Since 1947, AFS has prepared young people with practical skills, knowledge and more needed to thrive in a global world. Today we’ve enhanced these 21st Century competencies by introducing new state-of-the-art AFS Learning Journey Curriculums so you can follow along as your student grows. Many universities and employers seek students and young adults who have a sense of the world beyond their own communities—and are comfortable interacting with people from other countries and cultures.
The AFS Student Learning Journey & Curriculum covers the AFS experience before, during and after your child’s exchange programme. The program has three primary goals to help your child:
- Become more comfortable with their new family and school
- Learn how to communicate with and make friends with people from different cultures.
- Begin developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that young global citizens need to compete, live, study, work, volunteer and become leaders in an increasingly diverse and global world.
The AFS Student Learning Journey & Curriculum is based on the 16 AFS Educational Goals (developed by AFS international experts in intercultural learning) and is facilitated by trained AFS volunteers and staff. It Includes fun and informative orientation sessions in your home and host countries to help students prepare and enjoy their AFS exchange.
The The AFS Educational Goals are designed to help students improve in four areas:
Personal values and skills: As a result of their experiences, students learn how to turn difficult situations into valuable opportunities for personal growth. They are challenged to reassess their values, stretch their capacities and practice new life skills while learning more about themselves. Students usually become more confident, improve their creative and critical thinking skills and learn how to solve their own problems.
Interpersonal relationship building: AFS students become fully involved in daily living and working arrangements with a variety of people in the new environment. This may include host families, community residents, educators and other students. These skills are transferable to many other settings during your child’s lifetime. Being part of a family, school and community improves their communication and language skills and teaches young people how to work more effectively in groups and teams.
(Inter)cultural knowledge and sensitivity: The AFS exchange experience deepens students’ insights into their home culture as well as their knowledge of their host (or visiting) cultures—both strengths and weaknesses. Learning how to appreciate other cultures helps students value cultural and other difference, and how differences make our world a stronger more interesting place.
Global issues awareness: Students learn to appreciate and empathise different perspectives on global issues and concerns, and thus appreciate that workable solutions often need to be culturally sensitive to succeed. Our goal is to encourage and empower students to work with others to help build a more peaceful and just world—at home or across the globe.