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Afs-Usa Inc

Rating: 3 stars   3 reviews 760

Nonprofit Issues:

International, International Exchange


One Whitehall Street 2nd Floor New York NY 10004 USA


AFS-USA works toward a more just and peaceful world by providing international and intercultural learning experiences to individuals, families, schools, and communities through a global volunteer partnership.


1. Volunteer activities- provides opportunities for people to gain the knowledge, practice the skill, and acquire the attitudes to live productively and harmoniously in a multicultural global society. Numerous affiliated community-based volunteer organizations engage in fund raising, sponsor students going abroad and support students from foreign countries and the families which host them. 2. Hosting programs- provides programs whereby students from other countries can live with a host family in the United States. These students utilize the same program offerings made available to U.S. students going abroad. In addition to the experiences related to attending an American school, the foreign student is also provided the opportunities which further expand his or her knowledge through orientations and visits to local and national historical sites. 3. Sending activities - provides programs whereby American young people can live in a foreign country with a host family. These program offerings include school year programs, school semester programs or summer programs which assist the participant in expanding his or her understanding of and experience in areas of personal interest.

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Reviews for Afs-Usa Inc

Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I went to Thailand through AFS from 2009-10 and it was a life changing experience. My host family to this day calls me their daughter, keeps in contact with me, and even sends me cards every once in a while. I honestly could not have asked for a better experience. What someone else said is true, it is a volunteer organization. But because it's volunteered based usually the people that are involved are there because they want to be. Some students did have a bad experience, and I myself didn't get along with all of the people and teachers that I met. But I met people from all different kinds of program (YFU, Rotary, etc) and there were always a couple students that had a rough time. I found that many of the students that had issues didn't talk to the AFS office about it. The students that did changed host families and had amazing experiences. Since it is a volunteer organization there are some hiccups along the way (miscommunication about train arrival times was my biggest one) but the volunteers I met were genuine about taking care of the students. I honestly hope my nephews can get the chance to go when they're in high school.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

because it's volunteer-based it's a little scattered at times.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?


How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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Rating: 3 stars  

My AFS exchange after high school was a life-changing experience that greatly broadened my perspective and contributed to my study and career choices later in life. For this reason I do donate to AFS. The application and interview process was thorough and they seemed intent on only sending kids abroad who were prepared for the experience. Thinking back on the kids who were on my trip, they were all very capable, psychologically robust people. I was sent information about my prospective family and about the country I was to visit before the trip. AFS was able to make a last-minute switch for me when it turned out that I couldn't go on a trip that was leaving on the day I was taking a test that couldn't be rescheduled. They also provided follow-up experiences. While my experience was good, on the way back I did learn that a number of my fellow exchangees had not had good experiences. Several of the females and one male had been used primarily as babysitters and househelp. Some complained that they were not taken out and given experience with other local youths and were denied trips around the area. I hope AFS has done more to improve education and recompense of host families so that this sort of thing will not occur.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?


How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Quite well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 2 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

This program's quality is limited to the quality of the volunteers. If the volunteers are great, the experience is great. If the volunteers are not--the experience can be a horrible experience for your child. Paid staff will not honestly evaluate a complaint or acknowledge any kind of a problem with the program in any way--even if their is complete and absolute proof.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

When I wrote a highly detailed letter of a number of problems, they took 6 weeks to say that they didn't do anything wrong. Their is a complete lack of responsibility or ability to look at themselves honestly. They are taking money from people and not doing what they agreed to do. The board is unresponsive as well.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

want them to actually care about their effect on people long term. They appear to be short sighted., only thinking about money.

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Review from CharityNavigator