This orientation focuses on students reviewing their entire experience, making sure they plan for the last weeks and get ready for the challenges waiting for them back home. It generally occurs 4-6 weeks before Departure Day. Often this orientation is combined with the Pre-Departure Orientation given to outbound AFSers, as it gives these students a chance to interact with current AFSers and ask them questions.
The pre-return orientation is particularly useful for discussing the changes students have undergone during their intercultural experience and preparing them for the transition ahead when returning home. At this point, they should have developed in all areas of the AFS Educational Goals, especially in the Cultural Realm (both culture-specific and culture-general), so discussions about prejudice and stereotypes can be substantial.
This orientation should provide host families and students with detailed information about the End of Stay including drop-off time, location, purpose, as well as any luggage limitations. Students should also fill out their program evaluations.
Students should be reminded that after school is out, there might be a number of friends and teachers whom they will not see again, so they need to say goodbyes and thank yous before school ends. Focus discussions on what students have learned, how they have changed during their exchange, and what lessons they should be taking home with them.
Pre-Return Orientation PowerPoint (optional but highly recommended) - coming soon!
Pre-Return Orientation Activity (optional): Sharing Experiences
Pre-Return Orientation Activity (optional): Returning Home Quotes