Held when the students arrive, this orientation happens at a time when the students are brimming with emotions, some of them contradictory in nature. It is a time to be gentle and reassuring. Language levels will vary greatly in any one group of participants as will the ability to take information due to other factors such as jet lag.
In general, the first priority is meeting basic physical needs. This usually includes making sure the students have enough sleep and food. Sometimes they are so jet-lagged and overwhelmed that they aren't even sure of their own needs. This really has an impact on the type of site chosen for the orientation: quiet zones for sleep, accessible meals, showers. Another basic need that gets met in the beginning is often the natural parents' need to hear that the student has arrived. If there is an internet connection, Skype is a good and inexpensive tool for this.
During the event you may also wish to help participants adapt to the local time zone. We urge students to try not to sleep until 10PM of the time zone we are in based on the idea that if they begin napping now their jet lag may take much longer to dissipate. This also means finding lively activities for the students to do during the day: long walks, hikes, swimming, playing games, soccer, etc.
While this is still a time to address the AFS Educational Goals, because of the timing and emotional state of the students, keep the learning touch points simple, practical and relevant for the first few weeks. Volunteers conducting this orientation should focus on helping students understand that AFS is there to support them and show them ways to seek practical support.
The arrival orientation is usually the first formal contact students have with AFS in the host country. The most significant role of this orientation is for students to receive logistical information and contact details about the local AFS organization, including tips on how to stay safe.
Below are the resources you need to conduct an arrival orientation. All handouts and materials for this orientation are attached here and ready to go for NH18.
- Arrival Orientation Leader Guide
- Required handout: Student and Host Family Questionnaire
- Required handout: Questions for your Guidance Counselor
- Required handout: AFS Chain of Communication
- Optional activity: The AFS Pledge
- Very useful handout for students: AFS Learning Goals Pyramid
- The First Days (This is used by some area teams that have newly arrived students students stay with the host family for a few days prior to arrival orientation.)
- Keys to a Successful Year
- Student Evaluation of Arrival Orientation
- AFS Contact sheet
Some Area Teams may find the optional, accompanying PowerPoint Slides to a helpful/useful tool during the Arrival Orientation. For those Area Teams, a Leader Guide that lists the PowerPoint Slides has been created. Additionally, the individual sessions that specifically list the relevant Slide numbers have also been broken down into individual PDFs, so that Area Teams do not have to reprint the entire Leader Guide. All resources mentioned are listed below:
- Arrival Orientation Leader Guide NH18- with PowerPoint Slides listed
- Arrival Orientation Leader Guide NH-18- Feedback & Evaluation with Slide numbers
- Arrival Orientation Leader Guide NH18- Emergency or Not with Slide numbers
- Arrival Orientation Leader Guide NH18- Practicing How to Say No with Slide numbers
- Arrival Orientation Leader Guide NH18- Expectation & Goals with Slide numbers
- Arrival Orientation Leader Guide NH18- Ambassadorship & Adaptation with Slide numbers
- Arrival Orientation Leader Guide NH18- Welcome Speech with Slide numbers
- Arrival Orientation- Safety Quiz with Slide numbers
- Arrival Orientation PPT
Arrival Orientation recorded webinar (7/24/18)
Arrival Orientation recorded webinar (7/25/18)
Please also remember to log your orientation in Global Link. Thank you!