Change the world by changing minds. Help AFSers and your community appreciate and celebrate cultural differences.
AFS transforms volunteers into global citizens and changemakers
Join a global community of change-makers and people like you. Serve as a change agent in your community.
Develop practical cross-cultural skills and find your place as a global citizen, leader and changemaker in your community.
Lead diverse teams at home or around the world and promote inclusive societies for sustainable development.
How to become an AFS Volunteer
Send an inquiry
To ensure the safety of and support to AFS students, all volunteers must be registered. Our application process is thorough and provides what we need to make volunteers successful. Feel stuck? We’re here to help.
Meet AFS volunteers
Find out more about us and what volunteering with AFS is all about. Then together we can clarify the best role for you based on availability, and what you want to learn and do.
Receive basic training to be an AFS Volunteer, including What Every AFSer Should Know About Intercultural Learning™, to prepare for an engaging, meaningful volunteer assignment.
Begin your journey
You will have an amazing time no matter what you do for AFS. You’ll meet interesting students, make friends from around the world, work with passionate volunteers and gain intercultural and other skills that will last a lifetime.
Every volunteer makes a huge impact at AFS
- Match AFS students with host families
- Help host families get to know their AFS student
- Be a liaison for host schools
- Introduce international students to your community
- Check in with students or host families regularly to monitor programs
- Organize orientations for study abroad and hosting programs
- Arrange awesome social events and cultural trips
- Bring host families together to share experiences
- Set-up information sessions for students, families or volunteers
- Guide AFSers and others through intercultural learning journeys
- Introduce students to your country’s culture
- Facilitate learning through creative activities
- Share your own global experience and cultural insights
Manage & Lead
- Launch community projects helping others learn how to respect, appreciate and value other cultures
- Serve on local AFS groups and boards
- Learn how to manage local volunteers
- Inspire others to serve their community
Engaging with my community; meeting people from around the world
“Joining my local group of AFS volunteers gave me the opportunity to develop many skills, such as how to work in a team and interact with people from different backgrounds. As an AFS volunteer, I am more engaged in my community and I meet people from all over the world. Helping students, teachers and families embark on intercultural learning adventures makes me appreciate the importance of world peace and intercultural understanding.”
—Marcela Vazquez, AFS Argentina volunteer
Challenge yourself while supporting others
By volunteering with AFS you can:
- Work closely with experienced volunteers to find creative solutions
- Take on challenging situations for personal growth
- Polish practical skills to gain a competitive edge at school or work
- Train to become an intercultural learning facilitator
- Learn how to make better decisions and solve problems
- Develop leaderships skills you will use forever
AFS community changemakers in action
Be inspired by innovative AFS changemaking, social impact and community service projects that use intercultural learning activities to address local challenges and bring diverse communities together.
Meet AFS volunteers
Tanweer ProjectThe initiative was to teach and develop under privileged children who did not receive a proper education to improve their skills and give them the opportunity to participate in new activities that teach them new values. We targeted children aged from eight to fourteen with collaboration of NGOs through a group of activities by organizing workshops in their local villages and towns. It was first created as a pilot model that can be replicated in cities all over Egypt. Phase One: We managed to teach them ICL, leadership skills, and environmental education. Phase Two: We found the children of phase one lacking personal hygiene and looked unhealthy. As a result the topics were focusing their personal hygiene and how to eat healthy food. Phase Three: Due to the increase in population Egypt suffered of the reduce of green areas and widely recognized of mass amount of buildings. Cairo currently only has about 1.65 square meters of green space per capita. This is low considering the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests a minimum of nine square meters per person. Tanweer is trying to give them a better impact by encouraging private investment, creating new jobs, ending poverty, and promoting shared economic prosperity by teaching them to plant simple crops on their neglected roofs.
Change in the making
Heissa ProjectThe goal of Heissa project was to support Nubian families. The support is done by training twenty participants on a new artistic skill of jewelry making, in addition to traditional Nubian hand craft skills. It is expected that the project presents a successful example of ways to increase the income of the inhabitants of the island. We consider it a role model that should help other communities adapt this way of thinking. AFS offered to provide the same project for other communities. Basic entrepreneurial skills were given to the villagers at first, then in April 2016 they were given a more sophisticated workshop using welding to create a higher level of accessories. It was established in a permanent workshop to help a new generation of workers to train others. Inspired from their local community in Aswan the villagers implemented their own designs of accessories. Their products were sold to markets in Aswan and around fifty AFS volunteers helped by creating booths in different events to sell and support the little projects.
AFS is an international voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.
AFS supports UN Sustainable Development Goals
Global Goal #4:
Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning
Goal #4 focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to promote “sustainable development” and “sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.
Global Goal #16
PEACE, JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS
Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies
Goal #16 has three main objectives: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Empowering people of all ages to respect and appreciate differences
AFS is an inclusive community of global citizens committed to fostering intercultural learning as a powerful peace-building tool. Through AFS study abroad and changemaking programs, our volunteers help students, young adults, families and others take their first steps to becoming global citizens.
Resources and Good Reads
This volunteer-driven blog is a platform where AFSers exchange ideas about their local and global changemaking and social impact activities. At the start of every dream, change and impact, there is a good story.
Connect: Intercultural Insights for Global Citizens
This digital magazine explores intercultural and global citizenship education, voluntarism and social impact, through articles, interviews, and learning tools created by respected thought leaders and experts.
AFS Perspectives: Helping the world learn to live together
Written by AFS experts from around the world, this blog champions diverse perspectives about culture and education, inspiring readers to become intercultural leaders of their communities.
Intercultural Learning (ICL) for AFS & Friends
Series of insightful and concise essays on key intercultural concepts based on research and practical experiences. The series is produced by AFS education experts for anyone studying about or working with intercultural topics.
The Volunteers: Americans Join World War I, 1914—1919
This Curriculum for secondary school educators takes a unique approach to volunteerism, intercultural competence and global citizenship education, since the volunteer efforts of young people during World War I until today.
Volunteer on the other side of the world
Want to volunteer abroad to tackle issue that you are passionate about? AFSNext lets you choose your area of interest—from working with youth to environmental issues—in a part of the world that you would like to work in and learn from.