Our present and next generations will be the catalyzers of positive change for our global society and our planet.

The Global Up Americas program equips educators with the tools necessary to develop key 21st century skills in their students to connect and collaborate with people from around the world to build a brighter future.

The Stevens Initiative

AFS’s Global Up Americas is funded by the Stevens Initiative, which is housed at the Aspen Institute and is supported by the Bezos Family Foundation.

The Stevens Initiative is an international leader in virtual exchange, advocating for and investing in virtual exchange opportunities for young people worldwide to prepare them to prosper in an increasingly interconnected world.


3 000 students

120 classrooms

40 learning hours

3 countries


  1. Build cultural understanding outside and within your classroom
  2. Enhance cross-cultural awareness and sensibility
  3. Develop power skills to create positive change
  4. Embrace diversity and use it as a unique strength
  5. Strengthen your students’ open-mindedness and leadership skills


  1. 15 hours of teacher training

  2. 20 modules

  3. 4 virtual sessions

  4. 8 weeks


Global Up Americas provides a two-phased robust virtual exchange program for teachers and their students.

01 Teacher training

Teachers from participant countries will take part in a comprehensive training program on how to teach global competence in the classroom.

02 Expert-led live sessions

Intercultural learning specialists will lead 4 live sessions on topics like: intercultural communication, cultural value dimensions, emotional intelligence, understanding inequalities and taking action.

03 Virtual Exchange program for students

Trained teachers will implement our global competence curriculum in an interconnected, virtual exchange experience with other participating teachers and students.

04 Real-World Case Studies

Insights into real-world challenges and solutions through relevant case studies from diverse cultural contexts.

05 Certificate of Completion

Upon successfully completing the program, schools, teachers and students will receive a certificate of completion and a digital credential, validating their newly acquired intercultural skills.

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  • September 2023 – Selection of 1st round of participating schools
  • October 2023 – Teacher training
  • October to December 2023 – Virtual Exchange program for students


  • January to April 2024 – Next round of participating schools

Enroll now!


  1. Roadmap
  2. Learning Styles
  3. Culture & Identity
  4. Leaving your Comfort Zone
  5. Observe Your Context
  1. When Differences Collide
  2. Empathy & Listening
  3. Stereotypes & Generalizations
  4. Suspending Judgement
  5. Cultural Value Dimensions
  6. Communication Styles
  7. Dealing with Conflict
  8. Polarized Societies
  9. Spiritual Diversity
  10. Understanding Inequality
  11. Microaggressions
  1. 21st Century Skills
  2. Teaching the SDGs
  3. Taking Action
  4. Globally Competent Teaching


AFS Colombia

AFS has worked towards intercultural education in Colombia since 1959, accompanying more than 5,000 young people to live experiences abroad, and sharing our culture hosting international participants. We have worked hand in hand with more than 500 educational institutions to develop different programs building a more just and peaceful global world. Currently, close to 200 secondary and higher education institutions are part of Comunidades Educativas Globales is an initiative to access Global Competence training offers, exchange programs and educational initiatives of the AFS worldwide network.

Learn more at www.afs.org.co/alianzas

AFS México

AFS started in Mexico in 1976, specifically in the state of Oaxaca. Throughout all these years we have impacted thousands of young people with cultural exchange programs that allow Mexican youth to live abroad with a host family and attend a local school. Likewise, AFS Mexico receives international students in Mexico giving them the opportunity to immerse themselves in a different culture, learn a new language and develop a greater appreciation for cultural diversity. All of this has been achieved thanks to the volunteers and the network of schools and educational institutions we work with, currently more than 450 high schools and universities are working together with AFS Mexico to create spaces for reflection and intercultural learning, as well as participating in trainings offered by AFS.

Learn more at https://www.afs.org.mx/aprendizaje_intercultural


AFS began as a volunteer ambulance corps created in 1915 and transformed from a wartime humanitarian aid organization into a groundbreaking international secondary school exchange, volunteer, and intercultural learning organization with a bold mission: to build a more peaceful world by promoting understanding among cultures. Beyond hosting more than 1,000 students from 80+ countries around the world and sending numerous U.S. students abroad each year, AFS-USA partners with more than 1100 American high schools to provide them intercultural experiences, professional development, and resources to help them achieve their global missions and to support them in creating active global citizens in their communities.

 Learn more at www.afsusa.org/educators


Professionals about Global Up Program

Carl Warren

Professor from the University of St. Thomas Law School

“Global Up Program helps new attorneys discuss their values and perspectives and the values that are already inculcated coming into this profession and how people can perpetuate perceptions of the past. This program addresses implicit bias that influences the way we are. It raises awareness. Moreover, it gave an opportunity for students to discuss their responsibilities as they enter the profession without having to strip themselves of their identity or moral compass.”

Leanne Petry

Director, Faculty Development at Central State University

“The Global Up program provides a transformative learning experience that exposes to the integrative nature of culture and identity. This intercultural awareness enabled faculty to discuss its relevance in our university community and work cooperatively toward a shared understanding of the impact and significance of global and cultural competency at our institution and on our students’ success.”


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Any public or private high school that meets the selection criteria of their local AFS organization can apply.


Reach out to us for more information!