Each year, hundreds of AFSers return from their experience abroad. This page provides AFS returnee volunteers and traditional volunteers alike the resources to plan and hold local events to welcome home the newest returnees. In the same way AFS offers participants guidance prior to and during their program, we offer AFSers the skills and resources to navigate their transition home through Re-entry Orientations and Welcome Home Events.
AFS-USA's support of Welcome Home Events illustrates our organization’s renewed dedication to nurturing and welcoming returnees and thereby integrating Returnees as life-long and contributing members of the AFS Community.
The Re-Entry Orientation Leader's Guide will guide you in planning both Re-entry Orientations and Welcome Home events.
Re-entry Orientations are typically longer in duration and offer formal orientation content.
Welcome Home Events may be shorter, include less formal content and are typically designed around a shared meal.
AFS Teams and Chapters are encouraged to develop and offer a Re-entry Orientation and/or Welcome Home event best suited to the team’s geography, capacity, anticipated attendees, volunteer network, budget and ideal duration. Whether your team selects a Re-entry Orientation, a Welcome Home event or a combination of the two, the outcome is that Returnees feel welcomed and supported by AFS.
Re-entry Orientation/Welcome Home Events Training
We have opportunities for AFS Returnee Volunteers and traditional Volunteers alike to sign up for upcoming online webinar trainings to learn how to plan a Re-entry Orientation and Welcome Home Events for recent Returnees in your Team! Please email email@example.com if you are interested in receiving this training.
Re-entry Orientation/Welcome Home Events Objectives
By participating in these events, we hope participants will:
- Understand a framework for the re-entry phase of the exchange experience (Honeymoon, Reverse Culture Shock, Recovery, Reintegration).
- Consider coping skills to help ease the re-entry process.
- Process the exchange experience in a supportive environment.
- Increase awareness of intercultural learning and personal growth that emerged, and continues to emerge, as a result of the AFS experience.
- Begin/continue integrating the AFS exchange experience and personal growth into daily life in the United States.
- Explore options to develop leadership skills as global citizens, including specific opportunities for continued involvement with AFS.
Record your Re-entry Orientation/Welcome Home Event
It is important to let us know that you have held a Re-entry Orientation/Welcome Home Event. To do so:
Record your Welcome Home Event in Global Link: Use this guide to record your Welcome Home Event and the attendees in Global Link.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any trouble recording your event.
Re-entry Orientation/Welcome Home Event Resources
Re-entry Orientation Leader's Guide
Attached below are printable handouts from the Re-entry Orientation Leader's Guide. Please use handouts in planning your activities and during your activities.
Agenda - blank
Participant - Evaluation Form
Group Leader - Evaluation Form
My Journal Reflection
My Re-entry Action Plan
Exchange Outcome Checklist
Cover Letter Sample
College Essay Sample
Common Problems and Solutions
Returnee Volunteer Activities
A Cultural Survey
Hofstede's Dimensions of Culture
Hofstede's Dimension Values Around the World
Find Recent Returnees in Your Team
How to Pull A List of Your Returnees
Teams will be provided Co-support funds based on the number of hosted and sent participants in their team. Accounting and reports of expenditures are required.
Access to National Funds
- The team can draw on co-support payments from AFS-USA to sustain its efforts in providing programs. Co-support payments are termed as such in recognition that these amounts will likely only partially cover the actual costs of program and recruitment activities in the team. Supplemental fund-raising activities conducted by the team or local teams may be necessary to meet the actual financial needs of planned activities.
- Teams will receive co-support payments based on the actual number of students hosted and sent from their team.
- In addition, teams will only be approved for advances provide that their monthly and year-end reports have been submitted. In the case of Teams this will apply to reports for both the Team accounts as well as accounts held by affiliated chapters within their boundaries
- Co-support payments will be paid twice a year:
- April for SH hosted and sent actuals
- October for NH hosted and sent actuals
- Teams will be able to roll-over their co-support funds from year to year