The Student Learning Journey (SLJ) is the educational component of the AFS experience. It spans the AFS experience before and during, the student's exchange program and complements and enhances AFS Orientations and Monthly Learning Reflections. It is designed to help students gain Global Skills, practice Social Impact, and develop 21st-century competencies - we refer to them AFS superpowers!
In addition to intercultural learning content, AFS International partnered with the Center of Social Impact Strategy (CSIS) at the University of Pennsylvania to add social impact content to our program and to help ensure that students have the knowledge and tools to take positive action in their local community and beyond, becoming active global citizens.
The AFS Student Learning Journey combines online and in-person learning. This way students can connect globally with all exchange students who are on an AFS program at the same time and interact locally in-person with peers. This approach maximizes the learning outcomes from the AFS experience by emphasizing how AFS develops Active Global Citizens through our unique intercultural educational experience: Intercultural Learning + Social Impact = Active Global Citizens.
For more information on the Student Learning Journey, including how you can apply to become a facilitator, please see below:
The AFS Student Learning Journey Curriculum was designed to help volunteers and staff worldwide to deliver more meaningful learning experiences to students. Students will start the journey in their home country guided by staff and volunteers there. Then once on program volunteers in the host country will continue to support student learning with concepts shared in the local orientations and monthly learning reflections. Thus providing guidance for how our exchange students can benefit from their AFS experiences on a personal, academic and professional level in this increasingly interconnected world.
The AFS Student Learning Journey Curriculum features:
- An AFS Educational Methodology Statement outlining our educational philosophy and approach to creating opportunities for intercultural learning.
- The comprehensive AFS Student Learning Journey with 16 different touch points between AFS and students throughout the entire year program, including corresponding icons to identify them.
- AFS Student activities and discussion guidelines for the new Monthly Contacts and Learning Reflections as well as for all other touch points (promotion, application, selection, orientations, communications and volunteer recruitment after the program).
The timeline below shows how the online component (pink) complements the AFS Orientations and Monthly Reflections for all semester and year AFS High School Study Abroad programs – with the exception of a few sponsored programs. Participants in summer programs four weeks or longer complete the Discover and Debrief modules only.
Volunteers should review the preparation slides on each Orientation slide deck prior to preparing for the Orientation to understand how the SLJ concepts, specific to that stage of the student’s experience, should be discussed.
Any questions specific to the Student Learning Journey should be directed to: LearningJourney@afsusa.org