For many school counselors along with some staff and administrators, exchange students can feel like an added burden to their already busy school day. Exchange students want multiple schedule changes, experience social issues and sometimes even have host family issues and they turn to their counselors and school staff to deal with them during the school day because those individuals are close and accessible.
AFS-USA’s Support Team shared a presentation at the 2019 Volunteer Summit that highlighted how AFS-USA’s support team, protocols and structure can help a volunteer overcome support-related objections from school personnel. Additionally, great tips and ideas were shared by volunteers around the country and their responses have been captured within the presentation.
Finally, as liaisons are expected to have contact with the school to determine how students are doing academically, socially, and emotionally, it’s important that volunteers know what to do when faced with a school staff member who refuses to share information about a student under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Please reference the FAQ document here about how to handle those difficult school contact situations.