AFS-USA strongly advises participants to exercise restraint when it comes to keeping in touch with friends and family back in their home country. Experience shows that some contact (low-to-moderate amounts) can be important and beneficial to participants during their programs. However, the more contact a participant is in with friends and family back home, the more their minds and perspectives are brought back to the way they live their lives back home, and away from the “here and now” of their programs. Daily calls, or continuous texting for example, considered excessive and can indicate larger adjustment challenges.
Consider involving the host parents in that planning. Encourage your to let their friends and family back home know about their plan. Common examples of appropriate levels of contact include short calls once a week, or longer video calls once a month, or the occasional text message. If excessive contact with home continues despite adjustment time and guidance from you or the host parents, this issue should be brought to the attention of your Support Coordinator or Support and Learning Specialist.
Click here for more information on how host families are guided about contact with home in the Help & Learning for Host Families platform.
The Welcome to the USA Handbook also includes helpful information for participants regarding contact with home.