back2.jpg
back2.jpg
back2.jpg
back2.jpg
back2.jpg
back2.jpg
back2.jpg
back2.jpg
back2.jpg

Transforming lives; Daring to create change


One hundred years ago the American Field Service ambulance drivers in World War I dared to create change by transforming the very nature of volunteerism. Leaving the comfort of their homes, families, friends, schools and careers, these brave young men crossed an ocean to support victims of a devastating war more than 3,600 miles away. Their selflessness not only saved thousands of lives, it helped launch the international humanitarian aid movement of the 20th century.

SCROLL DOWN

Transforming lives; Daring to create change


One hundred years ago the American Field Service ambulance drivers in World War I dared to create change by transforming the very nature of volunteerism. Leaving the comfort of their homes, families, friends, schools and careers, these brave young men crossed an ocean to support victims of a devastating war more than 3,600 miles away. Their selflessness not only saved thousands of lives, it helped launch the international humanitarian aid movement of the 20th century.

In 1946, the AFS drivers dared to create change once again by transforming AFS from a wartime volunteer humanitarian aid program into a groundbreaking international secondary school exchange program with a noble vision: to help build a more peaceful world by promoting understanding among cultures.

The AFS Centennial celebrates the courage, spirit and vision of our founders—the volunteer AFS drivers of both World Wars. Our 100th anniversary tribute, which was held in Paris, France, where AFS began, honored the creativity and foresight of these committed changemakers, the original creators and beneficiaries of the AFS effect. 

Held in November 2014, the Centennial Celebrations attracted more than 1,200 AFSers and supporters, representing 69 countries. Throughout the AFS World Congress meetings, the first international AFS Returnee Day and the AFS Gala Festivities, it was clear that AFSers are still inspired by our beloved motto and song taken from an ancient Sanskrit proverb: 

Walk together, talk together, all ye peoples of the earth; then and only then shall ye have peace

But AFSers of all ages also know that this proverb represents only the first phase of our journey. 

Since we started singing those words more than 50 years ago, AFS has evolved into an international education organization that provides enriched intercultural learning experiences through global study abroad programs, volunteerism and structured learning methods and reflection. By linking our “learning to live together” philosophy to the defining global issues facing humanity, the AFS Vision 2020 goals reaffirm and reinforce our dedication to prepare, build and empower an inclusive community of global citizens.

This commitment was reconfirmed to the world at the inaugural AFS Youth and Global Intercultural Education Symposiums held under the patronage of UNESCO at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on November 8, 2014. At the symposiums, young AFSers engaged global luminaries in peace-building and education. Their agenda: to explore specific actions that learning to live together requires. These thought leaders also questioned who sets the agenda for educating global citizens and what values should prevail in this process.

So today, we would probably refer to the AFS drivers, and the many thousands of other volunteers in both World Wars, as intercultural pioneers and compassionate global citizens willing to work across cultural, language and national boundaries to serve people in need. 

We sincerely thank our outgoing Chair of the AFS Board of Trustees Christian Kurtén for his dedication and steady leadership for the past five years. And we offer a heartfelt thank you and congratulations to the AFS participants, alumni, volunteers, families, educators, schools and staff for remaining true to the 100-year legacy of our founders and their vision to transform lives through international exchange. We believe the AFS drivers would be proud of the growing AFS global community dedicated to fostering a more tolerant, respectful and interconnected world.

Christian Werle Chair, Board of Trustees AFS Intercultural Programs

Christian Werle
Chair, Board of Trustees
AFS Intercultural Programs

Vincenzo Morlini President and CEO AFS Intercultural Programs

Vincenzo Morlini
President and CEO
AFS Intercultural Programs

 
back2.jpg

What is the AFS effect?


From the beginning, more than 1 million students, volunteers and families have had an AFS experience that changed them forever.

That’s because living, studying and volunteering across borders and in multicultural communities transforms lives, creates global citizens and empowers changemakers.

What is the AFS effect?


From the beginning, more than 1 million students, volunteers and families have had an AFS experience that changed them forever.

That’s because living, studying and volunteering across borders and in multicultural communities transforms lives, creates global citizens and empowers changemakers.

The Ambulance Drivers of the American Field Service learned that lesson 100 years ago when they volunteered to serve in Europe during World War I and were forced to break down barriers of culture and language to work together and serve people in need.

Since 1915, AFS has helped a passionate global community develop a deeper understanding of culture and appreciate that our lives and our world are enriched by our differences. Just about anywhere in the world, you’ll find an AFSer tackling the defining challenges of a 21st century intercultural, interconnected world.

That’s what we call “The AFS Effect” and that’s why we embraced “Daring to Create Change” as the theme of the AFS Centennial.

IMG_4081.jpg
back2.jpg

Daring to create change since WWI


One hundred years ago the American Field Service ambulance drivers in World War I dared to create change through their work as international volunteers providing humanitarian aid. We saluted the AFS ambulance drivers at the AFS Centennial Celebrations in Paris in November 2014, which were attended by AFSers, supporters and friends from 69 countries.

Daring to create change since WWI


One hundred years ago the American Field Service ambulance drivers in World War I dared to create change through their work as international volunteers providing humanitarian aid. We saluted the AFS ambulance drivers at the AFS Centennial Celebrations in Paris in November 2014, which were attended by AFSers, supporters and friends from 69 countries.

amb2.jpg
CENT1.jpg

100 YEARS OF AFS HISTORY

back2.jpg

Daring to transform student exchange


Since the ambitious launch of the AFS student exchange program at the end of World War II, the study abroad field has experienced tremendous growth fueled by young people eager to learn about the global community. As a result, the 59 AFS Network organizations, have evolved and grown over the past 69 years to meet this still-growing demand. Today, AFS leads the field in terms of offering state-of-the-art intercultural educational programming incorporated into a variety of study abroad and exchange experiences.

Daring to transform student exchange


Since the ambitious launch of the AFS student exchange program at the end of World War II, the study abroad field has experienced tremendous growth fueled by young people eager to learn about the global community. As a result, the 59 AFS Network organizations, have evolved and grown over the past 69 years to meet this still-growing demand. Today, AFS leads the field in terms of offering state-of-the-art intercultural educational programming incorporated into a variety of study abroad and exchange experiences.

PROG_4.jpg
school.jpg
prog_div.jpg
PROG_1.jpg
back2.jpg

Daring to mobilize a global citizenship movement


AFS believes that intercultural learning and global citizenship education—“learning to live together”—are crucial prerequisites to solving the world’s interconnected problems. In 2014, AFS launched several initiatives to further define our role in educating global citizens, and test innovative ways to leverage our international community of changemakers. AFS will use key takeaways from these efforts to continue cultivating, convening and mobilizing a worldwide alliance of global citizens and advocates through partnerships, public events and sponsorships. 

Daring to mobilize a global citizenship movement


AFS believes that intercultural learning and global citizenship education—“learning to live together”—are crucial prerequisites to solving the world’s interconnected problems. In 2014, AFS launched several initiatives to further define our role in educating global citizens, and test innovative ways to leverage our international community of changemakers. AFS will use key takeaways from these efforts to continue cultivating, convening and mobilizing a worldwide alliance of global citizens and advocates through partnerships, public events and sponsorships. 

AFS takes on community changemaking 
Most of the time, intercultural learning at AFS is associated with a study abroad experience and global citizenship education. But aren’t intercultural challenges and learning moments an inevitable part of our everyday lives, our classrooms and public spaces?
The Intercultural Learning in Our Own Backyard contest was launched as an AFS Network-wide changemaking initiative, encouraging our member organizations to increase intercultural awareness through public events in their local communities. Here are the four inspirational winning events for 2014.

back2.jpg

Daring to empower a global volunteer community


AFS relies heavily on a global network of more than 40,000 volunteers who are active at every level of the organization—from grassroots efforts within the community to policy development roles on national, regional and international boards. For AFS program participants and host families, our volunteers are the primary point of contact and support. They recruit and screen candidates and host families, organize orientations and plan social activities. Our volunteers also guide learning reflections with AFS participants, serve as liaisons with host schools, and even join community service projects. 

Daring to empower a global volunteer community


AFS relies heavily on a global network of more than 40,000 volunteers who are active at every level of the organization—from grassroots efforts within the community to policy development roles on national, regional and international boards. For AFS program participants and host families, our volunteers are the primary point of contact and support. They recruit and screen candidates and host families, organize orientations and plan social activities. Our volunteers also guide learning reflections with AFS participants, serve as liaisons with host schools, and even join community service projects. 

VOLS0.jpg
VOLS1.jpg

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2014 GALATTI AWARD WINNERS!

Established in 1983, the Galatti Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service honors AFS volunteers whose commitment and exceptional dedication have advanced the mission and goals of AFS.

Ulises Boom: AFS Dominican Republic

Monique Buffin: AFS France 

Rodrigo Antonio Ferrada-González: AFS Chile

Sharon Held: AFS USA

back2.jpg

Daring to inspire a network of influential changemakers


The legacy of the AFS volunteer ambulance drivers is their commitment to make a difference in the lives of others. The changemakers featured in this special AFS Centennial section represent the many AFS alumni whose lives were transformed by the AFS effect on their journey to become global citizens. Below are eight women and men who are trailblazers in their fields, throughout their countries or on the international landscape. 

Daring to inspire a network of influential changemakers


The legacy of the AFS volunteer ambulance drivers is their commitment to make a difference in the lives of others. The changemakers featured in this special AFS Centennial section represent the many AFS alumni whose lives were transformed by the AFS effect on their journey to become global citizens. Below are eight women and men who are trailblazers in their fields, throughout their countries or on the international landscape. 

#AFSers continue to make a difference every day, follow some of their stories on social media:

back2.jpg

Daring to envision a bolder future: Sentio


Today there is an explosion of young adults seeking fresh ways to add “global” to their personal identity. Determined to expand their worldview while also making the world a better place, these global citizen hopefuls want stimulating experiences that will help shape and define their places in increasingly diverse and internationalized communities.

Our challenge is to connect young adults with exceptional opportunities that fulfill their dreams to go global. For starters, this market represents many different groups—from higher education students to volunteers to young professionals, just to name a few. Plus, how do you meet their desire to acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding that will make their intercultural journey a truly transformative experience?

Daring to envision a bolder future: Sentio


Today there is an explosion of young adults seeking fresh ways to add “global” to their personal identity. Determined to expand their worldview while also making the world a better place, these global citizen hopefuls want stimulating experiences that will help shape and define their places in increasingly diverse and internationalized communities.

Our challenge is to connect young adults with exceptional opportunities that fulfill their dreams to go global. For starters, this market represents many different groups—from higher education students to volunteers to young professionals, just to name a few. Plus, how do you meet their desire to acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding that will make their intercultural journey a truly transformative experience?

sentio1.jpg

WHAT DOES “SENTIO” MEAN?

Sentio is derived from the Latin word sentire, which has many meanings associated with feeling, perceiving, experiencing and realizing_all vital ingredients for true intercultural learning. Sentio is the working name for this new organization while the brand is being developed.