Paris is magnificent, but France is more than one city. There's the beautiful countryside from the Atlantic to the Alps and from the English Channel to the Mediterranean
Italians know how to enjoy life, whether through exquisite art, music, and architecture; the company of friends and family; the beautiful game of soccer; or an after-dinner...
India is bounded to the southwest by the Arabian Sea, to the southeast by the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean to the south. Along its northeastern frontier are the Himalayas,...
Costa Rica is one of the most popular destinations for AFS-USA Exchange Students, and with good reason. The country is home to proud, friendly, and peaceful citizens known...
Switzerland is a small, polished gem of a country, with mountains, forests, lakes, and modern cities like Zurich and Geneva. While there are three common languages- German...
Stretching more than 1,200 miles from its northern reaches in the Arctic Circle to its southern tip that is parallel with Denmark, Sweden encompasses a wealth of natural
Ecuador is one of the most fascinating destinations in South America with its array of vibrant cultures, historical colonial architecture, volcanic landscapes, and dense
Andean peaks surround Machu Picchu; lush tropical rainforests, Amazonian jungles, sandy beaches, arid deserts, remote farmland and fishing villages make up the Peruvian landscape....
Denmark is a small country (approximately 5.4 million people) that has a lot to offer within easy reach: beautiful landscapes, informal culture, modern cities, and a large...
Portugal, one of the oldest countries in Europe, has been independent since the 12th century. You'll find folk festivals, traditional Fado music, and markets overflowing
Ghana is one of the friendliest West African nations. While English is the official language, there are more than 52 native tongues and hundreds of dialects. Most Ghanaians...
Paraguay, is alive with tradition, fusing the indigenous Guarani Indian culture with the culture of the Spanish conquistadors. While Spanish is the national language, you'll...
My life changed in India!
Submitted by Brooke - Bonneville High | September 12, 2016
Going to India was absolutely incredible! I learned more in that short time, than I ever thought was possible. The people were extremely hospitable there and they showed that they truly cared about me and my experience there. AFS is an amazing organization and I'll always be grateful for the time I had there!
Best Experience of My Life!
Submitted by Leah - Western Washington University | May 07, 2015
AFS is a great organization to study abroad with in high school, and not obscenely expensive. Host families are entirely volunteer, so they usually are super excited and looking forward to hosting an exchange student. My host family was great, and I still keep in contact with them 3 years later! I made some of the best friends through AFS. Starting with a pre-departure orientation in the US, orientations in Italy, and usually the placement of multiple other exchange students in your high school, you'll make the best friends you could wish for! I had a full language immersion with AFS, and left Italy conversationally proficient in Italian. Most students had tutoring through AFS while in Italy, but my tutoring fell through, so I had to learn most of it on my own. I would say that was the only drawback to my AFS program! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! If you are able, study abroad in high school!!! It's such a great experience, and it really will change the way you see the world, especially at such a young age. DO IT! Check out my blog for more info on my exchange: www.leahsharabyabroad.blogspot.com
Eye-opening, memorable, difficult, rewarding, unforgettable
Submitted by Anne Weaver - New York University | August 07, 2014
I chose AFS because of it's reputation for exchanges and it's long history in the field.
Spending time on the Swedish west coast with my host family all the time was simply memorable.
10 months in France through AFS
Submitted by L.R.B. - Macalester College | August 05, 2014
It was a transformative ten months for me. I learned to speak French fluently, I made good friends, and I understood a different way of looking at life through my immersion in French culture. Even though I gained so many beautiful memories from living in France, I think that it's important to say that it was a roller coaster of joy and unhappiness. When every day presents new experiences, you're going to feel a little lost, a little unstable. At the end, you come out knowing yourself and your world better.
AFS is a supportive program that puts an emphasis on safety. I appreciate that I felt well-cared-for throughout my time in France. They have a network of volunteers, and they make sure that there are plenty of people you can talk to. AFS also hosts little get-togethers with the regional AFS students and volunteers. They try to make it fun, but they also check up on how you're doing. At the get-togethers, I could talk with the other AFS students and compare notes about French people, French food, things we loved, and things we didn't like. If you're the only foreign student at a high school, it's good to know that you aren't the only one who finds certain aspects of French culture strange. I made friends with AFS-ers from different states of the U.S., Thailand, Colombia, and Japan, as well as many other countries!
I should mention that my experience with AFS France was a little bit different from the "normal" experience; instead of being matched with a host family, I stayed with a family that my mother knew already. Even with a family connection like I had, it was difficult to adapt to living with different people in a different culture than I was used to. A lot of people I know didn't get along perfectly with their host families. Some people got very young host parents with no children, some people got a bunch of younger siblings, some people ended up in tiny villages with more cows than people, and some people lived in hopping cities. There's really no knowing what kind of experience you'll have because each family is different, and each region has certain things you'll like and some that you won't.
If you're interested in studying in France, I think AFS is a good program to go with. You should know from the beginning that it's going to be a tough, wonderful experience. On the other hand, don't be scared to go for it!
A Wonderful Experience in an Amazing Country
Submitted by Christina | May 15, 2014
My most memorable experiences are probably the times I spent with the other AFS participants, as it broke the routine of life each time I saw them. We were able to share our lives with the others and give advice. We all became friends so quickly, and I had fun whenever I saw them.
I chose AFS because I was familiar with it. The AFS participants who live in my area of the US convene in my town, and my family has often hosted students for a night or two over those weekends.
I was much younger than most participants, and so many options for countries were closed to me. I wanted to go to Europe because I have a European Union citizenship, and because the culture does not differ from American as much as that of Ghana's. I chose France because of the language.
I lived a large house. I had my own bedroom with a large comfortable bed. The house was kept clean.