This article includes details about
- The Sending Journey
- The Application Process
The Sending Journey
Attached is a visual aid to help understand the Sending Journey; it outlines the following steps that occur after a student goes to www.afsusa.org to Start their Journey by choosing a program and submitting their name, email address, and zip code to create an account:
- Get Started- There are 3 tasks to complete in this step:
1. About Participant
2. About Parents
3. Profile Photo + 5 more photos
- Applied- Applicants meet with a Study Abroad Specialist to confirm eligibility and parental support. At this stage they pay a non-refundable $200 fee to move forward.
- Next Steps- In this stage, Academic Forms, Parent Statements, Host Family Letter (if required), Recommendation Letters, Health Info, Passport Info, and the Participation Agreement are submitted. Once a student enters Next Steps, they appear in the Interviews widget of MyAFS, and TDS and volunteers are notified that the student is ready for an interview.
- Review- In this stage, the student's application is transferred to the partner country, and a $500 deposit is made.
- Accepted- Once accepted by the partner country, the Visa process begins, the full Program Fee is paid, Host Family Info is likely received (if applicable), International and Domestic Travel is planned, and CultureTrek continues.
- Get Ready- This stage starts about 6 weeks before departure and the student's Health Form Addendum and Emergency Contact Info are collected.
- Bon Voyage- The student attends a Gateway Orientation and then departs!
The following table is meant to help you understand where in the sending process an individual applicant is based on Portal Status or Online Applciation (OA) Status. If you have questions, please contact your Sending Coordinator, TDS, or a Study Abroad Specialist at any time!
|Portal Status||OA Status||Meaning|
|Registered||n/a||Account created, no program selected, little info provided by the applicant|
|Get Started||Preparing||Applicant is working on initial at-home tasks such as personal details and uploading photos.|
|Applied||Preparing||Applicant completed the at-home tasks and is waiting for a Study Abroad Specialist to be in touch and determine eligibility. Student needs to pay a $200 non-refundable application fee to move forward.|
|Next Steps||Preparing||The applicant is eligible for the program and is working on supporting documents. Volunteers are asked to do a Sending Interview.|
|Review||Submitted||Applicant submitted supporting documents and is now waiting for a Study Abroad Specialist to review everything|
|Next Steps||Returned||The Study Abroad Specialist reviewed and returned the application for editing with instructions about what was needed. Review the student's contact log for details.|
|Review||Reviewed||The application is complete|
|Review||Transferred||Transferred to the partner country|
|Accepted||Transferred||Accepted by the partner country|
To understand where the student is interested in going, please see this list of Country Codes.
Applications for our programs are accepted on a rolling basis. This means that students should apply early for the best chance of getting their top choice program. We recommend that students start applying about 10-12 months before their program departs.
There are no application deadlines advertised on our study abroad program pages. When students visit a program page they will see either “Available” or “Contact Us”
- Available- program is open and the student can start an application.
- Contact Us- program is either full or the partner is no longer accepting applications.
We want to encourage students to reach out if their top choice program is not available. In some cases, we may be able to work with the hosting partner to accept a late application.
There are still internal deadlines that Study Abroad Specialists use when working with applicants to ensure we meet our partners’ transfer deadlines. You can pull the transfer deadline for each program in the Sending Programs Report in Global Link.
The Application Process
Another great way to learn about the application process is to complete the Online Training module Mentoring Participants through the Application Process.
For a step-by-step guide of what the application process looks like, you can also view our guided tour. The guide covers:
- How an AFS account is first created
- How to start the application (Please note that there has been one change since this video was made. Students now pay a $200 application fee during the Applied stage and not in Next Steps.)
- The Next Steps after the student speaks to an AFS study abroad specialist to verify eligibility for their program of interest and parental approval to continue the application process and have paid a $200 non-refundable application fee.
- A final review to be sure everything is accurate and complete.