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

Tara Hofmann Headshot

As we kick off the new year, AFS-USA continues to dedicate time and resources toward promoting and delivering the many opportunities, experiences, and tools that we’ve developed for educators and students. In this edition of the Global Educator Newsletter, you’ll find a spectrum of engaging initiatives designed to enrich global competence in your classrooms and schools. From scholarships, diverse perspectives, or professional development, I hope you will take full advantage of the ideas, resources, and opportunities that we offer to help you and your students continue on your journey as active global citizens.

Warm Regards,

Opportunities for Educators –
Explore New Cultures from Home

We are thrilled to be able to offer you and your colleagues a variety of different learning opportunities to help you develop the skills and relationships you need to support your global classroom!

Connect with Educators in Malaysia
Earn your Global Competence Certificate while building relationships with educators in Malaysia on Fridays in February! Topics include identity, conflict styles, inequalities, teaching for global competence, and so much more! Stay warm while you learn from home this winter and make new friends from abroad at the same time. Professional growth hours (20) will be granted upon successful completion. See the details and register for FREE before January 25, 2024!

Connect with a Classroom in France
Connect your students to France by participating in a Meet & Greet with teachers of all content areas on January 30, 2024. Each Meet & Greet is a free event designed to bring teachers together to consider a joint project for their classes. We know that the time difference means this event occurs during the school day in the U.S., so please plan to attend whichever option falls during a time when you can chat live with the teachers in France even if it isn’t the full hour. Click HERE to register! We’ll be sure to remind you the day before, so you don’t forget!

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! Two cohorts remain this school year or you can sign up in advance for 2024-2025!

Nominate a Young Educator for the AFS Youth Assembly in New York, August 16-18, 2024
Counselors, teachers, administrators, and instructional coaches that are 32 years old and younger are eligible to attend the AFS Youth Assembly in New York City in August. These educators will receive a scholarship covering their registration, hotel, some meals, and a travel stipend. Plus, they’ll be part of a dynamic workshop just for educators learning to bring the world into their classrooms. Consider an educator who would benefit from expanding their network and developing their intercultural and global skills and nominate them by February 19, 2024!

Win one of 250 Scholarships to become an AFS Global STEM Educator!
This online, interactive certificate program is designed for Educators to build the skills needed to become globally competent leaders and foster global competence in their school communities and beyond. Applications for the 2024 Global STEM Educators will open in February for in-service, secondary-level STEM educators from anywhere in the world. Learn more and apply in February!

Learn more about Ramadan
Join us for an enlightening info session on Ramadan on February 15, 2024 at 8:00pm Eastern time. This is tailored for educators, AFS host families, and volunteers involved in our student exchange programs. Discover the significance of Ramadan, gain insights into its traditions and practices, and learn valuable ways to support students observing this sacred month. This session aims to foster cultural understanding, creating an inclusive and supportive environment for all students in your school and on our programs. Professional growth certificates available upon request. Reserve your spot today.

Resources for Black History Month
While leadership, innovation, and perseverance come from individuals from 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.

Teacher & Student Highlight

Mariam, a recipient of the U.S. Department of State’s Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) merit-based public diplomacy initiative from Ghana, reflects on her transformative experience in the United States. Immersed in the dynamic environment of Davenport High School in Texas, Mariam found inspiration in her Physics teacher, Mrs. Russell. According to Mariam, Mrs. Russell is “not only one of the best teachers I’ve had in my life since I started school, she’s just a really nice and fun person and makes learning physics fun.”

In contrast to Mariam’s experiences in Ghana, where teacher-student connections are rare, Mrs. Russell’s personalized approach made a profound impact. Mariam shares that in Ghana, so much of her learning is based on the theoretical parts of the subject. Now, because of Ms. Russell, physics is Mariam’s favorite subject. She is so appreciative of the time and effort Ms. Russell has given to help her make the most of her exchange year.

If you have a similar story to share about an AFS student in your school or classroom, are interested in exploring Department of State public diplomacy initiatives through AFS for your students and families, or would like to welcome a student like Mariam into your class next year, please reach out to [email protected]. Your involvement can contribute to fostering enriching educational experiences and meaningful connections for your local students others like Mariam.

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 them to become changemakers in their communities. Applications for the 12-week, all-virtual Accelerators exchange program will open on February 1, 2024 and close on March 15, 2024. Programming will take place between May and August, and will connect participants from all around the world. Share the website with your students so they can learn more and apply!

AFS is Recruiting our Class of 2024-2025
Exciting news from AFS-USA’s Study Abroad programs! Thanks to a new scholarship process, AFS-USA is able to meet the demonstrated financial need of all of our accepted applicants! We’re actively seeking curious, adaptable, and open-minded students to join AFS-USA’s class of 2024-25, regardless of their ability to afford a Study Abroad program. Our new Global Citizenship Scholarship applies to our Summer (2-8 week), Semester, and Academic Year experiences and these programs typically fill by April. Now’s the time to encourage every student…especially those with financial need to start their applications today.

Whether it’s looking for scholarships to help a student go abroad, pondering how to get more diverse perspectives into your classroom, or embarking on your own professional journey to learn more about teaching for global competence, AFS-USA is here to help. We’ve got ideas, resources, experiences, and opportunities available every day to help you and your students grow into active global citizens no matter where you’re starting. You let us know what you need, and we’ll be there to help! Have a great 2024!

Jill Woerner
Director of Educational Outreach

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

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