1. Why did AFS end its 2020 exchange programs early?
AFS ended its 2020 exchange programs early because we strongly believe it is in the best interest of our participants to be back with their families in their home countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current trajectory of the pandemic makes it difficult to predict how the situation will evolve. Increasingly and at a rapid pace, governments are moving to close borders and implement measures to quarantine. Many countries have suspended schools, closed borders, and enforced strict quarantine measures.
In light of this, we made the difficult decision to end programs and implement a coordinated global plan to bring home participants where possible and safe. We are working individually with each participant and family to arrange for what is best for them in the current circumstances. AFS will continue to provide all program support and services to those participants that must remain under the care of the host family for the time being.
We are committed to returning students in the safest way possible. Return travel plans will take into consideration official information from reliable sources, like the World Health Organization and national governments, as well as the urgency and safety of moving our participants.