Rules and Conditions

How it Works:

Students are asked to submit their idea for a meaningful and feasible volunteer project that can be done to help solve a relevant issue in their country or countries of choice. The winning student will be given a full scholarship to implement a program which comes from the spirit of his or her project during a customized, two-week AFS Global Prep Program abroad. Nine runners-up will be given the opportunity to join the program on full scholarships.

Scholarship Contest Rules:

  1. Contestants must submit a 200-500 word essay OR a 1-minute video addressing the following question: “What is one problem in the world that you would like to solve, and what type of volunteer project would you design to help solve it?”
    • Responses must:
      • Indicate the country or countries in which the proposed project would be implemented
      • Focus on one of the following 5 issue areas:
        • Education
        • Sustainability
        • Human Rights & Cultural Understanding
        • Hunger & Nutrition
        • Arts & Culture
  2. All submissions will be due no later than 11:59 PM EST on January 17, 2017. Late submissions will not be evaluated.
  3. Contestants must submit their essay through the submission form found at:
  4. Following the contest deadline, all entrants will have the opportunity to have their friends and family vote on their project for a chance to win. From 1/18/2017 to 2/7/2017, the voting period will be open.
    • For the duration of the voting period, each voter may cast one vote per contest entry daily. Votes can be cast for more multiple contest entries.
  5. There will be 200 finalists (the 200 entrants with the highest number of votes by 2/7/2017) selected from the pool of contestants. Their projects will be reviewed by a Judges Panel made up of AFS staff, volunteers, and alumni.
  6. The Judges Panel will select one Grand Prize Winner and nine additional winners. Each of the projects will be evaluated by several different judges, against a standard rubric.
  7. All submissions will be judged on the following criteria:
    • A demonstrated understanding of the chosen issue area and its implications in the country or countries of choice;
    • Creativity and originality;
    • Feasibility of the proposed project, including:
      • Relevance of the proposed project to the issue area and country or countries of choice;
      • Potential impact of the proposed project;
      • Quality of essay prose and style.
  8. The Grand Prize winner will collaborate with AFS to design a program based on his or her project idea. The additional nine winners will be granted full scholarships to participate in the winning program.
  9. If any of the contest winners decline participation in the program, spots will be offered to the 1st runner up, and then the 2nd, and then the 3rd and so on until all available spots are filled.

Terms & Conditions:

  • Participation in, and registration for, the Project: Change essay/video contest is free. No purchase is necessary.
  • In order to participate, contestants must:
    • Be a U.S. 8th – 12th grade student;
    • Be enrolled in an accredited U.S. Middle or High School or a homeschooling program;
    • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
    • Understand that participation in any AFS Program abroad is contingent upon possession of a valid passport at the time of departure.
  • Included in the "full scholarship" for winners is the following:
    • Program fee (including room & board, in-country support, and cultural activities);
    • Roundtrip domestic airfare to the international departure "gateway" city;
    • Roundtrip international airfare from the international departure "gateway" city;
    • Visa fees, if necessary;
    • Note: common costs not covered by the scholarship include additional spending money, costs associated with obtaining a passport, and required medical examinations or immunizations.
  • Upon submitting their essay or video, contestants will be asked to provide their full name and email address, which will be used to communicate contest updates and results. Contestants may opt-out of receiving emails from AFS-USA at any time, but in such a scenario, should provide some other means of contacting them for the purpose of distributing prizes or promo codes.
  • AFS-USA reserves the right to publish and promote any and all essay and video submissions at any time and for any purpose.
  • *The Grand Prize Group Program location is subject to change by AFS-USA depending on feasibility, security, or any other issue that could hinder participants’ abilities to safely and effectively complete the proposed project.
  • All decisions made by the contest judges are considered final.
  • A final list of the winners will be made available at:
  • Contest results or participation will not be considered when evaluating study abroad applicants for acceptance into AFS-USA study abroad programs.
  • Any information collected about contestants will be maintained in accordance with AFS-USA Inc.’s privacy policy. It will not be shared with third parties without express authorization.  
  • The odds of winning are dependent upon the number of contest entrants.
  • ARV (Approximate Retail Value) of scholarship will depend upon the winner’s program.
  • Winners are responsible for any taxes associated with prizes received.
  • The contest is void where prohibited by law.
  • Providing a mobile number opts you in to receive text messages from AFS. Msg & data rates may apply. No purchase necessary.
  • Winners may be required to execute an affidavit of eligibility and a publicity release, unless prohibited by law.
  • By entering the contest, entrant releases AFS-USA and its promotional agencies and prize suppliers from all claims and liability.
  • AFS-USA staff members and their immediate family members are prohibited from participating.
    • "The term “immediate family” includes spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren, whether as “in-laws,” or by current or past marriage(s), remarriage(s), adoption, co-habitation or other family extension, and any other persons residing at the same household whether or not related."