An amazing cultural journey for the entire family

Hosting an international student in your home is a great way to learn about a new culture and share your own culture and values. Children often enjoy being cultural ambassadors, introducing their new brother or sister to local customs, traditions and national holidays. Everything from preparing meals to sightseeing are opportunities to discover and appreciate cultural and other differences. We call this the #AFSeffect!
HF_ADV

Welcome adventure

Experience your world through the eyes of a young person from another country

HF_CHANGE

Welcome change

Prepare your family to become global citizens—ready to connect with people from around the world

HF_DISC

Welcome discovery

Help an international student learn how to live in and enjoy your culture and traditions

It can't be described, it has to be experienced

“There are times in a life that you cannot describe, those you simply have to experience. It’s that feeling we as parents had when someone else’s child called us mom and dad when he called us from across the world to tell us he enrolled in a university or that he has a girlfriend. These things are indescribable, and only those who experience it can understand.”

–Alisa Salopek, host mother from Serbia

Inquire to become a host family

What is an AFS host family?

AFS has invited families to welcome international students into their homes since 1947. Long considered a key element in the well being of exchange students, host families provide so much more than shelter and meals.

Read more FAQs

Yes, if you are interested in people and desire to make our world a better place! AFS host families are diverse.

Host families can be:
– Large or small
– Young or old
– A couple with children of any age
– A couple with no children
– A single person with children
– Students are required to have their own bed, not their own room.

All you need is a warm heart and the desire to learn and share; a sense of humor and, flexibility and patience.

How to become an AFS host family

STEP1

Learn more and apply

Learn why host families are so important to AFS programs. Our application process is thorough so we can make the best match for your family.

STEP2_HF

You've been selected

We take finding families very seriously. Although there’s no “ideal” AFS family—we have plenty of experience finding the “right” families. 

STEP3

Get ready to host

Meet the trained volunteers and staff who will support your family and help you learn how to make your AFS experience rewarding and fun. 

STEP4_HF

Welcome your AFSer

Experience the AFSeffect with your new family member by sharing your home, your heart and your world as you take your first steps to becoming global. 

Who are AFS students?

AFS students come from more than 99 countries, and have demonstrated the maturity and motivation to study abroad. AFS students are screened and selected by the AFS Organization in their home country. AFS students are:

Usually between 15-16.5 years old on arrival

Committed to actively participate in their AFS program

Considered a good student in their home country

In good general health

Curious, flexible and open-minded

How does AFS support host families?

SUPP_HOUSE

Experienced local AFS volunteers and staff will prepare your family for the challenges of welcoming a new member from another country.

SUPP_24

24 hour local emergency contact and additional support from the AFS national office is available. AFS students have medical insurance, if health care is necessary. 

SUPP_PERSON

Trained volunteers and staff will support you throughout your hosting program, including meeting with you and your family at least once a month to make sure everything is working out.  

SUPP_ORIENT

Your support volunteers will guide your family and student through the AFS Host Family Intercultural Learning Journey activities to help make the entire experience more meaningful and lasting. 

Kaptan

Hosting Stories

Exchange year is an another life in your life. Hong Kong is such a different aninteresting place to go for exchange. But I feel like Hong Kong is my second home. I live in Sham Tseng with my host family, Kong’s. I love them so much. I also have two host brothers, Lincoln and Duncan. I enjoy the year with them a lot. Also my school and classmates are amazing. I’m in Munsang College, class F4E. Munsang College is such an active school and that was actually what I am looking for.

Hong Kong is a very different place from my home country, Turkey and also many of our home countries. I love Hong Kong and I enjoy a lot.

2015-2016 Host student Kaptan from Turkey
Read more

Connect with AFS host families around the world