AFS is a global community of more than 50 partner organizations that support intercultural learning, principally through exchange programs. AFS began as the American Field Service during World Wars I and II, when nearly 5,000 young men volunteered as ambulance drivers. In 1947, AFS organized its first secondary student exchanges with the aim of building international understanding by supporting people from different parts of the world in sharing their cultures. Nearly seven decades later, AFS has transformed the lives of millions of students, families, and individuals worldwide. Almost 13,000 individuals participate in AFS exchanges and nearly 44,000 AFS volunteers support AFS programs each year.
AFS programs have been in China for 33 years. Authorized by the Chinese Ministry of Education, administrated by China Education Association for International Exchange, AFS China is a well respected intercultural program for high school students and teachers in the basic education arena in China. It offers various programs including school based, teaching assistant, summer camp, educator exchange and community service of one year, a semester or short-term exchanges. Program participants live in the volunteer host families of host country and study or provide service in the local schools or community. So far, AFS CHN Programs has cooperates with more than 40 countries all over the world and with participants about 5,000.