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AFS – An intercultural programme not only for teenagers

photo:  (Archiv AFS Mezikulturní programy)

The best way to get to know foreign cultures, lifestyles, traditions, and primarily people is to live among them for a while. The worldwide volunteer organisation AFS offers an easy route to a foreign country (that means even the Czech Republic) for a longer period of time.

Thanks to this intercultural programme, fifteen-year-old teenagers have the opportunity to come to the Czech Republic and study here for three months or for a full year at a secondary school. And they will not live in a hall of residence or dormitory, but with a Czech family.

Each of the more than 50 AFS national organisations has its own host programme which involves families willing to take in a foreign student. Approximately 50 young people from all corners of the world come and stay with Czech families every year.

The Czech AFS branch takes care of all the legal paperwork involved with a foreign student’s stay in the Czech Republic, including health insurance. It will find a suitable secondary school close to where they live and will pay for the expenses associated with their studies, i.e. the costs of transportation to the school and school studies. Each foreign student is also assigned a so-called contact person, who supports the student and also acts as a guide in the student’s new surroundings for their entire stay.

AFS works with approximately 80 secondary schools located throughout the entire Czech Republic, which highly value the opportunity to acquire, at least for a short time, a classmate for their students from a foreign country. If you would like to see how the student Maya liked her stay in the Czech Republic, you can take a look here.

However, the AFS Intercultural Programme is not intended only for secondary school students. It is possible to exchange mothers and fathers from host families for a few days within the scope of the Eva Change programme.
Author: Andrea Kábelová
Source: www.afs.org, www.afs.cz
Added: 17.02.2011

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