break
large host family gathers together for a
mom drives my host sister and me to
at 12 pm, so I buy a tuna sandwich from
dinner of codfish, vegetables, and rice.
school at 8:15. Classes are different
a nearby shop and bring it to the beach
Then I watch some TV with my host
each day, but I often have Physics,
to eat. I go back for a few afternoon
siblings, whose favorite show is a teen
Portuguese Literature, and Philosophy.
classes before school ends at 3:30.
soap called “Morangos com Açúcar,”
Like most students in Portugal, my
Afterward, I hang out with my friends,
or “Strawberries with Sugar.” After
classmates and I stay in one classroom
including two other AFS Exchange
finishing my homework, I head up to
while our teachers come to us.
Students, and play cards at a café.
bed at 11, ready for another day!
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As the home of cultural giants from Mozart to Arnold
Develop your identity as a global citizen in this nation
Schwarzenegger, Austria is a great place to learn about
renowned for tolerance and diplomacy. Sign up for a
art, music, and history. With our year or semester program,
year program and your daily routine could take place on
you’ll embark on a study abroad journey that is bound to
cobblestone streets amidst medieval castles. As you go
challenge your mind and inspire your spirit. This is your
about your day, you’re likely to hear mostly Flemish (a
chance to become familiar with the language, customs, and
variation of Dutch), but you may also come across multi-
people of this multi-faceted country. By attending a local
lingual natives speaking French, German, and English. By
high school and living with a host family, you’ll experience
living with a Flemish host family and attending high school,
Austrian life from the inside. And since Austrians are known
your cultural savvy will reach new heights. It shouldn’t take
for their active lifestyles, get ready to spend your time
long to understand why this beautiful country has produced
breathing fresh air and exercising both your body and mind.
some of the finest artists and thinkers of Europe.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
If you’re searching for a vibrant mix of European cultures,
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a quickly-emerging travel
look no further than French-speaking Belgium. As the
destination, filled with stunning stone architecture, friendly
headquarters of the European Union and NATO, it’s a hub
people, and rugged natural beauty. But by living with a host
of international activity. With our year program, you can
family and reimagining your daily high school routine on our
make yourself at home in a country with three official
year program, you’ll have the chance to gain a fascinating and
languages (French, Dutch, and German) in the epicenter
rare perspective. Because there are fewer foreign travelers
of the dynamically-shifting European identity. You’ll also
than in other parts of Europe, “BiH” can offer a particularly
of course get to experience the ins and outs of daily
immersive experience, allowing you to learn the language
community life—eating plenty of fries and waffles along
and customs like a local. This will be more than just a year
the way—by living with a host family in the southern half
abroad: it’s a chance to step outside of your comfort zone
of the country and attending a local high school.
and have your own, truly unique adventure.
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This small Balkan country has a lot to offer, including
Known for its majestic castles, mighty fortresses, and
its exciting mix of Mediterranean and central European
ornate churches, the Czech Republic is a stunning place
culture, pristine coastline, and cosmopolitan cities. On a
to experience a new way of life. With our year or semester
year program in Croatia, you can expand your horizons
program, you can embark on an in-depth exploration of its
and expose yourself to new ideas, languages, and people.
history, as well as its friendly people and scenic delights. At
Croatians are known to be outgoing and sociable, so you’re
the crossroads of Europe, the Czech Republic draws influence
bound to make plenty of friends while living with a host
from Germany, Hungary, and Poland, especially in its hearty
family and attending high school. If you have a chance to
cuisine. By attending a local school, you’ll be immersed in the
explore the country’s beautiful landscape, you can catch
language and have the chance to get to know lots of new
sight of the foothills of the Alps, the vast inland forests, the
people. Then, at home with your host family, you can enjoy
mighty Danube River, or the medieval port city of Dubrovnik.
unparalleled access to everyday Czech culture.
Those who value coziness and comfort should head to the
Get an inside look at a nation that knows how to appreciate
tiny nation of Denmark, which is known for Hygge (a word
a steamy sauna and a hot cup of coffee. By living with a host
for the cozy, friendly vibe that’s fostered during winter). On
family on our year or semester program, you can witness
your year program abroad, you can become a true member
the wonderland-like beauty of Finland, learn the language,
of a Danish community while attending high school and
and take part in the customs that make both warm and cold
living with a welcoming host family. Spend your weekdays
months so lively. The Finns pride themselves on how much
getting around by bicycle, and on the weekends, pedal along
their culture values education, which makes this a great
their scenic bike highways to fairy-tale villages complete
destination for those who seek an intellectually-stimulating
with colorful town markets. Through spending time with
school curriculum. Or, spend your summer enjoying the
your host family and friends, you’ll have the chance to learn
“midnight sun” and exploring the country’s unspoiled natural
Danish, though many Danes also speak English.
landscape during our five-week homestay program.
AFS-USA PROGRAMS • (800) AFS-INFO • 17
If you’ve ever dreamed of strolling down the boulevard with
Germany is renowned for its precision and efficiency, but it’s
a fresh baguette in hand, you’re bound to feel at home in
also the land of “Dichter und Denker” (poets and thinkers),
France’s quaint countryside or charming, historic cities.
with world-class musicians and revolutionary environmental
By attending high school on a year or semester program,
policies. By living with a host family on a year or semester
you can set yourself apart through immersion into French
program, you can observe both sides of German culture
language and customs, and what you learn during the day
and become a part of the community. You’ll also experience
will be reinforced at night when you go home to your host
typical teenage life by attending a local German school, most
family. Or, spend your summer in the Côte D’Azur, where you’ll
of which are known for their academic rigor. Or, you could
eat, drink, and breathe French coastal culture on a four-week
take a deep dive into German culture by delving into critical
language program. You could also soak up the French way
topics like STEM, sustainability, or language-learning on a
of life on an activity-packed two-week Global Prep program.
two-week Global Prep program.
Want to dedicate your time this summer to making a
Hungarian culture, language, and history are unlike any other.
sustainable difference in the world? Help defend endangered
With our year or semester program, you’ll get an inside look
at this ancient yet dynamic nation. As you settle into life
Mediterranean on our two-week Global Prep program in
with a host family and friends at school, you’ll learn about
Greece. You’ll camp near the beach—within walking distance
the country’s folk traditions and old-world charm. Or, you
of the waves and wildlife—as you protect, study, and educate
could embark on an impactful journey with our two-week
the community about loggerhead turtles. During your free
Global Prep program. You and your group will take part in
time, you can venture into nearby villages, visit ancient ruins,
a homestay with a local family and gain valuable insight into
and learn about Greek culture from local experts. And if
Europe’s current refugee situation. You’ll visit Hungarian
you’re lucky, you’ll get to watch proudly as the tiny hatchlings
refugee camps and volunteer to help children tell their stories
make their way across the sand and into the sea.
through art and creative writing.
AFS-USA PROGRAMS • AFSUSA.ORG • 18
Known as “the land of fire and ice,” Iceland is covered by
Live on the rocky beach of northwest Ireland on our three-
stunning volcanoes, waterfalls, mountains, glaciers, lakes,
week Global Prep program. Led by a local PhD professor,
and geysers. The geothermal heat generated by hot springs
you’ll delve deep into global issues like civil rights and social
even provides energy to greenhouses, which produce all
justice while experiencing cultural immersion, Irish language
kinds of delicious fruit and vegetables. On a year program in
lessons, and outdoor adventuring. On a guided tour along
Iceland, you can take advantage of a culture that values this
the coastline, your group will grapple with topics like peace
beautiful natural landscape while making friends, learning
and understanding in the context of Irish culture, then spend
a new language, and gaining a deep understanding of this
your free time on the beach (even surfing, believe it or not!).
unique culture. By living with a host family and attending
By the end of your summer, you can develop a unique lens
a local school, you’ll find yourself at the core of Icelandic
through which to view conflict and resolution, while having
society, which is progressive and egalitarian.
an absolute blast with the locals.
Experience our year or semester program in Italy among
Immerse yourself in the folklore-rich culture of Latvia, infused
ancient ruins, sampling the world’s best gelato. It’s hard
with influences from Russia and many other European nations.
to resist the appeal of attending a local high school and
On a year program abroad, you’ll become exposed to new
experiencing a host family’s Italian hospitality and home-
ideas and customs and witness the country’s spellbinding
cooked meals. Or, soak up “la dolce vita” with our five-week
landscape, with its lakes, rolling hills, rivers, and pristine
summer homestay program. You’ll still find an opportunity
pine forests. By attending a local high school, you can make
for cultural immersion through one week of language classes
new friends and learn about the history of this Baltic nation,
and four-weeks with a host family. You can also explore Italy’s
which has been a cultural crossroads between the east and
legendary art scene with our five-week arts and culture
west for centuries. Living with a host family will provide the
summer program, where you’ll take language lessons and
opportunity to gain deep insights into Latvia’s joyful culture,
study sculpture and painting while living with a host family in
festivals and foods.
sun-drenched Tuscany. AFS-USA PROGRAMS • (800) AFS-INFO • 19
Our year program in the Netherlands offers the amazing
Through living with a Norwegian family and attending a local
opportunity to meet all kinds of new people and get to
school on a year program, you can gain insights that few in
know this open-minded, tolerant, and progressive country.
the world have. Norway is the land of friendship, tolerance,
Dutch schools are some of the best in the world, so you
independence, and equality. You’ll find that because of the
could get a huge boost to your academics. In your free time,
long winters, spending time outside is also a high priority for
explore the numerous bike paths and a countryside dotted
Norwegians, so be ready to explore the breathtaking glaciers,
with windmills. You’ll live with a host family and attend a
mountains, waterfalls, pristine forests, and coastlines. You
local school, where you can discover the language, history,
might even catch a glimpse of the spectacular aurora borealis,
and culture of the Netherlands through full immersion.
or northern lights. Plus, if you’re into skiing, it’s tough to do
By the end of your year abroad, you can look back at the
better than Norway, where it’s the official pastime.
adventure of a lifetime with a new global perspective.
If you’re interested in Central Europe, Poland has become
Study abroad in sunny Portugal and enjoy its rich history,
an increasingly ideal place to live. With our year program,
delicious cuisine, and world-famous hospitality. Live with a
you’ll stay with a Polish host family and go to high school in
host family on a year program while attending a local high
your community. Family meals are central to Polish culture,
school and learning all about this fascinating culture. The
so you’ll have plenty of time to learn firsthand about their
Portuguese are known for being friendly and welcoming to
cultural values while enjoying pierogis (stuffed dumplings)
foreigners, so it shouldn’t be long before you feel like you’re
or a hearty stew. Or, with our two-week Global Prep
part of the community. Everywhere you go, you’ll find open air
program, you can get a taste of the country’s hospitality
markets selling fresh produce and seafood. Cultural festivals
while exploring the local customs, foods, and perspectives.
are also very common in Portugal. Nearly every region, even
As you spend your days winding through Poland’s quaint
the smallest village, keeps its local traditions alive through
cobblestone streets, you just might fall in love.
colorful decorations, dancing, and music.
AFS-USA PROGRAMS • AFSUSA.ORG • 20
With its rich literary and artistic history, Russia is a country
On this year program off the beaten path, you’ll learn about
full of proud traditions. It’s twice the size of the United
Serbia’s fascinating history and get to know its people, who
States and is made up of many different regions, cultures,
are known for their hospitality and love of socializing. As
and environmental landscapes. Go on a year or semester
you explore the artistic and cultural history, you’ll get used
program to live with a host family and attend high school
to seeing striking murals and frescos covering the buildings.
while experiencing life in a nation that is continually
You can gain an understanding of the Serbian way of life by
growing on the world stage. At school, at home, and out
attending a high school in your community and living with
with your friends, you can experience immersion in Russian
a host family, who are known to gather with their extended
culture. You’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to
family on Sundays for big, traditional lunches. The richness
learn a critical global language and gain an intimate
of your experience won’t end there—there’s plenty more to
understanding of this fascinating and complex society.
discover in this vibrant destination.
Slovakia’s castles and natural hot springs may be what
Let the country known for the fiesta and siesta teach you how
bring most people to the area, but with our year program,
to get the most out of life, all while skyrocketing your Spanish
you can gain a unique understanding of the cultural sights,
(or Catalán!) and expanding your world-view. As you live
sounds, and flavors of this little-known European treasure.
with a host family and attend school on a year or semester
In larger towns and cities, you might become fond of the
program, you’ll be fully integrated into daily life. Spain’s warm
nation’s “café culture,” which values time at lunch to drink
atmosphere also makes it a picturesque place to spend your
coffee with friends and snack on pastries along cobblestone
summer. You can advance your Spanish-speaking skills with
streets. By living with a host family and attending a local
both formal study and first-hand experiences on our four-
high school, you’ll have time to develop Slovakian language
week language program in Málaga. Or, enjoy a two-week
skills and create close friendships with your classmates –
Global Prep adventure, where you’ll also take language
the only way to truly know a place and its people.
lessons while exploring cultural sites and meeting local teens.
AFS-USA PROGRAMS • (800) AFS-INFO • 21
Go abroad on a year program in Sweden and make yourself
With four official languages, Switzerland is an ideal place
at home in this Scandinavian utopia. As one of the most
to get a truly international education. In fact, the country’s
environmentally-conscious and sustainable countries in
motto is, “Unity, yes; uniformity, no.” At meals with your family
the world, Sweden is a global leader in organic agriculture,
or friends, you might hear anything from “en Guete” to “bon
recycling, and renewable energy. Attending a local school and
appétit” (both mean “have a great meal”). By living with a
living with a host family will enable you to learn the Swedish
host family and studying at a high school in your community
language and bond with your classmates and community.
on a life-changing year program, you could find yourself
You’ll also get to take in Sweden’s mix of sleek modern and
immersed in a culture that values cultural diversity, social
intricate medieval architecture. Many cities still have charming
harmony and lovely natural landscapes. Make Switzerland’s
cobblestones town squares, where you’ll see Swedes hanging
breathtaking mountain hikes and delicious fondue meals with
out and shopping for groceries at local markets.
friends a part of your routine next year.
TURKEY On a year program in Turkey, you can get familiar with the country’s world-renowned cuisine, spectacular cultural sights,
Our commitment to diversity At AFS, we believe that fostering inclusion is inherent to our mission of creating a more just
people. As you attend a local school and make new friends,
and peaceful world. By offering diversity
you’ll have the opportunity to get an in-depth look at this
scholarships, special webinars for LGBTQ students,
diverse nation, which is situated in between Europe and
support for non-U.S. citizens and much more, we
Asia. In your free time, you and your host family can share
strive to ensure our community represents the full
meals and explore the beautiful landscape together. Or,
spectrum of diversity in the U.S.
you could discover Turkey’s fascinating culture throughout the course of an unforgettable summer with our seven-
Learn more at afsusa.org/diversity
week homestay program.
AFS-USA PROGRAMS • AFSUSA.ORG • 22
“In Australia, you can get an incredibly valuable experience abroad without needing to know another language” -Laura
A Day in the Life for Laura, Semester Program in Australia Morning
At 7:30 am, I wake up and eat some toast
At 12 pm, I have a short recess
I go home around 5 and feed my family’s
with vegemite for breakfast. My host siblings
followed by lunch. My friends and
chickens. At 6:30, my host family and
and I walk to the bus stop, literally passing
I play kickball outside and then sit
I sit down for a dinner of pasta and
kangaroos hopping around in the bush.
down to eat our burgers. After lunch, I
kangaroo meatballs. As it gets dark, we
The bus picks us up and we arrive at school
have a few more classes before school
gather around a bonfire in the yard to
by 8:30. My classes are different each day,
lets out at 3:30. I head to the beach
talk. Afterward, I finish up my homework
but I might have English, math, history, or
with my friends or downtown to meet
as Australian football plays on TV in the
cooking. Everyone at my school is divided
up and trade stories with some other
background. By 11, I’m ready for bed
into a different “house” and sometimes we
exchange students in my area.
and a good night’s sleep!
have inter-house competitions.
AFS-USA PROGRAMS • (800) AFS-INFO • 23
Go on a semester program in Australia and see what it’s like
With its pristine white sand beaches and culture of
to turn your whole world upside down (or is it right-side up?).
hospitality, the island of Fiji is an amazing place to spend
By living with a host family and attending a local school,
your summer. On our two-week Global Prep program, you
you’ll be completely immersed in the culture and really get to
and your group will work alongside experts to assist with
know the friendly, outgoing people and beautiful landscape.
key infrastructure construction, set up community-based
Australians love to spend time outdoors, so you can expect
development initiatives, volunteer in schools, or contribute
to see people hanging out in their backyards, playing cricket,
to critical environmental studies. In your free time, you’ll
going sailing, or having a barbecue in the park. Australia is
have the chance to explore Fiji’s stunning natural landscape.
famous for its stunning beaches and welcoming culture—
You and your group might go hiking in lush forests, swim in
make them a part of your everyday reality when you study
hidden waterfalls, or visit the dolphins at Moon Reef. This is
abroad in the land down under.
your chance to make a difference and have a blast.
NEW ZEALAND New Zealand is known for its friendliness, magical landscape, and breathtaking coastal beauty. The culture is incredibly diverse, with a substantial Asian and Pacific Island influence on architecture, art, and music, along with a strong presence of the indigenous Maori people on the food and culture. With our year or semester programs, you’ll get to experience the casual Kiwi lifestyle while attending a local high school and living with a host family. In your free time, you can enjoy family barbecues in the backyard or hikes to the nearest beach. This isn’t just study abroad: it’s your opportunity for
CultureTrek: A step-by-step guide to your cultural adventure After starting your application, you’ll have complete access to country-specific quizzes, games, travel resources, and more. Each unique module was created by our intercultural experts with students like you in mind, all designed to help prepare you for your journey. Try it out for free at afsusa.org/culture-trek
an adventure you’ll never forget.
AFS-USA PROGRAMS • AFSUSA.ORG • 24
Make studying abroad a reality.
SCHOLARSHIPS At AFS, we believe that everyone who wants to study abroad should be able to. Each year, we award three million dollars in scholarships, supporting roughly 45% of our participants in their quest to see the world – regardless of their financial realities.
Merit- and Need-Based Scholarships Cultural Explorer
Vaya a América Latina
$3,000 | Bosnia & Herzegovina,
$2,000 | Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica,
Amount varies by state and financial
China, Croatia, Czech Republic,
situation | All destinations
Egypt, Ghana, Hong Kong, Hungary,
India, Indonesia, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia,
BP Global Citizens of Tomorrow
100% | Brazil and India
Need- and merit-based
Yoshi Hattori and Sakura
$2,000 | Italy
100% | Japan
AFS also provides resources, support and step-by-step guides for fundraising.
U.S. Department of State Scholarships
Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad (YES Abroad)
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX)
National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)
Scholarships to spend an academic year developing global competence and an understanding of shared cultural values by living with a host family and attending a local high school in select countries with significant Muslim populations.
Scholarships to spend an academic year living with a host family and attending high school in Germany, gaining unique insight into current global affairs and German social, economic, and political life through citizen diplomacy.
Scholarships to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic year overseas immersion programs, including Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, and Turkish.
Learn more about scholarships & fundraising at afsusa.org/scholarships AFS-USA PROGRAMS • (800) AFS-INFO • 25
Scholarships offerings are subject to change.
Let your sense of adventure get the best of you. Experience unique cultural immersion while diving deep into contemporary themes like sustainable development, wildlife conservation, global health, child development and female empowerment.
For adults 18 and up.
Uncover your full potential and learn alongside experts as you help address critical global topics.
Create a meaningful and sustainable impact in some of the worldâ€™s most dynamic destinations.
Make your greatest adventures really count by earning college credit through service-learning abroad.
Experience your own eye-opening education while teaching in classrooms off the beaten path.
Explore Build your cultural fluency through active immersion and deep, personal interaction.
Learn more at afsnext.org Or call 877-AFS-NEXT to speak to a specialist.
The way to adventure.
Start your journey today.
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