Purpose of the Guide


The AFS Community College Guide has been written to assist host families and student participants through the AFS hosting experience.  AFS has listened to thousands of families and exchange students who have come before you, and has learned from their experiences. We have learned what makes the AFS experience challenging and have identified some things that will make the experience even more rewarding.

This site is designed to familiarize you with the key elements of an AFS community college exchange and to enable you to understand and prepare for unfamiliar situations. In doing so, AFS hopes the quality of your program experience will be enhanced rather than diminished by surprises or misunderstandings.

By referring to this site throughout the program period, students and families will be better able to:

  • Develop realistic expectations about living together
  • Help the AFS participant adjust to the new culture and improve their English language
  • Deal most effectively with the challenges that will arise during the year
  • Support the AFS Participant and Host Family as they learns and grow throughout the experience
  • Support AFS in upholding our standards, policies, and procedures

The handbook provides the student and the host family with practical information as well as information on rules and procedures related to participant travel, medical concerns, college registration, and miscellaneous expenses. It will also give suggestions on how to cope with the cultural differences that may arise between the participant and the family, including host siblings

In addition to reading this guide, all AFS host families are required to take our online Host Family Orientation for College Students. A link to this orientation was sent to you in the welcome email upon your acceptance as an AFS host family.