LIVINGSTON, NJ - Livingston High School, which has been hosting American Field Service (AFS) exchange students for 53 years, recently received an award for being one of 79 Top AFS Schools in the Nation for 2014. Schools honored with this annual award have partnered with AFS in a variety of ways to foster global citizenship through intercultural learning. For more information about how to host a student, study abroad or volunteer with AFS, contact Sue Fershing, Area Team Chair for AFS in New Jersey, at 973-533-1341 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.afsusa.org.
Livingston resident, Sue Fershing, Area Team Chair for AFS in New Jersey said, “LHS has hosted over 75 AFS students from 25 countries around the world. The flags of the exchange students’ nations have flown at the LHS graduation over the years. It is a source of pride for the students. the school and the students’ Livingston host families.”
An offical for AFS said that the high schools selected from around the country for this public recognition are making a profound difference to the lives of students and to society at large. AFS also said that the ability to speak another language, navigate in a different cultural context and marshal a global perspective are skills that may help today’s students succeed in the world.
Through the program, with support from Livingston High School teachers Guy Rabner and Lucy Lee, many LHS students have developed an understanding for the culture of the country whose languages they are studying in school. The teachers said they feel that being able to immerse themselves in the language brings it to life and helps students understand history in a more personal way.
Cliff Goss, AFS returnee and LHS graduate, gave credit to Mrs. Lee’s Chinese class and noted that his “summer abroad AFS program was the first step on a path toward an international career with an emphasis on China.” He continued to say that this program assisted his developing social skills, cultural awareness, resourcefulness in travel and the art of relationship building.
AFS Intercultural Programs is a leading exchange organization and welcomes over 2,300 international high school students from more than 90 countries to the US each year. This year, AFS in New Jersey is hosting 34 exchange students from 19 countries, several of whom have been sponsored by US Government scholarships. Host families provide a home, share their daily lives with students and help guide and support students as they would their own children. Families and their hosted students receive ongoing support from AFS staff and experienced, local volunteers.