The Stavros Niarchos Foundation has awarded a $525,000 grant to AFS Intercultural Programs to launch a Global Citizen Scholarship Program for high school students from Greece to participate in an exchange program abroad.
The scholarship program will provide 50+ Greek youths with year-long, semester-long, and trimester-long scholarships.
“Early international exchange experiences often have profound effects on participants”
Global not-for-profit network AFS has nearly 1,000 Greek alumni but has not been active in Greece since 1992.
Support from SNF will also allow AFS to set up a permanent, fully self-sustaining AFS organisation and volunteer structure in Greece that will expand intercultural learning opportunities for schools, students, and families in Greece.
The new scholarship program will help Greek students develop the global competence needed to collaborate and communicate across cultures and create personal ties between people in other countries and Greece, both widening the perspective of Greek youth and enabling citizens around the world to get to know Greek culture in a positive and personal way.
AFS will conduct a competitive selection process that focuses on diversity, academic merit, and attributes that best position participants for a successful program abroad.
AFS will also identify host families and host schools in the destination countries, and provide a guided intercultural education curriculum.
President and CEO of AFS Daniel Obst said that in order to be successful in their professional and personal lives, students must learn how to actively engage with people from different cultures and be comfortable with perspectives and ideas that are not familiar to them.
“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s generous grant demonstrates the Foundation’s commitment to create and foster transformational and long-lasting impact on Greek youth and society,” he added.
SNF program and communications officer Taylor Glazebrook added that education is not only about what goes on in the classroom, but also about the personal growth that occurs when young people encounter unfamiliar people and experiences.
“Early international exchange experiences often have profound effects on participants that prove transformative throughout their lives. SNF is proud to support AFS in making this possible for Greek students who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity.”
The online application portal will be available in late 2019 and the first cohort of scholars selected in early 2020.