The AFS-USA Study Abroad Advisory group’s overall objective is to provide recommendations and develop practices that will strengthen the relationship between staff and volunteers who are working toward the mutual goal of recruiting applicants for, and preparing applicants for, a study abroad experience with AFS-USA.
In addition, the Study Abroad Advisory Group (SAAG) is also committed to finding new and effective ways to engage returnees across the network and improve the experience of the volunteers engaged in Study Abroad recruitment and retention.
More specifically, some immediate goals are as follows:
- The group will encourage building relationships across area teams outside of the group to create a cohesive Study Abroad network within the national organization.
- Work to enrich the experience of applicants and parents applying to study abroad with AFS.
- Create a clear and transparent structure of what is involved in Study Abroad within an Area Team
- Recruitment, Interviews, School Relationships, Support for Applicants and Parents, Orientations, Activities, etc. (before, during, and after program)
- Revive AFS USA’s work with Returnees
- Bridge gap between Hosting and Study Abroad
What does Study Abroad mean?
Locally, this work is more commonly described as “sending” instead of “study abroad”. Staff made the transition to calling it Study Abroad as it's easier for interested applicants and parents to understand. Below are some key definitions of those students this advisory group supports:
- Study Abroad Applicants- Those who have expressed interest, and are in the application process but whose applications have not yet been sent abroad to an AFS partner
- Study Abroad Participants- Those whose applications have been sent abroad to our partners and are awaiting partner acceptance, host family and school placement, or their departure!
- Returnees- Study Abroad participants who have returned home from their program.
What is the composition of the advisory group?
This group includes both staff and volunteers. Volunteer representation is based on volunteer experience, command of core competencies, creativity, and drive. Ideally the group will include volunteers from across the country who are actively involved in engaging study abroad applicants and participants in their local team.
The group is accountable to Senior Director of Study Abroad Experience and Operations.
*Advisory group chair
We are actively recruiting new members!
How much time is required?
- Monthly conference calls in the evening, or as needed prior to key deadlines
- Regular email correspondence
- Additional tasks outside of the meeting may be required in order to accomplish various goals
How long are the terms of membership?
Service to the committee is two years with an option to extend.
How can I get involved?
To indicate interest in serving as a volunteer on the national level, please complete the National Council Committee and Advisory Group interest form here.