AFS embraces diversity

AFS-USA embraces diversity at all levels of the organization. From our program participants, to our trained volunteers, to our skilled and dedicated staff members, we are working to ensure that the “AFS Family” represents the full spectrum of diversity in the U.S. We value inclusion, and we work to provide life-changing international and intercultural learning experiences to include individuals from all backgrounds, including persons with disabilities and those representing all genders, nationalities, races, and religions. We believe that appreciating diversity brings people together, and we know that fostering inclusion is essential to fulfilling our mission of creating a more just and peaceful world.

Heritage and Ethnicity

Heritage & Ethnicity

AFS-USA is committed to providing international and intercultural learning experiences to individuals from diverse backgrounds and communities, including individuals of mixed heritage, foreign nationals, and individuals at all socio-economic levels.

We provide a variety of scholarships to make access to study abroad more equitable, and we work to develop curriculum that addresses the diverse needs and interests of our participants. From programs focused on STEM education to Cultural Heritage programs that allow students to explore the countries and traditions tied to their family origins, we aim to make study abroad more accessible and meaningful for all participants (non and US Citizens).

As a global organization, AFS-USA is committed to supporting non-US citizens on our programs. As non-US citizens require special processes to enter, remain, and exit the countries our programs operate in, AFS will support these students to the best of our ability.

AFS-USA welcomes the participation of non-US Citizens across our programs.



AFS-USA welcomes members of the LGBTQ Community, and actively encourages their participation in all types of AFS opportunities, including studying abroad, volunteering and hosting exchange students.

As a Host Family for an international AFS Exchange Student, LGBTQ individuals, couples and families can make a profound impact in the life of a young person, while also opening up their own world. We also welcome the contributions of LGBTQ individuals as volunteers, who support intercultural learning through a variety of opportunities that draw on their unique strengths and interests.

For LGBTQ students, we work to provide positive and meaningful intercultural learning experiences abroad, taking care to address their individual concerns and ensure their safety and comfort while on program.

Read our LGBTQ+ FAQs for studying abroad or hosting a student.

AFS Partnerships on diversity


AFS-USA is proud to partner with organizations to realize a common goal of ensuring all have access to educational opportunities, no matter their background. These partnerships help individuals from diverse communities achieve their potential and gain access to learning opportunities that open their eyes to a world of possibilities.

iEarn-USA Logo
TeachUNICEF Logo
Institute for International Education (IIE) Logo
Mobility International USA (MIUSA) Logo
BP Logo
The Asia Society Logo

Faces of America is a 21st century model for public-private-nonprofit partnership.  AFS-USA professional staff and volunteers working hand-in-hand with a consortium of community- and school-based nonprofit youth service organizations in urban centers from coast to coast. Learn more about our partners Community Based Organizations

AFS Approach to Bias

Our Approach to Bias
How we monitor and ensure diversity at AFS

At AFS-USA, we are committed to increasing opportunities for, and interaction among, individuals of diverse cultures, classes, races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, ages and more. We believe that facing bias is essential to achieving this goal, and we work to do so honestly and effectively.

AFS-USA's Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group (DIAG) works to evaluate, monitor and implement diversity initiatives across the organization. In collaboration with the Facing Our Biases group, DIAG engages with AFS volunteers and staff to enhance diversity for AFS-USA, understanding our current student, host family, and volunteer demographics, and make recommendations for improving under-represented communities, so that AFS-USA reflects the country as a whole. The aim of which is to improve program quality, access diversity resources, and achieve the AFS mission and vision.

The AFS-USA "Facing Our Biases" work group serves to guide individuals at all levels of the organization in working through any type of bias that leads to marginalization. Through providing educational trainings, reflective analysis and a robust bias response policy, this essential group helps to ensure that we practice the inclusiveness inherent in our mission.