Virtual exchange and resources can be used to learn, connect, and increase our cultural awareness and empathy. This is where you can explore the countries, territories, and cultures in which AFS brings people together, virtually! We need intercultural exchange and global solidarity now more than ever.
Explore the World from Home
Connect with communities and cultures virtually
Where do you want to explore?
AFS-USA connects people across 80+ countries and territories. Search here to find more about the places, people, and perspectives you can find out there. Learn online about aspects of cultures like family dynamics, holidays, official languages, cuisines, and more.
Explore by region: Africa | Asia | Europe | Latin America | North America | Oceania
What is Culture?
Culture Points is a series of posts that quickly explain broad cultural concepts, communication styles, norms, values, and orientations, which help us make sense of cultural differences and suspend judgement. These posts are like overlooks or viewpoints that can help us pause and gain perspective on any intercultural journey.
What is Culture?Culture is not easy to define. Some aspects of culture are obvious and concrete, like art or attire, while others are less noticeable or even subconscious, like body language or the social values that dictate it.
What are Generalizations & Stereotypes?Generalizations are a type of hypothesis, or guess, of what we expect to encounter when we interact with a certain culture. Stereotypes take generalizations too far, applying them to all members of a group.
Individualism & CollectivismIndividualist cultures value independence, while collectivist cultures prioritize interdependence and relationships with others.
Direct & Indirect Communication StylesDirect communication styles make the author’s intentions obvious—they say exactly what they mean. Indirect communication styles tend to hide or camouflage the speaker or writer’s true intentions and use a more nuanced tone.
What is Intercultural Exchange?
We need global solidarity and cooperation among countries and cultures now more than ever. Active global citizens are made for times like these. See how you can be an everyday ambassador and promote peace!
Become a Global Citizen
7 Simple Ways to Promote Peace While Social DistancingAs many of us around the world are staying home to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus, we’re focusing on simple acts of kindness that you can take indoors…
Everyday Ambassadors: Public Diplomacy and Why It MattersWhen we think of international diplomacy, we might imagine heads of state at official meetings, but in fact everyone can (and should) engage in diplomacy.
8 Inspiring Hispanic InternationalistsIn honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re highlighting influential Hispanic internationalists who advocated for peace, civil rights, and multiculturalism, either abroad or in the U.S. Our list includes artists,…
Our students bring together diverse perspectives. Here you'll find everything from lists of TV shows popular around the world to interviews and guest blogs from our exchange students and newest alumni.
...From Around the World
Movies from Around the WorldFor the newest installment in our…From Around the World series, we delve into movies recommended by our hosted students from 90+ countries. Film reveals a lot about a specific culture,…
TV Shows from Around the WorldFor the next post in our…From Around the World series, we explore favorite TV shows recommended by our recent hosted students. Because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love TV? As…
Breakfast from Around the WorldFor the second installment of our …From Around the World series, we dig into food! Or, more specifically, breakfast. We surveyed our exchange students and asked them to submit examples…
Exchange Student Stories
An Interview with AFS Alumna, Amanda Sawyer (U.S. to Spain, 2018-19)When Amanda first decided to study abroad, her main goal was to learn Spanish. What she didn’t realize was how much more she would discover about the world and herself.…
Embracing a Spanish Summer: A Reflection by AFS-USA Pride Scholar Ryan RodriguezRyan Rodriguez is an AFS-USA Pride Scholar who traveled to Spain on our Global Prep program. In his personal essay, Ryan reflects on his experience abroad with his host family,…
An Open Letter from a Thai AFSer on HostingGrace Madthing is an AFSer from Thailand who turned his experience as an exchange student into a passion for diplomacy between Thailand and the U.S. In his letter, he candidly…
Cultural exchange isn't just for students. Host families, communities, volunteers and donors all help bring us together and share our cultures.
Host Family Stories
7 Reasons You Should Host an Exchange StudentHosting an exchange student with AFS-USA is not only a wonderful experience for a teen from another country – it’s a unique opportunity to provide you and your family with…
Why Host an Exchange Student During COVIDJust about a year ago the world changed in ways we never expected and with those changes came a new hosting experience. At a time like this many ask themselves…
Why Hosting Is A Rewarding ExperienceThis blog features interviews from the Judy family and two students hosted by Dar Fredrickson in Pennsylvania. Both interviews were first published in “Building Bridges”, the Western Pennsylvania Area Team’s…
Recipes from Around the World
Exchange recipes with our community Start an International Diners Club
Now is a critical time to show your students the importance of diversity and global competence with our lesson plans and resources.
AFS-USA supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals by facilitating programs and providing resources to amplify and encourage action towards the UN’s vision for a more sustainable and peaceful world.