The AFS-USA Orientation Advisory Group (OAG) reviews AFS hosting and sending orientation materials, for both students and parents/guardians, to ensure that they align with the AFS-USA and AFS International orientation standards and include:
- Clear and concise objectives
- User-friendly delivery methods
- A selection of experiential and other activities that appeal to a range of learning styles
- Tips on how to involve AFS returnees in the planning and implementation of orientations
- Tools to evaluate the orientation
In addition, the OAG serves as a sounding board for organization-wide decisions regarding orientation content and makes recommendations for improvements as needed.
2022 Annual Goals.
- Review/Develop materials that support Hosting and Study Abroad families
- Develop additional training to support orientation coordinators and the volunteers that facilitate orientations for both hosting and study abroad.
- Create more touch-points for the Student Learning Journey throughout the cycle for both hosted and study abroad students.
What is the composition of the advisory group?
This group includes both AFS-USA staff and volunteers. Volunteer representation is based on AFS volunteer experience, interest, and skills. Ideally the group will include volunteers from across the country who are actively involved in organizing and facilitating local orientations and/or have an influencer role in the organization or team. AFS-USA strives to ensure that group composition is reflective of the organization’s approach to diversity and inclusion, and includes members who share different levels of experience with orientations.
The group is accountable to the Senior Director, Risk Management, Compliance and Intercultural Education:
|Andrea Cloutier||Volunteer||Lewisville/Denton (TX)
|Chris Kowalski||Staff||Field Team|
Greater Puget Sound (WA)
World Flags (WI)
|Emily LaRocca||Staff||ICL Dept|
|Liz Burger||Volunteer||Greater Cincinnati (OH)|
Carolinas East (NC)
|Martha Friend*||Staff||ICL Dept|
|Mutiara Mohamad||Volunteer||New Jersey (NJ)|
*Advisory Group Co-Chairs
How much time is required?
- Three to five hours per month is the standard requirement based on the workload of the advisory group
- Monthly conference calls, on the 2nd Tuesday of the month in the evening, or as needed prior to key deadlines
- Regular email correspondence
How long are the terms of membership?
- Serve at minimum of a three year term
- Serve a maximum of two consecutive terms
- A minimum one-year term is required prior to assuming the role of chair or co-chair
How can I get involved?
To indicate interest in serving as a volunteer on the national level, please complete the National Council Committee and Advisory Group interest form here.
2021 AFS Summit session: “Orientations are Not Just to Prevent Problems.”
Orientations are a conduit for provoking thought and engaging in learning. Whether in person or virtually conducted, they bring to the forefront the journey of the participant. Through the use of innovate tools and facilitation methods, orientations have the ability to open a mind to world of possibilities, and they help prevent problems.
2021 Annual Goals.
- Contribute to the revision of the AFS-USA suite of Pre-Departure Orientation materials, and the creation of a self-directed, online Pre-departure Orientation for Study Abroad participants, as well as participate in the evaluation of the effectiveness of these materials.
- Work towards merging orientation curriculum with educator resources.
- Review and recommend a plan for configuration and implementation of the host family portal for use by AFS-USA families