This orientation is intended to be both a look back at the students' exchange so far and to think about how to obtain the maximum benefit from the remainder of the exchange. It can be an opportunity to assess any support issues, reiterate any points that need emphasis from previous orientations, and connect with other AFSers, giving the students something to look forward to during the post-holiday doldrums.
The 2021-22 Mid-Stay Orientation may be held virtually or in-person provided state, territorial, tribal, and local requirements regarding in-person events and CDC guidelines are followed. As a reminder, any in-person orientation must include a virtual option given that some volunteers, participants, and host families will be more comfortable attending a virtual orientation.
In considering whether to hold an overnight event with students, for example at a camp site or hostel, we recommend teams consult with host families prior to planning the event. Gauging the comfort level of host parents before announcing any plans to participants could avoid disappointment if a number of families are not willing to permit attendance due to COVID concerns.
Mid-Year Orientation Materials
A Mid-Year Orientation PowerPoint Presentation in line with the new Student Learning Journey 2.0, and complete with facilitator notes and resources, can be found below. This presentation can be adapted to and used in an in-person or virtual setting.
Please feel free to combine activities from the Additional Activities Booklet or previous Mid-Stay Orientation materials with this PowerPoint presentation. As long as the overall goals of the orientation continue to be met, teams are free to combine resources.
Preparation Prior to the Event
Please make sure to send students the following documents to complete prior to the event, asking them to return the completed Check-In Sheet to you as soon as possible (or bring them to an in-person event).
Mid-Stay and Host Families
While there is no required content for Host Families, we recommend reaching out to Host Parents at the same time as you are inviting the students to the Mid-Stay Orientation and providing them with the following reminders.
- Be patient and supportive with your student's possible feelings about being stalled in their genuine friendship building; it's normal for mid-stay.
- Encourage your student to be reflective about what else they want to accomplish or do during the rest of their experience and to discuss this with you.
- Remember that misunderstandings are often based on cultural differences. If there is tension around a certain behavior or attitude, seek to explore and understand what the intention is behind it, and discuss this with your student and other family members as appropriate.
- You can always talk with your liaison about your student/family relationship and any other concerns. Don’t wait for them to contact you!
In addition, there is an optional Mid-Stay Orientation presentation for host families below should teams decide to gather host families together in either an in-person or virtual format.
Please remember to log your orientation and participant attendance in Global Link too. Thank you!
All of the resources you need to conduct a Mid-Year orientation are listed below and attached:
- 20-21 Virtual Mid-Stay Orientation (updated 21-22 version coming soon!)
- Additional Activities Booklet
- AFS Host Family Mid-Stay Orientation
Please note, the Mid-Stay Orientation presentation(s) are read or view only. Please download or save a copy of the presentation in order to make any edits and customize it for your event. The beginning of the participant presentation contains several slides that explain what the students should have covered thus far in previous orientations and in the online modules of the Student Learning Journey and related facilitated dialogue sessions. They also contain links to additional resources for facilitators. These slides will not appear to viewers when in presentation mode.