AFS-USA Statement on the Murder of George Floyd and the State of our Nation 

AFS Intercultural Programs began as the American Ambulance Field Service, a volunteer ambulance corps created in April 1915 by A. Piatt Andrew. In 1947, AFS was transformed from a wartime humanitarian aid organization into a groundbreaking international secondary school exchange, volunteer, and intercultural learning organization with a noble vision: to help build a more just and peaceful world by promoting understanding among cultures. AFS-USA joins the people of our nation and the world who are outraged at the murder of George Floyd and the centuries of discrimination suffered by Black Americans. We support peaceful protests across our nation, and we support individuals and groups such as Black Lives Matter who call for change…for action, now.

Our work that makes intercultural exchange programs possible for tens of thousands of students is a small part of what we all must do, which is to bring people together for purposeful dialogue. We call all people to action, especially our AFS-USA community—former students and their families, host families, volunteers, staff, and others who already understand the power of person-to-person diplomacy because they have experienced it firsthand.   

Every one of us can make a change in our world—this is a value that AFS-USA holds dear.

Intercultural education and volunteerism are at the heart of all that we do at AFS-USA. We bear witness every single day at how, by opening peoples’ minds and exposing them to new people, cultures, and experiences, we can change our perspectives and respect and embrace our differences as we foster lifelong friendships.

One person can make a difference. We are grateful to all people in our nation and around the world who are peacefully protesting, speaking out, talking with their neighbors, and sharing their thoughts in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Let us never stop working and speaking-out so that together we will make our world one in which all of us have freedom and equality.

Our organizational mission calls upon us to make the world a more just and peaceful home for everyone. It is precisely in a moment such as this one where each of us, united and determined, can move us closer to the peace and justice that we value and uphold over all else.

AFS-USA in Action:
The COVID-19 Response Fund

AFSers are made for times like these, but we need your help. As we bring students home and support thousands of families and volunteers, we are also delivering virtual learning tools and online explorations to create more global citizens. Help us go above and beyond the call of duty as we follow in the footsteps of our founders.

Study abroad, host an international exchange student, or volunteer. Connect across cultures, be a global citizen, and promote peace.

Our Mission and Impact

100 years of volunteerism. 70 years of exchange.

AFS-USA honors the legacy of its founders—volunteer WWI and WWII American Field Service ambulance drivers—who emerged from the wars with a bold mission: to help prevent future conflict through cultural exchange and understanding.

As a partner in the global AFS network, AFS-USA offers international exchange and education opportunities in over 45 countries and hosts exchange students from 90 countries. True to the spirit of our founders, these intercultural programs are made possible by the dedicated work of AFS Volunteers—more than 4,400 in the U.S. and over 50,000 worldwide.

Our diverse study abroad programs vary in length from a year to a few weeks and cover timely and timeless topics such as sustainability and language learning. What every program has in common is a commitment to fostering intercultural and global competence in our students, host families, schools, and communities. This cultural exchange helps us come together, across typical divides, to make a more peaceful and just world. That’s the #AFSEffect.

Read our Mission & Values

Explore the World from Home

Quarantine is temporary, but curiosity and wonder about the world is endless. As we’re social distancing, we can still continue international exchange online, become global citizens, and plan our next adventures.

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