Study Abroad Blog

  • 9 Inspiring Hispanic Internationalists

    In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re highlighting influential Hispanic internationalists who advocated for peace, civil rights, and multiculturalism.

  • How Study Abroad Builds Your Skills and Resume

    Discover the skills you’ll acquire when you study abroad and how they’ll help you down the road.

  • Music from Around the World

    We compiled songs in a variety of languages to give you a sense of the rhythm and culture of the countries in which you’ve always dreamed of studying abroad.

  • Coming Home: An Interview with AFS Alum, Stephen Zhang (China to U.S., ’07-’08)

    AFS Alum Stephen Zhang discusses his stellar academic achievements, the importance of embracing cultural differences, and how he’s created a home for himself in the U.S.

  • 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.

  • “What culture?” – Why rural areas are perfect for cultural exchange

    Rural areas are ideal places to experience cultural exchange, from small-town high school spirit to traditional folk cultures, tightknit communities, and more!

  • How to Become Multilingual

    Being multilingual improves your cognition and opens opportunities in life. Get advice and best practices for developing fluency in a foreign language.

  • How to Fund Your Study Abroad Program

    Finding the money to study abroad can be daunting. To help everyone realize their study abroad dreams, we offer many scholarship and fundraising opportunities for our programs!

  • What Makes a Global Citizen?

    While it may seem like an abstract concept, AFS is committed to helping everyone cultivate their global citizenship through real-life action and intercultural exchange.

  • What it’s Like to Live with a Host Family Abroad

    Wondering what it's like to share your life with a host family abroad? We provide a glimpse into what it's like, answers to your common questions, and what we do to support you!

  • Why Summer is an Ideal Time to Study Abroad

    Studying abroad in the summer is great for experiencing full immersion in just a month or two, quickly gaining language skills, not missing out on school, and more!

  • What to Pack When You Go Abroad

    Deciding what to pack for your study abroad adventure can be quite the challenge. We've compiled a list of essential items (and questions) to help you become a packing expert!

  • 6 lessons from the AFS Returnee who went to space

    As Italy's first female astronaut, AFS Returnee Samantha Cristoforetti proves that study abroad can be a launchpad for lifelong exploration.

  • Let Your Astrological Sign Decide Where You Study Abroad

    Find your astrological sign and let the stars decide where you're destined to study abroad!

  • Influential Black Americans Who Lived Abroad: What They Learned “From Another Place”

    Influential black Americans like Alice Walker, James Baldwin, Marian Wright Edelman, and Ta-Nehisi Coates and their transformative experiences abroad.

  • How to Choose a Study Abroad Program That’s Right for You

    With the help of these questions, you'll be able to select an AFS Study Abroad program that suits your goals, cultural curiosities, interests, and more!

  • My Multigenerational AFS Family

    Rachel Salia reflects on her father’s transformational experience as an AFSer (Ghana to Ohio, ‘73) and the ripple effect of international exchange.

  • How Studying Abroad Can Make You Brave

    Culture shock and language barriers are real and a bit scary at first, but AFS helps you face your fears and surmount these and other obstacles on your journey.

  • AFS Returnee Maggie Kane, founder of non-profit cafe, A Place at the Table

    AFS Returnee Maggie Kane discusses her pay-what-you-can cafe, A Place at the Table, which provides healthy meals for all in Raleigh, North Carolina.

  • 4 Wonders of Argentina

    Argentina is a rich and multifaceted country waiting to be discovered! Check out four of the lesser known wonders of this stunning country.

  • 8 Tips for Writing a Great Project: Change Proposal

    Interested in entering AFS Project: Change? Check out these 8 Tips for Writing a Great Project Proposal to help you become a changemaker!

  • 11 Volunteer Ideas for Make a Difference Day 2018

    In honor of Make a Difference Day on October 27th, we've compiled a list of 11 Volunteer Ideas to get high schoolers involved in making a meaningful impact in their communities.

  • Top 25 Benefits of Studying Abroad

    An infographic from Take Lessons on the twenty-five benefits of studying abroad, including lasting friendships, improved academics, leadership skills, and more!

  • 6 Resume-Building Reasons to Study Abroad in France

    France is an ideal study abroad destination for anyone seeking intercultural exchange as well as academic and professional development!

  • Five Ways to Wander New Zealand

    New Zealand is one of the world’s most ecologically-diverse and exciting places. Plus, if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, you’ll find many places to explore, like Hobbiton!

  • 6 Ways Studying Abroad in Italy Builds College and Career Choices

    Italy is brimming with artistic and architectural beauty, but it also overflows with educational and professional opportunities.

  • 7 Real AFS Returnees Review Our Study Abroad Programs

    Read some of the amazing reviews we've received about our AFS study abroad programs written by AFS Returnees!

  • Want to make an impact this summer? These 5 programs abroad will help you do it.

    These 2-3 week summer programs cover important global topics like environmental conservation, sustainability, and human rights.

  • 4 island destinations you won’t want to miss

    Whether you’re excited by stunning scenery, cultural immersion, or making a difference to people around the world, you’ll want to check these destinations off of your bucket list!

  • The 9 coolest places to go abroad this summer

    Whether you’re interested in language immersion, family homestays, or volunteering, there are lots of ways to fill your summer with learning and adventure abroad.

  • 3 Ways to #LoveACharity and Exercise Your Global Citizenship

    February is #LoveACharity month! Historically, February has been one of the slowest months for ...

  • What’s the best way to study Spanish? We looked at 7 options

    Spanish is one of the most widely-spoken languages on the planet. We picked 7 of the best ways to study Spanish, from the simple to the more intense.

  • An Exchange Student's Typical Day in Chile

    Former AFS Exchange Student Rachael describes what it was like to spend a typical day enjoying family life in Chile.

  • That time I met the Prime Minister of Norway

    Finn-Christian shares a few of his favorite things about his AFS exchange year in Norway.

  • 7 fun ways to celebrate the Day of the Dead

    Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico from October 31 to November 2. Here are some fun ways you can join in the festivities!

  • An Exchange Student's Typical Day in Portugal

    Julius discusses his typical schedule during his year abroad in this friendly, picturesque destination.

  • 8 things I love about Ghana

    Take a glimpse at Ghanaian culture through the eyes of Precious, an AFS Returnee who experienced life in Ghana for a full year.

  • An Exchange Student's Typical Day in Ghana

    Former AFS Exchange Student Mary V. outlines a typical day during her exchange year in Ghana.

  • Hannah Gets Ready to Go Abroad

    Hannah is headed to the Central American country of Panama this fall, where she will attend high school and live with a local host family.

  • Elijah’s Adventures in Japan

    Elijah documents his experiences traveling with his family and AFS on his popular YouTube channel, EliNation.

  • Catching up with AFS Scholarship Recipient Katie

    Katie is a 17-year old AFSer from Wisconsin who founded the non-profit Kids Tales and brought it to Colombia as the winner of the 2014 Project: Change Vision in Action award.

  • A Glimpse into Future AFSer Banu's Life

    We chatted with Banu about his passions and why he's excited to travel to India with the BP Scholarship.

  • A Conversation with Future AFSer Zoditu

    Zoditu talks about her intercultural background and shares why she’s excited to spend a year studying abroad in France.

  • 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.

  • Quiz: Put Your Global Knowledge to the Test

    Test your global knowledge with these ten questions and find out how much you know about the world around you.

  • What iPhones and hoodies can teach us about cultural understanding

    How global competency plays a central role in the modern world.

  • Making the world your home

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

  • 6 study abroad photos you can't go home without

    Studying abroad is the perfect time to bring your Instagram feed to a whole new level.

  • 7 reasons why Iguazu Falls is more than just a waterfall

    Here are seven facts that'll make you want to pack your poncho, your selfie stick, and your Spanish-English dictionary and book your trip right now!

  • Celebrity quotes about travel that will make you want to hop on a plane RIGHT NOW

    So, Bradley Cooper was an exchange student. Need we say more?

  • 9 study abroad tips for students and parents

    Check out these words of wisdom from AFSers who've been there!

  • What I learned from volunteering with refugees

    I traveled to Hungary with four American AFSers to learn about the European refugee crisis of the summer of 2015, explore policies, and visit a refugee camp.

  • These 11 things will make you dream of Spain

    Let's take a spin through some of the highlights of Spanish culture, and see why our fascination is here to stay.

  • The Great Benefits of A Gap Year

    The White House recently announced that Malia Obama, will be attending Harvard, but has decided to take a gap year.

  • Global Taste Test #1: The Cheeses of France

    Let’s explore several popular French cheeses and the ways that their intricate flavors are like the wide range of experiences you can have while abroad.

  • 6 ways to get your hands dirty volunteering in Costa Rica

    Here are 6 ways to experience Costa Rica with us this summer, soaking up rays and gaining essential hands-on knowledge about sustainability.

  • AFS-USA Forms Partnership with iEARN-USA

    A new partnership between AFS-USA and iEARN-USA will bring virtual exchange to more students and classrooms.

  • In Japan, fashion offers an opportunity for self-expression

    The fashion scene in Japan is vibrant and unique. Let's take a look at a few of the styles currently brightening up the streets of Tokyo.

  • 8 signs you might be French at heart

    Here are a few ways to tell if your "joie de vivre" fits in with the French way of life.

  • You're going where?! Talking to your BFF about study abroad

    Being apart from your best friends while abroad can be tough. With these tips, you can plan ahead and keep those friendships strong.

  • The Chinese Zodiac: What your birth year says about your travel style

    Each of the twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac has distinct personality traits. Find out how people born in your zodiac year like to travel!

  • In Brazil, street art paints a vivid picture of city life

    A dynamic street art culture emerges in Brazilian cities, where local artists foster creativity while also addressing important social issues.

  • What India’s festivals can show us about global citizenship

    India's festivals are joyous examples of celebrating intercultural diversity.

  • Discovering the art of grape-stomping in Portugal

    AFS student Maggi shares her experience of grape-stomping at a vineyard with her host family while studying abroad in Portugal.

  • Full Scholarships to Make Your Study Abroad Dreams a Reality

    AFS can help bring you to your destination of choice with these full, merit-based scholarships sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

  • Yes, I wore a hijab for a day, and here is what I learned

    An AFS student in Egypt accepts a challenge to wear a headscarf for an entire day.

  • When life abroad becomes your new "normal"

    A high school exchange student reveals 7 moments that made her realize that life in Turkey had become

  • 7 reasons why you should keep a study abroad blog

    Blogging about your study abroad experience can benefit you in countless ways - both during and after your program!

  • 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?

  • 6 stats that will make you think differently about study abroad

    Study abroad is subject to stereotypes, even as it serves to dispel them. These 6 facts will help you see study abroad for what it really is.

  • 6 “love lessons” learned while studying abroad in Paris

    AFS exchange students share their experiences in "the city of love" and the insights they took away, just in time for Valentine's Day!

  • An exchange student's photo tour of Berlin

    AFS Exchange Student Anna visually depicts one of her favorite study abroad experiences and discusses the perks of being a scholarship recipient.

  • Why yes, I DID spend winter break in the Swiss Alps

    AFS Exchange Student Brooke discovers how the Swiss do winter break, and it's pretty impressive!

  • 5 reasons fundraising for study abroad is more doable than you think

    It's always good to go into your study abroad experience with a little extra cash. See why and how you can definitely make that happen.

  • Everything's beautiful in Norway

    In Norway, soaking in natural beauty is as much a part of exploring the culture as tasting the food or learning the language.

  • What I've discovered after 10 days in France

    You expect a year abroad to change you forever. But you may not realize that transformation begins the moment you step off the plane.

  • So THIS is what Costa Rica is really like...

    No matter how much you prepare for studying abroad, your first days in your new country will be filled with surprises.

  • Hello again, USA

    An AFSer describes what it's like to come home again after 10 months abroad in Indonesia.

  • 5 (more) ways Germany will surprise you

    Germany is home to a lot of surprising perks that will make your time there unforgettable!

  • 5 of Argentina's Coolest Cultural Exports

    Some things you encounter in Argentina are so good they need to be shared with the world!

  • 5 ways Chile satisfies the soul

    The perfect balance of comfort and intrigue, Chile is an ideal place to call home for a semester or a year abroad.

  • 7 reasons to love Brazil (besides soccer)

    We love soccer as much as the next person, but there are other reasons Brazil is worthy of your attention.

  • Your long term goals and study abroad

    Learn how studying abroad impacts your long term goals and vice versa.

  • How far we've come...

    An inside look at the end-of-program rituals that seal friendships forever and put the study abroad experience into perspective.

  • Birthday wishes from around the world

    An AFS student preparing to study abroad in Italy discovers the power of the AFS effect, even before the plane takes off.

  • Study abroad is like spring cleaning for your life

    In our cluttered lives, it can be difficult to focus on what matters. Study abroad can give you space to clear your head and find your true passions.

  • Homes away from home

    When you study abroad, you find a new home. Check out these host family houses worldwide to see how that new home might look.

  • Words are overrated

    Overcoming the language barrier can seem daunting, but there are very good reasons not to stress about it before going abroad.

  • And everything started to click...

    An AFS student studying abroad in Italy reaches that magic point in her exchange program when the unfamiliar suddenly feels so right.

  • Settling in among the Kiwis

    An AFS student describes his new life in New Zealand and reveals what the first two weeks in a new country are really like.

  • Small town life, big city adventures

    AFS student Bryana learns that the city and the country each have their merits in picturesque Sweden.

  • Food and family in Spain

    An AFS student in Spain dishes about the truly important aspects of her study abroad experience: family and food!

  • South Africa is awesome

    An AFS/YES Abroad student gives us a taste of life in the land of ever-present wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, Nelson Mandela and more.

  • Mochi, anyone?

    An AFS student studying abroad in Japan learns the art of making the popular Japanese delicacy, mochi.

  • My Paraguayan Prom

    An AFS student studying in Paraguay discovers that the high school Prom there is much more than just a dance.

  • 5 ways to be a fundraising superstar

    AFSers are proving that, when study abroad funds are needed, personal fundraising initiatives can be a huge success.

  • Yes, you really should study abroad (and here's why)

    Discover the top 5 reasons to study abroad during high school. Find out exactly how it will benefit you and why going during your teenage years is a must!

  • Living life to the fullest in Italy

    An AFS student studying abroad in Italy realizes how freeing it is living in a new setting with entirely new people...and starts to take advantage.

  • School, friends & uniforms in Japan

    Here in Japan, one of the places where I spend the most time is school. Here's an inside look at this significant part of my daily reality.

  • Why International Education Week is your time to shine

    Learn about International Education Week (IEW), how you can take part, and why you should want to.

  • Video: Sharing culture through music

    Check out our newest video featuring music and dance as expressions of culture, enhancers of mood, and infectious sources of fun!

  • You're back from studying what?

    Coming home after a life-changing study abroad experience can be a difficult adjustment. Learn how to cope with your return and figure out what's next.

  • An interview with Kim!

    Read our exclusive interview with Kim, one of the exchange students featured most prominently in Amanda Ripley's book, "The Smartest Kids in the World."

  • "Back-to-School" in Indonesia

    An AFS-USA exchange student reveals all about the start of her school year in Indonesia.