Departure Day (D-Day) Guidelines for 2019
General Departure Day Information for AFS Teams:
- Pick-up locations for all participants are determined by the Travel staff in conjunction with volunteers.
- End-of-Stay (EOS) events may be scheduled to take place at the pick-up location. If EOS events are not scheduled to occur at the pick-up location, volunteers must arrange to transport their participants to that location by the designated time in order to travel to the Departure Day site.
- All buses are booked to arrive into the Departure Day site by approximately 5:00am so you can estimate the pick-up time accordingly. In some cases, teams will be combined on buses. This can add a few hours of travel time. The RTLC will inform the teams that will be impacted.
- Pick up locations may not be at private residences.
- At most Departure Day sites, buses will begin to transport participants to the airport between 6:30am and 7:00am.
- Departure Day sites will remain the same as in 2019, except for the Los Angeles site. The LAX Gateway RTLC will share the updated information with the relevant Area Teams.
- In most situations, those students who arrived into one gateway and were then placed in a team linked to a different gateway will have to travel back to their original gateway the night before Departure Day. We are working with our partners to change the return international tickets but a majority of these tickets do not allow routing changes. The RTLC will be in touch with these students and their volunteers once we have confirmation from our partners.
- Schedules and detailed Departure Day information will be sent out no later than a week before the event.
- The nametag mailing will be sent the week before Departure Day to the person listed in the EOS Activity Module in Global Link, which is usually the EOS Coordinator or Bus Chaperone.
EOS Planning for Teams:
- Each team is responsible for planning an End-of-Stay (EOS) event for their participants based on the goals put forth in the End-of-Stay Orientation Leader Guide. This guide is currently available on MyAFS.
- The EOS event must be planned for a minimum of four to six hours excluding travel.
- Please note that 90 minutes are to be devoted to content and learning activities.
- Within teams, the site for the EOS event is often the same as the pick-up location for the participants. If this is the case, the EOS site needs to be held at a central point within the area team or equidistant to the gateway and near a major highway, i.e. the EOS site must be towards the gateway. If the EOS event is not planned to take place at the pick-up location, teams must arrange for their participants to arrive at the pick-up location at the designated time.
- Teams should not plan to conduct their EOS event in the gateway city unless they are actually based in that city. For those teams based in the gateway city we ask that the EOS event not be planned at the same site used for Departure Day unless prior permission from TLC has been obtained.
- The EOS pick up location may not be at a personal residence. Due to changing regulations with the many bus companies AFS USA works with, please plan your pick up location to be in a nearby non-personal residence.
EOS Planning for Teams with 15 or Fewer Participants (not including YES as they depart earlier)
- Since small teams may not have their own designated pick-up location, they may hold an individual EOS event and then share a pick up location with other teams. The other option is for smaller teams to join together with another team for EOS at one location.
- If a team is planning to hold their EOS event at a location other than a designated pick-up location, the team must arrange for their participants to arrive at the pick-up point by the designated time agreed to with the Regional Travel staff.
- Due to the distance between some teams, your Regional Travel staff will work with you to finalize your EOS pick up point by 29 March 2019.
- If you have any questions about the Orientation activities, please contact Emily Kawasaki, Intercultural Learning Content Specialist, directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What AFS-USA Pays for:
- Bus from pick up location site to Departure Day site (850 miles or less)
- Flights for those students beyond 850 miles, including but not limited to: AK, AL, Northwest CA team, CO, FL, GA, MT, NM, TN, UT.
- Rooms for those students that must fly to the gateway city the night before Departure Day.
- 1 chaperone per bus, not per team as some teams are combined for the bus ride to the gateway city.
- Return transportation from the gateway airport for chaperones. Please note that some chaperones for the Chicago and New York gateway will return by bus/train.
- Meal money for those students on buses needing to stop for a second meal. Host families or teams would provide first meal.
- Some special travel for students to central pick-up point to begin EOS, i.e. some areas of Alaska.
- For those students who changed gateways upon arrival or during the year, a flight back to the original gateway city if the international ticket cannot be changed. These students will have to fly to the gateway city the afternoon/evening before Departure Day and will miss their EOS Activity.
What the Teams Pay for:
- EOS site costs: rooms (students may not share beds), meals, and supplies.
- Getting students to EOS site if host families are not dropping off at the actual site.
- Communication with students regarding EOS plans.
- Chaperone transportation to the EOS site.
- Any supplies or snacks for the bus ride.
- Getting students to the bus pickup location if it is not the same as the EOS site.
What the Teams are Responsible for:
- Recruiting an EOS coordinator for their team or group of teams by 29 March 2019
- Meeting planning deadlines as follows:
- Preliminary EOS plans/site entered into the Activity Module by 29 March 2019.
- Final EOS plans, including directions (if the EOS site is the same as the pick-up location), communicated by 03 May 2019.
- Chaperone names and travel requests to Regional Travel and Logistics Coordinator (RTLC) by 03 May 2019 (Volunteer registration for any chaperones not previously registered must be submitted by 03 May as well.)
- Name, address, phone and email of person receiving nametag mailing by 31 May 2019.
- Entering complete information into the Activity Module in Global Link by each deadline. We have created templates that are easy to find: Area Team Name (HDS code) EOS 2019. Specific instructions will be emailed to the EOS Coordinators.
- Arranging the EOS site, activities and ensuring all students participate in the EOS. This does not include those students who chose to Program Release prior to EOS.
- Notifying students, host families and other related volunteers and staff of all arrangements in a timely manner.
- Recruiting chaperone(s) for buses/flights. Chaperones must be 25 years of age or older, be registered volunteers, and, ideally, should not be host family members. Please contact the RTLC to confirm approval if your preferred chaperone is currently hosting.
- Arranging and coordinating student travel to EOS site or airport for those teams that must fly.
- For any new volunteers involved in the EOS activity, the volunteer registration must be submitted by 03 May 2019.
* NOTE: We are asking that you send your RTLC your preliminary site/city locations as soon as possible. Charter bus costs continue to increase and providing locations to our bus contractor early will enable them to negotiate lower prices.
What the Regional Travel and Logistics Coordinator is Responsible for:
- Working with volunteer teams and Team Development Specialists to ensure that each team has recruited an EOS coordinator by 15 March 2019.
- Coordinating with teams when there are shared buses.
- Working with the charter bus company to arrange buses from pick-up location to the Departure Day site.
- Working with the AFS Travel/Travel and Logistics staff to book chaperone return travel.
- Recruiting volunteers for airport/logistical support at the Departure Day site.
- Coordinating the mailing (via email) of the general EOS letter for students by March. This will include the luggage letter and general EOS information.
- Communicating with teams regarding all flight/bus arrangements.
What the Travel and Logistics Department is Responsible for Related to EOS:
- Booking all flights for students and chaperones.
- Scheduling shuttle buses/vans from airport to hotel/overnight site, if needed, for teams that fly.
- Pre-Departure Day “materials” mailing to AFS team, EOS coordinator or chaperone that includes: nametag holders and luggage tags (sent in late May/early June). This mailing does not need a signature. The Regional TLC assistants will be in contact to confirm mailing addresses in May.
- Departure Day info and nametags with international flight details will be mailed on 17-18 June. This mailing is sent via FedEx from New York and will require a signature upon delivery. Please make sure that the address you enter in the activity module for “materials” is the one for this mailing.
Special Considerations for 2019 Returns:
Early arrivals in 2018: Some students arrived early due to school requirements. These students may also fly home directly to their homes from your local airport.
smSH19: we asked partners to book the return from the gateway. These students should travel with other students in your team to the gateway.
Please note that we are confirming returns with our AFS Partners throughout the upcoming months. Your RTLC will be in contact to review the return travel arrangements for these students.
Students Who Choose to Program Release:
Unless a student is releasing at the EOS event (PRES) or at the gateway (PR), you are not required to provide an individual EOS activity. The status of these students is either Personal Early Return (PRTN) or Return Family Event (RTN).
Please contact your Regional Travel and Logistics Coordinator should you have any questions regarding travel, site locations, program releases or other travel related issues. The RTLCs for our gateways are:
Chicago, Seattle, Minneapolis
Ryan Tallman, Hosting Travel Manager email@example.com 646-751-1968 (interim coverage)
New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, D.C.
Elizabeth Bigelow firstname.lastname@example.org 646-751-1963
For any other questions, please contact your local Team Development Specialist.