The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

AFS-USA Summit Focuses on International Exchange Programs

AFS-USA+Summit+Focuses+on+International+Exchange+Programs

Hanafia Arsad

Staff Writer

The American Field Service offers international exchange and education programs to students from more than 90 countries. Students have the opportunity to study abroad while learning about new cultures, discovering new interests, and joining a global community. On November 6, at Courthouse Square in Alexandria, AFS volunteers and staff from around the world gathered at the opening session to the 2021 AFS-USA Summit to discuss ways to strengthen the AFS-USA program.

Jim Walker, an AFS volunteer who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, spearheaded the opening session of the event. In addition to being a volunteer, Walker participated in the program, studying a year in Indonesia and  two weeks in a summer program in Turkey.

Jim Walker speaking to the volunteers, staff, and program participants at the AFS-USA Summit. Photo courtesy of Hanafia Arsad.

Walker started the session by introducing and recognizing the staff at each table. “It is so nice to see our faces in this multi-dimensional room with all our smiles and seeing each other again after a year,” he said. “One small action can lead to a better world.’’ 

Anne Sweet, AFS-USA National Council from the Western New York team, stated the program’s mission: “AFS-USA empowers the people to become globally engaged citizens by delivering meaningful intercultural experiences that provide the knowledge and skills needed to help create a more just and peaceful world.’’ 

She also reminded the audience of the program’s values: “Participants and mission come first; individuals have the power to make change; inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) are central to our work; and following our founders’ example that volunteerism sustains our organization and inspires our participants to make change in their communities.’’

Featured photo courtesy of Hanafia Arsad

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AFS-USA Summit Focuses on International Exchange Programs