AFS wants every student who decides to do an exchange to be able to.
So we do our best to help with scholarships, grants, sponsorship and fundraising.

It does cost money to go on an exchange, but don’t think for a moment it isn’t doable. Money can come from a number of sources, savings, family, part time work, fundraising, gifts, scholarships and community funding to name a few.

About Grants and Scholarships

Every programme destination offered by AFS is unique and all participants are able to become active global citizens regardless of the destination chosen. However, for the scholarship applications the focus is on diversity and inclusion of applicants as well as diversity of destinations as stated.

Applicants may apply for the grant(s) or scholarship they meet the criteria for.

  1. Only ONE grant or scholarship will be allocated by the scholarship team to each applicant.
  2. Grant or scholarships granted are only partial ranging between $500-$8,000 NZD

AFS Requirements

AFS New Zealand requirements for grant or scholarship recipients:

  1. As stated in the Participation Agreement it is compulsory to attend any pre departure orientation meetings held, whether this be in person or where necessary online.
  2. Your school must continue to endorse you up until the time of your departure.  This includes an expectation that you will strive to do the best possible at your NZ school prior to your departure.
  3. Attending school in another country and adapting to a new culture and probably another language has challenges.  AFS expects participants to fully engage in school life and strive to achieve the best academic results possible in that context.

Student Reports on Programme

For Year Programme participants: Your written pieces along with interesting photos are expected 3 times during your experience. These will occur at approximately 6 weeks; 5 months; and 6 weeks prior to returning home.

AFS Educational Trust Grants

From $500 – $8,000

These grants are awarded to applicants requiring financial assistance who fit within any of the following:

  • Māori and Pasifika students and/or;
  • Students with a Refugee background and/or;
  • Students experiencing social disadvantage and/or;
  • Students experiencing challenging life situations.
Evidence required:
  • Involvement with Te Reo or Pasifika language/s – through photos, short videos, letters of support from Matua/Whaea influences, kapahaka, Marae involvement.
  • Letters of support from schools, government/social programmes etc.

Scholarships from AFS Alumni

From $500 – $6,000

Michael was an AFS student to Illinois, USA in 1979/1980 and like so many returnees he regarded going on AFS as a life changing experience. It was his wish to assist future AFS students to have a similar opportunity that he had.

This is a generous donation to AFS NZ from his Charitable Trust. This scholarship is for a student who will be going to a destination that is not English speaking and who will demonstrate an excellence in the area of sports, or music, or performance or academia.

Evidence required
  • Certificates, awards, letters of recommendation from coaches or teachers
  • Photos, short videos

Eligibility and Application Process

Meet the grant / scholarship criteria.
Have completed the full AFS New Zealand Online Application (OA)
Have been accepted by AFS New Zealand.
Have paid the $450.00 deposit.

Note: You need to be a AFS semester or year programme student to apply for a scholarship

Scholarships for 2024 programmes are now Closed

Video Statement no longer than 4 minutes in length  (above 4 minutes may lose points).  To cover:

  • The things you have you done in the past two years which indicate you would make a great global ambassador.
  • The financial reasons you are applying for a grant or scholarship. ie why you financially need this grant or scholarship and /or what are your financial challenges and / or what has been or is currently your challenging life situation.  AND why you feel you really deserve to be selected for the grant or scholarship.
  • Your reasons for choosing the three countries you have.
  • Where, if at all, you have travelled within the past two years and if you have, what was the most important thing you learned from the experience(s).
  • What you will bring to the role of being an AFS global ambassador in New Zealand before you leave on your exchange, during your exchange in your placement country and following your return home to NZ.

Corporate Scholarships

This scholarship is fully funded by MITSUI RESOURCES PTY LTD exclusively for children of permanent employee of Mitsui’s joint venture mines.  The winning student will spend 4 weeks in Japan learning Japanese language & culture and living with a Japanese family.


What now?

Click here to find out more about the Mitsui Programme


AFS has also put together a fundraising booklet that you can find here


The Ministry of Education has a page that details all the competitions students can enter. So if you’re a motivated student looking for other possible ways to use your skills to raise funds. Click here

Generosity New Zealand

Also check out Generosity New Zealand – this site can be accessed from public libraries and some schools. Put in your criteria and see if there is a scholarship to match.

Lions, Rotary

It is a good idea to get in touch with your local lions and/or Rotary chapter to see if there are any grants or scholarships they are offering in your area.

If you want to find out more

Email us on [email protected]