Important News Concerning AFS Programs in Germany

Important News Concerning AFS Programs in Germany

Dear AFS-USA Volunteers,

The following message was shared this morning with natural parents of students currently studying abroad in Germany:

Dear Parents and Guardians of Current AFS Participants in Germany,
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) has been at the forefront of the news every day. As you can imagine, the spread of the virus has created a number of challenges for AFS, both here and in countries around the world.
Over the past 24 hours, we have seen that more and more European countries are closing borders and airports. As in many countries around the world, Germans may soon face lockdowns in certain parts of Germany.
Based on these realities, and after careful consideration, AFS has decided to suspend all current hosting programs in Germany. We at AFS in the United States, along with our colleagues in Germany, are extremely disappointed to have to cancel what we know to be a transformative experience for your teenager. But, as we hope you can understand, our number one concern is their health, safety, and well-being. 
We are in close communication with AFS Germany to ensure that you, your student, and their host family are informed of this decision in the most coordinated way possible. 
At this time, we are working with our office in Hamburg to arrange each student’s return. AFS Germany has asked for us to swiftly arrange the flight(s) for our students, depending on international flight availability. We have already started this process and will share all logistical information with you as soon as possible.
We understand that you may be very disappointed and perhaps feeling unsettled by this situation. Please know that our robust, dedicated, and skilled response network in Germany and around the world is working together to coordinate the logistics of this decision. We have more than 70 years of experience in providing international exchanges across the globe, often in uncertain times.
Prior to your child’s return, please become familiar with any updated guidance on safety rules so that, once your child returns home, you can take any necessary steps that may reduce the risk of infection. Host families and volunteers will also provide advice to students currently in Germany, but please continue to monitor the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control websites.
AFS-USA will share this news with our AFS Volunteers in the United States.
We will continue to keep you informed, as needed. Our support staff and others will be working with you as necessary, but please know that you can reach out to me, as well.
As always, thank you for your confidence and trust in AFS-USA.

With warm regards,

Tara M. Hofmann
President & CEO

Please reach out to with questions, thank you.