Established in 1914, AFS Intercultural Programs (AFS) is an international, volunteer driven, non-governmental, non-profit organisation that provides intercultural learning opportunities. A premier educational exchange organisation, AFS is one of the world?s largest community-based volunteer organisations.
Nearly 400,000 students, young adults and teachers have participated in our programs. Since 1947, when the first student exchanges took place, a similar number of host families have been a part of AFS worldwide. The essence of any AFS program is „Stay and Study? in a different cultural setting.
Participants live with a host family experiencing home and family life that is in many ways different to their own culture and routine.
AFS activities are based on our core values of dignity, respect for differences, harmony, sensitivity and tolerance.
We believe that today‟s youth – and tomorrow‟s leaders – are among the best “bridge builders” between nations.
Currently, there are more than 36,000 active volunteers worldwide in various roles including board leadership, program operations, participant support and marketing. The volunteer body is generally comprised of program alumni, and their families, former host families and teachers. Volunteers keep the wheels of AFS running.
Every year AFS provides thousands of high school age (15–17.5 year old) students from all over the world with opportunities to live in another country for an academic year. They learn to appreciate other ways of doing things and begin to break down the barriers between cultures and people. The personal growth and learning for both students and their families is profound and sustained. The families gain extended life-long relationships.
- A strong connection to and involvement with the people and way of life of your host country.
- New relationships that will change your outlook in profound ways.
- A passion for understanding different cultures in addition to the one you visit.
- The ability to understand and to express yourself in another language, often fluently.
- A lifelong interest in and concern for the other countries and international issues.
- A greater flexibility when dealing with other people and situations.
Program Details –
Intercultural Programs India
AFS is an international, voluntary, non – governmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world. AFS was created in 1914 and has been doing intercultural programs since 1947, currently present in more than 54 countries with over 13,000 exchanges per year.
The essence of any AFS program is ‘Stay and Study’ in a different cultural setting. Participants live with a host family experiencing home and family life that is in many ways different to their own culture and routine.
>The benefits of this intercultural experience are manifold. The participant, the host family, host school, and the community get an opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.
AFS believes that we must build bridges of understanding and mutual respectbetween countries and cultures around the world. We further believe that today’s youth —and tomorrow’s leaders —are among the best “bridge builders” between nations.
>AFS Intercultural Programs India looks forward to strengthening its presence amongst its stakeholders by undertaking local/national initiatives. The programs aims to bring together anyone and everyone who works in international setting, lives or travels abroad, faces issues of diversity in their personal/professional life, or simply seeks to grow through intercultural experiences, an official AFS Intercultural Programs India extravaganza with an array of activities.
Target Audience —AFS Intercultural Programs India stakeholders —Students, Volunteers, Educational Institutions/Boards, Dignitaries, Corporate, Government Officials and Education &Cultural Exchange industry representatives.
Intercultural Education —AFS has always stressed on the need for advocating Intercultural Learning amongst its stakeholder — the need to develop cultural competencies to help individuals adapt in culturally varied setups. Imparting relevant education through workshop, seminars, talks etc. via such a platform could help us brand ourselves amongst a wider audience.
The motive of AFS programs is to develop effectiveness for those working in international environments, encourage cultural and personal self-understanding, and show how to deepen the learning experiences that come from travel and life abroad, an informal yet social extravaganza with an intercultural theme.
AFS High School Program
Over the past five years, more than 500 high school students from India went abroad on AFS exchanges to the United States, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Japan, and many other countries. The students can however select from over 52 countries where AFS has its partners. For more information on countries student can visit our website.
Age limit- 15 to 17 1/2years. Duration- Generally 1 academic year or 1 year
Criteria for Students selection
• Young potential leaders —
a. Have solid personal qualities
b. Are results oriented
c. Have social empathy
d. Have awareness of Indian culture and global issues
Class Exchange Program
We have class exchange program between two schools, one from India and other from any AFS partner country, who can match their standards in terms of type of school/age of students/language of communication, and, possibly of considering the applicant’s requests and preferences.
Groups can also consist of students from two or more classes but in this case they should have a common preparation in advance.
Age- Between 12 and 18 years preferably exchanges between students of the same age.
Number- Usually about 10-25 students + 2 teachers
Length- 1-3 weeks. Preferably 14 days.
Time- Timings can be discussed accordingly.
AFS University Exchange Program
One such program which re-affirms our faith in training people to become responsible global citizens is University Exchanges. The Program content varies from student to student as they have option of choosing their own subjects from the diverse variety of subjects available with the university.
AFS Community Service Exchange
Participants over the age 18+ can participate in AFS program too. This unique initiative helps you in giving back to the World and at the same timemake you aware of your surrounding and the problems existing by being a global citizen. We currently run in these programs in more than 30 countries and host around 10 students every year. The duration of the program could be chosen from 3 months, 6 months and 1 year tenure. Cost is similar to World Program fees.
Exchange Program For Teachers
Teachers in country who are currently working in secondary schools and who would like to experience teaching in different country can apply for this program. It is a condition that the school, at which the teacher is employed, will support and take an active part in the program. By taking an active part in the activities of the school, the participating teacher will have a unique opportunity to achieve a thorough understanding of how teaching is done in India.
At the same time he/she will be able to –
a) share teaching approaches in host country—not only with the participating teacher but with the entire staff at the school. b) give the pupils at the school an intercultural experience by sharing his/her culture with them.
An important aspect of the program is that the two participating teachers will work together in order to develop the details of their project themselves. This means that they will be expected to discuss the details prior to the visit, and exchange experiences during the two visits and make a joint evaluation and agree on follow-up activities at the end of the visit to hosted country.
During that time he/she will stay with the host families & experience the teaching methods in India. The duration of the program is not more than 3 months.
Besides ‘sending’, AFS India ‘hosted’ students from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Switzerland. These participants stayed in Indian homes and attended local schools.Wehave hosted more than 100 + students from various countries.
As an AFS India host family, will be important to provide room and board for the exchange student. Also, will be expected from host families to exercise general parental supervision over the student just as they would with their own children, and involve him or her in daily household chores and activities.
AFS India will arrange school enrolment, tuition and other educational matters with the local secondary school (for long-term exchanges). All program volunteers are devoted to the safety of the students.
It provides a platform for our hosted student from all across the globe to display their cultural heritage —food, artefacts, virtually experience the world coming together, and know more about a country by the young ambassadors. Activities are geared up to display ones talent. The main aim for doing these activities are to give them a chance to show your pride for their nation in front of an audience. Similar activities can be undertaken.
Leadership Opportunity forProgram Returnees— AFS Intercultural Programs India aims to provide internship opportunities to our programs returnees who are now in college and on their way to embark on a professional journey. They get to be the facilitators of the event headed by a staff member from the national office. The organizing committee to get hands on experience in finance, logistics, communications, delegate servicing.
BENEFITS OF HOSTING AN AFS PARTICIPANTS
AFS host families have reported great rewardsfor opening their homes andhearts to AFS exchange participants. By hosting an AFS exchange participant you to, can:
- Draw your family close together.
- Meet your community leaders by participating in AFS activities.
- See India and our culture through new eyes.
- Develop a lifelong connection with you hosted participant and his or her family by extending your family to include a son or daughter.
- Directly benefit through increased knowledge, understanding and communication.
- Be provided with world wide networks that last a lifetime. Allowsyou to experience the increased warmth and vibrancy of an extended family.
- Experience India and its culture froma new perspective and learn about the customs, ideas and values of another culture.
- Make a positive and real contribution towards creating a more just and peaceful world, through intercultural understanding.
For more info, contact us at: –
AFS INTERCULTURAL PROGRAMS INDIA