Youth Programs

AFS Global You Changemaker + Student Learning Journey

In this collaborative curriculum from AFS Intercultural Programs and the Center for Social Impact Strategy, high school students engaged with AFS’ study abroad and online programs have access to a rigorous 12-week social impact and personal development curriculum. As part of the program, students will develop a social impact project, observe and explore their communities, and connect with AFS students and volunteers worldwide.

AFS and CSIS have partnered to offer an innovative curriculum for high school students, packaged in two separate ways to best meet students’ needs: Students participating in an AFS year abroad can enroll in the Student Learning Journey. Students interested in joining a remote AFS program (without an experience abroad) can enroll in Global You Changemaker. Both programs have the same educational content and student deliverables, but are paced appropriately for the best student experience.

This program is for students ages 15 and up. Participants of this program will walk away with a diverse range of abilities that will serve them not just as active global citizens, but engaged classroom learners, intercultural ambassadors, local leaders, and community members.

Empathy & Observation

Students will hone skills in observation, interviewing, empathy, and community-based research.


Students will develop a set of creative tools for design thinking, brainstorming, and innovation.

Real-World Application

Participants will practice turning their ideas into action by leaning into a value of ‘building to think.’

Critical Thinking

Participants will be challenged to engage deeply and intentionally with the educational content and with their peers.

Confidence to Lead

Students will reflect inward to assess personal purpose, strengths, and talents, and build on their sense of self-efficacy and confidence.


Students will learn alongside a like-minded community of global active citizens, contributing to a growing network of purpose-driven young leaders.

Key Details

This is a 3-part virtual program for teens 15+ anywhere in the world, to design, create, and test their own social innovation project, and explore their personal sense of purpose.
Students 15+ currently enrolled in an AFS program are eligible to enroll. Participants in this program will explore global issues and ways to make positive social and environmental change.
Learning Platform
Students engage with asynchronous content on Bridge, and join peers and AFS volunteers for live Facilitated Dialogue Sessions mid-way through each module.
AFS students can enroll year-round, and will be supported by trained AFS volunteers, staff, and Penn graders.

Program Journey

Students will:
  • Explore the fundamentals of social impact and innovation, global active citizenship, and creative design;
  • Practice researching their community and social impact issues.
Students will:
  • Dive into community research, including interviews and asset mapping;
  • Examine intercultural issues and how they are fundamental to making change;
  • Develop an idea for social impact, based on input from community;
  • Create and test a usable prototype of the idea;
  • Synthesize feedback from test users of the prototype;
  • Submit a capstone presentation including the prototype idea, and a personal narrative, with feedback from evaluators at AFS, and the Center for Social Impact Strategy at the University of Pennsylvania.
Students will:
  • Re-examine the lessons learned over the course of the program;
  • Identify which tools and methods they’d like to continue to use in new settings;
  • Reflect on personal goals, and make meaningful commitments toward continuing to follow their purpose and passions.

While all students enrolled in this program will have access to the core learning content, students can also access additional content in order to be eligible for the Advanced Certificate of Completion, jointly acknowledged by AFS Intercultural Programs and the University of Pennsylvania.

The Advanced track is for students who are:

  • Motivated by an additional challenge;
  • Interested in diving deeper into design thinking, community research, and personal purpose;
  • Excited about a more personalized experience, with additional live sessions and feedback from AFS and Penn instructors;
  • Seeking a certificate of completion from the University of Pennsylvania.

The Advanced content has a cost of USD $245.

Core Program Penn Certificate
Core Content Modules
Advanced Content Modules
Module Assignments
In-depth Assignments
Facilitated Dialogue Sessions
4 sessions 6 sessions
Final Project
Capstone Presentation & Penn Evaluation
Certificate of Completion
Issued by AFS Issued by AFS & Penn


How much does this program cost?

Any student currently enrolled in an AFS program can enroll in the Core Program for free. The Advanced Certificate Program has a cost of USD $245.

What support exists for students enrolled in this program?

Despite the remote nature of the curriculum, students receive personalized support from AFS facilitators during Facilitated Dialogue Sessions. Students who submit a capstone presentation as part of the Advanced program will also receive personalized feedback from the University of Pennsylvania.

Will students interact in this program?

Students’ live and connected interactions include:

  • Regular live facilitated dialogue sessions, with trained AFS volunteers;
  • Progress reports and check-ins from AFS staff;
  • Continuous forums with peers in the program;
  • Feedback from Penn evaluators on completion of the Advanced Capstone Presentation.
Who is the Center for Social Impact Strategy?

CSIS is a research and action center at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. Our mission is to make tools and resources for social impact available to anyone, anywhere — from high school students through senior-level career professionals.
We believe in providing cutting edge content with immediate real world application. Our programs are designed for accessibility and affordability.

What is the difference between the Student Learning Journey and Global You Changemaker?

Student Learning Journey and Global You Changemaker both utilize the same curriculum, and have the same requirements for students who are pursuing the Advanced Certificate. However, the Student Learning Journey is paced for students who are currently on an AFS experience abroad, while the Global You Changemaker is delivered all at once, for students who are joining this program virtually and not currently participating in an AFS year.