AFS – USA: Meet Anne D’Urso

Sarah Messinger

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Although long-time Harwich School District teacher Anne D’Urso has never won anything extremely monumental like a Nobel Peace Prize, what she does with her life by volunteering for the AFS exchange program most likely feels just as rewarding.


AFS is a student exchange program that will send students to and from 38 different countries around the world to experience new cultures and to learn different languages. You can become involved in the program in many different ways, including both hosting a student and staying with a host family while studying abroad in a completely foreign country. Right now, Anne is hosting her fourteenth exchange student. And after all her years of doing this, she’s only lost touch with one of the children she’s hosted, despite her best efforts to contact her. Besides that one student, though, Anne has managed to keep in somewhat stable contact with her other thirteen students, and even went to Italy with her husband to attend one of their weddings!


Apparently, a lot of the time these kids get comfortable in their host families’ homes very quickly. “Usually I can tell when they’re comfortable in my house around the time I start peeking into their rooms and I start seeing it get messy,” she told us. “I don’t tell them to clean it, just to shut the door so I don’t have to see it.” It’s such an amazing experience for the students that decide to do the exchange, especially if they are staying with host families that are as funny and caring as Anne D’Urso.

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AFS – USA: Meet Anne D’Urso