Hosts Needed for International High School Students Throughout Boston Area
NEW YORK, New York¾ In an age when international relations are often tenuous, AFS-USA, a leader in international high school student exchange for 75 years, is focused on providing opportunities for intercultural exchange that can help lead to a more just and peaceful world.
AFS-USA invites families and individuals from the Boston area and surrounding communities to become hosts for international students for 12 weeks, a semester, or an academic year.
Hosting provides individuals, families, high schools, and communities with opportunities to learn about the unfamiliar by exploring a diversity of cultures, all while sharing their own culture with a young person from a different country.
“AFS-USA nurtures active global citizens who make the world a better place,” AFS-USA President and CEO Tara Hofmann said. “Every new AFS student is another global citizen in progress—an individual primed to help build a more just world that reflects peace and fellowship. The impact doesn’t stop with the students. Host families’ lives are transformed by students from across the globe and host communities gain greater cultural diversity.”
Exchange students represent nearly 80 countries and cultures, including Kenya, Ukraine, Egypt, Türkiye, Italy, Germany, Chile, Thailand and more. They are among the more than 1,000 international AFS students hosted in the U.S. each year.
AFS-USA host families represent a broad range of U.S. cultures, including individuals and families of multi-national/ethnic backgrounds, those with and without children, those who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, and more.
In addition, AFS-USA has a more than 50-year partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), which offers numerous sponsored scholarships for international students to study abroad in the U.S. including the following programs:
- Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (KL-YES): Through the U.S. Department of State’s YES program, high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations live and study for an academic year in the United States. Participants live with a host family, attend an American high school, acquire leadership skills, and engage in activities to learn about U.S. society and values; they also help educate Americans about their home country and culture.
- Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX): Jointly funded and managed by the U.S. Department of State and German government, CBYX provides full scholarships for German students to live and study abroad in the U.S. for an academic year. Participants live with a host family, attend an American high school, acquire leadership skills, and engage in activities to learn about U.S. society and values; they also help educate Americans about Germany and German culture.
- Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX):Through the U.S. Department of State’s FLEX program, high school students from Europe and Eurasia live and study for an academic year in the United States. . Participants live with a host family, attend an American high school, acquire leadership skills, and engage in activities to learn about U.S. society and values; they also help educate Americans about their home country and culture.
Once students and host families are matched, they receive ongoing support from trained staff and are welcomed into their local chapter of dedicated volunteers, alumni, and fellow host families. One thing that sets AFS-USA apart is the network of almost 3,000 volunteers throughout the U.S. Many volunteers have hosted international exchange students or studied abroad with AFS and will support families, students, and schools in gaining the most from their hosting experience.
Hosts are expected to provide their student(s) with a bed, meals, and support and encouragement throughout their program. Students arrive with their own spending money and medical coverage.
“These students attend local high schools, participate in local community life, and are encouraged to share aspects of their culture,” Hofmann said. “They also discover first-hand what it’s like to live in America and form lasting friendships that create enduring links between the U.S. and other countries. In many cases, the bonds that form between AFS students and their host families last a lifetime.”
AFS-USA is the largest organization within the international AFS network that includes 54 partners around the globe.
For More Information
Those interested in hosting an AFS Exchange Student are encouraged to contact 1-800-AFS-INFO or visit www.afsusa.org for more information. For those interested in studying abroad please browse our programs and apply now to start your journey. You can also get involved as an AFS-USA Volunteer. Visit www.afsusa.org/volunteer to get started or learn more about opportunities to make a difference.