AFS welcomes exchange students to Polk County

Published 10:01 am Friday, October 7, 2011

AFS students enjoy an afternoon at the pool. Pictured (left to right): Keaton, returnee from Switzerland; Hongkai, China; Max, Germany (Rotary sponsored); Antoine, Switzerland; Caroline, Brazil; Maren, Norway; Sirapatsorng, Thailand (hosted in Asheville). (photo submitted by Brenda Brock)

On Sunday, Sept.11, more than 40 American Field Service (AFS) volunteers, host families and students gathered at Cotton Patch Farm, home of Mark and Faith Jorgenson, for a party to welcome this year’s AFS students.
For the 2011 – 2012 school year, four Polk County families have opened their homes to a foreign exchange student through the AFS program. This year’s students are from Norway, Brazil, China and Switzerland.
Since 1978, the Polk County Chapter of AFS has facilitated the hosting of more than 130 foreign students. These students have joined the community to live, study in local schools and become immersed in a new and different culture.
Polk County AFS has also sponsored more than 95 local high school students to study abroad. This year, Anders Krarup is studying in New Zealand and Korey Smith is studying in Panama. Both students’ trips were partially funded by a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation.
AFS is managed by volunteers who have first-hand experience with the student exchange process. Volunteers provide foreign students, local students studying abroad and their families with step-by-step help and advice.
Polk County AFS makes every effort to provide financial help to hosting families and scholarships to local students who study abroad through an AFS program.
If you would like to become involved in AFS Polk County, please contact Henrik or Lone Krarup at 828-863-4020.
AFS Polk County operates under the umbrella of AFS-USA, a 501 (c) (3) organization. Contributions are tax deductible.
– article submitted by Brenda Brock

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