Yes, AFS-USA is hosting a limited number of exchange participants in the 2020-21 Academic Year.
AFS International has established organizational criteria that must be met before any students can embark on a physical exchange. In the case of the US, within these criteria, the viability of placements will be determined on a state by state, rather than on a national, basis. A decision regarding whether or not a participant has been approved for travel is generally made by AFS International approximately 30 days before the planned arrival date. (Note: For the 2021-22 Academic Year (NH21), the criteria to be used for program approval is still being determined.)
These criteria include:
- The current state of the outbreak in each state where we have hosting placements using data about positive testing numbers.
- Governmental and medical infrastructure for dealing with the current case numbers.
- Immigration and visa issues.
- Airline restrictions.
- Status of schools.
- Social/ daily life implications.
- Host family capacity.
- AFS support capabilities.
Because of the constantly changing global environment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, this year requires a heightened level of adaptability, comfort with uncertainty, and patience from all of us.