Belo USA Travel is an American travel operator based in Chicago specializing in cultural, educational, and tourist trips for international exchange students. Belo USA Travel has contracted with AFS-USA and other exchange organizations for more than 15 years and has designed trips specifically for AFS-USA students that will incorporate our mission and the idea of intercultural education. Belo USA Travel has a great appreciation for the AFS-USA mission and the desire for our students to participate in activities that follow these values. All trips will be chaperoned by AFS-USA volunteers/staff and Belo USA Travel staff.
Belo USA Travel in 2020
- Hawaii Expedition: February 8-15, March 7-14, March 14-21
- NYC, Philly, & Washington D.C.: April 11-18
- New York City: April 11-15
- California Adventure: February 22-29 (LA); April 4-11 (San Francisco)
- East Coast: June 4-17
- West Coast: June 2-15
AFS-USA believes in the value of Belo USA Travel as an enhancement to our programs and, therefore, has amended the AFS-USA Independent Travel Policy in regards to Belo USA Travel:
- Travel Waivers will be required for all trips.
- Student travel must be approved by the Host Family, the host school (if any school will be missed), local Support Coordinator, as well as the natural parents and AFS-USA via the Travel Waiver.
- Students are required to submit a request form that is approved by the Support Coordinators before they can sign up for a trip. Included in this request form is approval/acceptance by the Host Family.
- Students should not purchase airline tickets until obtaining approvals from all designated parties.
- Students would be allowed to miss up to 5 days of school to travel on a Belo USA Travel bus tour (upon receiving approvals as indicated above).
- Host siblings (at least 16 yrs.) are permitted to join the trips.
- AFS-USA will recruit Chaperones for these opportunities. All AFS-USA volunteers will have the opportunity to apply for one of the Belo USA bus trips. Belo USA will continue to provide trip coordinators and monitors for each trip.
Student Travel Required Forms
AFS-USA and Belo USA Travel require specific forms to be completed for any students interested in participating in Belo USA Travel tours. Upon registering for a tour, Belo requests the Belo AFS Parents’ Authorization and Belo AFS Student Information Agreement forms which are waivers for Belo, as well as the AFS USA Student Travel Waiver for Belo Travel on behalf of AFS (our internal waiver). Belo USA Travel will share the completed waivers with AFS-USA, and AFS-USA will share the forms with the student’s sending country.
With the additional emphasis on the programmatic value that Belo USA Travel bring to the AFS Program, it is not advised to issue a blanket statement refusing permission for students to attend. Travel with Belo USA may be denied on an individual basis if it is not in the best interest of the student to participate at that time. Examples for denial may be: conflict with host family plans, AFS obligations, school requirements or a student having adjustment or behavioral problems.
- AFS-USA Student Travel Waiver for Belo USA Travel 2020
- AFS Student Authorization
- AFS Parent Authorization
Volunteer Chaperone Eligibility
The primary responsibility of a Belo USA Travel Chaperone is the welfare of participants traveling on a Belo USA Travel bus tour to destinations in the United States. In addition, the Chaperone is an official representative of AFS-USA. The Chaperone will meet participants at the beginning of a specific bus tour and will participate in the arrival orientation presented by Belo USA Travel staff.
Applicants for this award must:
- Be 25 years old as of February 1, 2020;
- Be a registered AFS-USA Volunteer, with at least two (2) consecutive years* of active volunteer service at the local and/or national level at the time of application;
- Agree to fully comply with any and all mandatory training sessions;
- Assist students with their luggage, if needed;
- Have experience as a chaperone or group leader;
- Have organizational and problem-solving skills; and
- Be flexible and open to new experiences.
*If you are unsure of your duration of volunteer registration, you should check with your TDS before applying.
How to apply
Click here to learn how to apply for these awards.