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AFS-USA works toward a more just and peaceful world by providing international and intercultural learning experiences to individuals, families, schools, and communities through a global volunteer partnership.
AFS Intercultural Programs (formerly the American Field Service) is a worldwide, nonprofit organization that has been a leader in high school student exchange for 60 years. During World Wars I & II, young Americans volunteered as ambulance drivers in the American Field Service evacuating the wounded from battlefields. When these brave, forward thinking individuals returned home, they founded a movement to promote understanding and peace through international student exchanges, known today as AFS Intercultural Programs. The AFS Founders believed--as AFS believes today--that the way to build a more just and peaceful world begins when people from different countries and cultures meet, learn together, and better understand one another. In 1947, for the first time ever, AFS exchanged 52 young people from 11 countries formerly at war, establishing a legacy of hope for future generations.
Today, AFS exchanges close to 13,000 students, young adults and teachers each year among a partnership of more than 50 AFS Partner Countries. AFS proudly acknowledges an alumni network of more than 370,000 individuals who have studied abroad on an AFS Program. Former AFS Students live in more than 100 countries around the world. As one of the largest volunteer-based organizations of its kind, AFS has more than 36,000 volunteers worldwide and approximately 5,000 in the U.S.
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