How do I identify the viability of starting a new AFS Unit?

Begin by maping the area where you’re planning to open the new unit. Remember not to underestimate the efforts needed to support the new units. Make sure to define the maximum number of local units that can be supported each year!

Does the city have potential to run AFS operations?

  • Are schools open to host? Do they allow students to study abroad?
  • Are there government regulations around hosting/sending students?
  • Are there similar organizations in town? What is the competition?
  • Is it safe for participants?
  • Are there at least 2-3 potential volunteers to help get things started?
  • How many units could be supported in this city?
  • Are there any past AFS stakeholders (volunteers, students, host families, etc..)?
  • In what types of institutions (religious, community centers, gathering places) would you be able to promote AFS? 

Where does the initiative of developing a new unit comes from?

Knowing this will help to plan the support actions and follow for this new chapter development process.

AFS National Staff


Isolated New Volunteer in the Area

Icons-Chapter-Development-03-370×210 (1)

Expert Volunteer in the Area


Existing big unit that feels the need to split

Next Steps to Open a Local Unit:

  1. Step 2: Define Goals

  2. Step 3: Identify the right leadership

  3. Step 4: Define Clear Roles and Tasks