AFS-USA Host Family Handbook

The Host Family Handbook: A Self-Directed Guide

The AFS Host Family Handbook has been written to guide you and your family through the AFS hosting experience. In addition to downloading the handbook below, fully screened host families can access the handbook and other resources via the mobile friendly Global Family Tools Platform. Watch this video introducing the platform.

The handbook includes:

  • The key elements of an AFS exchange
  • Practical information on helping your hosted participant to adjust
  • Essential information on rules and procedures related to participant travel, medical concerns,
    school registration, and miscellaneous expenses
  • Suggestions on how to cope with the cultural differences
  • Guidance on how to handle cultural misunderstandings or miscommunications
  • Advice about hosting from experienced host families
  • An important addendum which should be referenced for the most up to date information available

Download Handbook Download Addendum

Country-Specific Handbooks

AustriaEgyptGermanyGhanaIndiaIndonesiaMalaysiaPakistanSouth AfricaThailandTurkey

Host Family Tax Deductions

Host families may claim a tax deduction of $50 per calendar month (15 days or more) for the time period in which you hosted your AFS student. This amount should be included on Schedule A of your Federal Income Tax return under Charitable Contributions, “Deductions other than cash” naming AFS-USA, Inc. and annotating the entry “Sec. 170(g) deduction”. This deduction only applies to those families who itemize rather than using the Standard Deduction.


YES and FLEX Host Families Resources

Special resources for AFS Families hosting students through the YES and FLEX Programs

Resources for Hosted Students

AFS uses the services of a third party administrator, GMMI, to review and process medical claims. Claim forms need to be printed, signed, and then scanned and mailed/emailed to GMMI. All medical bills should be submitted to them for payment unless otherwise instructed.

Using a service provider who is in the GMMI network can help host families and/or volunteers avoid requests for payment up-front. This is also beneficial in expediting payment and avoiding balance billing (see below for more on balance billing).

To locate a network provider in your area:

  1.     Go to the GMMI website.
  2.     Log in using the Username: AFS and Password: AFS
  3.     Scroll to the bottom to find the button for the Provider Search.

To find a Provider:

  1. enter a provider name to find out if s/he is in the network
  2. enter the your city and state or zip code to find a list of network providers in your area
  3. search providers by specialty

Tracking claims with GMMI

The address of GMMI is:

Global Medical Management Inc. (GMMI)
880 SW 145th Avenue, Suite 400
Pembroke Pines, FL 33027, USA

Phone No. (888) 444-7773 (OK to call 24 hrs/day, 7 days/wk)
Fax No. 1-954-370-8130
Email: [email protected]