An amazing cultural journey for the entire family

Hosting an international student in your home is a great way to learn about a new culture and share your own culture and values. Children often enjoy being cultural ambassadors, introducing their new brother or sister to local customs, traditions and national holidays. Everything from preparing meals to sightseeing are opportunities to discover and appreciate cultural and other differences. We call this the #AFSeffect!

Welcome adventure

Experience your world through the eyes of a young person from another country


Welcome change

Prepare your family to become global citizens—ready to connect with people from around the world


Welcome discovery

Help an international student learn how to live in and enjoy your culture and traditions

It can't be described, it has to be experienced

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Apply to become a host family

AFS is deeply grateful to the families for remaining open (or showing interest) in hosting AFS students from around the world. We are thankful for their support to our mission, sharing our values and understanding that continuing cultural exchange worldwide is even more important in
times of crisis. If you decide to host, AFS volunteers and staff will remain in constant contact with you throughout the entire process (from preparing them to receive students, through the hosting experience and afterwards) to offer support.


This is a very valid concern. AFS’s top priority is the safety and well-being of our participants and host families, which is why all AFS participants will follow travel guidelines defined by their local governments and the local regulations in our country. Before students arrive, our office will inform you of all the protocols that were followed. We are committed to keeping an open dialogue
with you and keeping you updated as we make decisions.

AFS closely monitors health and travel recommendations from the authorities, local education systems, and other factors to ensure AFS support and services can be delivered. AFS is establishing a robust system of criteria to resume a thoughtful and coordinated program delivery
only where and when possible.

What is an AFS host family?

AFS has invited families to welcome international students into their homes since 1947. Long considered a key element in the well being of exchange students, host families provide so much more than shelter and meals.

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Supported by dedicated volunteers and staff, host families help students navigate their new schools and communities, make friends, learn the language and enjoy their year abroad. Sharing culture and traditions help families bond, creating lifelong friendships. 

How to become an AFS host family


1 - Learn More

Read Frequently Asked Questions about becoming a host family and learn about the countries where students come from.  A local AFS Volunteer will also guide you through the process and answer questions you may have about the hosting experience.


2 - Complete an online application

On the application, you’ll be asked to write about your household, community, lifestyle, and what is important to your family. You may apply via online.

Register Now

3 - Be matched with your AFS Participant

Review student profiles with your local volunteer once your application has been approved. AFS students have demonstrated an interest in immersing themselves in different cultures, so you’ll be sure to find a student that matches your interests and lifestyle.


4 - Welcome your AFSer

Experience the AFSeffect with your new family member by sharing your home, your heart and your world as you take your first steps to becoming global.

Support for Host Families

Once your student arrives in Malaysia and your home, AFS’ job doesn’t end there! AFS has a support network poised to help your family and exchange student learn through the ups and downs of the experience.

Each host family and student  are assigned a local volunteer liaison. Liaisons communicate with you and your student individually at least once a month. If a conflict is identified by your family or student, your liaison is the first line of support to resolve the issue. Liaisons are also responsible for communicating with the student’s school or counselor during the year.

AFS Host Family Programs


School Program

15-17 year-old participants who come to live with Malaysian families and attend secondary school.

Apply Now
b) & c) CPO –  Pictures with Students

18+ Program

Adults over 18 years of age who come to volunteer for a local community organisation and live with Malaysian families but with more independence.

Apply Now

An all new AFS Host Family Intercultural Learning Journey

The AFS Host Family Program is now supported by the AFS Host Family Intercultural Learning Journey, built on specific intercultural learning objectives and facilitated by trained staff and volunteers. The Journey includes orientation sessions, facilitated discussions and other learning activities and reflection—all to enable the family to better support their hosted student and explore and build their intercultural awareness and understanding as individual global citizens and as a family.

Learn more about it

Who are AFS students?

AFS students come from more than 99 countries, and have demonstrated the maturity and motivation to study abroad. AFS students are screened and selected by the AFS Organization in their home country. AFS students are:

Usually between 15-17 years old on arrival

Committed to actively participate in their AFS program

Considered a good student in their home country

In good general health

Curious, flexible and open-minded

The AFS host family experience creates a lifetime of memories

2014-08-19 15.06.30

Mengikat Kasih Sayang Tanpa Sempadan

“Kehadiran Chantal seolah-olah sesuatu yang dirancang agar nama keluarga kami mula dikenali. Sikap peramah, aktif dan keinginan belajar yang tinggi menyebabkan Chantal berjaya mencipta nama dalam statusnya yang tersendiri.”

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Hosting Brings Us Closer as a Family

 “We would recommend Malaysian families to sign up as host families because, besides learning and teaching our culture and gaining a new family member, we as a family have grown a lot throughout the years of hosting and although we spend a lot of time with our exchange students, we also felt that our family has grown closer through hosting.”
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Pengalaman Yang Membawa Kesan Seumur Hidup

“Tidak dinafikan apabila kita berkongsi tinggal dibawah satu bumbung, pasti ada kekhilafan yang berlaku. Namun bagi saya dan keluarga, kita harus matang dan berfikiran positif terhadap sesuatu masalah. Bertindak dengan rasional bukan berlandaskan emosi semata-mata.”

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Connect with AFS host families around the world