AFS Greater Los Angeles (GLA) is part of AFS-USA (, an international, non-profit organization that focuses on international study abroad programs for both Los Angeles area high school students wanting to study abroad and for international students coming to the Los Angeles area for a year or semester. Each year, AFS provides thousands of American high school students the opportunity to live and study in a foreign land. Just as important, each year, thousands of American families share their homes by hosting a high school-age student from another country around the world for a school year or semester. But a number of programs now exist for post-high school folks. With tens of thousands of volunteers worldwide, AFS is the leading international exchange program in the world! (AFS Fact Sheet)

At AFS…here in the U.S. and around the world…we strongly believe in building bridges between people and other cultures, NOT in building walls between people and their culture or by instilling hatred towards others.

We Are NOT Born to Hate…We Are TAUGHT to Hate

The only way to get to know and understand our fellow human beings is to be willing to accept the differences of others and to be willing to communicate with them in a reasonable and non-combative way.

Questions about AFS Greater Los Angeles area? Contact Us

International Study Abroad With AFS

Studying abroad internationally with AFS offers significant benefits in personal, academic, and career development. The cultural immersion provided by living with a host family fosters deep understanding and appreciation of different cultures, enhancing cultural sensitivity and adaptability. This experience broadens worldviews, making students more globally aware and adaptable.

Academically, AFS programs offer unique learning opportunities outside traditional classroom settings. Exposure to diverse educational systems and teaching styles enhances problem-solving skills and intellectual curiosity. Overcoming language barriers and adapting to new academic environments boosts confidence and self-reliance, valuable in both academic and professional realms.

Career-wise, the skills developed during an AFS program, such as language proficiency and cross-cultural communication, are highly valued in a global economy. The global network of contacts and the perspective gained through these programs make AFS alumni attractive candidates for internationally-focused roles, offering a competitive edge in the global job market.

Host With AFS Greater Los Angeles

Interested in hosting an international high school student? Or, perhaps you know someone who is? Become a Global Family with AFS Greater Los Angeles. Open your home to the world and make a global connection: Host an AFS Exchange Student!

Each year, more than 2,300 exchange students from 50+ countries can come to the US on AFS programs to study in high schools and live with host families. By hosting an AFS Exchange Student in your home, you will start seeing the world differently.

You can find out more about hosting with AFS by either visiting our Hosting webpage or by visiting

We can search for available students based on your and your family’s interests. Single adults are also welcome to host. So, contact us at for more information.

NOTE: AFS does not provide any monetary compensation to the host family nor to the school that the student attends.

Volunteering With AFS Greater Los Angeles

Volunteering with AFS in Greater Los Angeles is a fulfilling way to promote cultural exchange and understanding. Volunteers support international students and host families, organize cultural events, and aid in integrating students into the community. This role enhances cultural awareness in Los Angeles and offers volunteers a sense of global connection.

This opportunity also fosters personal and professional growth. Volunteers develop leadership, communication, and organizational skills and become part of a global network, opening doors to new friendships and connections. The experience is enriching, offering continuous learning and a deeper appreciation of global cultures.

Amazing AFS Stories
Returnee Reconnect and Outbound Orientation – Aug 6 ’23

 On August 6, 2023, AFS GLA held a double orientation event and beach party in Hermosa Beach.

In the morning, counselors did a Pre-Departure Orientation followed by a Welcome Home Orientation for our recent returnees.

You can read more about the event  HERE.

Pre-Departure Orientation – May 21 ’22

On Saturday, May 21, 2022, we held a combined Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) at the Hermosa Beach home of Dave Schrader, our Orientations Coordinator, for both our currently 6 hosted students AND

Read more of Jimmy’s report HERE.

Mackenzie B’s France Adventure

Mackenzie is as an AFS student from the AFS Greater Los Angeles area to France for the school year 2021-2022. Her blog posts will describe her amazing adventure throughout the school year there.  

You can read all of Mackenzie enjoyable blogs posts HERE.

Richard Engel’s AFS Story

NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel shares the impact AFS has had on his life and career choices. Mr. Engel was an AFS student in Italy and, today, is a member of the President’s Council at AFS-USA. Hear him speak to the importance of AFS, the immense value of AFS-USA’s Volunteers, and his hope that we will soon be able to resume AFS’ in-person exchanges.

See the World from a New Perspective!

Study Abroad with AFS

The YES Abroad Experience

Make The World A Better Place! Host An AFS Exchange Student!​

Host a high school exchange student with AFS Greater Los Angeles for a full school year or just a semester. Go to then enter your zip code (down the page) to see available students!

Open Your Home to an AFS Exchange Student!​

Ella from Indonesia ('10-'11)'s Wonderful Year in L.A.​

GLA's Own Hashir from Pakistan ('16-'17) Changing the World

Watch this inspiring video made of AFS Greater Los Angeles hosted student Haishr from Pakistan (’16-’17) during his presentation as he reflects on his time in the U.S. while on his YES scholarship, sharing his experience with the prejudice that Muslims face and how he dealt with it. He shares the positive outcomes of his actions to convey to his audience an important lesson: In order to change the world, you must first change yourself. We are so proud of him!

Local Scholarships Available 

AFS Greater Los Angeles is excited to offer scholarship opportunities tailored for high school students living in the Los Angeles area who aspire for an international study abroad experience. These scholarships are designed to support students based on two key criteria: financial need (aka “need-based”) and academic merit (aka “merit-based”. We believe that every talented and motivated student deserves the chance to broaden their horizons through international education.

To learn more about the scholarships we provide, including eligibility requirements, application guidelines, and deadlines, we encourage interested students to visit our Scholarships page. This resource is a comprehensive guide to help you navigate through the application process and better understand how our scholarships can assist in achieving your academic and cultural exchange goals.