Some AFS participants that are hosted in the U.S. have the potential of receiving credit for their U.S. coursework when they return home, although this cannot be guaranteed by AFS. For some students, what is required for them to receive credit in their home country is obtaining an apostille on their U.S. high school transcript and sharing that official document with the school or Ministry of Education in their home country.
An apostille is an authentication of official documents such as a school transcript that is affixed to the document by a state’s Secretary of State office. For a student to obtain an apostille on their transcript, they must follow the instructions of the Secretary of State’s office for the state in which their school district lies. The host school has no authority or ability to provide an apostille. Students, families, or volunteers should collaborate with the local school to help in obtaining an official transcript as a first step. Some states require notarization as a step in the apostille process as well. To know what is specifically required and how long the process may take locally, go to the website for the host state’s Secretary of State’s office. There, you’ll likely find very specific instructions for the process that should be followed, which may entail mailing the documentation or scheduling an in-person appointment weeks in advance.
For a simple handout to share with families, school officials, or volunteers, please refer to this document.
A best practice is to have students ask their home country school officials, their sending parents, or the AFS organization in their home country if this is something that they'll need, so the host family, student, and liaison can all be prepared for quick action at the end of the academic year!