AFS-USA Study Abroad Newsletter: June Issue

AFS-USA Study Abroad Newsletter: June Issue

Dear Study Abroad Volunteers,

Thank you for all of your hard work over the Spring to help us get all of our participants interviewed, and oriented in preparation for our Summer and Fall 2022 departing programs! You might have noticed that we did open up our SH 2023 programs at the end of last month, and so we are starting to see new applicants for those programs (mostly Japan) coming into our pipeline.

We hope that you enjoy this update and that you are having a wonderful start to Summer!

Programs Update:

We are working with 124 Year and Semester NH22 participants. We were just shy of our total goal for Fall 2022 programs which was 153. Of the 124 93 are Year and 31 are Semester and participants are going to 28 different destinations for their programs!

We have also seen a successful Summer Program recruitment season with 92 participants ready to go on Summer Programs this year. We were just shy of our goal of 100 participants on program, with 33 kids in line for 2-3 week programs (shy of the goal of 35) and 59 kids in line for 4-8 week programs (shy of the goal of 65). Additionally, we were thrilled to be able to bring back our Faces of America program and are co-supporting 29 participants on Summer Programs in 2022. We want to especially thank all of our Faces of America partners, but especially those volunteers who have worked to establish new partnerships so that our Faces of America program can have a larger impact across the US. These are the first summer programs that we are sending on post-COVID, and we are very excited to see them back up and running! Our Summer Argentina program group departs tomorrow so fingers crossed for good weather and smooth sailing!

We have 37 spots available for our SH23 programs and already have 19 applicants who have paid Program Deposits and are working to complete the full application. Most SH23 program deadlines are in the early to mid Fall, so let us know if you have any questions or concerns about working with applicants or completing interviews for this group!


As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, this year we set up one general AFS-USA funded scholarship for applicants to apply for. The deadline for applications has now passed, and our team along with some Development staff is hoping to finalize awards by next week. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please let us know!

Interview Form Update:

The Study Abroad Advisory Group has been working on updating the Interview Form and the project is nearing completion! Along with changes to the form itself, the group is also working on compiling additional resources to accompany the interview form and provide additional guidance on the process of giving your recommendation to the AFS applicant you are interviewing. Please look for more announcements about this exciting project’s conclusion which will be coming soon!

Gateway Orientations:

AFS-USA decided not to bring back in-person Gateway Orientations for this year, and likely for next year as well. Given the unpredictability of the COVID-19 virus and also the tremendous in-person resources that these events required, we have decided to instead use this as a time to review what was done in the past and make decisions about how we would like to move forward. We recognize that these orientations not only provided great content, but also created opportunities for participants to meet one another and build relationships. We are committed to finding alternative ways to foster these same things through other means. This year we realized that not all of the program pages on the website were up to date with this change. We are working to review the website and ensure that it accurately reflects what participants can expect. We plan to have this completed by the end of the summer.

International Travel:

Our Travel Team asked us to send out a reminder that if you have any questions about a participant’s international travel, you can view the flight details in the Travel tab located on the participant’s service case detail screen in Global Link. The plan is to notify all Core, Partner Accepted participants of their international travel by the end of this week. If you are working with a participant that has questions, please let them know their international travel information (and domestic travel instructions) are coming soon. For any questions, please contact:

Resources and Orientations:

The AFS Guide for Participants is the handbook provided to students going abroad on AFS programs ahead of their departure. This guide is updated each year to reflect any changes to policies and guidelines for our outbound students. Please take some time to review the handbook so you can help answer questions from students you may be communicating with as they prepare to go abroad.

NH22 outbound students have now been enrolled in the online component of the Student Learning Journey (SLJ). Designed to prepare participants for their study abroad experience and give them the tools to make the most of their intercultural experiences, we encourage all students to take the SLJ, Discover modules before they depart, and the Develop modules (for Semester and Year programs) while they are on program and the Debrief modules right before they return home. Please refer to this curriculum summary for more information about the Student Learning Journey so you can be familiar with this important AFS educational foundation and engage in discussion about it with participants.

As always, thank you for your commitment to furthering AFS’s mission through the recruitment of study abroad applicants, and don’t hesitate to reach out to the Study Abroad Team with any questions or concerns!

Caitlin, Parker, Adriana, Jennifer, and Erin

AFS-USA Study Abroad Team