Interviews are a key component in the screening and selection of our host families, sending students and new volunteers. In many cases, the interview is the first direct contact an applicant has with AFS, which provides an opportunity to educate and inform applicants about the variety of AFS program and volunteer opportunities, and to help answer any questions they might have.
U.S. Sending Students
Each U.S. applicant who applies to study abroad (unless applying for Global Prep) is required to have an in-home interview with AFS. This interview is an opportunity not only for volunteers to assess the applicant, but also for the applicant to ask questions and learn more about AFS and the programs we offer.
Year and Semester Programs
Year and Semester program applicants need to have an in-home interview with at least one parent or legal guardian present. These info sessions typically take around 1 1/2 hours to complete. If the volunteer interviewer lives more than 2 hours (by car) from the applicant, a phone or online video tool (Skype, Google hangouts, FaceTime) interview can be conducted. Applicants will still need an in-person meeting with an AFS volunteer before departure due to AFS International Standards; this is typically done at the pre-departure orientation.
Summer program applicants need to have at least a phone or online video tool (Skype, Google hangouts, FaceTime) interview. It is advisable to have at least one parent or legal guardian present. In-home interviews are still encouraged.
Global Prep Programs
Global Prep program applicants are not required to have an interview.
All AFS host families need to be vetted with an interview including families who host students for a semester or year as well as families who host a student for a few days. The interview needs to be conducted in-home with all members of the household present and typically takes around 1 hour to complete. If a family member is not home, additional follow-up is required with that individual. Follow up with a host parent or any other adult household member(s) that will be responsible for the care and wellbeing of the exchange student must be conducted in person prior to the departure of the student from their home country in the case of initial placements and prior to the arrival in the home, for moves. For any other household members not present at the interview, follow up may take place over the phone or by video. Any follow up taking place after submission of the interview form must be submitted to staff in an addendum.
AFS interviews every volunteer. A volunteer interview can be conducted either in-person or on the phone. Interviews typically take around 15 -30 minutes to complete. This interview is designed to help the volunteer applicant learn more about the local AFS team and start to think about what tasks to take on to match interests and abilities.