Imagine you are 16 years old and leaving home to travel to a new country without your family. Young students from all over the world have this adventurous experience each year with AFS, American Field Service. I learned about this program because I was named after an Iranian AFS student who lived with my father’s family. In 1998 I moved to Italy for a year where I learned Italian and became a member of another family, that I cherish dearly.
The lessons of this international exchange are the foundation of my compassion for myself and others as we all move ahead into the uncertain future. Founded after WW2 this nonprofit organization is a solution to humanities challenges today. Because of challenges I experienced and overcame, I fully support this program and highly encourage you to participate in any form.
AFS programs foster transformation that lasts a lifetime. Today’s exchange students are tomorrow’s changemakers: diplomats; thought leaders; influencers in the international business and non-profit communities. Every new exchange student is another global citizen in progress—an individual primed to help build a more just and peaceful world. And the impact doesn’t stop with the students. Host families’ lives are transformed by new members from across the globe and host communities gain greater cultural diversity. That’s THE AFS EFFECT.