As in previous years, we expect student and family engagement to be mutual, and mutually initiated. We hope and expect both students and family members to actively initiate engagement, and to continue connecting with one another in ways that are meaningful. In engaging together, we continue to hope that students and their host families can try new things together, try things in new ways together, take steps out of their comfort zones, learn, and from strong bonds. At the same time, COVID-19-specific concerns and precautions might leave many students and families not sure of what they can do. Be prepared to talk to your student and family about ways they can safely engage in a variety of ways. Talk to your Support Specialist if you need help.
Remember, AFS continues to perceive meaningful connection and intercultural learning not in terms of how many places a student is able to go, or how many activities they are able to do. Rather, it is in the quality of connection they are able to form with others. This kind of connection and mutuality is just as possible to achieve around the dinner table, or on a walk in the community, as it is in any activity or excursion.