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

Throughout history, the global AFS family has been through numerous tragedies and disasters. Because we share such a closeness with the many AFS family members, an event such as the extraordinary tragedy in Türkiye and Syria shakes us right to our core. This horrific event has had a breathtaking impact on the lives of current and past AFS participants, host families, educators, volunteers, and staff and, like many others, I’ve been profoundly saddened by the news reports and personal accounts I’ve received. What helps me to move forward is knowing that after disaster struck, many AFS volunteers, alumni, and staff in Türkiye met rescue teams at airports to help as needed. Many of these members of the AFS family had been hosted on AFS programs throughout the world and, as such, were able to use the languages they had learned to provide translation assistance to the representatives of relief organizations, news media companies, etc. I’m proud to be a part of this global family and I thank you for all that you do toward providing stewardship of critical global citizenship in your community.

Tara M. Hofmann
President & CEO


Celebrating Black History Month


Resources for Black History Month

While leadership, innovation, and perseverance come from individuals of every culture, age group, and background, February is a month where we are all reminded of the amazing contributions from members of the Black community throughout history. As an organization dedicated to creating global citizens, it’s our responsibility to make sure our students can see themselves reflected in those forging new paths for our collective future. Please consider this set of resources as you work to incorporate Black History not just this month, but throughout the entire year. Check out a few of these incredible stories.

Marsha P. Johnson (1945-1992) was a Black trans woman and activist who had a pivotal impact on the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Johnson fought for equality through the Gay Liberation Front and co-founded STAR, an organization that housed homeless queer youth.

Dr. Mae Jemison (b. 1956) is an engineer, physician, and former NASA astronaut who was the first black woman to travel into space. Dr. Jemison worked as a physician in the Peace Corps in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and currently serves as a STEM education advocate for students of color.

​​​​Alvin Ailey (1931–1989) was a dancer and choreographer who earned global recognition for his impact on modern dance. In 1958, he established the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a multiracial dance troupe which provides a platform for talented Black dancers to pursue their passion and travel the world.

Bessie Coleman (1892–1926) was the first licensed Black pilot in the world and the first Native American to hold a pilot license. Without any opportunities to attend U.S. flight school, she learned French and obtained her international pilot’s license in France. She then performed in U.S. air shows and was an inspiration to early African American and Native American pilots.

China Global Competence Certificate

South Africa Global Competence Certificate

Thailand Global Competence Certificate

India Global Competence Certificate

Global Up with Egypt


Opportunities for Educators – Explore New Cultures from Home

We are so excited to bring you a truly multicultural spring semester. Together with five of our AFS partner countries, we are offering you the opportunity to collaborate with educators from China, Egypt, India, South Africa, and Thailand, through a blended on-line learning program. For more information on the program and the topics it will cover click here, or scroll down to see what others have had to say about this enriching professional development opportunity!
The dates and times of each cohort are listed below. Registration is open now so don’t delay and sign up today!

  • China: Monday evenings from March 20 – April 17
  • Thailand: Tuesday evenings from April 4 – May 2
  • South Africa: Saturday mornings from April 15 – May 13
  • India: Wednesday evenings from April 26 – May 24
  • Egypt: Saturday mornings from April 29 – May 20

Each of these professional development opportunities combines 20 online modules that are self-paced along with five live dialogue sessions with the teachers from abroad and led by trained facilitators. Upon successful completion of the program, educators will receive a certificate of global competence that indicates 20 hours of professional growth time. You’ll even be done before school is out for the summer and have colleagues around the globe with whom you can collaborate!

Register Today!

“Every teacher should partake so they are more culturally aware and empathetic of diverse groups.” – Cherie from Pennsylvania

“Very practical and accessible information even if you already think you are globally competent.” – Anonymous from California

“Wherever you would place yourself in terms of mastering cultural competency and incorporating a global perspective into your curriculum in a meaningful way (making students who are truly global in their thinking and citizenship), you will advance if you take this class.” – Sven from Illinois

Austria Teacher Exchange Group at Football Field
Teacher Exchange: Graz, Austria Meets Iowa, USA

In the fall of 2022, AFS-USA jointly with AFS-Austria supported ten educators who chose to participate in a Teacher Exchange. Participating educators both hosted a teacher in their home for 10 days and also traveled abroad to see the life, school, and culture of their partner teacher. Read more about this special project supported by the Marshall Plan Foundation on our website. You can also see more photos and watch the video from the U.S. teachers reflecting on their experience. If this sounds like something you and your school would be interested in supporting, please let us know here as we seek a new site for the exchange each year.


AFS-USA 75 Years of Stories
75 Years of Stories

As we navigate the second half of our 75th Anniversary Year, we want to highlight those schools who have played a significant role in helping us become the leading organization that we are today. Congratulations to the 200+ schools recognized by AFS-USA for their support of international exchange in their community. Not on the listSend us an email today to talk about how to get there!

AFSers Are Global Citizens

AFS exchange students truly understand what it means to be global citizens. When the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria hit, hosted students throughout the world acted quickly to find ways to aid those in need. From giving presentations in their schools about Türkiye to seeking out ways to help fundraise for those in need, AFSers are using their skills and their voices to bring awareness to what is happening around the world. We are proud of our AFS students who have jumped in to help others who have been impacted by this most recent tragedy. Read here about a student sharing with her local school or visit the YES Alumni Turkey page on Facebook and to learn more about the work our AFS exchange students are doing.

The #AFSEffect Continues

Having a student in the building that starts a movement to help others is amazing. Having an exchange student start a movement that continues after their departure is another great part of the #AFSEffect. Meet Chloe, from Switzerland. She is passionate about equitable access to school lunches that match the students’ religious, medical, and dietary needs as this is what she saw every day in Switzerland. Chloe, along with two other students and support from the Youth Empowered in the Struggle started this project during her exchange year where she attended high school in 2021-2022. The project not only continues into 2023 but has spread to multiple schools throughout the city. Have you seen the #AFSEffect in your school? We’d love to hear the story! Email us at [email protected].


AFS Global Stem Accelerators
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 2023 Accelerators program consists of virtual, interactive workshops for girls around the world between the ages of 15 and 17.5, with a focus on emerging and critical STEM skills and fields, global competence education, and social impact – empowering participants to become changemakers in their communities. The 12-week, all-virtual Accelerators exchange program will run in two cohorts. Applications for Cohort 1 opened on February 1, 2023, while applications for Cohort 2 will open on May 15, 2023Share the website with your students so they can learn more and apply!

Scandinavian Folk College in Denmark
Are your students looking for international adventures this summer?

How about blending the college and camp experiences in Denmark? Our Scandinavian Folk College program is one your students will love! Sailing, paddle boarding, gastronomy, and dance are some of the many afternoon activities from which students will choose after they’ve spent their morning engrossed in Science and Danish Language and Culture. From exploring lakes and forests, to mountain biking, students will enjoy an outdoorsy summer advancing both their life skills and their academics! Share this opportunity with your students today!


Adb El Kader Education Project Logo
Calling all high school writers!

The 2023 Abdelkader Global Citizenship Prize Essay Contest is inviting students enrolled in U.S. high schools to expand their global perspectives and compete for scholarship awards. In the 1800s, Emir Abdelkader was an Arab Muslim hero from Algeria and was greatly admired around the globe. His life story brings lost history into focus along with the wisdom and knowledge necessary to build strong bonds of cultural understanding and respect for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. For full contest rules and requirements, visit the website to get started. Essays are due April 1, 2023. Please register in advance here.

As we want to make sure you have plenty of resources for your learning environment, I invite you to test out a very interesting classroom activity called Interview and Investigate. This activity will ask you to put your students into groups and each group will be asked to use a different source of information to learn about a person in your community! This is a good activity to remind students about media literacy and always evaluating the source of the information that they choose to use to validate their argument. There are many other activities also available for you to check out on our website! If there are ever resources that you need to support your classroom and creating global citizens, please reach out and let us know! We’re happy to help!


Jill Woerner
Director of Educational Outreach
E: [email protected]
P: (646) 381-3309

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