Rules, Terms, and Conditions

Rules, Terms and Conditions

How it Works:

8th to 12th grade students are invited to propose a development project that works toward one or a few of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in a relevant country from the AFS Global Prep portfolio (“Scholarship Contest” or “Contest”). One Grand Prize Winner will be given a full scholarship to go on the AFS Project: Change Trip to workshop their winning proposal with community partners in their chosen AFS Project: Change Country. Four additional winners (or “runners-up”) will be given the opportunity to join the program on full scholarships.

The AFS Project: Change Trip will be a supplemented version of the Global Prep program available in the country addressed in the Grand Prize Winner’s project proposal. Trip participants will learn principles and practices of international development and changemaking during a pre-departure training and post-trip debrief. During the trip, participants will share and assess the winning proposal with community partners in the host country while learning about existing development projects and efforts. Throughout, participants will cultivate their global competence through intercultural exchange. When they return from the AFS Project: Change Trip, participants will be better prepared to develop and implement projects to create change in their home communities.

Non-winners and all other 8th to 12th graders will be welcome to join the AFS Project: Change Trip by paying a program fee (amount based on the cost of the Global Prep trip to the country addressed in the Grand Prize Winner’s proposal).

By submitting an essay that proposes a development project and answers the below questions listed under 1. of the Scholarship Contest Rules, the entrants accept and agree to be bound by the Scholarship Contest Rules. 

Scholarship Contest Rules:

  1. In their own words, entrants must write a project proposal essay that answers both of the following prompts (in min 500 – max 1500 words):
    1. Choose one to three of the Sustainable Development Goals for your project proposal. Why are you passionate about meeting your chosen goal(s)? If you have chosen more than one goal, explain how they are related.; and,
    2. What project would you propose to help meet your chosen goal(s) in one of the AFS Project: Change Countries? Demonstrate the relevance of your proposed project to the Goals and communities in the country chosen.
  2. All submissions are due no later than 11:59pm EST on November 25, 2018. Late submissions will not be considered for the contest.
  3. Entrants must submit their short essay question answers through the contest entry form found at:
  4. By submitting an entry, entrants agree that they have their parent’s or guardian’s permission to enter AFS Project: Change.
  5. Immediately following the submission deadline, each entrant will have their own project proposal displayed on a webpage for collecting votes for a chance to be in the top 100 finalists. The voting period opens on November 26, 2018 and close at 11:59pm EST on December 30, 2018.
    • Voters may cast votes for as many different entries as they desire during the voting period, but they can only vote once for each individual entry.
    • To reiterate the point above, during the voting period each individual voter can only cast one vote for a particular entry. For example, if there are 400 entrants, a voter could cast a vote for as many of the 400 entries at any time during the voting period, but the voter could not cast more than one vote for the entry.
    • Once a voter casts a vote for an entry, that vote cannot be changed or undone. It becomes final and will count towards the total number of votes that entrant has received.
    • Fraudulent votes, including but not limited to attempts by the same voter to cast more than one vote for an entry, will be removed through a verification process performed by an independent third-party consultant retained by AFS-USA to review the votes cast and to secure the integrity of the voting process. The same independent third-party consultant will also determine the finalists of the Contest.
  6. There will be 100 finalists (the 100 entrants with the highest number of votes by December 30th) selected from the pool of entries. Their project proposal will be reviewed by a panel of judges made up of AFS-USA staff, volunteers, and alumni (“Judges Panel”).
  7. The Judges Panel will select one Grand Prize Winner, four additional scholarship winners, and three alternates, should the winners not accept the prize.
  8. All submissions will be judged by the Judges Panel based on the following criteria:
    • A demonstrated understanding of the chosen Sustainable Development Goal(s) and its implications in the AFS Global Prep country of choice (25%);
    • Creativity and originality (25%);
    • Quality of research and writing (25%); and
    • Feasibility, relevance, and potential impact of the proposed project to the chosen Goal(s) and communities in the chosen country (25%).
  9. The Project: Change Trip will join and supplement the Global Prep program in the country addressed by the Grand Prize Winner’s project proposal. The four additional winners will be granted full scholarships to participate in the Project: Change Trip.
  10. If any of the contest winners decline participation in the program, spots will be offered to the 1st alternate, and then the 2nd, and then the 3rd, and so on, until all available spots are filled.

Terms & Conditions:

  1. Participation in, and registration for, the Project: Change essay contest is free. No purchase is necessary.
  2. To participate, entrants must:
    • Be a U.S. 8th to 12th grade student;
    • Be enrolled in an accredited U.S. Middle or High School or a homeschooling program;
    • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
    • Provide authorization by parents or legal guardians to participate, if the entrant is below the age of 18 at the time of the entry. 
    •   Be accepted for the program through an application, interview and medical clearance.
    • Understand that participation in any AFS-USA Program abroad is contingent upon possession of a valid passport at the time of departure. Most countries require passports to be valid for up to 6 months after the program end date.
  3. Included in the full scholarship for winners is the following:
    • Program fee (including room & board, in-country support, and cultural activities);
    • Roundtrip domestic airfare to, and room and board in, the international departure "gateway" city where the pre-departure training and post-trip debrief will take place;
    • Roundtrip international airfare from the international departure "gateway" city;
    • Visa fees, if necessary;
    • Note: common costs not covered by the scholarship include additional spending money, luggage fees, costs associated with obtaining a passport, and required medical examinations or immunizations.
  4. Upon submitting their essay, contestants will be asked to provide their full name, phone number, and email address, which will be used to communicate contest updates and results. Contestants may opt-out of receiving emails from AFS-USA at any time, but in such a scenario, should provide some other means of contact for the purpose of prize notification.
  5. The entries must not, in the sole and unfettered discretion of AFS-USA, contain obscene, provocative, defamatory, sexually explicit, or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content, which includes but is not limited to content that infringes upon another person’s intellectual property or violates any law or regulation.   
  6. Except where prohibited, participation in the Scholarship Contest / Project: Change constitutes the entrants’ consent to AFS-USA’s use of the contestant’s name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions and/or hometown and state for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration.
  7. Entrants retain all intellectual property and other right in their submissions. By participating in the Scholarship Contest / Project: Change, however, the entrants grant AFS-USA a royalty-free, world-wide, fully-paid up, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to use the submission for any and all purposes.     
  8. The grand prize program location is subject to change by AFS-USA depending on feasibility, security, or any other issue that could hinder participants’ abilities to safely and effectively learn about sustainable development and workshop the proposed project.
  9. All decisions made by the contest judges are considered final.
  10. A final list of the winners will be made available at:
  11. Contest results or participation will not be considered when evaluating applicants for acceptance into other AFS-USA study abroad programs.
  12. Any information provided by or collected about entrants will be maintained in accordance with AFS-USA Inc.’s privacy policy. It will not be shared with third parties without express authorization of the entrants.
  13. AFS-USA is not responsible for incomplete, lost, late, post-due, misdirected, copied, transferred, illegible or corrupted entries or for failure to receive entries due to transmission failures or technical failures of any kind, including, without limitation of any network, hardware or software, whether originating with entrants or AFS-USA.
  14. Use of script, macro, or any other automated system to vote is prohibited and all such votes will be void. Entrants are prohibited from, and will be disqualified for, obtaining votes by any fraudulent or inappropriate means, including offering compensation or any other inducement to members of the public, vote farming, or engaging in or causing any person to engage in any other activity that artificially inflates the entrants’ votes.   
  15. AFS-USA, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to terminate the contest in the event AFS-USA does not receive a minimum of 50 qualified entries from eligible entrants.  Furthermore, AFS-USA reserves the right, without prior notice and at any time, to terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest / Project: Change, in whole or in part, or to change the Contest Rules and its Terms and Conditions, if AFS-USA determines that the Contest / Project: Change is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, technical failures,  or any other causes which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Contest / Project: Change or if AFS-USA believes that the Contest / Project: Change has been or will be compromised in any way.
  16. All Contest votes will be reviewed by an independent third-party consultant to ensure that all votes are properly cast and counted. The independent third-party consultant will determine the validity of the votes and the finalists of the Contest. The third-party consultant will not be provided any information about the entrants and no further direction other than the Contest Rules and the Terms and Conditions.  AFS-USA will not have involvement in the review and vetting process of the votes cast and in the determination of the finalists of the Contest.
  17. ARV (Approximate Retail Value) of scholarship will depend upon the winner’s program.
  18. Winners are responsible for any federal and state taxes associated with prizes received and agree to comply with and satisfy all applicable withholding and reporting requirements under federal and state laws.
  19. The contest is void where prohibited by law.
  20. By providing a mobile number, the entrants agree to receive text messages from AFS-USA. Msg & data rates may apply.
  21. Winners may be required to execute an affidavit of eligibility and a publicity release, depending on, and unless prohibited by, applicable law.
  22. By participating in the Scholarship Contest / Project: Change, the entrants release AFS-USA, its staff, volunteers, and alumni, and AFS-USA’s agents and third-party consultants and vendors from all claims and liability arising out of and related to the entrants’ participation in the Scholarship Contest / Project: Change, including, but not limited to, a) any technical errors or failures of any kind associated with the Contest; (b) unauthorized human intervention in the Contest; (c) mechanical, human, printing or typographical errors; (d) any other errors or problems in connection with the Contest, including, without limitation, errors that may occur in the administration of the Contest, the review and vetting process of the votes cast and the determination or announcement of the winner.
  23. AFS-USA staff members and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering the contest.
    • "The term “immediate family” includes spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren, whether as “in-laws,” or by current or past marriage(s), remarriage(s), adoption, co-habitation or other family extension, and any other persons residing at the same household whether or not related."
  24. Participation in the Contest constitutes entrants’ full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Contest Rules and Terms and Conditions and the decisions of AFS-USA, which are final and binding.

Enter Contest