S2 Episode 4: Life as an Exchange Student in the US

In this episode we hear from three of the 1000+ students that AFS-USA welcomed for the 2021-22 school year. Samira from Germany, Toby from Sweden, and Mira from Austria share about their host families, schools, and what life is like for a teenager in the U.S. These three teenagers have gained confidence, maturity, and problem-solving skills during their AFS program.

They have also become cultural ambassadors, sharing their home culture with their communities in the U.S. And once they’re back home? They will be Passing Peace Forward, spreading messages of intercultural understanding across typical divides, to create a more just and peaceful world. That’s the #AFSEffect.

Guests: Samira Saduzei, Toby Bern, Paul Krzyzaniak, Mira Hargassner

Click here to access a full transcript of this episode or to listen on a different platform.

Host with AFS-USA: www.afsusa.org/host

S2 Episode 3: What is an AFS Host Parent?

What does it mean to be an AFS Host Parent? It’s more than providing a bed and meals. As an AFS Host Family, you’ll welcome someone new into your home, share your everyday lives with them, 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.

This episode includes three great conversations with host parents in the D.C. and Dallas metro areas. Listen to learn more about their motivations and expectations, and how bringing students into their homes has benefitted their families and themselves.

Guests: Sheri Belton-Gonzalez, Dallas; Rodney Warren, Dallas; Sarah Clapp, DC

Click here to access a full transcript of this episode or to listen on a different platform.

Host with AFS-USA: www.afsusa.org/host

Contact us: [email protected]

S2 Episode 2: AFSers in Schools

Welcoming exchange students into your classroom can benefit the entire school community! In this episode, we hear from AFS students in Indiana and Washington. They discuss their experiences as US high school students: activities they’ve been involved in, how things are different from home, and the positive impact of supportive teachers.

We also get the perspective of the teachers who work with these students. How have AFS students shared their culture and unique perspective in school, providing learning opportunities for their peers?

Guests: Medyen Jubran, Abbas Mortada, Mark Liepe, Brandi Asher (East Noble High School, Kendallville, IN);  Sai Charan Tharmani and Annie DeGroot (Rainier Beach High School, Seattle, WA)

Click here to access a full transcript of this episode or to listen on a different platform.

Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program (YES): www.yesprograms.org

S2 Episode 1: Growing as an AFS Volunteer

Welcome back to The AFS Exchange for Season 2! As an AFS volunteer, you gain skills that are valuable outside of AFS. Intercultural communication, leadership, marketing, event planning, content creation, project management, and more. In this episode we hear from 3 AFS volunteers who are all at points of transition in their lives. How has their volunteer experience equipped them with valuable skills to move confidently forward?

Guests: Chelsea Kidd, Chloe Marette, Anna Harris
Volunteer with AFS-USA: [email protected]

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S1 Episode 6: 26.2 Miles to France

This episode features an interview with Zodi Schwind, an AFS returnee who studied in France. We chat about her unique upbringing on a hospital ship off the coast of West Africa, her family, and her takeaways from her time abroad. We also learn how she fundraised $10,000 for her program in France by running a marathon! PS – she also won in her age category!

Guest: Zodi Schwind

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S1 Episode 5: Interview with an Ambulance Driver

This episode starts out with a brief history of the American Field Service. Next, we hear from Steve Riford, one of the AFS Ambulance Drivers during WWII. Steve shares stories of his time with the American Field Service- from boat rides and bagpipes to loud cannons and lost windshield wipers. After volunteering with AFS, Steve became a member of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate.

Guest: Steve Riford, WWII AFS Ambulance Driver

AFS Archives: afs.org/archives

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S1 Episode 4: Advice from Us to You

This episode provides advice for AFS participants beginning their program abroad. AFS-USA staff were surveyed with two questions: What piece of advice would you have for new participants, and what’s something that surprised you about your time abroad? 

We will hear from staff who studied abroad in Malaysia, Argentina, Uzbekistan, France, Australia, Russia, Germany, and more! While this advice is geared for study abroad participants, it is also relevant to anyone involved with AFS this fall. Major themes? Be open-minded, be flexible, and don’t be afraid to talk to new people!

Guests: Tara Hofmann (AFS-USA President and CEO), Akemi Akaiwa, Julie Ball, Keri Dooley, Libby Gartland, Melvin Harmon, Scott Hume, Paula Zhang

Click here to access a full transcript of this episode or to listen on a different platform.

S1 Episode 3: Egypt, Iceland, and How it all Began

This episode features an interview with Nico, an AFS alum from the U.S. who was first involved with AFS thanks to his mother, an AFS exchange student to the U.S. from Italy. We’ll hear from Nico about his experiences as an AFS participant in Egypt, AFS volunteer traditions in other countries, and how you can always come back as an AFS volunteer, even if you took some time off!

Guest: Nico Borbely
Mini Segment Guests: Patricia Chery, Alicia Chery

AFScast Paraguay can be found on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Click here to access a full transcript of this episode or to listen on a different platform.

S1 Episode 2: AFS School Champions

In this episode high school administrators from Ohio, West Virginia, and California provide insight about the value of welcoming AFS international exchange students into their school communities. We’ll hear about football games, hallway stampedes, lunchroom awkwardness, and… High School Musical? 

Guests:
Ben McMurray, Ottawa Hills Junior/Senior High School (OH)
TJ Connor, Keyser High School (WV)
Karen Gordon, Valley Charter High School (CA)

Kristján Gislason on Instagram: @slidingthrough
Kennedy Lugar YES Program: yesprograms.org 


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S1 Episode 1: A Lifelong AFSer

In this episode, we chat with Kim from Wisconsin. Kim has been a host sibling, host parent, study abroad participant, and sending parent. Kim shares tips for host parents and discusses how she brings intercultural education into the preschool classroom. We also hear from a volunteer with AFS Brazil about the history of the Portuguese language in Brazil.  

Guest: Kim Thompson
Brazilian Portuguese history read by: Júlia Herszenhut
AFScast Brasil on Instagram: @afscastbrasil 

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Do you have questions about this podcast? Contact us at [email protected]. Thank you for listening!