120 Wall Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY  10005
Phone: 800-AFS-INFO
Fax: 212-299-9090
Contact: Melvin Harmon, Sr. Director, Customer Experience, Participant Support, and Program Innovation

2019-2020 CSIET Certification Status: Full
Countries Served: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China (including Hong Kong), Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, West Bank, Gaza
Number of 2018-2019 Participants: 2060 semester or year J-1 inbound;403 semester or year outbound
Grant Programs: NSLI-Y program, YES program, CBYX program
Not-for-Profit Organization: Established 1947

AFS Intercultural Programs/USA (AFS-USA) has been a leader in international student exchange for more than 70 years. AFS-USA is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization through which more than 2,000 students are exchanged among over 70 partner countries annually.

AFS programs foster global competency among participants by providing intercultural learning experiences. By immersing themselves in unfamiliar cultures, participants can gain perspective, self-confidence, and independence. These life-changing experiences reflect AFS-USA’s mission: To work toward a more just and peaceful world by providing international and intercultural learning experiences to individuals, families, schools, and communities through a global volunteer partnership.

AFS-USA was founded in 1947 by former members of the American Field Service, a volunteer ambulance driver corps during World Wars I and II. After the wars ended, they felt that the best way to ensure future peace among nations was to educate a generation of enlightened world leaders through international student exchange.  Since its inception, more than 400,000 students have participated on AFS programs worldwide. AFS Partner Offices are established national organizations recognized and supported by governmental and educational institutions abroad. AFS-USA actively seeks to include participants, host families, volunteers and staff regardless of race, creed, age, color, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, level of ability, national origin, and marital status.

AFS-USA is committed to making its programs available to all qualified students and adults regardless of their financial ability, awarding nearly $4 million in need- and merit-based scholarships annually, including fully-funded scholarship programs through the U.S. Department of State.

Participation fee ranges are listed on the AFS-USA website and typically include: round-trip international travel to and from the host community; placement with a carefully selected host family who provides room and board; orientations; local, in-country support and 24-hour emergency assistance; secondary medical coverage; visa information; and, a tuition waiver for academic programs.  


Academic Year and Semester Programs – U.S. Hosting —International students ages 15 to 18.5 travel to the United States, attend school for one semester or ten months, and live with a U.S. host family.  AFS students are carefully screened and interviewed by AFS partners around the world. Acceptance is based on academic motivation, adaptability, maturity, attitude, and language skills. Trained and experienced AFS volunteers provide local support for students, host families and schools through the duration of the exchange.

Academic Year and Semester Programs Abroad – AFS-USA’s immersive offerings include year and semester programs in more than 40 countries for U.S. high school students and recent graduates. Students have the opportunity to develop and strengthen language skills, intercultural learning, and build lifelong relationships by living with host families and attending high schools in other countries. AFS-USA has a rolling admissions policy, and students are encouraged to apply early for need- and merit-based scholarship consideration. Fees range from $11,400 to $16,700.