The safety and well being of our participants is AFS’s highest priority. Working to ensure the safety of a participant requires a partnership between the participant and the host family, in compliance with AFS Policies and laws in the host country.
Embarking on an AFS Program in the U.S. implies agreement with the following alcohol policies. Failure to abide by these policies is considered to be irresponsible behavior, a threat to the safety of the AFS student, and potentially damaging to the integrity of the program. Failure to comply with these policies will be considered grounds for early return.
- Use of alcohol in the United States is regulated by state and federal law. Although US federal law states that no one under the age of 21 may publicly possess or purchase alcohol, state laws regarding the consumption of alcohol by a minor (anyone under 21), vary.
Some US states maintain laws that are zero tolerance in nature, meaning that no alcohol can be consumed or possessed by anyone under the age of 21. Other US states allow consumption if it is in a private home. However, no matter where an AFS student is living in the United States, they are not allowed to break any laws.
The breaking of any state or local law concerning alcohol is reason enough to be removed from the program and returned home. In such cases, a student faces the possibility of arrest and/ or deportation if these laws are not obeyed.
It is important that students have a clear understanding of the law s of the state and community in which they are living. Students should ask their host family and/ or Liaison to explain their views on teenage drinking, the family rules, US and state laws and how these will affect them.
- Any abuse of alcoholic drinks, such as binge drinking, and inappropriate behavior related to drinking alcohol is not allowed while on an AFS program in the United States and is grounds for early return. Any arrest or suspension from school for alcohol use is also grounds for an early return.
Should students abuse alcohol or binge drink, they can potentially place themselves or others in danger. This behavior cannot be tolerated on the AFS program.
In many high schools in the U.S., there are students who abuse alcohol and binge drink. It is important that AFS students understand that this is not acceptable while on the AFS-USA program. If students find themselves in an environment w here this is occurring, they should talk to their host family or ask their liaison for assistance.
It is important that AFS students understand that excessive alcohol use is not acceptable behavior while on the AFS program. Excessive alcohol use includes: frequent/regular alcohol consumption; excessive alcohol consumption in one session; and binge drinking. Should students abuse alcohol or binge drink, they can potentially place themselves or others in danger. This behavior will not be tolerated on the AFS program. Involvement with friends and/ or schoolmates who abuse alcohol can also put an AFS student’s program at risk.