A Re-entry Orientation helps students reflect on their whole experience and connect what they learned and how they've changed to their future goals and dreams. This is an essential event for debriefing students about their intercultural journey. Please see below for the differences between a Welcome Home Event and Re-entry Orientation.
By participating in a Re-Entry Orientation, 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.
- 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.
- Some teams may choose to combine the Re-entry Orientation or Welcome Home event with other orientations or AFS gatherings. If you and the other volunteers decide this is the best scenario for the team and the Returnees, it is important that the Returnee aspects of the gathering are equally important to other components and that the Returnees needs are addressed.
- As with other AFS orientations and gatherings, Re-entry Orientations and Welcome Home events should be budgeted and paid for using co-support payments and any other Team and Chapter funds. These events can be simple and include a potluck or be lengthier and may include an overnight stay.
- The ideal time to hold this event for students that return during winter months is between February 1 – April 31 and for students that return during the summer, holding the event between August 1 – October 31 is usually best.
- Make sure to start planning at least a couple of months before the event to give yourself enough time to plan logistics and invite participants.
Presentation and Handouts
Listed below is a slide presentation and some printable handouts to use for your Re-entry Orientation.
Re-entry Orientation Slides (download and save to your computer to be able to edit the slides and add team specific information)
Additional Resources to share with Returnees:
- Re-entry orientation resource handout
- Exchange Outcome Checklist
- My Journal Reflection
- My Re-entry Action Plan
- Common Problems and Solutions
Who to Invite
We suggest teams invite all students who have gone on an AFS program; year, semester and summer program participants. Hereis a document outlining how you can find returnees in Global link for your team.
Logging your Event
Please follow these instructions for recording your Welcome Home Event or Re-entry Orientation. Thank you!