Educational Partners

What is an educational partner?

AFSA is committed to serving its community, including through an encouragement of educational engagement. To do so, AFSA has created partnerships with the United States Institute of Peace, the New England Innovation Academy, Semester at Sea, and the National Student Leadership Conference. These partner organizations unite with AFSA to offer members and their children unique and powerful educational opportunities as well as help educate the population on the Foreign Service and the important work it does both domestically and abroad.


The United States Institute of Peace

USIP is a national, nonpartisan, independent institute founded by Congress dedicated to the idea that a world without violent conflict is possible, practical, and essential for U.S. and global security. USIP links policy, training, analysis, and direct action to support peacebuilders around the world and works with local partners in conflict zones abroad to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict. Currently, USIP is active in 52 countries, has staff in 18 of those countries, and is currently working on 46 projects on a wide range of issues including areas such as conflict prevention, democracy and governance, global policy, and education and training. USIP is dedicated to public education and engagement. The Institute provides resources and initiatives for K-12 students and educators, as well as others interested in learning about and working for peace, as well as a wide range of courses for peace building practitioners through the USIP Academy. Also, USIP offers online courses tuition-free and has extended tuition-free access to its entire catalog of online courses until March 31, 2021.

USIP and AFSA share a dedication to conflict resolution and prevention, as well as a demonstrated importance placed on education and public engagement. For this, USIP is one of AFSA’s most important educational partners and acts as a lead sponsor on AFSA’s annual National High School Essay Contest. The contest engages high school students in learning and writing about issues of peace and conflict, encouraging appreciation for diplomacy’s role in building partnerships that can advance peacebuilding and protect national security. Authors of the winning essay earn a scholarship to an educational semester with Semester at Sea, a visit to DC, and a cash award of $2,500.

For more information on USIP and its offerings please follow the links below:

New England Innovation Academy

NEIA is a Human Centered Design community dedicated to preparing the next generation of innovators in pursuing their dreams and shaping a better world. This innovation-minded school with a global community empowers its students to strive for equity through its project-based and hands-on curriculum that fosters empathy, curiosity, collaboration, and inspires young learners to positively effect change in the world.

“Diversity fuels innovation”: A conviction that has encouraged NEIA to build a community that represents a diversity of countries, languages, experiences, identities, passions, and talents. Who better to help them build such a community than the AFSA community, which fosters lifelong intellectual and emotional connections with its members and supports local and global communities? The children of the employees and members of the American Foreign Service Association would thrive in NEIA’s educational environment and to help them do so, NEIA has partnered with us to provide Innovation Scholarships exclusively for our members. The scholarships guarantee a minimum of $10,000 that increase up to $42,000 based on demonstrated need.

For more information on NEIA and its offerings please follow the links below:

The National Student Leadership Conference

NSLC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, education organization that provides middle and high school students with career-focused summer enrichment programs held in fifteen college campuses around the country. The summer leadership conferences the NSLC offers give students the opportunity to learn from renowned world leaders and academic experts, as well as explore potential career paths while developing critical leadership skills.

The NSLC offers a broad range of conferences for high school students in areas such as business, leadership and community, S.T.E.M., and government and law, including a unique program dedicated to international diplomacy. The NSLC on International Diplomacy is held at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and promises students the opportunity to experience the life of a diplomat in the United Nations Security Council.

AFSA has partnered with the NSLC to provide the runner-up to AFSA’s National High School Essay Contest a full tuition to attend the NSLC on International Diplomacy and learn about international relations, international organizations, international law, human rights, and peace and conflict.

For more information on NSLC please visit their website at

Semester at Sea

SAS provides students the unique opportunity to attend classes while traveling all around the world aboard their floating campus. SAS aims to build a community of global-minded students through hands-on and immersive experiential learning that directly relates to the countries on the itinerary. The coursework that SAS offers strengthens students’ understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures and fosters an invaluable global perspective necessary for preparing students to become engaged global citizens.

SAS has partnered with AFSA to grant the winner of AFSA’s National High School Essay Contest full tuition for a study abroad voyage once they are enrolled in a university. The winner will embark on an approximately 100-day study abroad program that will involve taking classes aboard the SAS ship and earning academic credit from Colorado State University, traveling the world during class breaks, and making life-long memories.

For more information on SAS please visit their website at