AFS Programs

We Develop Active Global Citizens

Broaden your horizons with the intercultural programs.
The AFS programs empower young people from all backgrounds with essential global skills,
and the passion for making a difference.

About AFS(American Field Service)

AFS Intercultural Programs,

what is afs?
what is afs?

    The AFS Intercultural Programs is a non-profit organization with a rich history dating back to World War I. Its mission is to promote intercultural understanding and global citizenship through immersive cultural exchange experiences. AFS operates a variety of programs that allow individuals, typically high school students, to live with host families in foreign countries for extended periods, usually ranging from a few months to a full academic year.

    Participants in AFS programs have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a new culture, attend local schools, and develop a deep appreciation for the customs, traditions, and languages of their host country. Conversely, host families and communities benefit from the opportunity to learn about the student's culture and share their own.

    AFS programs go beyond cultural immersion; they also focus on fostering empathy, tolerance, and open-mindedness among participants. This experience helps young people develop crucial skills for navigating our increasingly interconnected world and becoming global citizens who can contribute positively to society.

    Overall, the AFS Intercultural Programs play a pivotal role in breaking down cultural barriers, building friendships across borders, and promoting mutual respect and understanding on a global scale.

More about AFS ⤵️ | AFS in Sri Lanka ⤵️ | AFS and Sputnik ⤵️ | our AFS Alumni ➡️ | Our Experiences ➡️

currently Available Programs

asia kakehashi

Join the ASIA KAKEHASHI Project+ 2024 by AFS Japan & Sputnik International Sri Lanka. Full scholarship for a 5-month study in Japan. Apply now ! Deadline: 1st March 2024. 

asia kakehashi +

Live with a host family, attend a local school, and experience Italy like never before. Apply now for the exclusive 1-year program by AFS and Sputnik. Only $5,499 (normally $38,000)! Deadline: Feb 20. [ ]


Study in Japan for a Year with a $7,450 USD Scholarship! Secure your spot before September 22nd, 2023, and join us in exploring Japan's rich culture and education. Only two slots left, so don't miss this exclusive opportunity.

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Grow your global competence and become a future leader by spending 4 months studying abroad in Japan! you will attend a Japanese high school and make friends with your Japanese peers. 

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Exposure to the Japanese high school life for a short period of time to gain understanding of Japan and Japanese culture. Awarded by AFS Intercultural Programs, Japan. in collaboration with AFS Global Affiliate office in Sri Lanka: Sputnik International Sri Lanka Organization (SISLO).

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We are excited to announce the launch of our new scholarship program to France. This opportunity will provide individuals with the chance to immerse themselves in the rich culture, history, and language of France, as well as gain valuable skills and experiences. 

More about AFS 

The History of AFS

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    The history of AFS (American Field Service) is a compelling tale of transformation from a wartime ambulance service to a global leader in international student exchange and intercultural understanding.

World War I Origins (1914-1918): AFS was initially founded during World War I by American volunteers who served as ambulance drivers on the front lines in France. Their brave and selfless efforts to transport wounded soldiers earned them a reputation for humanitarian service in times of conflict.

Post-War Humanitarian Work (1919-1946): After the war, AFS volunteers continued their work by providing medical and relief services in Europe. This period marked the organization's transition from wartime service to a broader commitment to international cooperation and understanding.

Birth of Student Exchange (1947): A pivotal moment in AFS's history came in 1947 when it launched its first international student exchange program between France and the United States. This initiative aimed to promote peace and mutual understanding by bringing young people from different countries together.

Global Expansion (1950s-1960s): AFS's success in facilitating student exchanges led to rapid expansion. It established chapters and partnerships in various countries, transforming into a global network of organizations. These entities collectively worked toward the common goal of intercultural exchange.

Educational and Cultural Impact: Over the years, AFS diversified its programs, offering opportunities not only for students but also for educators, volunteers, and community members. It played a vital role in promoting cultural exchange, language learning, and global awareness.

Intercultural Education (Late 20th Century-Present): AFS continues to evolve and adapt to the changing dynamics of global society. It has expanded its offerings to include short-term exchanges, study abroad programs, and initiatives focused on critical global issues such as sustainability and social justice.

Promoting Global Citizenship: Throughout its history, AFS has remained committed to its core values of inclusivity, empathy, and the belief that experiencing different cultures fosters open-mindedness and international cooperation. AFS programs aim to develop global citizens who can address the challenges of our interconnected world.

    Today, AFS Intercultural Programs operates in numerous countries, offering a wide array of programs that facilitate cross-cultural exchange, understanding, and personal growth. Its rich history underscores the enduring importance of fostering empathy, tolerance, and peace through international education and intercultural experiences.

AFS in Sri Lanka

The History of AFS in Sri Lanka

    AFS (American Field Service) has a significant history of involvement in Sri Lanka, dating back to the mid-20th century. AFS introduced student exchange programs that allowed Sri Lankan students to study abroad and hosted international students in Sri Lanka, fostering cultural exchange and educational opportunities.

    From 1966 to 1990, this period is often referred to as the "Golden Era" of AFS Sri Lanka. During this time, annually, numerous AFS scholars from overseas were hosted by Sri Lankans, and many Sri Lankan AFS scholars had the opportunity to be hosted by countries all over the world. These exchanges enriched the lives of participants, providing them with unique cross-cultural experiences and lasting friendships.

    However, the AFS programs in Sri Lanka faced a regrettable setback in 1990 when they were terminated due to security issues and social unrest in the country. Despite this interruption, the legacy of AFS in Sri Lanka continues to be remembered for its role in promoting global citizenship and intercultural understanding through educational exchange programs.

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AFS Sri Lanka : Batch 66 and Batch 67

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AFS Sri Lanka : Batch 68

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AFS Sri Lanka : Batch 69 and Batch 70

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AFS Sri Lanka : Batch 85

AFS and Sputnik International Sri Lanka

In 1985, a curious and inquisitive Dr. Eshantha Ariyadasa, Chairman of Sputnik International Sri Lanka (SISLO), embarked on a life-changing journey with the support of an AFS (American Field Service) scholarship. This scholarship not only provided him with the opportunity to study in New Zealand but also laid the foundation for remarkable connections across borders.

During his time in New Zealand, Dr. Eshantha defied language barriers and befriended a group of Japanese students who, like him, shared a common struggle with the English language. Their friendship transcended linguistic obstacles and continued long after their AFS scholarships had concluded.

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Dr. Eshantha's subsequent visits to Japan over the years allowed him to expand his network, connecting with many individuals he met along the way. Notably, he formed a close bond with Mr. Hiro, who had also been part of the AFS program, a global organization dedicated to fostering intercultural exchange.

Through Mr. Hiro's introduction, Dr. Eshantha had the privilege of meeting Madam Junko Akisawa, another AFS alumna and a Japanese news announcer. Sharing his dreams and ambitions with her, he articulated his vision of creating a school focused on languages, sports, and children's education.

Moved by his passion and commitment to international education, Ms. Junko Akisawa wholeheartedly agreed to support his endeavor in any way she could. This pivotal moment, facilitated by the AFS scholarship that launched Dr. Eshantha's journey, laid the foundation for the Sputnik International Sri Lanka Organization (SISLO), an institution dedicated to breaking down barriers through education and cultural exchange.

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SISLO initiated a partnership with Japan by sending students to the country through a non-partner scheme of AFS in 2005. As trust deepened and the partnership blossomed, the idea of Sri Lanka rejoining the AFS network gained traction. In December 2021, SISLO achieved a significant milestone by becoming an AFS Global Affiliate. This marked the end of Sri Lanka's absence from the AFS community and opened the doors for Sri Lankan students to experience the world through AFS programs.

The connection between AFS and SISLO exemplifies the power of friendship, shared values, and a commitment to bridging cultural divides. Dr. Eshantha Ariyadasa's initial encounter with AFS in New Zealand, through the scholarship that supported his education abroad, planted the seeds of a global network that would later become instrumental in realizing his dream of an educational institution that celebrates diversity and fosters understanding on a global scale. Today, SISLO continues to nurture the spirit of AFS by providing transformative educational experiences for Sri Lankan youth, connecting them to the AFS world and the world to Sri Lanka.

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Sputnik International Education Centre


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