October 2, 2014 - An AFS alumni gathering in honor of the Centennial of the American Field Service brings together AFSers from multiple generations and nationalities.
September 11, 2014 - No matter how much you prepare for studying abroad, your first days in your new country will be filled with surprises.
August 14, 2014 - A scholarship set up in memory of two beloved AFS Volunteers is about to change one teen's life.
July 2, 2014 - AFS Exchange Students from around the world choose one word to describe their US host families.
June 26, 2014 - In his quest to restore a Model T Ford ambulance, one classic car lover discovers the inspiring story of the American Field Service and its spirit of volunteerism.
May 21, 2014 - Communities around the world are participating in a grassroots campaign to "Do One Thing" for World Day for Cultural Diversity.
April 29, 2014 - AFS-USA and the Greg Jennings Foundation are teaming up to provide summer study abroad scholarships to youth Minnesota and Wisconsin.
April 23, 2014 - Study abroad has received unprecedented media attention and acclaim in recent months. What are the reasons for this surge, and what does it mean?
April 17, 2014 - When you study abroad, you find a new home. Check out these host family houses worldwide to see how that new home might look.
April 10, 2014 - National Volunteer Week is a time for AFS-USA to celebrate and thank its 4,000+ volunteers nationwide.
April 2, 2014 - Overcoming the language barrier can seem daunting, but there are very good reasons not to stress about it before going abroad.
March 28, 2014 - AFS-USA Director of Educational Partnerships & School Outreach was among the esteemed visionaries speaking about globally-relevant education issues at T & L 2014.
March 7, 2014 - AFS-USA is dedicating the month of March to honoring host families and their tremendous contributions to the study abroad experience.
February 13, 2014 - AFS-USA remembers the US Presidents who were among its most valuable supporters and how they helped the organization grow.
February 3, 2014 - AFS-USA and NSHSS will work together to encourage cross-cultural understanding that supports student achievement in an increasingly globalized society.
February 5, 2014 - An AFS student in Spain dishes about the truly important aspects of her study abroad experience: family and food!
January 28, 2014 - 79 schools across the nation were selected to receive the distinguished "Top AFS School" award for their commitments to enhancing global education.
January 9, 2013 - The US ranked 29th out of 64 countries in the OECD's PISA survey of student performance. Could the Common Core State Standards be key to overcoming mediocrity?
December 31, 2013 - As we prepare to say goodbye to 2013, AFS-USA looks back on the events that had the biggest impact on the global education community this year.
December 11, 2013 | New York, NY - With innovative personal fundraising projects, AFS-USA Students have raised impressive amounts of money and grown personally in the process.
November 27, 2013 | New York, NY - In the spirit of Thanksgiving, AFS Returnees tell us what they appreciated most about their host families.
November 21, 2013 | New York, NY - A new research initiative has quantified the extent of international influence (and thus need for intercultural skills) throughout the U.S.
November 6, 2013 | New York, NY - AFS-USA's new short-term study abroad programs for groups help students explore the cultural background of their favorite past-times.
November 1, 2013 | New York, NY - Excitement builds as the AFS-USA community prepares for a week of celebrating cultural exchange and understanding.
October 10, 2013 | New York, NY - A new study reveals the true impact of environmental stimulation on intellectual development in kids and teens.
October 2, 2013 | New York, NY - AFS Student Norman, from South Africa, shares the song he wrote during his exchange year in the US and the personal story behind its creation.
September 24, 2013 | New York, NY - From Jan Eliasson, to Christine Lagarde, to Thembisa Mshaka, see which AFS Returnees are making a difference and how.
September 19, 2013 | New York, NY - Cultural Vistas & AFS-USA have announced their innovative new partnership, designed to strengthen the impact of exchange programs.
September 17, 2013 | New York, NY - Our exclusive interview with the author of the critically-acclaimed new book, "The Smartest Kids in the World (And How They Got That Way)."
September 5, 2013 | New York, NY - Students from Houston, Chicago, and Seattle have been awarded full study abroad scholarships to Brazil, China, Malaysia, South Africa or India.
August 28, 2013 | Milwaukee, WI - Two high school students were awarded Jennings/Omanhene AFS Faces of America study abroad scholarships through AFS Intercultural Programs/USA.
August 16, 2013 | New York, NY - AFS-USA and Ashoka’s Youth Venture (AYV) joined forces this week to train study abroad alumni in the art of teaching social entrepreneurship.
August 13, 2013 | New York, NY - An AFS-USA Program Advisor's early non-profit work demonstrates the potential of today's youth and the importance of international experience.
August 14, 2013 | New York, NY - In the hours before meeting their US host families for the very first time, 20 AFS exchange students from around the world sum up their feelings.
Welcome to all AFS exchange students who are arriving in the US this week for their year-long study abroad programs!
July 23, 2013 | New York, NY - AFS-USA high school students and volunteers experienced cultural immersion through community service in Panama.
July 18, 2013 | New York, NY - Ramadan's observance in the US offers a unique experience for both Muslims and non-Muslims.
July 15, 2013 | New York, NY - One mom in CA shares the lessons she's learned from being an AFS host parent.
June 27, 2013 | New York, NY - More than 2,000 exchange students left the US for their home countries this week, after successfully completing year and semester-long programs.
June 13, 2013 | New York, NY - As Father's Day nears, the heartwarming impact of one AFS-USA Host Dad comes to light.
May 29, 2013 | New York, NY - Host pets allow exchange students to learn about the values and beliefs espoused by their host families that underpin pet ownership.
May 22, 2013 | New York, NY- AFS Returnee, Thembisa Mshaka, a filmmaker and author who has provided creative services to Beyoncé and Jamie Foxx, tells how study abroad changed her.
May 13, 2013 | New York, NY - We recently sat down with AFS students Jan from Spain and Saechee from Japan to talk about their experiences living with US host families.
May 7, 2013 | New York, NY - Four AFS students served as the official welcome committee for President Obama when he arrived in Costa Rica on Friday, May 3rd.
April 23, 2013 -- Thanks to our AFS-USA Volunteers for generously sharing your talents, time, leadership, and commitment to and passion for intercultural learning.
April 15, 2013 -- We can now report that all hosted students in the team, their host families, and the families in the Mass Bay team who have students studying abroad are safe.
Welcome to the world of social media, President Clinton!
April 11,2013 -- AFS Intercultural Programs has been made aware of recent advertisements of fake employment opportunities bearing the AFS logo, and requesting a fee.
APRIL 6, 2013 -- "The most important thing is that I’m an ambassador for my country, and when I go back, I’ll be an ambassador for the U.S. – especially Shenandoah."
Former science and astronomy teacher Jerry Stueber passed away earlier this year, and an observatory at Muskego High School will get new life and a new life.
April 5, 2013 -- Sariah, 16, will visit the country of her dreams when she travels to Japan in August through an AFS-USA international exchange program.
March 27, 2013 -- Three foreign exchange students at Whitnall High School were part of a unique intercultural experience Sunday evening at Victory Missionary Baptist Church.
March 1, 2013 -- Woodbury families know no cultural bounds when it comes to opening their homes to students from across the world.
February 14, 2013 -- One Kenyon business man took it upon himself to make the students' stay here a happy one.
January 7, 2013 -- Fatima Noor is a 15-year-old exchange student attending Kirkwood High School, representing her country and experiencing her own "firsts" in America.
Pakistani Tahreem Hassan writes about her experience in California as a YES student.
Vanessa recently returned from an eight-month AFS-USA Faces of America study abroad trip to Thailand and shared with us stories from her travels.
December 11, 2012 -- The first annual AFS-USA Holiday Party brought together close to 100 members of the AFS-USA family, including two 2012 Faces of America Returnees.
December 11, 2012 -- AFS-USA is proud to join the worldwide community in celebrating the 10th anniversary of the YES Program starting December 12th.
December 7, 2012 -- Adee Pasha of Pakistan is the first ever YES Student of the Month, selected by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).
December 7, 2012 -- Derek Schulz, a teacher in Whitefish, MT, talks about his experience with AFS Exchange Student Muhammad Nadeem from Pakistan.
by Linda Hubbard Gulker on November 28, 2012
Gigi MacLeod talks about Global Literacy to at the Foreign Language Association of Northern ...
December 4, 2012 - AFS Exchange Students in Mattapoisett, MA reflect upon the cultural differences that make life in the US such a delight!
December 3, 2012 -- Muslim AFS students share experiences in Wisconsin through the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program.
November 21, 2012 -- During International Education Week, 4 exchange students shared about their home countries and their first impressions of the US.
November 19, 2012 -- Watch our newest hosting video filmed in Turkey, which features two alumi of the YES Program. Discover why you should host a Turkish student!
November 12, 2012 -- International Education Week (IEW) is a time when we celebrate the benefits of international education and intercultural exchange throughout the world.
October 27, 2012 -- AFS returnee Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba receives the Community of Christ International Peace Award for his life’s work advocating for global nuclear disarmament.
October 19, 2012 -- AFS is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2012 Galatti Award.
October 9, 2012 -- John Minsker, of Granville, is retiring from involvement with the American Field Service, an international student exchange organization.
September 30, 2012 -- AFS returnee and NFL wide receiver are joining forces to provide study abroad scholarships to underserved youth.
September 18, 2012 -- FLEX student Yasya Kondrashova comments on life in San Antonio, TX for her school's student-produced news and feature publication.
September 14, 2012 -- Nancy Henderson of the Greater Puget Sound Team will be AFS-USA's 2012 Galatti Nominee.
September 13, 2012 -- AFS-USA joins the world in mourning the loss of Chris Stevens, U.S. Ambassador to Libya and AFS Returnee
August 29, 2012 -- It was a busy year for Faces of America!
August 28, 2012 -- New York, NY – Meet Angie and Aaron, two of our Faces of America Returnees.
August 27, 2012 -- New York, NY – Faces of America participant, Riquel, says his study abroad experience, "lit a fire in me to explore as much of the world as I can."
August 25, 2012 -- New York, NY – Andy Garcia shares his experiences from Germany while participating on the AFS Green Summer School Program.
August 24, 2012 -- New York, NY – The extraordinary generosity of Mark Whitcraft and his family is making a difference in two key AFS-USA scholarship initiatives.
August 22, 2012 -- One host sister in NJ reflects on the ties formed with her AFS sister, 50 years later.
On August 4th, 2012 more than 60 members of the AFS-USA family gathered in Lititz Springs Park in Lititz, PA to celebrate the 2012 Speedwell Foundation Study Abroad Scholars.
August 17, 2012 -- New York, NY – AFS-USA is proud to welcome five new community based organizations to the Faces of America team in 2013.
August 16, 2012 -- New York, NY – On July 3, 2012, fifteen students embarked for Hamburg, Germany as part of AFS USA’s new Green Summer School Program.
August 16, 2012 -- New York, NY – From Ghana to Costa Rica to Russia, the 2012 AFS USA Faces of America Scholars are diving head first into a sea of new adventures.
Written by a Phoenix Country Day School student, this story shows the changes an AFS exchange student can make on their community and within themselves.
AUGUST 8, 2012 -- Watch our new heart-warming video featuring Nadeem, an exchange student from Pakistan who studied in Whitefish, Montana this past year.
AUGUST 7, 2012 -- The first foreign exchange student at Battle Ground High School in Oregon recounts her yearlong exchange and the effect its had on her life.
AUGUST 1, 2012 -- What hosting an exchange student can teach your young kids.
JULY 31, 2012 -- During her time at PCDS, Mona not only changed our community for the better with her fun spirit ... , but she was changed during her excursion to the United States
JULY 31, 2012 -- "Honey" Rind, a YES exchange student from Pakistan, describes her exchange experiences.
JULY 18, 2012 -- "Becoming a host family is an opportunity to change the course of a student’s life."
JULY 10, 2012 -- Three families recount memorable moments in the past year with the AFS students who spent this school year with them.
June 29, 2012 -- Julie Zurcher shares how hosting an AFS student from Thailand impacted her and her family for the better.
June 21, 2012 - HOUSTON – BP and global student exchange organization AFS launched the Gl...
JUNE 15, 2012 -- An essay from a Pakistani student hosted in Minnesota
JUNE 14, 2012 -- Open mindedness and being acceptable and adaptable brought me here in the U.S. from thousands of miles away. I love my host family.
March 31, 2011 -- Humanities teacher and AFS Volunteer Tina O’Donnell helps coo...
By Don Corrigan
for the Webster-Kirkwood Times
After a series of airline flights from Pakistan to Dubai to Washington, D.C., to St. Louis, Fatima Noor joined the high school cross-country team this summer to become a genuine Kirkwood Pioneer.
"I had never run before, but I tried out and I liked it and became a Pioneer," laughed 15-year-old Noor, a sophomore exchange student at Kirkwood High School. "I like sports and especially the Kirkwood-Webster turkey day football rivalry.
"I understand that football rivalry because in my country there is big rivalry over playing cricket," said Noor. "Everyone in Pakistan is crazy about cricket. We have football in Pakistan, which is your soccer, but cricket is the big sport."
Noor is a Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) student, an initiative of the U.S. State Department. According to her host couple, Glendale's Sarah Yancey and J. Robert Kneightley, Noor has adapted nicely to life in America and at school in Kirkwood.
"I am just a little biased toward Parkway, because I taught English at Parkway South and was assistant principal there," said Yancey. "But I have to say everyone at Kirkwood has been wonderful to Fatima. Kirkwood is a very welcoming community."
That's not to say that Noor hasn't experienced culture shock here and there. She was very surprised to find a woman at the wheel of the bus that picked her up in Washington, D.C. That's a rare sight in Pakistan.
Noor also is used to spicy food with lots of curry in her home country. American food is mild by comparison. Noor also finds the politics in America rather mild, compared to the many party factions and heated political rivalries in her own country.
"I know the two parties here, the Democrats and Republicans, are very divided," said Noor. "My two host parents here are divided on politics, but they get along fine. In my country, every family is with one party and supports that party.
"I liked that Obama and Romney got together at the White House after the election to have lunch," added Noor. "After it was all over, the two American presidential candidates were respectful of each other."
Respect For Women
Noor is a contemporary of the most famous young Pakistani woman in the world. That would be Yousufzai Malala. In October, the 14-year-old girl was shot in the neck and head by the extremist Taliban. Malala was shot for speaking out on behalf of education for girls.
The Taliban has destroyed about 200 girls' schools in the Swat Valley region of Pakistan. A Taliban gunman got on Malala's school bus and shot her and another student in an effort to silence her message for education. Malala is now recovering in the United Kingdom.
"When Malala was shot, the whole country was upset," said Noor, who said she has met Yousufzai Malala. "Vigils and protests shut the country down for two days. Malala is remarkable. There is so much outrage about what happened to her.
"The Taliban misinterpret the Quran and they do not represent Islam," added Noor. "I read the papers and they say the Taliban take a strict view of the Quran. That is not true, because the Quran advocates for compulsory education of both male and female."
Noor said activist women will not be silenced by the atrocities of the Taliban. She said she expects Malala to recover and to come back to Pakistan to champion a greater role for young people and for women in determining her country's future.
"Malala has no fear," said Noor. "It's right to be for the education of women. I come from a conservative religious family, but the males and the females are educated in my family and believe in education."
Noor said at the time she accepted a scholarship to come to the United States, she was leaning toward preparing to be a doctor. Now she said she is wavering on that ambition and may be interested in studying international relations.
Glendale's Yancey said it's been very gratifying to watch Noor experience so many "firsts" on her exchange visit, whether it's a first race in cross country or a first time at an amusement park like Six Flags.
"Fatima has been so busy with cross country and studying to make good grades, there hasn't been time to do a lot," said Yancey. "This next semester, we hope to find time to visit the Arch, and the Botanical Garden, the art and history museums."
Noor said she has grown fond of American ice cream. Another frosty item, which she hopes to become more familiar with is snow. Noor lives in an area of Pakistan that does not get snow, so she saw her first flakes here in America.
"Sledding is on the list of things to do," said Yancey. "We hope to get the Art Hill in Forest Park for some sledding when we get a good snow."
Yancey said she and her husband, Robert, are firm believers in hosting exchange students to help better international understanding. She is a member of the Missouri Gateway Area Team of American Field Service (AFS) Intercultural Programs and one of more than 36,000 AFS volunteers worldwide. For more information on exchanges go to: www.afusa.org.
"I am not afraid to praise a Republican," said Yancey, who unlike her husband, leans Democratic. "Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Indiana) has done so much for international relations by promoting things like these student exchanges. I was so upset this year when Lugar was defeated in his primary.
"Lugar has done great things for world peace and understanding," added Yancey. "We need more people like him."
Read the original story here.