Our Mission

AFS-USA empowers people to become globally engaged citizens by delivering meaningful intercultural experiences that provide the knowledge and skills needed to help create a more just and peaceful world.

Our Values

We are committed to these core principles that govern our work:

The safety and well-being of our students and host families are our top priority. Every program is mission-aligned for individual and social impact.


The AFS Effect

AFS programs foster transformation that lasts a lifetime. Today’s exchange students are tomorrow’s changemakers: diplomats; thought leaders; influencers in the international business and non-profit communities. Every new exchange student is another global citizen in progress—an individual primed to help build a more just and peaceful world.

And the impact doesn’t stop with the students. Host families’ lives are transformed by new members from across the globe and host communities gain greater cultural diversity.



Our History

AFS began as a volunteer ambulance corps created in 1915. This timeline tells the story of the American Field Service Ambulance Drivers and how AFS was transformed from a wartime humanitarian aid organization into a groundbreaking international secondary school exchange, volunteer, and intercultural learning organization with a bold mission: to help build a more peaceful world by promoting understanding among cultures.

More than 70 years later, the AFS Mission continues to respond to the needs of an increasingly complex world, offering programs abroad in 45+ countries and hosting international students from more than 90 countries. True to the spirit of our founders, these life-changing intercultural learning programs are made possible by the dedicated work of AFS Volunteers—more than 4,000 in the U.S. and over 50,000 worldwide.

Annual Report & Finances


AFS-USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is audited annually and complies with the program standards set forth by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET).

CSIET Accreditation 2019-2020

AFS-USA at a Glance