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.
What is the Global Competency Certificate (GCC)?
The GCC is an extensive global competence certification course provided to all AFSNext participants. The training is broken up into 3 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.
Is there an age limit for AFSNext programs?
There is no age limit for AFSNext programs. There are physical requirements for many of the Volunteer Abroad and Internship programs, such as an ability to hike 5 miles, to swim in open water without assistance, and so on. Physical requirements differ for each program or destination and are generally clearly stated in the program details. To some participants, it might make a difference knowing that the average age of AFSNext participants falls generally in the 18-25 range. But, if a potential generational gap is part of what makes a program even more appealing, then it's not an issue. As long as you're at least 18 and able to handle the physical requirements (if any), we're eager to welcome you!
What's included in the program fee?
All AFSNext programs include the following components:
- Secondary health insurance (In other words, if your own health insurance provides coverage abroad, it will be your primary insurance. But, if not, your AFSNext program insurance kicks in.)
- Global Competence Certification - This course is only available through AFSNext enrollment.
- For Volunteer Abroad programs, your lodging and meals are included. For College Credit/Service Learning programs, the fee includes all tuition, housing and two meals per day (breakfast and dinner), service placement and supervision, partial local transportation stipend, and academic excursions.
What's NOT included in the program fee?
The following expenses are some of the costs not covered by the AFSNext fee:
- Airfare from the United States to your host city
- Spending money
- Optional excursions
- Some meals
- Laundry service
- WiFi service
- Other incidental expenses
Do these programs consist entirely of students from the United States?
AFSNext participants are almost always from the United States. However, as with any university, there is likely to be a good representation of students from around the world attending with you. For Volunteer Abroad and Internship programs, participants come from a variety of countries.
Does AFSNext provide the same level of support as for AFS high school participants?
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.
Are there orientations prior to departure?
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.
Is the date listed on the program page the date I should leave from the United States, or is it the date my program actually starts?
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.
Will I be met at the airport by program staff?
For Volunteer Abroad and Internship programs, you're usually not met at the airport and, instead, you will be given instructions on when and where to meet program staff after you've arrived in the host country. College credit-bearing programs are often provided with meet-and-greet services at the airport. Whatever the case, you'll receive very helpful instructions on what to do when you arrive.
College Credit Programs
Will I have the option to enroll in additional courses for credit once I'm on the program?
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).
What steps do I need to take with my university to ensure that I receive credit for this program?
The AFSNext program partners will assist you with the appropriate paperwork required for this process.
Will I be provided with a transcript from the Affiliated Institution (if different from the actual university attended) for the college credit programs?
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.
Internship and Volunteer Programs
What is the difference between the Internship Program and the Volunteer Abroad program?
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)/ Internshipscan be both short-term (6-23 weeks) and long term (24 weeks).
The long term internship includes 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.
Will I be receiving professional development through an AFSNext internship?
For certain, you will be receiving professional development through working in a work placement. However, you will not be taking specific training coursess geared towards professional development.