Intercultural experiences; innovative learning journeys

Study Abroad

AFS international programs are supported by facilitated intercultural and global competency curriculums. 


AFS volunteers are trained to guide unique intercultural learning journeys for students, families and other volunteers. 

Host Families

AFS transformed hosting into a creative intercultural learning program, complete with objectives and activities. 


AFS helps schools create dynamic intercultural workshops, class exchanges and events to enrich the entire school community.

The AFS Global Citizenship Education Agenda

AFS prepares and activates global citizens of all ages and backgrounds—and we support a global movement to advance intercultural learning and global citizenship education, especially in schools, university and youth organisations.

Our Global Citizenship Agenda

Learning as a journey of change

Intercultural challenges and learning moments are inevitable parts of our everyday lives, our classrooms and public spaces.

To prepare people to engage effectively across cultural and other differences, we offer transformative learning journeys that are customised to students, families, volunteers, adults and communities.

Each AFS journey is designed around these six principles:

1. Learning as a journey of change
2. Goals-based curriculums + methods
3. Immersive experiences + structured learning
4. Non-formal learning environments
5. Experiential learning = enhanced learning
6. Learning for life + lifelong learning

AFS Educational Approach

AFS Student Intercultural Learning Journey & Curriculum

Universities and employers seek students and young adults who have a sense of the world beyond their own communities—and are comfortable interacting with people from other countries and cultures. Find out how our skills-building curriculum prepares young people to live, work and help make the world a better place at home or across the globe.

Read more

Host Family Intercultural Learning Journey & Curriculum

The AFS Host Family Program is now supported by the AFS Host Family Intercultural Learning Journey. The Learning Journey helps families support their hosted students’ intercultural experience—and prepares family members to become global citizens. 

Read more

Intercultural Learning Program for AFS Volunteers and Staff

The AFS Intercultural Link Learning Program helps our volunteers and staff improve their intercultural skills, teaches them about key education theories and practices, and makes them better able to support the learning of others.

Read More

Intercultural education reinforces 21st century education goals

We educate global citizens and the world leaders of tomorrow, and help them to:

Broaden perspectives

about themselves and the world around them

Learn and respect differences

and believe a diverse world is a stronger and more interesting place

Communicate and collaborate across cultures

in a sensitive and mindful way

Appreciate other cultures

and encourage others to be open to new ideas, attitudes and traditions

Build skills to use in STEM and other key areas

by using critical thinking and problem solving activities

Become part of the AFS global community

to build bridges across cultures and bring diverse communities together

AFS for Educators & Schools

Schools play an important role in the AFS student exchange experience. They send and host AFS students, and work with AFS to create school-based intercultural learning programs. AFS also collaborates with educators and education ministries to develop local, regional and national intercultural learning and global citizenship education policies and initiatives.

Learn more about AFS School Programs

School Readiness Index

The AFS Global Competence Readiness Index for Schools and Institutions is a self-assessment tool that helps schools of any kind identify their position in terms of fostering global competence and supporting educators to further develop teaching practices that create global competence.

The index examines 12 elements that promote global competence and will help you reflect on how your institution complies with these. Once you complete the questionnaire, you will receive the preparation profile of your institution, as well as specific recommendations and resources to identify new opportunities in your own classroom teaching practices and throughout the school to improve your students’ global competence.

Read More

AFS Alliances & Partnerships

“There is a clear relevance of AFS’ work to the current programs and activities of UNESCO, particularly in the fields of education, youth, and intercultural dialogue. Indeed, cooperation between UNESCO and AFS has a solid foundation based on many areas of common interest, synergies and previous collaborations.”

—Irina Bokova, Director General, UNESCO


As of 2015, AFS is proud to have entered into a “consultative status” partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This status enables both organizations to collaborate on initiatives of mutual interest and social good.

AFS works closely and creatively with schools, universities, humanitarian and peace groups, governments and other NGOs on the issues that reflect our mission.

Go to UNESCO's Global Citizenship Education site

AFS Global Citizenship Education Agenda supports

UN Sustainable Development Goal #4

Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning  

Specifically, Goal #4 focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to promote “sustainable development” and “sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.

Learn more about Goal #4

Events for global citizens

We believe fostering intercultural learning is a powerful tool to bring diverse communities together and address conflicts and challenges. Be inspired by AFS intercultural learning events in Australia and other communities around the world.

This complimentary AFS Education Event will be offered to Western Australian educators and educational leaders as part of our commitment to supporting schools and other educational institutions in delivering effective intercultural learning programs that build global competence.

The full day workshop will be highly interactive offering concrete intercultural learning tools that build global competence for teachers to use in their daily work and make intercultural learning more accessible. All activities can be applied to classroom learning, and educators will build confidence to use the tools with their students and learn how the activities can be adapted to a range of classroom settings, and student groups. All workshops are tailored to meet local needs and is highly transferable to other areas of daily life in our diverse communities.

Register Online

Enquiries to Fran Baxter: [email protected] or 0420 946 452 or [email protected]

Read more >>>

Resources and Good Reads

AFS NOW: Helping the world learn to live together

Written by AFS experts from around the world, this newsletter champions diverse perspectives about culture and education, inspiring readers to become intercultural leaders of their communities.


News & Blogs: Intercultural Insights for Global Citizens

News and Blogs that explore intercultural and global citizenship education, voluntarism and social impact, through articles, interviews, and learning tools created by respected thought leaders and experts.

News & Blogs

Intercultural Learning (ICL) for AFS & Friends

Series of insightful and concise essays on key intercultural concepts based on research and practical experiences. The series is produced by AFS education experts for anyone studying about or working with intercultural topics.

Access the series

AFS Exchange Program Research

AFS research efforts focus on achieving a deeper understanding of the impact of exchange programs, intercultural and experiential learning, often working in partnership with leading institutions and notable individuals.

Read Research

The Volunteers: Americans Join World War I, 1914—1919

This Curriculum for secondary school educators takes a unique approach to volunteerism, intercultural competence and global citizenship education, since the volunteer efforts of young people during World War I until today.

Read The Volunteers