Important News Concerning AFS Programs in Spain

Important News Concerning AFS Programs in Spain

Dear AFS-USA Volunteers,

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

Dear Parents and Guardians of Current AFS Participants in Spain,

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.

You might have already heard that the Spanish Prime Minister has declared a national state of emergency for at least 15 days. This gives the government the power to take extraordinary steps to address the coronavirus pandemic. One of the measures included under this state is limiting the circulation or the presence of persons or vehicles at certain times and in certain places.

Based on their guidance, and after careful consideration, AFS has decided to suspend all current hosting programs in Spain. We at AFS in the United States, along with our colleagues in Spain, 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 Spain 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 Spain to arrange each student’s return. AFS Spain has set the departure period between March 17-18, depending on international flight availability. We 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 Spain 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 Spain, 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.