The AFS Global STEM Academies combine digital and in-person learning, gathering youth from more than 15 countries worldwide, in which scholars enrich their sustainability knowledge and STEM skills through interactive, hands-on curriculum, while developing critical global competencies, including problem-solving, analytical skills, intercultural understanding, and social innovation. 

The Academies begin with a 12-week virtual e-learning curriculum (from home), engaging in global competence skills, social impact, and sustainability-focused workshops, with content co-developed by AFS and the University of Pennsylvania Center for Social Impact Strategy. The virtual portion of the program culminates with student-led social impact projects and presentations that offer potential solutions to real-world challenges, with an emphasis on sustainability and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including the topics of climate change and the energy transition. 

After completing the virtual curriculum, Academy scholars travel on a 4-week immersive experience to one of the five Academy destinations: Brazil, China, Egypt, India, or the USA. Academy programming focuses on critical STEM skills and intercultural understanding for global sustainability, as well as local cultural immersion. Scholars participate in community service and have the opportunity to visit local innovative, sustainability-focused operations to see first-hand how companies and organizations are using STEM skills in practice to address industry and societal challenges, particularly around sustainability.

2024 Applications are now CLOSED

Who can apply?

The program is available only via scholarship award. For more information about the application and selection process please see the FAQs below.

2024 Applications are now closed.

Applicants to the 2024 AFS Global STEM Academies must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • South Africa
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

What's included in your experience?

World Doodle

  • Orientations during your time abroad
  • Cultural Tours
  • Field Trips
  • AFS Worldwide Presence
  • Intercultural Learning & Emotional Support

Doodle of a luggage tag that says AFS

  • Housing
  • Meals
  • Airfare
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Domestic Transport

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  • Medical Insurance
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Continuous Support
  • Assistance with Application Process
  • Visa Application Assistance

Where will you go?

All Academy scholars start with a 12-week interactive online curriculum (from home), engaging in content on global competence skills, social impact, and sustainability. The virtual portion of the program culminates with student-led social impact projects and presentations that offer potential solutions to real-world challenges, with an emphasis on climate change and the energy transition.  

After completion of the online curriculum, scholars then travel on a 4-week study abroad experience in one of the following destinations. Please note that travel eligibility and exact program dates are subject to change based on international travel restrictions and/or visa requirements.


15 JUNE - 12 JULY, 2024


Explore innovations in renewable energy in the coastal city of Natal, Brazil. In Natal, on Brazil’s northeast Atlantic coast, scholars will meet with professors and learn about their research at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, while taking field trips to the International Institute of Physics, the Brain Institute, and the Digital Metropolis Institute. Learn about the importance of biofuels and alternative energy production and meet with STEM professionals and mentors. This immersive Academy includes a homestay weekend with a Brazilian family (depending on Covid-19 protocol at the time of hosting) and activities with Brazilian high schoolers, as well as Portuguese language classes and workshops to build intercultural leadership and global citizenship skills.

China (photo)

6 JULY - 2 AUGUST, 2024


Learn about the future of mobility, innovation, and sustainable energy in China. Scholars will be hosted at one of China’s top STEM schools in Chengdu, the capital of southwestern China’s Sichuan province, renowned for its rich history, tradition, and innovation. Meet with bp and Volvo China leadership and learn about innovations in manufacturing, marketing, aviation fuel, retailing, and chemical technology. Visit Volvo Cars’ first manufacturing plant in China, as well as the Volvo Innovation Hub – which is partnering with bp China to advance energy solutions and sustainable development. Embark on immersive field trips including the famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding – a conservation center where scholars will learn about endangered giant pandas in their natural habitat.


18 JULY - 16 AUGUST, 2024


In the “cradle of civilization”, explore ancient engineering wonders such as the Great Pyramids, as well as the unique environmental sustainability practices in the modern city of Cairo. Scholars will engage in several STEM (or rather STREAM – adding Art & Robotics) focused fields: robotics to solve the climate change problems in green houses and activities related to climate change through hands-on STEM activities, both in the field and conducted in laboratories at Zewail City of Science, Technology. They will also attend several art and Egyptian folkloric dance workshops. In addition to a homestay experience with a local Egyptian host family, scholars will have the opportunity to take Arabic language classes and volunteer alongside local youth in community service projects.


30 JULY - 27 AUGUST, 2024


Rich culture intersects with leading research and development in India. Scholars will engage in hands-on workshops on topics such as robotics and technology-driven software, complete service leadership projects, embark on field trips and meet with energy industry leaders. Connect with local professionals and learn more about global careers in the STEM and sustainability fields. Learn about India’s innovations in mobility, including lower-emission fuels, electric vehicle charging and other lower-carbon solutions, along with its demand to meet the fastest-growing fuels market in the world. With tours of iconic landmarks and extracurricular activities like music, dance, and art to enrich the Academy, scholars will develop a deeper understanding of India’s uniquely diverse culture and history.


2 JULY - 27 JULY, 2024


Get ready for a summer of hands-on discovery in the diverse, cosmopolitan city of Houston, Texas, USA, the “Energy Capital of the World.” Explore innovative digital technologies that help power global cities, including supercomputing and wind turbines. Learn about Houston’s Climate Action Plan and the city’s shift towards climate-resilient, sustainable development. Visit world-renowned sites such as NASA’s Johnson Space Center and participate in a community service project to help protect the wetlands and coastal habitats of Galveston Bay. Additional activities for the program may include a tour of the Texas Medical Center (the largest medical center in the world) and a chance to experience Greentown Labs – an energy hub supporting climate-tech startups and leading the way in renewable energy and decarbonization. Scholars will be hosted in dorms at the University of Houston, and experience American culture through interaction with local high-school students and Houston’s cultural events such as Theatre Under the Stars.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have any questions about this program? Check out this space for answers!

Once you have submitted your pre-application, including completing all items on your to-do list, our team will assess your pre-application to determine if you are eligible to continue the process. To review the eligibility criteria and read more about the program, please visit the main program page. if you are selected for an interview, you will be contacted directly and receive further notice at that time.