AFS USA Greater Chicagoland

  • IL



United States

About Us

AFS-USA (formerly the American Field Service), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is a leader in intercultural learning and offers international exchange programs in more than 40 countries around the world through independent, nonprofit AFS Organizations, each with a network of volunteers, a professionally staffed office, and headed up by a volunteer board.

We've been exchanging students throughout the world for 60 years. Thats six decades of history and experience in international education with an exemplary record of safety, security, and service to students, parents, and educators.

Enrich your family’s life by hosting an AFS exchange student! Each year, AFS Intercultural Programs welcomes hundreds of international high school students to the U.S. These are outstanding young ambassadors who were selected in their home countries by our international partners, and are eager to experience what it's like to live in America.

Why host an exchange student? You’ll allow a gifted student from abroad to have an incredible, life-changing experience. You’ll enrich your family’s life by exposing them to a different culture and perspective. In addition you’ll help make the world a better and safer place by increasing intercultural understanding. Some of America’s strongest supporters abroad are those that have spent time in this country as a student or exchange visitor.

Why host with AFS? AFS is one of the oldest international exchange organizations. We’ve been sending students abroad for more than 60 years, and have an exemplary record of safety, security, and service. Secondly, as a non-profit organization, it’s in our mission to give students the best experience abroad possible – not to make a profit. Lastly, our biggest advantage is our cadre of volunteers. There are about 5,000 registered volunteers in the U.S. alone, and they run most parts of our programs. These local AFS Volunteers will support you and your hosted student throughout your experience to help you both receive the most from your time together.

Families can host students for several weeks, a semester, or an entire school year. They provide a bed and meals, and share their daily lives with students. AFS welcomes all kinds of families. Families can have small or teenage children at home, or be empty nesters with adult children. AFS also welcomes couples with no children, single adults and single parents. Families shouldn’t worry about being too busy. The more opportunity the student has to experience your life, the better!

For further details, please visit View videos about the hosting experience, read blogs submitted by host families, and learn more about how you can change the world, one person at a time! If you’d like to speak with a volunteer in the Chicago area, please contact Debbie Heer at