In 1913, during World War I, 15 American teenagers who wanted to contribute to the war effort began the American Field Service, which offered an ambulance-driving service on the battlefields of France. The number of volunteers eventually grew to 2,500 and the AFS was born.

In 1947, the group came up with the idea of bringing young people from foreign countries to stay for one year with American host families. This innovative program was created in accordance with the motto of the AFS:

“Walk Together, talk together, all ye people of the earth; then and only then, shall ye have peace”.

The idea came upon the peaceful mission in creating the mutual understanding among all nations and bringing peace to the world. Currently, more than 400,000 students and young adults around the world have participated in AFS exchange programs which continue to grow today.