The Hosting Arrival Orientation Coordinator is responsible for ensuring all of the Area Team’s hosted students participate in an Arrival Orientation within one week of arrival, either immediately upon arrival and before travel to the Host Family, or after travel to the Host Family, otherwise known as the “Event/Host Family Airport Pick-up” model. In the case of the latter, the Hosting Arrival Orientation Coordinator will ensure that all host families and students receive “Event/Host Family Pick-up” information upon the student’s arrival. In all cases, the Hosting Arrival Orientation Coordinator is responsible for coordinating with the Team Travel Representative to ensure that all host families are informed of student travel, orientation, and pick-up plans and for ensuring that the Team Travel Representative is kept informed of which volunteer will meet each student at the airport upon arrival, regardless of the timing or format (virtual or in-person) of the Arrival Orientation. The Arrival Orientation Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that details regarding the Arrival Orientation and participant attendance are accurately recorded in Global Link and in a timely manner.
- Work with Area Team leadership to determine the orientation budget and format (virtual or in-person) location if applicable, and timing - upon arrival and before travel to the host family, or after travel to the Host Family and within seven days of arrival “airport pick-up,” and communicate this information to host families well in advance of the event. (Please note, if offering an in-person Arrival Orientation, Teams must also offer a virtual orientation for those who are unable to attend, or do not feel comfortable attending in-person.)
- Complete the Arrival Orientation activity “shell” in Global Link, created by AFS Travel and Logistics Coordination staff and link all participants to the activity. You can find the activity by searching for your area team name and looking for Arrivals NH21. Please DO NOT change the name of the activity as the naming convention is used by multiple departments.
- If in-person:
- Review Best Practices for Organizing In-Person Orientations and Events
- Identify AFS Volunteers to serve as orientation group leaders/facilitators and to assist with meal/snack prep and service, student supervision, and arrival logistics.
- Reserve space for the event, including ample meeting room/s, restroom facilities, and meal/snack prep and serving areas as needed.
- Ensure that students are placed in single rooms for any overnight stay.
- If virtual:
- Identify AFS Volunteers to serve as orientation facilitators/break-out room group leaders
- Reserve the electronic meeting space and send invitations to host families well in advance of the event, and to students once they have arrived in the US.
- Confirm all student travel through AFS-USA Global/My AFS or GL Reports. Contact AFS Travel and Logistics Coordination Staff and/or the Area Team Travel Representative with any related questions.
- Coordinate with the Area Team Travel Representative to ensure that all host families are informed of student travel, orientation, and pick-up plans and ensure that the Team Travel Representative is kept informed of which volunteer will meet each student at the airport upon arrival, regardless of the timing of the Arrival Orientation.
- Familiarize yourself and any group leaders/facilitators with the most up to date AFS Arrival Orientation content and incorporate content specific to your Team’s local laws, realities, orientation schedule, support structure and emergency procedures.
Tasks: Quality Assurance and Compliance
J-1 Secondary School exchange program sponsors such as AFS are required by federal regulations to convey certain information to participants (host families, and volunteers) and to document evidence of having done so. In addition, AFS orientation materials are based on the AFS Student Learning Journey and have been designed to complement the online learning module that the students complete before, during and after the program. For these and other reasons, it is important that Teams use orientation materials provided by AFS as the basis for their orientation and for Teams to accomplish the following tasks in a timely manner.
- In the case of a virtual orientation or an orientation after travel to the host family, ensure that all host families and students receive “airport pick-up” information upon the student’s arrival.
- Ensure that the date each student participated in the Arrival Orientation is recorded in the relevant Activity, regardless of whether it was in-person or virtual, upon arrival or shortly thereafter. Click here for instructions. (AFS must provide this information to the US Department of State upon their request and during the Bi-Annual Management Review.)
- Ensure that volunteers review the student’s passport and visa and that any irregularities are addressed as per the AFS Arrival Orientation materials.
- Ensure that participants have the opportunity to complete the online Arrival Orientation Evaluation (Results will be shared with your Team Leadership and reviewed by staff and volunteer members of the Orientation Advisory in an effort to continuously improve the quality of the Arrival Orientation for AFS-USA.)
Information You Need to Know
Here are the links to the categories and sections in Help & Learning that you need to be familiar with in this role.
- Arrival Orientation
- Coordinate Hosting Arrivals and Departures
- Conduct Orientations
- Best Practices for Organizing In-Person Orientations and Events
- Able to organize and track detailed information
- Able to delegate tasks and effectively manage shifting priorities
- Effective communication skills – written and verbal
- DoS (Dept. of State) Certification (annually)
- HSA (Hosting and Support Affiliations) Training (annually)
- Attendance at any related staff-led training webinars
- Participation in national or regional conferences or training events (in person or virtual)
- Attend the AFS “Training of Trainers”
- Ongoing support from AFS-USA Staff
- Peer-to-peer training and/or mentoring available