We all know of a school where it is tough to get in the door. We can also think of schools in a low-income environment where there are many bright students that would be a great fit for a study abroad experience. At the 2019 Volunteer Summit, Jeff Burtner, AFS Staff, shared with attendees how to leverage sponsored programs to establish a relationship with a school.
The "SPeeding in the School Zone" presentation includes information about the concept of public diplomacy and how encouraging students to study abroad and inviting in exchange students further that effort worldwide and every school can play a role in it. Additionally, this presentation addresses how specifically hosting exchange students from Sponsored Programs helps to overcome some objections that school personnel may share during initial hosting discussions. The study abroad scholarship side of Sponsored Programs can also be a tremendous relationship-builder for schools as many are supportive of their students going abroad but feel helpless as there are no funds to support them in those endeavors.
Beyond just the description of each of the programs making up the AFS Sponsored Programs, this presentation also shares some of the other scholarship opportunities like Faces of America and BP that students can take advantage of through AFS. These are all tremendous resources allowing schools to show support of global initiatives without investing many of their own resources.