In many parts of the world, students and educators are marking the annual return to school. As educators, I suspect that prepping for and implementing the start of the school year felt like staging an event with 10,000+ attendees with the added element of managing COVID-19 protocols. As a parent of a high school senior and a college freshman, I’ve experienced first-hand the uncertainties and the constant changes we are learning to accommodate. The tenacity that you and the global community of educators have exhibited during these challenging times is a source of inspiration for all of us at AFS-USA.

If interest in our programs is a reliable measurement, I can say with great confidence that teens still want to travel abroad to experience other cultures, learn languages through immersion, gain new perspectives, pursue self-discovery, and much more. I can also say that more often than not, parents are supportive of their children studying abroad. Likewise, families are eager to host exchange students and share their lives with these global youth.

This level of interest offers us a variety of insights and learnings. Many people around the world are perhaps more committed to global education now. To illustrate this, I’m pleased to share that AFS-USA has over 1,000 high school students in the USA because educators like you value global education. Your efforts have no doubt helped to shape global education opportunities into necessities for many students and their families. Without the support of schools and educators, the work of organizations like AFS would be severely threatened, if not impossible.

Thank you for all that you do in supporting global competence through greater awareness and understanding and, in doing so, preparing your students for the pursuit of a more just and peaceful world.

Tara M. Hofmann
President & CEO

*New* Resources for Building Relationships

As you return to school this year, you’re likely building new relationships with students in person. And while this may look different in each classroom across the country, we’re launching a brand-new resource to help you open up intercultural conversations in the classroom from the start of the year. Whether your school and community are hosting exchange students or not, we encourage you to explore our Cultural Consideration in the Classroom Handouts to learn more about specific intercultural concepts that may impact student behavior. Each one has an accompanying classroom activity to help your students engage with the topic and learn more about themselves and others.

Classroom Participation
Reaching out for Help
Attendance & Homework
Information Sharing
Group Work Dynamics
Student Socialization
Making Friends

*New* Global Educator & Global School Awards

Now Accepting Nominations

Are you or your school promoting global citizenship? AFS-USA is seeking nominations for the 2022 AFS Global Educator and the 2022 Global School Awards. Nominate your school, your colleagues or even yourself today! To learn more about both awards and if you and/or your school qualify, please visit our global awards webpage.

Nominations are due on December 15th, so don’t delay!

Professional Development & Opportunities for Teachers

Do you want to connect with educators from Greece and England? Are you a pre-service teacher or in the first 8 years of teaching? AFS-USA is seeking 10 pre-service and early career educators that would like to join a cohort of international educators to develop their global competence skills for FREE! Learn more here and sign up by October 18, 2021 to be considered. Teachers of all grade levels and subject areas are welcome!

AFS Effect+ Program Toolkit for Educators is a new free resource for teaching Active Global Citizenship and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to high school students. Complete with an educator toolkit, the program uses modules and a flexible curriculum. It’s currently available in English with Spanish and Portuguese versions coming soon. Download the toolkit today!

Join AFS-USA at the ACTFL Virtual Convention!  We’ll have two great sessions “Interactive Intercultural Learning” and “When Global Competence Met Social Emotional Learning”. We’ll help world language teachers incorporate intercultural learning into their classrooms in the target language and help them learn how global competence connects to social emotional learning. Join us live and on-demand!

Join AFS-USA at the 2021 Global Seal of Biliteracy virtual conference! On October 14th, you and your students can participate for FREE and meet an international mystery guest, hear about scholarships to study abroad, and learn from others who are using language and culture in their everyday lives. Sign up your classes today and cue up the AFS-USA on-demand session!

Opportunities for Students

Are your students looking for something different during their school breaks? The AFS Global YOU Adventurer program is a virtual experience designed for teens, ages 14-17, to explore the world from home as part of a cohort of other teens from around the globe. They’ll experience new cultures and become a Global Citizen without leaving the house! Students and parents can access more information through this link . There are new cohorts starting every month.

The CBYX program provides scholarships for eligible American high school students and recent graduates to spend an academic year of study and cultural immersion in Germany. Scholarship recipients will gain a new perspective on global current affairs and German social, economic, and political life, all while learning the German language through day-to-day life in the culture, attending a local high school and living with a host family. Click HERE to apply before December 1, 2021.


The YES Abroad program provides scholarships for eligible American high school students and recent graduates to live with host families and attend a local high school for an academic year in countries like Egypt, Ghana, India, Senegal, Thailand, Turkey and more. As YES Abroad scholars, students promote mutual understanding between the U.S. and the host country by building relationships with the local community. Click HERE to be notified when the application window opens!


The NSLI-Y program provides scholarships for eligible American high school students to learn critical languages. Currently, students can apply to learn one of these languages virtually. The virtual program immerses participants in online learning outside of school hours and includes interactive instruction, virtual tours, conversation practice, and access to special guests. Programs are available for Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Korean, Russian, and Turkish. Click HERE to apply for the virtual program by October 20, 2021!

Thank you for all that you are doing both inside and outside of the classroom this year. Your time, talents, and compassion as you navigate challenging and ever-changing school spaces are appreciated! We hope this newsletter provides you with various student opportunities to share, resources to support instruction and strengthen student relationships, and a chance to both recognize and celebrate global competence through our new awards and professional development opportunities. Hang in there and please reach out to us if AFS-USA can support you and your work!

Jill Woerner
Director of Educational Outreach

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

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