This article contains the following information
- Finding a Specific School in Global Link
- Managing School Contact Information
- Updating School Acceptance Policies
- A Note about School Districts
- Understanding Current and Past AFS Activity in the School
- Finding Schools in a Particular Geography in Global Link
- by Schools Dashboard (zip code, Team, City, County, or State)
- by School District
The information about schools in Global Link is only accurate if we all work together to keep it current. If you see information that is missing or incorrect, PLEASE correct it or ask your School Partnerships staff person to update it on your behalf. Thank you for your help!
Finding a Specific School in Global Link
In order to look up an individual school in Global Link, go to the Organization section of Global Link and type in the name of the school in the English Name field:
Note: If the school has a common name (e.g. Washington High School), you might want to narrow the search by adding the city, zip code, and/or the state abbreviation before selecting Search.
Next, click on the name of the school in the Search Results here:
If you have any trouble finding a particular school, check out these notes on the Naming of Schools in Global Link. You may also want to try looking by city or address or in MyAFS. If the school cannot be found, please email School Partnerships Staff.
Keep reading to learn more about the information available about schools.
Managing School Contact Information
The first page that opens after using the instructions above is the school's general contact information including a spot for the school's website and the staff directory. This is the Org. Info tab at the top of the page.
More detailed information about the school is found in the School Description tab at the top of the page here:
The School Description page contains many fields to track such information as the best contact people at the school for hosting or sending, the school's policy on accepting exchange students or giving credit to sending students, etc. This information must be maintained by volunteers and AFS staff as new information is learned, so please do your part in updating information and dating your updates. If you do not have access to edit certain fields, please ask your School Outreach Coordinator or School Partnerships staff to make the needed updates as school information and policies change regularly. Thank you!
In the designated fields you can see the names and email addresses of various school contacts. The school officials who can receive an emailed online PAF via Global Link are the PAF Receiver, Principal, School Hosting Contact, and PAF Signer. *Note that the PAF Signer’s title, name, and email as well as the ‘Date Signed’ will be updated automatically when an online PAF is signed electronically.
The information in the School Description tab is also used for the Form E - the part of the host family application that let's our incoming exchange students learn about their school placement before they arrive. Thus, it is courteous to give them current and accurate school information.
The individuals listed above (Sections 1 and 3 on the School Description page) will also show up in the easy-to-view school description on MyAFS, so it is beneficial to your entire team to keep this information up-to-date. The easiest way to add or edit the school contact people is to click on View on MyAFS:
And then click on Add School Staff Person. Detailed instructions can be found here.
Updating School Acceptance Policies
School acceptance policies for exchange students now display prominently in MyAFS. However, the same information is in Global Link and currently can only be edited in Global Link. We are working to make it editable in MyAFS - stay tuned!
On the School Description Tab, scroll down to box 13 to add or update information. Please be sure not to accidentally delete any important information as you make your update. And please date your comment with the actual date or the school year; this will help others know how current the information is as school processes change regularly.
Feel free to update other school details on this page too. Some particularly helpful fields include:
4a: the Type of School
5e: does the school accept students who have graduated?
5f: does the school accept semester students?
6e & f: any known deadlines for requesting exchange students arriving the fall (NH) or spring (SH)?
A Note about School Districts
In 2022, we imported information about every U.S. School District into Global Link. We will soon be linking each School District to their high schools in a more robust way and making School District information searchable and editable on MyAFS. Stay tuned! Currently, staff or volunteers must link school districts manually to schools to have District information appear in MyAFS here:
If you need assistance linking a School District or updating School District information in Global Link, please do not hesitate to reach out to your School Partnerships staff person.
Understanding Current and Past Activity in the School
This section will discuss:
- How to find past sent and hosted students from the school
- How to view past Campaigns (sending recruitment activities) associated with the school
- The School's Contact Log
Finding Past Students
The Sent Pax. and Hosted Pax. tabs on the top of the page, contain information on current and past students in the school:
The data in Global Link goes back to the mid-90s. When clicking on Sent Pax., the default view shows any students currently abroad with AFS. To see all Sending students from the school, change the Service Case Status to "All" as shown here:
For instructions on interpreting the Program Code please see Interpreting the Service Case Search.
When clicking on Hosted Pax., the default view is to show students currently in the U.S. To see all students who have been hosted in the school since the mid-90s, click on All rather than Current Placement.
Viewing Past Campaigns
Campaigns are activities such as school presentations or tabling events that are designed to generate sending leads. Of course, most campaigns also generate hosting leads too. The process of recording campaigns in Global Link started in 2013, and instructions for recording campaigns can be found here. To see campaigns that happened in a particular school, click on the Campaigns tab here:
The School's Contact Log
The school's Contact Log is where you can keep track of what contacts you have had with the school and what the results were. Perhaps you had a meeting with a guidance counselor to discuss school policies, or you dropped off a thank you gift for the school's support of AFS. These things are helpful to record to help avoid duplication of effort and to see a history of past contacts. Note: you can click on the Subject line of any recorded contacts to see more details. Or click New Contact Log to record your own contact.
Finding Schools in a Particular Geography in Global Link
This section will discuss both the TDS Dashboard as well as searching for all schools in a particular county or school district.
When wanting to look up all of the schools in your team or a particular community or zip code range, please use the handy feature called the Schools Dashboard under Organization here:
Next, you will be asked if you want to look up all the schools in a particular zip code range, in an Area Team or in a specific City and State or County and State:
Before you select Search be sure to adjust the Median Income as appropriate. The median income is calculated using data about the zip code where the school is located and may not represent the student population (e.g. the median income in Washington D.C. is pretty high but many higher-income families send their kids to private schools, thus the median income of students in Washington D.C. public schools is likely lower than listed in this tool). While we want to make AFS accessible to all students regardless of income, we also know that families with lower incomes may need more time to fundraise, save, and apply for scholarships to send a student abroad. Depending on why you are using this tool, you may even want to change the Median Income to All.
Once you select Search, all results matching your search criteria will be shown including schools where we have had no AFS activity. You can sort the results in any way you choose by clicking on the column headers. In this case, I sorted by the number of students hosted at the school since the mid-90s:
To learn more about a specific school on the list, click on the school's name to get to this page:
Clicking on the various + signs will yield more information about the schools
- School - Clicking on the School option will show some additional details about the school. Clicking on the blue ORGANIZATION_REF number will bring you to the same view of the school as described above under Managing School Contact Information.
- Campaigns - This area will show you any Sending Lead-Generation Activities recorded for the school since 2013.
- Sending - Opening this section will show you all of the students who have gone abroad from the high school since the mid-1990s including the year, country, and the parents' names.
- Hosting - This section shows all of the families for each student hosted in the school since the mid-1990s. You can sort the list by clicking on any of the column headers. This example list is sorted by program year to show all of the families who hosted students in 2016. As you can see some students had multiple families.
- Volunteer - The Volunteer section lists anyone with a volunteering service case who lives in the same zip code as the school or any of the sending or hosting families. Global Link doesn't currently have a way to link volunteers to a particular school, so it is possible that some of these people have no personal connection to the school, though they likely live relatively close to the school and could be a resource if you are seeking a liaison, host family leads, or a sending interviewer in the area. Please see the Interpreting Service Cases article to learn more about volunteering service cases and the Checking a Volunteer's Registration Status article to learn more about statuses.
Looking up Schools by School District
If you would like to look up all of the schools connected to a particular school district, go to the Organization section of Global Link and click on Add Filter. In the box that pops up, Find School District. Here is an example:"School District starts with Rosem"
Once you add the filter, choose Search. In this case, all of the schools in the Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley School District appear.
Emailing Families Connected to a Specific School
After accessing the TDS Dashboard discussed in #4a above, you can expand the Hosting, Sending, and Volunteer sections to reveal checkboxes in each line. Check the boxes of the people you wish to email, which will then allow you to click the Compose Email button at the top or bottom of the page.
A subscriber alert pop up will appear before taking you to the email composer. Click here to learn more about subscriber alerts. Once you send your email, a copy of the message will appear in each person's contact log.
There was a lot of information in this article, and we hope you found it useful. If you have any questions, please contact your School Partnerships staff person. Any feedback about this article can be sent to askAFS@afsusa.org. Thank you!