Learning AFAR

Learning AFAR provides experiential travel scholarships to youth who would not otherwise 
have the opportunity to explore our world.
 Students spend six months studying culture, global issues, service and leadership before embarking on a international expedition. Since 2010, AFAR Media and No Barriers Youth have supported 271 students. They return with confidence and a sense of personal ownership that shifts their perceptions and helps empower their communities.

We believe that all youth deserve opportunities to better understandstand themselves and their place within the world.

Low-income youth face tremendous obstacles to completing high school, entering college and achieving their full potential. They often live in neighborhoods where poverty and crime are common and job and education opportunities are not. According to the US Department of Education, only 50% of low-income students graduate from high school. Only 11% complete a four-year college within six years. This puts students from low-income communities at a serious disadvantage when it comes to having a chance at economic self sufficiency, full civic participation and becoming leader for sustainable societal and environmental change.

Dream with Us

Imagine a world where a million youth have opportunities to open their eyes to our world and their place within it. We believe the best way to do this is to build a network of partners who are passionate about that goal. Bring your voice and resources to this transformative work.

Contact: Kaitlyn Millen, Specialty Programs Coordinator - Kaitlyn.Millen@nobarriersusa.org or 970.484.3633



Program Overview

Learning AFAR is more than just a full-scholarship travel opportunity: We provide a comprehensive education by emphasizing leadership, service and cross-cultural exchange before, during and after an international expedition. Through the AFAR Media team, all participants are introduced to the world of travel writing as a means to not only tell their travel story but also to learn the components of self-advocacy in the telling of their own story. Upon return from their expedition, Learning AFAR students share what they have learned abroad with their home community through meaningful acts of service. Our end goal is to help students understand: They are part of a larger, interconnected world; their actions have an impact on the world around them; and their experience helps shift their community’s perceptions of all that is possible.

2015 Sample Program Timeline

School applications: September – January
Student applications and selection: January – March
Monthly preparatory sessions: January – May
10-day expedition: Summer
Global citizenship project & Learning AFAR magazine development: September – November

2015 Learning AFAR Schools

Learning AFAR Oakland: Coliseum College Prep Academy
Learning AFAR Chicago: Schurz High School
Learning AFAR New York City: Institute for Collaborative Education
Learning AFAR Los Angeles: James A. Foshay Learning Center
Learning AFAR Fort Collins, CO: Lincoln Middle School and Centennial High School

How to Apply

Each year cities are selected throughout the U.S. Each fall, educators apply on behalf of their school to receive scholarships for 10 students and two educators.  Students apply once their school has been selected to participate in the program. If you are interested in applying for one of our current markets, please see details above. For information on markets that are not listed above please email kaitlyn.millen@nobarriersusa.org.


This program is designed for educators and students at the high school level.

Educators & Schools

We seek educators with a passion for travel, a commitment to teaching students about responsible global citizenship, and a proven track record for success as an educator in and out of the classroom. Successful candidates currently work within a school serving a large low-income population and where their administration is poised and ready to support them as they bring this transformative travel opportunity to their school.


Student selection is based on the following selection criteria: financial need, merit, leadership potential, and lack of previous international travel experience.

Scholarship Details

Successful applicants receive scholarships for full program fees and airfare. Travelers are responsible for their own immunizations, gear, and spending money as well as a contribution to support service projects in their host community. 


Learn more about the AFAR Foundation at http://www.afar.com/foundation.

Donate now to Learning Afar.

Thank you to our generous sponsors: