Note: As mentioned in the COVID-19 FAQ page, independent travel (travel without the host family and/or AFS-USA Volunteer) and visits from family members and friends are not permitted in the 2021-22 cycle. International travel with the host family is also not permitted, as we cannot guarantee that the hosted participant would be permitted to re-enter the U.S. If any changes to this policy are made, announcements will be made via MyAFS News.
Guidelines for All Types of Travel
All AFS student travel must be in accordance with these guidelines:
- AFS Participants will not be allowed to travel independently until after they have been on the program for five months or are in the final month of their program.
- Host family must first approve travel plans.
- If host family has approved the travel plans the participant must then get the approval of the Volunteer Team Support Coordinator or other designated volunteer in his or her region.
- Travel must also be approved by the AFS-USA staff in the national office.
- Travel does not interfere with school (unless a participant travels on a school-organized activity)
- Travel does not interfere with attendance at compulsory AFS events. This includes school-sponsored travel
- Travel does not interfere with host family plans to pursue activities with a participant, especially holiday plans
- Travel does not interfere with the participant’s adaptation or integration. Travel will not be allowed if a participant is experiencing adaptation problems of any kind. Frequent travel does not encourage integration in the host family and host community. Approval for travel may be denied if a participant has traveled recently or on previous trips.
- Travel does not exceed 10 days.
- Travel does not violate AFS safety guidelines.
- NO crossing the border into Mexico without prior AFS approval. Due to the great risks currently associated with crossing the Mexico border without an AFS Representative or host family parent, AFS-USA will enforce a strict "no tolerance" policy for any student who violates this guideline and crosses the Mexican border for any reason without prior AFS approval. Students who cross the border without written permission from the ATSC or other designated Team representatives are subject to an immediate early return from the AFS Program.