Study Abroad Monthly Newsletter

Study Abroad Monthly Newsletter

Dear Volunteers,

We hope that this update finds you very well! The Study Abroad team- in cooperation with the Study Abroad Advisory Group- has decided to begin sending a monthly study abroad newsletter. Our hope is that we can cement the line of communication between our staff team and our volunteers, while also ensuring that pertinent information about study abroad programs and operations is being shared with you! So, we hope that this update will be well received and as always if you have anything you would like to see added or anything to share, please send information/questions to Thank you for all you do!


We have 10 Spring (SH) 2022 participants who have travelled, or will travel, before the end of this month! We are sending participants to Ireland, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Paraguay during this cycle. We also have 19 participants in line for the Japan Spring programs. Due to the recent announcement from AFS-Japan delaying the program start (see the MyAFS News article here) we may end up rolling some of these participants over to future programs. We are working individually with each applicant to determine the best next steps.

We are still recruiting for our Fall (NH) 2022 programs! Many of the partner deadlines occur throughout March, so if you are working with any interested applicants, please encourage them to finish applications soon! The programs to Spain, France, Germany, Portugal, Japan, Netherlands, Italy, and Norway are already full, so please be sure to check out the NEW Study Abroad Programs and Pipeline Report (see below!) to get the most up to date information!

Summer Programs are filling quickly! If you are working with an applicant interested in a summer program, please encourage them to pay their deposit and work with their Specialist to complete their application right away! To see what programs are still being offered, click here!

Cancellation of Japan Summer Language Study Program– In addition to the change to the Spring 2022 program departure, AFS-Japan has decided that they will cancel the 2022 summer program due to the current entry restrictions in Japan. We have informed participants and parents and are currently working with them to determine how to proceed with their applications. Applicants are offered the opportunity to apply for a different program, roll their application over to a future program, or be refunded their Program Deposit. If you see these participants in the queue in the Interviews widget on MyAFS, you may disregard them.

AFS Global STEM Academies- AFS launched the AFS Global STEM Changemakers Initiative, which will provide 5,000 young people worldwide with scholarships for sustainability-focused intercultural exchange programs over the next five years. One program of this initiative, the AFS Global STEM Academies, will combine virtual and in-person learning and gather diverse young people aged 15 to 17.5 from around the world to collaborate on real-world case studies. The 2022 in-person Academies are scheduled to be held in Brazil, India, the USA, and Belgium/UK. The deadline to apply is February 28, 2022. Visit for more information and to apply!



This is the time of year when we are in greatest need of applicant interviews to be completed! An application is considered incomplete until the interview is submitted and approved, so please consider becoming an interviewer today! It is an important piece of the application process and can happen in person or virtually (via Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, etc.). If you are interested in interviewing Study Abroad applicants, please look through this information on Help and Learning, contact your local sending volunteers, or reach out to the Study Abroad team at

Calling Interviewers– Do you like interviewing study abroad applicants? As you know, throughout the pandemic we have allowed volunteers to perform virtual interviews of applicants. We do not anticipate that we will return to mandating in person- though they are preferred- instead, we will continue to allow virtual interviews to be conducted. We also recognize that some area teams have experienced significant changes to structure and volunteer numbers throughout the pandemic. As staff, we find ourselves sometimes in the position of needing to find volunteers to conduct interviews, and this can be quite a challenge.

In collaboration with the Study Abroad Advisory Group, we have decided to recruit volunteers who are interested in conducting virtual interviews on a national level. This group will be convened when there are pending interviews that are coming due and no local volunteer willing or able to conduct them. If you are interested in volunteering for this, or have any questions, please contact Caitlin Schneider ( directly!


New School Presentation

You can promote AFS-USA study abroad opportunities using resources on Help & Learning! Resources include a new virtual study abroad presentation, sample recording, and materials found in the Promote AFS section. Make sure to check MyAFS News and AFS-USA social media for additional promotional resources and opportunities for students interested in going abroad!


NEW Study Abroad Programs and Pipeline Report

We have worked with the Study Abroad Advisory Group to combine and update some of the previous reports available in Global Link. The Study Abroad Programs and Pipeline Report is now the one report that you can pull to see all pertinent information about the program requirements (such as age range, travel dates, and fee) and the applicant pipeline (such as which programs are full, how many applicants have paid the Application Fee, etc.). Also, a new addition to the report is that you can see which staff person is working with a particular program, making it easy for you to know who to reach out to with program, or pipeline, specific questions. 

This report will replace the Sending Programs Report and Sending Matrix Report, which have been removed from the list view on Global Link. We hope that you will find this report to be helpful and useful when talking to potential applicants about study abroad programs! Please remember that the information in this report can change as applicants progress, so this report should be pulled new each time you would like to reference it. For instructions on how to pull this report, click here!


Language Proficiency Testing

As you know, in partnership with Jill Woerner and the School Outreach team, we have begun offering free language proficiency testing for eligible year and semester programs! With the return of our first semester

What is Language Proficiency testing? Language proficiency describes one’s ability to use language to accomplish real-world tasks in a variety of settings, topics, and audiences. A language proficiency test provides a verified measurement of this ability.

When students complete their language assessment, they receive a score report which shows and explains the proficiency levels demonstrated by the participants in each area of communication (interpersonal listening and speaking, presentational writing, and interpretive listening and reading). This report can be provided to the local school, future university or employer to demonstrate their language skills after their AFS program. It will be up to the receiving schools and employers to determine if these language skills merit granting credit, placement or recognition at their individual organization.

How can I learn more?

You can find out more by visiting the Language Proficiency Testing webpage found here.


Please reach out to with any questions! Thank you for all that you do!



The AFS-USA Study Abroad team

Caitlin, Parker, Adriana, Jennifer, and Erin