Returnees Blog

  • LGBTQ+ Pride Across Cultures: A Story by AFS Returnee and President’s Council Member Craig Wilson

    Craig Wilson, Columnist, Author, AFS-USA Returnee (US to England, 1966), and active member of the AFS-USA President’s Council, describes how a summer in the UK changed his life.

  • LGBTQ+ Pride Across Cultures: An Interview with AFS Returnee and Senior Staff, Melvin Harmon

    Melvin Harmon didn't know he was gay when he went to Malaysia with AFS in 1980, but he knew he was different. Studying abroad helped him find the confidence to be himself.

  • Reunion Spotlight: A 50th Anniversary Celebration in Germany

    Read about how a group of AFS-USA Returnees from 1968 celebrated their 50th year program anniversary by taking a trip back to where it all started: Germany.

  • Honoring Jerene E. Thomas for Decades Long Commitment to AFS Service

    In honor of Women's History Month, read about remarkable life of Jerene E. Thomas, a Galatti Award winner, who volunteered for AFS for more than 50 years.

  • Studying Abroad in the 1960s

    Read AFS' history and get a glimpse at an AFS Student's life in the 1960s. Written by Andrea Kutsenkow, AFS Archivist.

  • Q&A With AFS-USA's Alumni Relations Intern: Molly Kisner

    Molly Kisner is our Alumni Relations intern and an AFS Returnee (U.S. to France, 2010), and she just completed our fall internship program last week.

  • Q&A With Board Vice Chair: Jed Hepworth

    Meet our AFS-USA's new Board Vice Chair: Jed Hepworth.

  • How Returnees Can Celebrate International Education Week

    AFS Returnees are invited to join the AFS Family in celebrating the impact of global learning and international exchange!

  • AFS-USA Changemaker Reception in Washington, D.C.

    A recap of AFS-USA's Changemakers Reception in Washington, DC on September 12, 2017. Honorees included Senator Jeff Merkley, Jenny & Michael Messner, and Rep. Jim Himes.

  • Bringing France Home

    My six months in France helped me discover myself. I’m more confident because of my exchange, because the pieces of me that I hold onto can withstand different cultures.

  • Making the world your home

    An AFS Returnee describes how living with a host family in France taught her the power of language.

  • Advice from Maggie: The Official AFS Returnee Holiday Checklist

    December 20, 2016 - AFS Returnee, Maggie, shares her advice for returnees during the holiday season.

  • Returnee Spotlight: Helene Bee

    December 9, 2016 - Helene spent her AFS year in Indonesia with AFS and participated in the 2016 Returnee Leadership Summit. Learn more about her exchange year and the #AFSEffect.

  • Advice from Maggie: Being a global citizen after exchange

    November 29, 2016 - Maggie gives returnees advice on getting back into their normal routines after exchange while continuing to be an active global citizen.

  • Returnee Spotlight: Maddy Keating

    November 17, 2016 - Maddy K. spent her AFS year in Germany with AFS and participated in the 2016 Returnee Leadership Summit. Learn more about her exchange year in Europe.

  • Returnee Spotlight: Nico B.

    November 7, 2016 - Nico B. spent his AFS year in Egypt with AFS and participated in the 2015 Returnee Leadership Summit. Read his account of his exchange year in the Middle East

  • Advice from Maggie: Keeping Up With Your Host Language

    October 13, 2016 - Returnee and AFS-USA intern, Maggie, shares her advice on maintaining the language skills you learned abroad.

  • Returnee Spotlight on: Dana Buzzelli

    September 21, 2016 - Dana is an AFS Returnee and Volunteer and was recently selected by AFS-USA to attend the Transatlantic Summer Academy in Germany. Read on for more!

  • Returnees reflect on the Leadership Summit

    April 25, 2016 - Three returnees reflect on their experience at the Returnee Leadership Summit.

  • Tribute Award: Returnee Engagement

    The Tribute Award recognizes Chapters and/or Teams for their outstanding service to AFS-USA. Check out the activities and projects this year's applicants created for returnees!

  • March News for AFS Returnees

    February 25, 2016 - Read on to learn about exciting opportunities for AFS Returnees.

  • Returnee Spotlight On: Jim Chua

    February 19, 2016 - Jim is a Malaysian returnee to the United States who had the opportunity to experience working for AFS-USA after his exchange.

  • Celebrating New Year's Eve Around the World

    January 4, 2016 - Many returnees celebrated a new year during their exchange. Read on to learn about the ways New Year's Eve is celebrated around the world.

  • Returnee Spotlight on: Gabbi Paris

    December 17, 2015 - Gabbi Paris, an AFS Returnee to Spain, has won the prestigious 2015 International Young AFS Volunteer Award. Read on to learn more about Gabbi!

  • Celebrating Thanksgiving Abroad

    November 24, 2015 - Follow five returnees as they reflect on the Thanksgiving they spent abroad.

  • Returnee Spotlight on: Brianna O'Flyng Halverson

    November 10, 2015 - Brianna, our 2015 Returnee Photo Contest winner, tells us the story behind her winning photo submission.

  • Fall Traditions in our AFS Host Countries

    October 26, 2015 - Sasha Daniels, AFS returnee to Germany in 2011 with CBYX, takes over the Returnee Blog to explore fall traditions around the globe.

  • Returnee Spotlight on: Sam Harshbarger and Katie Eder

    October 23, 2015 - Sam & Katie are our 2014 AFS Project: Change and AFS Vision in Action recipients. Read on about their AFS experience and their plans for the future.

  • Chicago's 2nd Annual Scavenger Hunt!

    October 2, 2015 - AFS Returnee, Kata E., shares her experience organizing and participating in Chicago's 2nd Annual Scavenger Hunt.

  • Fall News for AFS Returnees

    September 30, 2015 - What's new this fall for returnees? Find out!

  • August News for AFS Returnees

    August 14, 2015 - What's new and good at AFS-USA Returnee Engagement? Read on for more info.

  • Eternal AFSers

    June 30, 2015 - A Youth Returnee Participant's Significant Takeaways from the Annual Returnee Leadership Summit

  • What's New With Returnee-Alumni Relations?

    October 6, 2015 -- Learn what's new with AFS-USA Returnee and Alumni Relations!

  • Summer Opportunities for Returnee-Alumni!

    May 14, 2015 - Check out these opportunities for AFS returnee-alumni taking place throughout the summer.

  • Returnee Spotlight on Emily Gifford

    May 11, 2015 - Emily participated in an AFS program to Brazil in 2002. Since her return, she has become an invaluable AFS volunteer. Learn more about Emily's AFS journey!

  • Six Crazy AFS Experiences

    April 21, 2015 - Six crazy AFS experiences brought to you by AFS returnees.

  • The #1 study abroad moment you never forget

    High school study abroad is generally one of the most memorable experiences you can have as a teen. But is there one particular moment that stays with you for life?

  • AFS returnee takes on college study abroad

    March 10, 2015 - Rachel B., an AFS returnee, talks about how her AFS experience also ended up shaping her college study abroad.

  • The Story Behind the Photo

    February 19, 2015 - Lynn Nelson, U.S. to Thailand Returnee, tells us the story behind her Returnee Photo Contest submission.

  • Returnee Reflections, 55 Years Later

    January 27, 2015 - Returnee, Elizabeth Martinez, reflects on her AFS experience in 1960 and its lasting impact.

  • AFS Scavenger Hunt in Chicago!

    January 5, 2015 - AFSer, Caroline Jevon, tells us about the successful scavenger hunt recently organized by a group of AFS returnees in Chicago!

  • Returnee Spotlight on Jenna Willing

    December 10, 2014 - Learn more about AFS returnee, Jenna Willing, the winner of our Returnee Photo Contest!

  • International Student Friend Program Debuts in E-Z Pass Area Team

    November 21, 2014 - the International Student Friend Program gives recent returnees an opportunity to be involved with AFS in a new, meaningful and helpful way!

  • AFS Returnees Photo Contest

    November 12, 2014 - Do you have an awesome photo from your time abroad with AFS? Send it to us for the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card and AFS merchandise!

  • Returnee Spotlight on: Nicole Walker

    October 24, 2014 - Meet Nicole Walker, AFS returnee, volunteer, Returnee Coordinator, and intern! Learn more about her AFS story.

  • AFS Returnee Rewards Program

    October 16, 2014 - Calling AFS Returnees! Earn rewards and merchandise while spreading the word about AFS! There are a lot of reasons to get involved like our awesome grand prize!

  • 6 Signs you're an AFS Returnee

    October 14, 2014 - You know you're an AFS returnee when...

  • Returnee Spotlight on: Raysieo Duakin

    September 24, 2014 - Meet Raysieo Duakin, Malysia to Japan AFS returnee, AFS-USA volunteer, and Returnee Coordinator for the San Francisco Bay Area Team!

  • Home from abroad part IV: Becoming an AFS Volunteer

    September 5, 2014 - AFS is more than an experience; It's a lifestyle. Discover how to seamlessly transition from the Exchange Student phase of AFS Life to the Volunteer phase.

  • Home from abroad part III: Sharing your wisdom

    September 3, 2014 - Even if your family and friends tire of hearing about your experience abroad, there are people out there who want - no, NEED - to hear what you have to say.

  • Home from abroad part II: The other side of exchange

    August 28, 2014 - You may never be able to fully relive your study abroad experience. But you can still be part of the exchange process!

  • Home from abroad part I: Finding cultural outlets

    August 25, 2014 - Coming home doesn't mean you have to give up the habits, hobbies and customs you adopted while studying abroad. Here are tips for staying true to the new you.

  • Returnees Reunite in San Francisco

    August 21, 2014 - AFS Returnees from the San Francisco Bay Area gathered for an afternoon of reminiscing, cultural sharing and fun!

  • Reflecting on the Transition Home

    July 11, 2014 - AFSer, Kalkidan, reflects on the transition from AFS student in Costa Rica to AFS returnee.

  • AFS returnees continue their intercultural learning experience in Washington, DC!

    July 1, 2014 - Sixteen AFS returnees from throughout the U.S. gathered in Washington, DC to further develop their leadership, communication, and coordinating skills.