ATHENS — High schoolers from Greece can now apply to study abroad in one of 18 destinations across Europe, Asia, North America, and Central and South America through AFS Intercultural Programs.
Eight full scholarships are available through the Global Citizen Scholarship Program, with nine additional partial scholarships and paid program opportunities also available. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2021.
The Global Citizen Scholarship Program is supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), which awarded a three-year grant to AFS to offer scholarships for Greek high school students to study abroad beginning in 2020. The scholarships enable Greek youth to develop the global competencies needed to communicate across cultures and create personal ties between people in other countries and Greece.
Research confirms that such programs are effective in broadening young people’s perspectives and helping them get to know diverse cultures in a positive and personal way. Equipping young people with the skills to understand and collaborate with people who have different backgrounds and perspectives is essential and urgently needed in today’s societies. Study abroad programs, like the ones developed by AFS, are a proven path for youth to develop such skills and become global citizens.
Participants in this program will attend high school abroad and live with a local host family for an academic year. Applications are open for participants who are currently attending the first or second grade in Greek high schools (born approximately 2003-05). AFS conducts a competitive selection process that focuses on diversity, inclusion, and academic merit, with the aim of making awards to students who might not otherwise have opportunities to participate in education abroad. AFS also identifies host families and host schools in the destination countries and provides a guided intercultural education curriculum.
In early March 2020, AFS Greece celebrated a major milestone, reopening after 28 years of absence from the country. Despite the many challenges presented by COVID-19, AFS Greece was able to place 14 students in high school academic year exchange programs in Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Hungary, Serbia and Uruguay. The first round of applications drew 274 applicants from more than 90 high schools and 53 cities across Greece, and the level of interest is expected to grow in 2021 and beyond.
“SNF is proud to support AFS in building on the success of the first year of the program by providing even more scholarship opportunities to Greek high school students," said SNF Program Officer Casey Russo. "The immersive experience of studying abroad and living with a host family for a full academic year provides opportunities for robust personal and cultural growth that extend far beyond the classroom, and the global outlook it cultivates benefits us all.”
“After a fruitful year since reopening, AFS Greece continues with enthusiasm and optimism amidst these challenging times as we believe it is of great importance for students around the country to have the opportunity to study abroad. Studying abroad with AFS helps students develop multiple personal skills and virtues which are essential for them to pursue their goals with confidence but also in order for them to build a more just and peaceful world,” says Vali Papadimitriou, who is both an AFS alum as well as the program manager at AFS Greece. “Furthermore, there are unique opportunities for volunteers to play an integral role in AFS Greece, either by hosting a student from abroad for up to one year or by offering their assistance in a wide range of hosting and sending activities.”
The online application is open until January 31, 2021, for programs that start in the fall of 2021. To apply, learn more, volunteer, or sign up to receive updates, please visit https://afs.org.gr.