When using the Find Students instructions, you may have identified some students about whom you would like to learn more. This article will talk about:
If you do not have access in Global Link to view student applications, please contact your Hosting Coordinator or Hosting Programs Specialist (HPS) about giving you the appropriate affiliation to see this information. You may be required to take additional online training.
How to Access a Hosted Student's Application
If you already know the name of the student about whom you want to learn more, you can enter as little or as much of the student's name into the search fields like this:
You could also narrow the search by entering the student's country or year of arrival. However, surprisingly little information can get you what you need with ease. If you don't have a particular student in mind and want to look at students available to be shown, you can search for all students in a particular status (usually Regionally Available or Community Placed to your team). Here is an example of how to search for all students Community Placed to the Steinbeck Coast Area Team:
Once you have pulled up the student or students of interest, the easiest way to view the application is to click on the Online App column here:
Once you click the Online App, a new window will open. The view you see next will depend on the student's country of origin and whether or not the student is a YES student. The next step is to look for the Printable Version of the application. It is usually on the left-hand side like this:
But could be in the upper right instead like this:
Once you find the Printable Version click on it to find the Print all forms (Volunteer Version) here:
Great! Clicking those icons will download the student application (not print it!). You can save it to your computer by going to the "File" menu after downloading.
Keep reading to learn more about what to look for in student applications.
What to Look for in a Student Application
In this section we will look at all of the components of the student application (The Forms) as well as Key Points to consider or look for in reading through an application.
Once you have opened a specific student's application, you will see a variety of forms. Here is a basic outline of the forms found in a student application (please note that YES student applications are laid out differently than what is described here). In addition, remember that not all of this information can be shared with host families. Please review the Share Student Information with Host Families article for details on what can be shared with potential families.
Cover: Contains the student's photo and basic demographic information.
About your Family: This will tell you the parents' occupations, if the student has any siblings, and if the family has any history with AFS already.
Health & Lifestyle: This form lists any pet allergies or dietary restrictions
Photos: These can not be shared with unscreened families, but can give you an idea of the student's interest and personality.
Medical Forms/Health Certificate: These are mostly used by the school to understand the student's medical and immunization history.
Letter to the Host Family/About Me Questions: This is the best way to get a sense of the student's interests and motivations for being an AFS student. Starting in 2020 some students applications will no longer have a letter to the host family and instead will have a series of questions the student has answered. These questions are designed to help families and volunteers get to know the student better than the free-form letter allowed. This "About Me" page is often the last one in the student's application.
Academic Record: These forms must be shared with the school when seeking school approval.
Confidential Placement Summary: This is completed by a local AFS volunteer and should never be shared with the host family. However, it is often very helpful in trying to match a student with a family as it can give insights into the student's current lifestyle and recommendations for a successful host family placement in the U.S.
ELTiS: This is an English Language Test for International Students to assess their abilities. AFS-USA only accepts students with an ELTiS score of 212 or better, though some exceptions are made for YES students. For more information on how to understand a student's ELTiS score, click here. A chart to compare a student's ELTiS score to a SLEP or TOEFL score can be found here. And you can visit the official ELTiS website here, where you can even take a practice test yourself!
The application might also contain:
- a copy of the student's passport
- a Parental Authorization or other Consent Forms
- a Parent's Statement
- an Academic Recommendation
- the English Language Recommendation Form completed by the student's English teacher, which also includes a writing sample
- More Medical Information to help clarify any allergies or medical needs
- an Academic Committment Form that further enforces the student's committed to their academics while in the U.S., which can be helpful especially from students who have had low grades over the last few years
If you need any clarifying information about a student or you experience any issues with the student's applciation, please do not hesitate reach out to your Hosting Programs Specialist. Thank you!
While reading the whole application will give you a more complete picture of a student, there are a few forms that give you the best, quick view of a student. These include the Health & Lifestyle form to learn of any pet allergies or dietary restrictions about which the host family should be aware, the Confidential Placement Summary to learn how a local volunteer has assessed the student and any placement recommendations they provide, and the student's Host Family Letter/About Me to hear in the student's own words his/her interests, personality and motivations for the AFS program. The Parent Statement, if included, can also be helpful.
Keep in mind that students fill out their applications often a year before they arrive, and their interests may change between the time of the application and the time they come to the U.S. Thus, please remind host families to be as open-minded and as flexible as possible. Even if they really want to host someone who plays guitar like a professional, that student might want a break from the guitar while in the U.S. Thus, it is best to try to match students and families not on interests alone but on other lifestyle traits.