Team Overview

Welcome to the Greater Chicago Team

Chicago is proud to have a wonderful network of volunteers that are genuinely invested in their students. We pride ourselves with working hard to build relationships with the local communities and schools.

Where are we Located?

The Greater Chicago Team extends over a large territory just east of the Fox Valley River to the border with Indiana.We also go as far north as the border with Wisconsin and as far south as Willmington, IL.

How are we Doing?

Greater Chicago Team continues to grow in the number of involved volunteers as well as hosting and sending students abroad. For the current 2017-2018 academic year, our number are as follows:

  • 135 – Active AFS Volunteers
  • 52 – Students hosted in the Greater Chicago Team
  • 84 – U.S. students sent abroad for a year, semester or summer programs

Open Volunteer Positions

Greater Chicago offers several opportunities for individuals looking to donate time or resources toward the success of our area and the advancement of our mission. If you have 10 hours a month or 10 hours a year to spare, we have room for you. We are continuously looking for individuals, families or groups that have something to give.

School presenter/school representative: School presentations help to inform students of the benefits of going on an AFS experience.

Sending interviewer: We are constantly looking for volunteers interested in talking with our prospective students and their families to ensure they have the necessary information about the exchange process and to make sure they are the right candidates for an AFS experience.

Host Family interviewer: Similar to that of a sending interviewer, the host family interviewer conducts in-home interviews of potential families applying to host our international students.

Orientation facilitator: From leading small groups of students and planning orientation sessions, to cooking and cleaning, it takes a small army to run a successful orientation for our students, families and volunteers.

Student/Family liaison: Liaisons work as a link between the hosted student, the host family and the host school. The liaison is available for advice (support) on adjusting to various situations that may arise during the exchange experience and as a resource for AFS policy and procedure adherence.

Community volunteer: Each area of Greater Chicago is in need of additional volunteers to help with various small tasks throughout the year; from helping at O’hare International Airport during the arrival/departure process each year to coordinating a small AFS get-together, our Community Volunteers are the backbone of our success.


Please contact Murray Johnson.

AFS Local & National Scholarships

How to Apply to our Local Scholarships

Greater Chicago Scholarship:

Thanks to some wonderful local donors and volunteers, there are funds available for prospective AFSers throughout Greater Chicago!

The AFS Greater Chicago Team provides scholarships to qualified local high school students in the Greater Chicago area for AFS-USA summer, semester or academic year programs. The goal is to help deserving students and their families bridge the gap between the funds they have available and the cost of an AFS-USA program.

To be eligible for a scholarship from the AFS Greater Chicago Scholarship, students must:

  • Live or attend high school within Greater Chicago
  • Submit an AFS online application
  • Express interest in need-based funds to a local AFS volunteer and complete a Greater Chicago Scholarship Application Form
  • Recipients and the amount of each scholarship are decided by the scholarship committee, which is comprised of AFS volunteers who are experienced in evaluating students’ abilities to benefit from an AFS program and other members of the community whose job experience gives them expertise in evaluating families’ financial capabilities
  • Awards are announced at the end of each AFS application cycle

For more information about the AFS Greater Chicago Scholarship, please contact Brad Thompson. 
Awards are announced on a rolling basis, so apply early!  Please note that all applicants are not guaranteed funding.

Contact our Area Team

Receive More Information About:

  • Hosting: If you are interested in hosting one of the 65 students this fall, please reach out toMark Truax, our Hosting Coordinator or Linda Mellis if you live in the City of Chicago.
  • Study abroad: If you are interested in sending a student abroad or going abroad, please contact Kia Venegas, our sending coordinator.

Get Involved:

If you are interested in getting involved in any way please contact:


Returnees in Chicago

This section is dedicated to the involvement of Returnees in our area. No matter how long you’ve been a returnee, there is a place for you in the Greater Chicago Team. For more information on getting involved in our team as a Returnee Volunteer, please contact Murray Johnson.


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