Safety and Risk Management

A hallmark of AFS is its attention to managing the risks of educational exchange.

A risk is a chance that something could go wrong, and AFS puts a priority on its work to control and reduce risks for participants on AFS exchanges.

Risk Management doesn’t just mean buying insurance and talking about safety. It’s an entire system of methods and procedures that looks at where problems could occur on exchanges and how best to address them. At AFS there is a team of people focused on this goal.

Risk Management doesn’t guarantee that a difficulty can’t occur anywhere in the world, but it does head off many that might otherwise interfere with a good exchange experience. AFS uses internal tools like Quality Standards for screening and training, and external tools like professional monitoring of country conditions, to help keep risks from turning into problems.

On the occasion when something does go wrong, AFS is known for the quality of its response. If someone gets ill or hurt, for example, AFS’ excellent travel/medical program allows us to put their care first. If someone needs help in their host country, the AFS support network of thousands of returnees and volunteers provides someone local to assist. Sometimes even a problem can turn into a success, through good risk management.

International exchange is a journey for a participant into something new, and new things can bring risks. Risk Management at AFS makes it possible to embrace the new and still have a safe, successful exchange.