Did you know that Richard Engel, NBC News’ chief foreign correspondent, is an AFSer?

As a teenager in the early 1990s, Richard studied abroad in Palermo, Sicily, where he lived with an AFS host family and attended a local high school.

Richard’s career has taken him all over the world to cover some of the most important current events. In 2008, he was assigned to the role of NBC News’ chief foreign correspondent, after serving as the network’s Middle East correspondent and Beirut Bureau chief. As a journalist, Richard has reported from the front lines in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Libya amidst ongoing conflicts. But his first time traveling outside of his comfort zone was with AFS.

“My AFS experience was my first taste outside of the world that I knew … my first taste of an international lifestyle—and it was intriguing … it was seductive … and it was delicious,” Richard said.

While in Italy, Richard became fluent Italian. He now also speaks and reads Arabic and Spanish fluently. Richard credits his AFS year with influencing his future career path and giving him a globally-engaged mindset.

“I loved the idea of traveling … of going to new places … of learning new things … of trying to make the unfamiliar, familiar,” Richard shared.  “AFS taught me how to think and how to solve problems.”

Hear Richard speak about his AFS experience in his own words:

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