The Study Abroad team recruits a group of volunteers who are interested and willing to conduct virtual study abroad interviews for anyone who resides outside of the geographic region of their Area Team. This allows AFS-USA to do three things:
- Interview all students in the U.S., regardless of if a Local Area Team is present
- Alleviate pressure from Area Teams who may not have the bandwidth to conduct an interview
- Provide greater customer service to our applicants by quickly connecting them with an interview, which is required for sharing their application with the overseas partner.
- Provide meaningful and concise opportunities for volunteers who do not have frequent opportunities to connect with AFS students.
If you are interested in joining this group, please contact us at email@example.com or call us at 1-800-237-4636 ext. 1.
We hope to allow local teams to manage their interviewing process as they see fit, while also ensuring that our applicants don't miss the time-sensitive window of being transferred to our partners because an interview has not been conducted.
The process for escalating interviews to the National interview pool is:
- Applicant completes their essays, profiles, parent statement, academic information, and about me. This triggers the first request to complete an interview to ATs.
- If the interview is not claimed by the local Area Team or we haven’t heard anything after 10 days, we then send a reminder email to Area Teams (ie “missing interview”).
- If the applicant is still not claimed or we do not hear anything back, the Study Abroad Specialist will send a personalized, non-automated, outreach to a member of the Area Team.
- If the interview has still not been claimed or accounted for, the Specialist will consult with Caitlin Schneider and/or Parker Allen, and we then move them into the National Interviews pool.
AFS-USA must manage multiple priorities:
- Allowing Area Teams to have the opportunity to connect with their local student, thereby establishing a relationship at the local level which may result in deepening the local relationship with AFS, either as an AFS Participant or future host family or volunteer.
- Ensuring that we meet the Partner’s Transfer Deadline, which can either be a long or short runway, based on country and date of application.
- Ensuring that we don’t lose the student's interest, by having them wait for an interview for 1+ month (which does happen with relative frequency).
Based on the above variables, the process may need to be expedited or abbreviated. We are still refining this process, and want to make sure that we balance the needs of the student and the needs of the volunteer Area Teams.
If you have questions or concerns about this process, please contact: