It is very important that volunteers conduct (or appoint someone to conduct) the student interviews in a timely manner. This can be done over Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, etc.
In years past, most of the students, parents, and guardians were accustomed to having significant camaraderie with a dedicated Study Abroad Specialist. Today, that familiar voice of guidance and reassurance is no longer available. This creates a concern for sending families around AFS’ stability and our capacity to care for our students during their program.
Volunteers can help the Study Abroad team by stepping in and becoming a guiding and reassuring voice so that they remain committed to having an AFS experience. Volunteers are not expected to have all of the nitty-gritty information on all of the countries, programs, and processes, but their voice of assurance and direct communication with the Study Abroad team will help retrieve the answers/info and provide it to families through direct human engagement. This is an important component of the process and much of what AFS-USA has lost.