The Mid-Stay Orientation Coordinator is responsible for ensuring all the Area Team’s hosted students participate in a Mid-Stay Orientation at around the mid-point of the hosted student year program – usually sometime in January. Although this orientation is technically optional most Area teams consider this a critical point in the hosting experience to touch base with students and give them an opportunity to debrief their experience so far. The Mid-Stay Orientation also provides a good opportunity for students to plan for the second part of their program
The Mid-Stay Orientation Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that details regarding the Mid-Stay Orientation and participant attendance are accurately recorded in Global Link, 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.
- 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 have their own bed for any overnight stay.
- Consider having a support volunteer in attendance for any support issues that a student may want to discuss during breaks.
- Ensure communication with host families and students regarding logistics for the orientation.
- If virtual:
- Identify AFS Volunteers to serve as orientation facilitators/break-out room group leaders
- Reserve the electronic meeting space and send invitations to students and host families well in advance of the event.
- Prepare a follow up email to attendees with links to any resources or contacts you referred to in the orientation.
- If needed book some time for facilitators to debrief and discuss the meeting, sharing any support issues that ay have emerged and need to be followed up by support volunteers or staff.
- Familiarize yourself and any group leaders/facilitators with the most up to date AFS Mid-Stay Orientation content and incorporate content specific to your Team’s local laws, realities, support structure and emergency procedures, as needed.
- Complete a Post Arrival Orientation activity in the Global Link Activity Module. Link all participants and volunteers in attendance, to the activity. Please use a consistent and clear naming convention for your activity e.g., NH22 Mid-Stay Orientation.
Note: Based on feedback from some Area Teams we have learned that Mid-Stay orientation can be a time when some students will need additional support. We strongly recommend that you have some support volunteers in attendance and allow time in the schedule for students to be able to meet with them in a quiet space. Additionally, some teams like to plan a fun event to coincide with this orientation for example a host family appreciation potluck, or holiday party.
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.
- Ensure that the date each student participated in the Mid-Stay Orientation is recorded in the relevant Activity, regardless of whether it was in-person or virtual. Click here for instructions.
- Ensure that participants have the opportunity to complete the online Mid-Stay Orientation Evaluation (Results are available upon request and can be used by orientation coordinators in an effort to continuously improve the quality of local Orientations.)
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.
- Mid-Stay Orientation
- 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