AFS is an international, voluntary, non-governmental, nonprofit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world. Through its programs and volunteer opportunities, AFS aims to nurture global citizens, especially young people, who understand the global interdependence, think critically and are willing and able to engage actively in their local communities.
AFS programs are built around 16 educational objectives, each focused on different aspects of personal, interpersonal and community development. These are delivered using real-life experiential learning methods supported by structured reflection, in order to help individuals build the tools they need to grow into responsible global citizens.
The majority of AFS programs are 10-month long programs for youth ages 15 to 18 years in which they live in a foreign country with host families and attend local schools while also developing intercultural learning through structured experiential learning methods.
AFS also offers educational intercultural experience for adults through programs that involve community service or voluntary work.
AFS also offers a variety of shorter-term exchange programming that is often content-specific, such as intensive culture and language programs, intercultural summer schools, etc.
AFS members collaborate with local schools and others in the community to provide public workshop, teacher trainings, symposia and other events that focus on diversity, intercultural communication and global education.
Finally, AFS runs many trainings about intercultural learning, organizational development, etc. that are open to AFS volunteers and staff worldwide.