The AFS Host Family Program provides an enjoyable, rewarding and transformative experience for the whole family. The program is supported by the AFS Host Family Intercultural Learning Journey, built on specific intercultural learning objectives and facilitated by trained staff and volunteers. The Journey includes orientation sessions, facilitated discussions and other learning activities and reflection that help families:
- Explore and build their intercultural awareness and understanding as individual global citizens and as a family
- Better support their hosted student’s integration into a new culture, as well as her or his intercultural education experience outlined in the AFS Student Learning Journey & Curriculum
- Help AFS students achieve their global and personal ambitions while abroad
- Share their culture and learn about new cultures from their hosted students.
The AFS Learning Objectives serve as the foundation for the AFS Host Family Intercultural Learning Journey and the 14 Objectives are divided into four parts:
- Communication Skills and Empathy
- Intercultural Competence
- Global Concern.
Working through these Learning Objectives helps families:
- Better understand how culture impacts perception, behavior, values and attitudes
- Consider and respect different perspectives when approaching problems and everyday situations
- Appreciate diversity and to engage, display respect for and accept people with diverse backgrounds, attitudes, opinions, lifestyles and values
- Become interested in and concerned about global affairs and aware of the impact our choices have on other people
- Explore becoming a volunteer committed to making positive change in local, national and/or global communities.
How are the volunteers trained to support the students intercultural learning program?
The AFS Intercultural Link Learning Program is an AFS network-wide intercultural training and assessment program designed to improve the intercultural competence of volunteers and staﬀ, and enhance our expertise in developing this in students, host families, volunteers and others.