- Get in touch with the school before the student arrives possibly when you are getting approval for the student to attend and obtain the school's "Program of Studies". This is to be shared with the host family. They may want to forward it to their AFSer before he/she arrives.This gives the student more time to think about the subjects he/she would like to take in the USA. The ideal is to actually visit the school and begin a relationship with the new AFSer's counselor and principal if possible before the student arrives.
- Be sure that the school has a full copy of the AFSer's application and be sure about any other information the student will need to register. (Example: In TN all students new to the state of TN must have visited a private physician and/or the health department and have his/her health information transferred on to a (green) state health card and any additional immunizations required by TN must be completed. This must be submitted to the AFSer's high school in order to be registered.) Inform the new host parents of this and their need to make an appointment with the counselor to register their AFSer ASAP after the student's arrival. You may want to accompany them. If the school is having more than one AFSer, the counselors may want them to come at the same time. This can save time for the guidance staff.
- Let the counselor know that you will be the AFS liaison and that you will be contacting him/her quarterly about the progress of the school's new AFSer. He/she or other staff members should feel free to contact you at anytime concerning the student. Your name and numbers should also be one of the emergency contacts. You may also want to give them the number of your AFS team support coordinator as well. At this time give them new current written information about our programs and ask that they share them with staff members. This includes the material included for the school and staff members "Helping the Foreign Student" (see below) Make a copy of this and give it to the counselor.
- Remind the counselor/principal that the local AFS team will be glad to represent AFS at any program and/or festival, PTA(O), meeting, etc. where we may let others know how to also be involved. Our AFSers would especially enjoy speaking in other classroom on such occasions as International Education Week, etc. The AFS Team would also like to have several times, that you may be able to schedule at this meeting, for someone from the team to set up an information table to inform the student body of our many AFS opportunities in the lunch room during lunch. In the fall, the volunteer would promote sending and in the spring they would promote hosting.
- Point out how important it is to give the AFSers buddies. (This is in the document below.)
- Do not forget to document each conversation and visit with school personnel in one of the three ways?
Have a great AFS (awesome, fantastic and stupendous) year as liaison to your AFSer.