Each year, more than 1,000 exchange students from over 80 countries come to the U.S. on AFS programs to study in high schools and live with host families.

By hosting an AFS Exchange Student in your home, you will start seeing the world from fresh perspectives.

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Bring the world to your home

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Our AFS international partners select young cultural ambassadors who are eager to experience life as a member of a family, school, and community in America.

Host Family Portrait

Why Host an International Exchange Student?

With more than 70 years of experience and 100 years of history, AFS is a leader in international high school exchange. One thing that sets us apart from other organizations is our network of almost 4,000 volunteers in the U.S. Many of our volunteers have hosted international exchange students or studied abroad with AFS. These local volunteers support families, students, and schools in gaining the most from their hosting experience.

Hosting an exchange student means more than providing a bed and meals. As an AFS Host Family, you’ll welcome a new member into your home, share your everyday lives, and grow as you get to know each other and share your cultural perspectives. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn about yourself, your family, and community. Have a life-changing experience in your own home – become a host family!

And, don’t worry – we’re always here to help, 24/7. Learn more about how AFS Supports Host Families.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hosting an international exchange student can be a highly rewarding opportunity for your family. The chance to discover a different perspective than your own and to share your own culture with an international student is a daily lesson in cultural understanding. The bonds created span continents—and can last for many years to come.

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For Current Host Families

AFS-USA is committed to partnering with our host families to provide information and support, and to increase knowledge and learning by providing practical materials in a convenient, mobile friendly format. Approved host families can access our Global Family Tools platform which enhances the hosting experience by providing easy access to the Host Family Handbook, student details, support contact information, important emails, articles, handouts, activities and more.

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Join an Information Session

Webinars to learn about Hosting an International Exchange Student, Studying Abroad, and Volunteering with AFS-USA.

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U.S. Department of State Programs

A select number of AFS Exchange Students receive full merit-based scholarships awarded by the U.S. Department of State. In order to come to the U.S. on these scholarships and become a member of a host family, school, and community, students engage in a highly competitive selection process in their home countries. During their year or semester here, these students participate in enrichment activities with other students to deepen their experience and learning about U.S. culture.

CBYX (1200 × 675 px)

Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program

Initiated in 1983, the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) program is jointly funded and managed by the U.S. and German governments. CBYX provides 350 scholarships for U.S. high school students, high school graduates in vocational fields, and young professionals for an academic year home-stay program. 360 CBYX scholarships are available for German students and young professionals to travel to the U.S. for an academic year program.

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YES (1200 × 675 px)

Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program was initiated by the Department of State in the aftermath of Sept. 11. It aims to build bridges of understanding between Americans and people in countries with significant Muslim populations. Scholarships are also available for American students to go abroad through the YES Abroad program.

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FLEX Logo (1200 × 675 px)

Future Leaders Exchange

Established in 1992, the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program strives to improve mutual understanding and develop and strengthen long-term relationships between citizens of the United States and citizens of the countries of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and supports the exchange of high school students from 21 Eastern European and Eurasian countries to the U.S. for a year long, academic home stay experience.

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Hosting Photos by AFSers

The AFS Hosting Experience