From the AFS-USA President & CEO, Tara Boyce-Hofmann

Tara Hofmann Headshot

As we welcome the arrival of spring, we also take this opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the remarkable achievements and dedication of individuals and institutions that embody the spirit of global citizenship and education. For me, It has been an honor to have recently met some of the educators who’ve been the recipients of this year’s AFS-USA and US Department of State awards and recognition. I’ve heard a number of them speak about their passion for the role of global education in their schools and, in all honesty, I’ve been moved, inspired, and reinvigorated!

As you read about and reflect on their remarkable achievements, I encourage you to consider how your work contributes to our shared mission of promoting intercultural exchange and understanding. Whether by nominating yourself, your school, or a deserving colleague for future awards, or by exploring opportunities to welcome international students into your community, together we can continue to make a profound impact on the lives of young people around the world.

Thank you for your unwavering support and dedication to global education!

Warm Regards,

Opportunities for Educators –
Resources, and more!

Learn about Pakistani traditions, cuisine, and more!
Join AFS returnees, volunteers, and host families to engage in some fun and educational activities that will test your knowledge of Pakistan and its diverse cultural landscape. Feel free to invite your students as the event is student and family-friendly!

There’s no better time to increase your knowledge of the world and we hope you’ll have fun doing just that with us on April 23rd at 8:00pm Eastern time. Register today!

FREE Virtual Classroom Exchange Opportunity
AFS-USA will match your classroom with one that meets at the same time of day for your students to discuss issues like culture, inequalities, communication styles, resilience, and more. Teacher training and all the materials that you and your students will need are provided as part of this grant-funded virtual exchange experience. Certificates of global competence and digital badges will be awarded to all who successfully complete the exchange! Sign up now for to claim your spot for 2024-2025! Training begins in late April or mid-July!

Rick Steves Video Resource Library
It’s not surprising that many of our AFS educators are big fans of Rick Steves. I was fortunate to be able to hear him speak (and snag a selfie with him) in March where he shared the Rick Steves Classroom Europe as part of a keynote presentation. This website is full of short and useful video clips on a wide array of topics about the history, culture, art, and artifacts of Europe. Plus, you can customize a playlist for your class with a handful of these clips! These video resources are free and he wants you to use them!

Check out his website today!

Recipes from Abroad!
Whether you like to cook, enjoy eating different types of international food, or you’re a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher who wants a new recipe, check out the cookbook that our AFS students in Wisconsin put together this year with the help of the local volunteers.

Inside this recipe book, you’ll find everything from 26 different students representing foods from 16 countries on 4 continents. What a great treat to explore during your summer break!

Meet the 2024 AFS-USA Global Award Winners

Elizabeth Chapman, an English Language Arts teacher and study abroad coordinator at Bellaire High School in Houston, Texas was named the 2024 AFS-USA Global Educator of the Year for her commitment to bring global experiences to the students in her building and district and for her skills and advocacy related to internationalizing her ELA curriculum for students. Read more about Elizabeth here.

Hingham High School in Massachusetts received the 2024 AFS-USA Global School of the Year Award for their deep-rooted commitment to a building-wide initiative for curriculum internationalization and more than 60 years of international exchange that they’ve supported and encouraged in their community. Read more about Hingham High School here.

See the criteria for the awards to consider nominating yourself, your school, or a colleague here.

Photo #1 – Elizabeth Chapman is pictured between Tara Hofmann, AFS-USA President and CEO (left) and Chris Miner, U.S. Department of State Managing Director for Professional and Cultural Exchanges (right).

Photo #2 (from left to right) – Tara Hofmann, Richard Swanson, Principal of Hingham High School (HHS), Chris Miner,
Erica Pollard, World Language Department Chair at HHS,
and Kara Roth, English Teacher at HHS.

Meet the 2024 AFS
Youth Assembly Scholarship Winners

The following young educators were selected to join educators from around the world for the Global Educators Academy in New York City this August for the 29th AFS Youth Assembly!

Yara Barbosa – East Kentwood High School (MI)
Taylor Bonnette – Manhattan High School (KS)
Jaclynn Connors – Maple Grove Middle School (MN)
Samantha Netterman – Riley County High School (KS)
Rowan Pelfrey – Seminole Ridge High School (FL)
Rachel Pigg – Winton Woods High School (OH)
Tylar Searcy – Vashon High School (MO)
Brian Shimer – Roseburg High School (OR)
Kayli Smith – Greendale High School (WI)
Bailey Willis – Safety Harbor Middle School (FL)

To be notified when the 2025 nomination process begins, please complete this quick form and we’ll let you know!

Celebrating our 2024 Medallion Member Schools

The U.S. Department of State recognizes schools that choose to host one of the highly competitive, merit-based scholarship winners from any of three programs (YES, FLEX, and CBYX). These schools set themselves apart by demonstrating a commitment to academic and cultural enrichment for their students through international exchange. Congratulations to the 208 schools who have become Medallion Member Schools with AFS in 2023-2024. If your school would like to become a Medallion Member School for 2024-2025, consider inviting a student like Aima to join your school. Listen to Aima introduce herself here! Please reach out to us with questions!

Opportunities for Your Students

The AFS Global STEM Accelerators is an extraordinary, full-scholarship program for young women who are active global citizens and passionate about solving some of today’s biggest global challenges. The 2024 Accelerators program consists of virtual, interactive workshops for girls around the world between the ages of 15 and 17.5, with a focus on critical STEM skills, global competence education, and social impact – empowering participants to become changemakers in their communities. Applications for the second cohort of this 12-week, all-virtual Accelerators exchange program will open on May 1, 2024. Share the website with your students so they can learn more and apply!

Global Opportunities for Your Students This Summer

AFS Global You Adventurer offers an exceptional opportunity for teens aged 14-17 to embark on a transformative, research-validated 5-week virtual exchange program from home with a global network of peers.

Students will sharpen their critical thinking and communication skills in an intercultural environment and gain a deeper appreciation for diverse perspectives and cultures. Plus, they’ll earn the AFS Global Competence Certificate, a valuable addition to future academic or professional pursuits. Spots are limited for the upcoming May cohort, but they can join in July and August 2024 too!

You are entering the home stretch to get to the end of the academic year. Here’s an intercultural activity where you and your students will laugh and learn as you navigate non-verbal communication. In case you just need something to get your students talking after an exam or on a Friday afternoon, this activity will help you end your class or week on an energetic and positive note. As always, AFS-USA is here to support your work as you create active global citizens in your community! Just let us know what you need!

Jill Woerner
Director of Educational Outreach

E: [email protected]
P: (646) 381-3309

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