Teams are required to provide the following orientations for our hosted students and host families:
Host Family Orientations
- Online Host Family Orientation (required as part of the host family application process)
- Pre-Arrival Orientation
Hosted Student Orientations
Although a number of teams in the U.S provide a mid-year orientation for Hosted Students, it is not required. It is also important to note that teams organize and deliver the orientation content in a variety of different ways. Factors that influence how a team delivers their orientations include where students are hosted in the team, when hosted students arrive in the team, and the number of hosted students. The volunteers responsible for organizing and implementing the orientations develop the orientation plan that works best for their team. AFS-USA's Orientation materials provided on each Orientation page above, should be used to develop each plan.
Hosted Student Orientations
Although all orientations are important, arrival orientation provides the opportunity to begin creating a supportive relationship between and among the volunteer team and the hosted students. The arrival orientation is usually the first formal contact students have with AFS in the host country. The most significant role of this orientation is for students to receive logistical information and contact details about the local AFS organization, including tips on how to stay safe. The Department of State requires AFS-USA to deliver this orientation to all hosted students, therefor it is a mandatory orientation, attendance at which must be recorded in the AFS activity module.
The Post-Arrival Orientation is the second Orientation that occurs after a Hosted Student arrives in the U.S.
This Orientation occurs on different dates in every region of the country. The date is set by each individual Team. However, as a general rule, this Orientation is usually held approximately 6-8 weeks after the Arrival Orientation. It is the first time that an Team gets to check in on the hosted students after they have arrived. and for many students, this is the first orientation in the U.S. that they will understand, as they are finally beginning to truly learn English.
AFS standards are that the Mid-Stay is optional in that teams can provide a Mid-Stay or choose not to provide a Mid-Stay. If a team chooses to provide a Mid-Stay, it is a mandatory orientation for the students.
If conducted, the Mid-Stay Orientation should occur midway or near the middle of the year students' intercultural journey. This event helps them take stock of what they have learned so far. Usually the Mid-Stay is on a weekend in January (May for Winter Participants) with at least one overnight stay.
The End of Stay is designed to prepare Hosted Students for their impending return to their Home Countries, as well as families and students to say goodbye to each other. It generally occurs 6-8 weeks before Departure Day.
The Departure Logistics Webinar is to be given to hosted students and host parents 10-14 days prior to the primary departure day, where logistics specific to departure and travel will be shared. This new event was added in 2022 because students will now travel directly from their host communities to their home countries (though ticketing model), so there will no longer a need for gateway events
Please use the information here to record all of your orientation activities. Thank you!