What we do

Educate and activate global citizens

AFS prepares and activates future leaders, global citizens and changemakers with essential 21st century intercultural skills to engage, lead and collaborate effectively in different cultural settings. Our international exchange, study abroad and volunteer programmes are supported by research-based intercultural learning journeys facilitated by trained AFS volunteers and staff.

AFS Exchange and Study Abroad Programmes 

With options for High School Study Abroad, Language Learning, Summer/Short-term Study Abroad, and more, we are pioneers in Intercultural Education.

Host Family Programmes 

Hosting an AFS student is a rewarding and meaningful intercultural learning adventure for the entire family—sharing cultures, traditions and gaining new perspectives.

Volunteer Opportunities 

AFS local volunteers are the driving force of AFS programs and active at all levels—supporting students and families through their AFS intercultural journeys, participating in governance and policy development and leading social impact projects with local schools and communities.

Intercultural Learning and Global Citizenship Education 

We help people of all ages and backgrounds develop leadership, problem-solving, language and intercultural skills needed to succeed in a global economy and make a positive difference in the world.

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What we believe in

By linking our “learning to live together” philosophy to the defining global issues facing humanity, AFS fosters intercultural understanding as a powerful and productive tool for building a more just and peaceful world. The AFS global community embraces differences and believes our world is stronger and more interesting because of them.

AFS Mission 

AFS Aotearoa New Zealand is a volunteer driven, non-government, not-for-profit organisation that provides lifelong intercultural learning opportunities in local and global communities, helping people develop the necessary values, skills and knowledge to foster the aroha, manaakitanga and respect needed for a more just and peaceful world.

He ropu tūao a AFS Aotearoa, ā, ehara i te rōpū kāwanatanga, i te rōpū mahi moni 

Ko tana mahi he hoatu wāhi kia taea ai te ako mō ake tonu atu i te āhua o te noho o te iwi i konei, i tāwhai me te hoatu āwhina ki te whakapakari i ngā uara, ngā pūkenga me te mōhiotanga e tika ana ki roto i te iwi mō te hāpai i te aroha, te manaakitanga, te whakaute e matea ana kia tōtika atu ai te ao whānui, ā, kia kaha atu ai te kitea o te rangimārie.

AFS Values 

AFS enables people to act as responsible global citizens working for peace and understanding in a diverse world. It acknowledges that peace is a dynamic concept threatened by injustice, inequity, and intolerance.

AFS seeks to affirm faith in the dignity and worth of every human being and of all nations and cultures. It encourages respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction as to race, sex, language, religion or social status.

AFS activities are based on our core values of dignity, respect for differences, harmony, sensitivity and tolerance.

Global competence is the “power skill” young people require to make their impact on an increasingly diverse world. Active global citizens must be prepared to communicate, collaborate and lead across differences to tackle the world’s greatest challenges. 

History of AFS

Daring to create change: How the legendary WWI volunteer ambulance service transformed into a world-class international exchange programme — fostering intercultural understanding to help the world learn how to live together

Find out more about the fascinating 100 year history of AFS

AFS Alumni

Be inspired by outstanding AFS alumni demonstrating the power of the #AFSeffect.
AFS has more than 1 million alumni (former participants, volunteers, host families and staff) around the world.If you are interested in reconnecting with AFS or want to find out more about AFS alumni activities in NZ,
get in touch with us at [email protected]