How it Works:

All current and former AFS-USA Host Families and students hosted in the U.S. are eligible to submit either a short video or photo with a written description for the chance to win the Grand Prize, an all-expenses-paid trip—with their hosted student—to one of four U.S. destinations: Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, or Washington, D.C. The Grand Prize winner will be determined by an online public vote.

A second prize, the President’s Award, will be awarded to one entry selected by an AFS Judge’s Panel determined by overall quality of the entry. The President’s Award—the winning family’s hosted student will receive free roundtrip international airfare to visit their host family for a hometown family reunion. If the student is currently on their AFS program in the U.S., the award can be used within one year of their return to their home country.

Contest Rules:

  1. Participation in, and registration for, AFS Reel Life is free. No purchase is necessary.
  2. In order to participate, contestants must:
    1. Be a current or past AFS-USA host family member OR exchange hosted in the U.S. 
    2. Be 18 years of age at the Contest start date or have parental consent.
    3. Currently reside in the U.S.
    4. Currently be in good standing with AFS or in good standing with AFS upon completion of their most recent hosting or volunteer service with AFS.
  3. All contest submissions must be in the form of EITHER:
    1. A short video (one minute or less) with a brief written description (3,000 characters or less), OR;
    2. A photo with a brief written description (3,000 characters or less).
  4. Contestants must submit their entries through the submission form found at
  5. Submissions should depict an authentic host family moment and must:
    1. Document memories from a single hosting program year*.
    2. Feature no more than one AFS host student (except in the case of double placement where two students are hosted simultaneously).
    3. Contain no objectionable content.
    4. Be in line with the AFS mission.
  6. Submissions are due no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, April 11, 2016. Late submissions will not be eligible.
  7. Following the submission deadline, all eligible** entries will be entered into a public vote, which will run from April 12 – 27, 2016.
  8. The entrant(s) whose submission draws the highest number of votes by 11:59 p.m. EST on April 27, 2016 will be declared the grand prize winner and will be awarded the contest’s Grand Prize: an all-expenses-paid*** trip with their hosted student to explore one of four U.S. destinations: Chicago, IL, New York, NY, San Francisco, CA, or Washington, D.C.
    1. The trip will feature intercultural activities, and AFS-USA will provide a suggested itinerary.
    2. The trip duration will be 4 days, 3 nights.

*Repeat host families may enter more than one submission, as long as each submission represents a different hosting program cycle.
**To be eligible for the voting, contestants must meet the requirements listed under rule 2, and the submission must meet all of the criteria outlined in rules 3-6.
***See Terms & Conditions for included expenses.

Terms & Conditions

  1. AFS-USA will cover travel, lodging, meals and entertainment costs associated with the Grand Prize trip, including:
    1. Economy Airfare.
    2. Standard hotel charges (not including incidental costs).
    3. A per-person voucher to be applied toward meals and entertainment during the trip.
  2. Excludes medical and/or trip insurance. By participating in the contest, entrants agree to release and hold harmless AFS-USA, Inc. against any and all claims, injury or damage arising out of or relating to participation in this contest and/or the Grand Prize trip.
  3. Only host parent(s), host sibling(s) who live or lived at home during the program year, and one hosted student may go on the trip (except in the case of double placement where two students are hosted simultaneously).
    1. The AFS host student who participates in the trip must be the same student featured in the winning contest submission.
  4. The duration of the trip will be 4 days and 3 nights.
  5. The airline carrier and flight itinerary will be at the sole discretion of AFS.
  6. The trip must be booked 30 days prior to departure and may take place any time before January 1, 2017, excluding the following blackout dates:
    1. July 3 - 9, 2016.
    2. November 22 - December 1, 2016.
    3. December 20 - 31, 2016.
  7. Upon submitting their photo or video, entrants will be required to provide their full name and contact information, which will be used to confirm their identity and communicate contest updates and results. In the case of text messaging, message and data rates may apply. Entrants may opt-out of receiving emails from AFS-USA at any time, but they should provide another means of contact for the purpose of alerting them if they win.
  8. The Grand Prize trip location is subject to change by AFS-USA depending on feasibility, security, or any other issue that could hinder participants’ abilities to safely enjoy the trip.
  9. For the President's Award, AFS-USA will cover associated airfare travel costs for the hosted student(s) featured in the winning entry, including:
    1. Economy Airfare (covering the international and domestic travel associated with flying from the hosted student’s local airport to host family’s local airport).
  10. If the hosted student of the winning family is currently on program, the family may elect to wait one year to claim their prize (this applies to both the Grand Prize and President’s Award).
  11. The results of the public voting are considered final, but AFS-USA reserves the right to reassign the winner(s) should the original winner(s) fail to meet any of the above conditions or submission criteria.
  12. Contest results or participation will not be considered when evaluating host family members for future AFS hosting, study abroad, or volunteer experiences.
  13. The content of all submissions may be used by AFS in any future initiatives and for any purpose, including print or online marketing. Portions of the winning trips may also be documented by AFS, and any resulting footage may be used by AFS-USA in any manner or for any purpose.
  14. 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.  
  15. Winners are responsible for any taxes associated with prizes received.
  16. The contest is void where prohibited by law.
  17. Winners may be required to execute an affidavit of eligibility and a publicity release, unless prohibited by law.
  18. AFS-USA Staff members are prohibited from participating.

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