AFS-USA Support, ICL, and Travel Staff have recorded a Pre-Arrival “USA Cultural and Hosting Realities” orientation session to be shared with all arriving 2021 Fall participants.
This orientation is designed to offer additional information, support, assurance and guidance to students to help prepare them for the various realities they may experience in the upcoming year. We strove to ensure the session complimented all the efforts and resources being offered and developed by our local volunteer teams while also hopefully helping to manage expectations for our arriving participants.
This session covers the following topics:
- US host family and placement realities
- School and academic performance expectations
- COVID-19 specific guidance
- AFS chain of communication
- Mental / Emotional health considerations
- Travel considerations for both day of travel and the foreseeable future
- Safety and wellness while on program
- Active reflection activities
- Review of resources
AFS-USA has also shared this recording, along with written information about USA realities, with Sending Partners and participants/sending families. Students were reminded to carefully review the following resources provided by AFS:
We invite and encourage volunteer teams to use this recording as a springboard to further unpack what your local team’s hosting and cultural realities are. Host a viewing party with your hosted participants and open up further conversations and strategies for how to both set appropriate expectations but also help everyone achieve a meaningful and successful intercultural exchange experience.
Session designed and facilitated by: Kendra McKechnie, Amanda Brown, Robin Weber, Paula McGrath, and Ian Loumos.