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What is the AFS Student Learning Journey?

On an AFS program, every student does more than just travel — they go on a learning journey. 

Our students have the opportunity to experience study abroad, learn global skills, practice social impact and return home as active global citizens who possess essential global skills needed to live, learn, work, volunteer, contribute to society, and change the world.

Before, during and after their program, every AFSer can benefit from an educational curriculum that we have developed over 75 years of intercultural learning, and recently updated in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Impact Strategy (CSIS).

At the end of their learning journey, we hope students will leave with the “AFS superpowers” that they need to make the world a better place through active global citizenship: adaptability, critical thinking, self-awareness, empathy, communication, valuing differences, open-mindedness, global awareness, and change-making.

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What do you experience on the AFS Student Learning Journey?

For all study abroad students, the AFS Student Learning Journey combines online and in-person learning at every step of your AFS program: before you travel, while you are abroad, and when you return from the program. This way you can connect globally with all exchange students who are on an AFS program at the same time as you, interact locally in-person with your peers. This approach maximizes the learning outcomes from your AFS experience.

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  • Online globally: Once you decide to go on an AFS program, you’ll become part of a global community and meet like-minded and diverse people before you even travel! Each student is enrolled in an online learning program, designed  by AFS in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Impact Strategy (CSIS), that compliments your in-person experience. You can meet, connect, and collaborate virtually with AFS peers from all over the world.
  • In-person locally: Before you travel, you can participate in a locally or nationally scheduled group orientation session that helps you develop the knowledge, coping strategies, and skills needed to have a meaningful intercultural experience. This orientation will be a great way to meet other AFSers before they go abroad, and will be led by AFS staff and/or volunteers.

Get an Advanced Certificate in Global Citizenship for Social Impact

For AFS students wanting to go above and beyond, we offer an Advanced Certificate in Global Citizenship for Social Impact from University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Impact Strategy (CSIS). This is a great way to boost your resume with official recognition from a world renowned university, and put your ideas for changing the world into practice.

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Frequently Asked Questions