AFS has 70 years of experience in student exchange and intercultural learning. All of our AFSNext programs are selected based on their adherence to AFS quality standards - standards that ensure that your experience will be an exceptional learning opportunity in a safe and trusted environment, led by qualified staff and volunteers. These assurances are what have made AFS high school programs the gold standard of student exchange. As an AFSNext participant, you can rely on an experience that meets or exceeds the expectations of today's global learner.
In addition to the programs themselves, all AFSNext participants receive an added benefit of Global Competence Certification (GCC) program. This signature online course offers a blended learning approach to global competence and provides instruction before, during, and after your AFSNext program. Upon successful completion, you'll receive full certification in Global Competence - a benefit that solidifies and validates your study/volunteer abroad experience. In other words, your experience will stand out on a college application or resume.
The GCC is an extensive global competence certification course provided to all AFSNext participants. The training is broken up into three sections: before you depart, while on your AFSNext program, and when you return. Each section involves multiple online modules, interactive analysis, reflective writing, and interactive conversations with a trained facilitator and other Sentio participants. If you complete the full training program, you will receive your certification to be highlighted on your resume and/or college applications. Read more about GCC here.
Participants must be at least 18 years old by the first day of their program. For college credit programs, they must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma.
Most AFSNext programs have no maximum age limit! (However, a few programs like the Teaching Programs in India, the Intercultural Study Tour in Germany, and the Culture and Language Program in Germany do have age limits. You can see these requirements in the Eligibility section on each program page.)
Many of the volunteer programs and internships have physical requirements, such as the ability to hike five miles, to swim in open water without assistance, and so on. Physical requirements differ for each program or destination and are clearly stated in the program details. As long as you're at least 18 and able to handle the physical requirements (if any), we're eager to welcome you!
All volunteer programs, internships, short summer programs, and most teaching programs include lodging and meals.
Most college credit/service learning programs include tuition, housing, two meals per day (breakfast and dinner), service placement and supervision, partial local transportation stipends, and academic excursions.
Plus, all AFSNext programs include the following components:
The following expenses are some of the costs not covered by the AFSNext fee:
In most cases, AFSNext participants will likely include a good representation of participants from around the world.
AFSNext programs include a very different level of support from AFS high school programs. With adults, there is less of a need to be as nurturing and engaged as is required for supporting a minor. Once your participation on an AFSNext program begins, our host country partners take over the support process, including the communication with your emergency contact (if needed), or issues with your insurance and other such program concerns and situations. While AFSNext staff are always available to assist you in reaching the proper contact person, you can rely on our hosting partners to tend to your program needs while abroad.
No, there is no formal orientation prior to going on the program. You will receive all logistical information through correspondence from AFSNext or our hosting partner organization. In terms of intercultural learning training, you will be enrolled in the GCC (Global Competency Certification) prior to your departure.
All listed dates are the actual dates for the start of your program. You should be in your host country and at your program site on the program start date. Keep this in mind when booking travel to particularly distant locations, as you may depart from the United States on one day and not arrive in the host country until one or two days later.
Most hosting partners do provide meet-and-greet services at the airport. If not, you will be given specific instructions on when and where to meet program staff after you’ve arrived in the host country.
You won't be able to arrange this through AFSNext and our hosting partners. You can talk with your home institution to arrange to do extra work for an independent study or something similar, but only if this arrangement does not interfere with your AFSNext work or assignment(s).
The AFSNext program partners will assist you with the appropriate paperwork required for this process.
Our AFSNext hosting partner is affiliated with College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York. Credits/transcripts are issued by the College of Mount Saint Vincent. The transfer rate for these credits to other accredited universities is extremely high.
Volunteer Abroad Programs include volunteer opportunities running from 1 - 24 weeks. Some of these programs are also referred to as "Expeditions" which run from 4 to 24 weeks (mainly marine programs).
Internships are 24 weeks long and include a work placement. The first 12 weeks are spent training as a regular volunteer and the second 12 weeks are spent on a work placement.
For certain, you will be receiving professional development through working in a work placement. However, you will not be taking specific training courses geared towards professional development.