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.
The Pre-Return Evaluation can be done using printed copies or by sharing the link to the online survey (http://bit.ly/afs-pro). If your Area Team uses printed copies, please be sure to collect them, review them and then mail them to the NY office (c/o the ICL Dept.) so that the data can be input into SurveyMonkey and analyzed. All data will be sorted by Area Team and the results will be shared with each Area Team’s Orientation Coordinator(s). Please be sure that all students and volunteers complete the PRO Evaluation, in order to gather and process your Area Team’s data accurately.
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)
Pre-Return Orientation Activity (optional): Sharing Experiences
Pre-Return Orientation Activity (optional): Returning Home Quotes
Please log your orientation in Global Link - thank you!
Note: If you would like to save printer ink, make sure to print the Pre-Return Orientation Leader Guide in black & white