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AFS Intercultural Programs: Spending months abroad to create a lifetime of memories

Erica Fransisca Thajeb

The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta  /  Wed, August 7, 2019  /  02:08 pm
AFS Intercultural Programs: Spending months abroad to create a lifetime of memories

Ready to shine: AFS exchange students perform at a farewell party in Jakarta on Saturday. (Bina Antarbudaya Foundation /-)

It all began with seven Indonesian students sailing to the United States in 1956. They were the first batch of Indonesian students participating in the AFS Intercultural Program. Among them was poet Taufiq Ismail, who later cofounded Bina Antarbudaya Foundation in 1985. The foundation forged a partnership with several international organizations to run student-exchange programs, including the AFS Intercultural Program in Indonesia. Since 1985, Bina Antarbudaya has sent 3,000 Indonesian students to the US and various countries in Asia and Europe. It has welcomed more than 1,500 foreign students to live and study in Indonesia. This year, the foundation received applications from 8,000 students across the country to participate in the AFS program. Only 148 made the cut. Interestingly, AFS assigned most of the selected students to spend the next eight to 10 months in small, ...