Recruitment and Retention Cycle:
To adhere to AFS International guidelines, AFS applications cannot be opened and completed more than a year in advance of the program a student is applying for. So, we time the opening of our applications for each cycle based on this timeframe.
NH Year, Semester, and Summer programs typically open the September before the programs are to take place. Application deadlines for these programs begin in March.
SH Year and Semester programs typically open the April before the programs are to take place. Application deadlines for these programs begin in October.
This gives us about 6 months of application collection from program open date to the beginning of our partner's application deadlines. We are always recruiting for all of our programs, but it helps to know this general timeline.
The period of application retention is the timeframe between the application deadline and the program start date. During this time there is much happening to prepare the applicant for their program. We might still be working with applicants on program acceptance, determining domestic and international travel, facilitating orientations, and ensuring that all partner information has been shared. This is a wonderful time for volunteers to engage with participants and their families on a local level. Invite them to team events, call to check in on their application status, and help to set expectations for their time abroad!
Best Practices for Recruitment:
- Acquire AFS marketing materials
- School outreach and presentations
- Email schools and follow up with a call
- Tabling events: School concerts, sporting events, report card pick-up, school conferences, curriculum night, farmers markets, local festivals, college fairs, international fairs
- Post to social media
- Submit press releases
- Hang AFS flyers around town- libraries, stores, restaurants, coffee houses, etc.
- Coordinate an AFS Info Night - Invite schools, volunteers, and sending leads
- Promote programs to volunteers, host families, communities, organizations, etc.
Best Practices for Preparation:
- Call and offer support to student applicants and their parents (natural families)
- Invite student applicants to local area team events
- Introduce and match returnees to students
- Introduce and match returnees’ parents to applicants’ natural families
- Give AFS swag: local t-shirts, sunglasses, highlighters, etc.
- If your team has NSLI-Y/YES/CB/FOA interviews, please support volunteers
Best Practices for Retention: