AFS Intercultural Programs is closely monitoring the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the measures and actions by global health experts and government officials.
In light of ongoing developments, AFS Intercultural Programs is implementing a coordinated plan to bring home participants where possible. AFS New Zealand is working closely with the AFS Network partners internationally to ensure inbound participant travel to their sending country is as efficient as possible. Our Programmes Team continues to communicate extensively with partners to ensure the return of New Zealand students to Aotearoa.
AFS International strongly believes it is in the best interest of our participants to be back with their families in their home countries. Return travel plans are taking into consideration official information from reliable sources like the World Health Organization and the New Zealand Government, alongside other national governments.
There are situations where some participants will not be able to travel immediately. If it is not possible for a participant to travel, AFS will continue to provide programme support and services until it becomes possible for them to return to their home country. AFS staff and volunteers remain available to assist participants where necessary.
This decision has not been reached lightly. We understand first-hand the transformative nature of the full exchange experience for participants. It saddens us to bring these experiences to an early end. We know that this is tremendously disappointing to our students.
We are committed to continuing with future programmes and will advise if any changes are to take place with NH20 and SH21 programmes. AFS is dedicated to our mission of intercultural learning and exchange, and we will be moving ahead with planning future programmes for our wonderful participants. For further details, please contact Logan Byrne [[email protected]].
AFS New Zealand continues to reinforce with all hosted participants the need to comply with their national government health advice upon arrival in their home country. We recommend visiting each country’s national government website for further information if required.