The COVID-19 pandemic is calling for an agile response to changed realities. AFS is well-prepared to run study abroad programs with a robust risk management and support system in place, and we are fortunate to have already laid the groundwork for transformative change well before COVID-19.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! The following imperative factor that comes along with AFS Programs:

  • Heightened safety and risk management measures
  • Top priority to student security and risk mitigation
  • Adhering 100% protocol for international travels
  • Providing safe placements in host families and host schools

Please reach to us to know more.

Mr. Joseph Kuok +91-9873-188-897 | Manjit Sandhu +91-8586-925-131
Shradha Roy +91-9873-119-541 | Manjula Devi +91-8586-925-038
Nikhil Bhatnagar +91-8586-985-634 | Bharat Kandpal +91-8586-925-136
Bulbul Kashyap +91-8586-925-130 | Chunjanglung Kamei +91-7289-915-879
Vibhooti Maldhari +91-7874-686-466 | Rajat Singh +91-8586-925-134

FAQs for Sending Parents

Natural Parents who are Sending Their Students on AFS Programs

Yes. The AFS medical plan covers costs of illness or injury suffered during the program, except for pre-existing conditions and other excluded situations as described in the AFS Medical pamphlet. COVID-19 is treated as an illness and expenses for treatment and medications prescribed by a Physician are covered to the limits of the policy.

FAQs for Hosting Parents

Host Families who Are Hosting Students on AFS Programs

We will follow the guidelines of Government of India – Ministry of Health Affairs and External Affairs. If they have mandated the test, we will tell the students to get it before they come. If they have not for some countries, then we will not. However, we will be in touch with individual chapters/schools and host families as per the individual considerations as per geographies and other guidelines

AFS Study Abroad Programs in 2022

AFS programs will run in countries where health and safety conditions allow, and student visas are possible. We observe the continually changing situation on a daily basis and are in very close contact with our member organizations.

AFS exchange programs are currently running or planned to begin in all AFS destinations.

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How AFS Keeps Our Participants Safe

As a global network of organizations, AFS is actively re-assessing conditions for study abroad programs on a country-by-country basis. The safety and well-being of our participants remain our number one priority. We are closely monitoring health and travel recommendations from authorities, as well as receiving information from our robust, on-the-ground volunteer network. We pledge to be nimble and responsive to circumstances as they change.

Some countries may require a later program start date than originally planned. Moreover, either because of safety restrictions or a lingering economic impact, we may not be able to run our programs in all countries. If planned abroad experiences must change, we will let our participants know as soon as we are able. We will do all we can to offer alternative destinations and programs.

“Even though no one knew what was going to happen in this global pandemic, AFS tried their best to make sure that we all feel safe and supported us all the time when we all felt down. And it always helped. Sometimes their enthusiasm and positivity helped me get through the day.”

—2019 AFS study abroad participant (source: Customer Service Evaluation)

AFS COVID-19 Response So Far

With immense gratitude, we are glad to share that amid COVID, AFS India has re-commenced sending & hosting students on exchange programs since November 2020. AFS India successfully and safely sent 30 students to Japan & Italy. In December 2020, we also received 2 students from France on the Year Program for hosting. What made this possible? The following imperative factor that comes along with AFS Programs:

  • Heightened safety and risk management measures
  • Top priority to student security and risk mitigation
  • Adhering 100% protocol for international travels
  • Providing safe placements in host families and host schools

We would like to share that as a global network of organizations, AFS is actively re-assessing conditions for study abroad programs on a country-by-country basis. The safety and well-being of our participants remain our number one priority. We are closely monitoring health and travel recommendations from authorities, as well as receiving information from our robust, on-the-ground volunteer network. We pledge to be nimble and responsive to circumstances as they change.

The COVID pandemic is calling for an agile response to changed realities. AFS is well-prepared to run study abroad programs with a robust risk management and support system in place, and we are fortunate to have already laid the groundwork for transformative change well before COVID. AFS programs will run in countries where health and safety conditions allow, and student visas are possible.

This is the Flagship Program of AFS which has the essence of ‘Stay and Study’ in a different country and culture. The participants will live with a host family and will join the local school for one academic year.

What our participants are saying

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Adarsh Barnwal is a young AFS Returnee, shares his experience pertaining to this life-changing journey:

“We had travelled to Italy on the short-term AFS Peace Exchange Program. With a month left for the completion of our program, we were informed that we had to leave Italy earlier because of the Coronavirus outbreak. As soon as we got to know, we booked a flight for 12th March, subsequent to which we took a train to Rome. When we reached the airport in Rome, we were informed that a medical clearance certificate would be required to travel back to India. I spoke with AFS India and AFS volunteers in Italy, who helped with the arrangement of a medical examination. This procedure, however, costed a lot of time owing to large numbers of people waiting for the same.  (Contd…)”

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Ajeesh, a brave AFS returnee from the Netherlands shares his journey:

“My name is Ajeesh, and I had travelled to the Netherlands on an AFS exchange program. With the outbreak of the Coronavirus, and its rapid spread across Europe, I, already, had had a feeling that my exchange trip would be cut short. And, this, actually, happened, when I received an e-mail from AFS Netherlands saying that we would have to travel back to India within 2 days. There was hardly anytime to comprehend this, or say our goodbyes. It was really sad and frustrating that we had to leave so soon, but in circumstances like these one can’t blame anyone. (Contd…)

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Diya Shelke, a courageous AFS Returnee from France shares her experience:

“I remember that it all started with a post on Instagram about the Coronavirus in Wuhan. At that point in time, I was an exchange student in France from India. Over subsequent days, there were many more such posts. Initially, I didn’t pay attention. However, with the passage of time things began to accelerate for the worse. My fellow exchange students had already started travelling back home. I spoke with my mom, and she advised me to come back home as soon as possible.  My heart, actually, sank. I had just begun getting comfortable with the language, culture and my host family. I was, originally, scheduled to travel back only in July 2020.” (Contd…)

REad more
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Manali More, an AFS Returnee from Italy shares her experience:

Aru Jain, an AFS Returnee from Denmark shares her experience:

“My journey of exploring Denmark came to a pre-mature end — in fact, 4 months short of the completion of a year; so many things that I had planned to undertake with the objective of exploring the country could not see fulfilment.

The first time I had heard or read about COVID 19, I had not thought that it would affect me in any way. However, gradually, my friends from Italy were being sent back, and the day the first case was reported in Denmark, I was scared. (Contd…)

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Ishan Singh, an AFS Returnee from France shares his experience:

“When I think about my time in France, two words come to my mind: amazing and adventurous. I was living my life in France and days were passing wonderfully. While I was sitting on the sofa, eating the chocolate cake made by my host mother (which I like the most), I heard the announcement made by the President of France. He was addressing the complexities of COVID-19 which was prevailing in the world. He mentioned about the seriousness of the pandemic and how it’s affecting the world. He further added that there will be no school from Monday onwards to keep the kids safe.  (Contd…)

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Aru Jain, an AFS Returnee from Denmark shares her experience:

“My journey of exploring Denmark came to a pre-mature end — in fact, 4 months short of the completion of a year; so many things that I had planned to undertake with the objective of exploring the country could not see fulfilment.

The first time I had heard or read about COVID 19, I had not thought that it would affect me in any way. However, gradually, my friends from Italy were being sent back, and the day the first case was reported in Denmark, I was scared. And then came an email from AFS informing that my exchange year had to be cut short. I was really disappointed, to say the least: my first chance of celebrating Easter… (Contd…)

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Explore the World with AFS

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Study Abroad

Teens can study abroad with AFS at a high school in a new country, during an academic year, semester or trimester. They will make new friends, learn a new language, live with a global family, and become Active Global Citizens! Key components of these programs are personal growth, cultural exploration, Active Global Citizenship and belonging.

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Virtual Exchange

High-impact, educational, fun and truly global virtual programs empower young people to become global citizens and connect with peers around the world. Based on the decades of expertise in the field, we’ll help you build your personal and professional changemaker mindset and skills.

Have Queries? Call us!

Mr. Joseph Kuok +91-9873-188-897 | Manjit Sandhu +91-8586-925-131
Shradha Roy +91-9873-119-541 | Manjula Devi +91-8586-925-038
Nikhil Bhatnagar +91-8586-985-634 | Bharat Kandpal +91-8586-925-136
Bulbul Kashyap +91-8586-925-130 | Chunjanglung Kamei +91-7289-915-879
Vibhooti Maldhari +91-7874-686-466 | Rajat Singh +91-8586-925-134