By Yashodhan Shende | YES’12 Alumni from Pune

“When I returned back in 2013 from my YES exchange year, I had no idea how much experience and skills I was going to gain while volunteering with AFS Intercultural Programs India and the KL-YES Network. 6 years down the line, I have gained and still gaining so many new experiences and skills as an AFS Alumnus.

Now, volunteering as the AFS Pune Chapter President, I learn so many new skills every day that I can’t keep a count of. From managing YES Discovery Day, while not being there physically, to planning the chapter activities for 3 months at a stretch, I believe had I not volunteered with AFS India, I would not be able to do the same.

Often, participants believe that they have got a complete experience of being a global ambassador once their exchange year is over. But, that is not the truth. You grow and keep growing when you volunteer with an organization such as AFS. AFS provides you with not only a great experience and an amazing leadership skillset, but also a great network of people and more importantly a good amount of lifelong friendships.

To summarize my short but sweet six year volunteering experience with AFS Network, I believe AFS taught me a plethora of things – Leadership, Empathy, Social & Global Commitment, Change making and a lot more which cannot be expressed in words.


To all those fresh alumni and those who have not been active in the network, I would take this opportunity to really request all of you to take the first step and volunteer with the network because it has so much to offer you that you will be left spellbound.

Thank you AFS for providing me with such great experiences, skill sets and moreover lifelong relationships that I will cherish forever. Thank you.”