Study Abroad Newsletter: April 2022

Study Abroad Newsletter: April 2022

Dear Volunteers,

Happy April! We hope that Spring has found its way to you, wherever you may be!

Program Updates:

The Study Abroad team is busy working with year, semester, and summer NH22 applicants who have been transferred to their prospective hosting partners and who are eagerly awaiting acceptance and host family placement! We still have some spots available on our Summer Programs, so don’t forget that you can use this report to see where there is still space! We will also be launching all SH23 programs by the end of this week! We have messaging prepared for interested applicants who have identified their interest through our website, and we will be sending out those emails once the programs are launched on the website. We will also make an announcement in MyAFS News.

Year Program to Egypt:

In a network effort to help AFS-Egypt get their hosting program back off the ground post-COVID, AFS-USA is recruiting for interested applicants for the year program to Egypt. The program price has been reduced, and we are offering a full waiver of the Application Fee- Egypt2022.

If you know of any interested applicants, please encourage them to get started right away and feel free to notify myself ( or Parker Allen ( directly. This is a great opportunity for an applicant interested in a year abroad learning Arabic, and AFS-USA is excited to be offering this program again!

Promo Codes:

Do you like to talk about AFS programs in schools or within your local community? There are promo codes available for you to offer to interested applicants that will reduce the Application Fee. Feel free to use these codes to encourage applicants to move forward!

AFSVolunteer– $100 off Application Fee for applicant with connection to an AFS Volunteer

AFSFamily– $100 off Application Fee for applicant who is a member of a previous host family, or is related to an AFS Returnee

AFSNow- $50 off Application Fee for applicant referred by Volunteer or Staff

Promoting Study Abroad:

Are you working to promote Study Abroad in schools or within your local community but in need of resources to share? Look through all available resources and marketing materials on the Promote Study Abroad Help and Learning page!

Also, remember that we have a brand new School Presentation!

Update from our Orientations Colleagues:

Orientations and the AFS Student Learning Journey: Student Activities Prior to Departure.

The AFS Student Learning Journey is the framework for helping participants achieve the AFS Learning Objectives and in turn, to become active global citizens who play an integral part in achieving the mission of AFS. AFS helps participants accomplish the goals of the Student Learning Journey through a variety of methods and tools (see below for details), including orientations before, during and after the program, through country-specific resources, and conversation and reflection during monthly contacts with our liaisons.

In 2020, AFS-USA launched a new tool in this suite of resources for outbound core semester and year program participants, the online component of the Student Learning Journey. This self-driven course consists of 21 modules which students complete before and over the course of their program, and five facilitated dialogue sessions with fellow AFSers from around the world, led by AFS Volunteers. Core year and semester program students will be invited to attend a global kick-off webinar with their counterparts from around the world and they will be enrolled in the online component of the Student Learning Journey after acceptance by the hosting partner.

AFS-USA Prep Steps within the Student Learning Journey 

  • Program prep webinar for students.
  • Program prep webinar for parents (new in 2022).
  • Local Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO).
  • Online Pre-Departure Orientation Course.
  • Student Learning Journey Online Component Modules.
  • Optional Webinars.
  • The AFS Experience: Navigating Your LGBTQIA+ Identity.
  • The AFS Experience: Navigating Your Heritage and Ethnicity Webinar.
  • Country specific webinars. E.g., Japan.
  • Travel Webinar

Please review this page for additional information on these steps that prepare our students for their time abroad. When communicating with students in your community it would be very helpful if local sending volunteers could encourage students to complete all these steps, so they are in the best possible position to have a successful year.

The Local Pre-Departure Orientation is particularly important as it connects the student with the local Area Team. This offers opportunities for:

  • Students to connect with other students locally who are going abroad.
  • Parents to connect with other sending parents.
  • Students and sending parents to connect with the local team of AFS volunteers and hopefully stay connected in the future as host families and volunteers.

Some teams choose to combine their PDO with the End-of-Stay Orientation (formerly called Pre-Return Orientation) as a way to connect sending students and parents with hosted students and encourage them to become host parents in the future.

The Online Pre-Departure Orientation Course does not replace the local pre-departure orientation delivered by volunteers. It is required for compliance purposes but does not overlap in content. The activities contained in the local pre-departure orientation are unique to that orientation and give volunteers the opportunity to help students consider some of the situations they may encounter on program, together as a group.

Any questions about the Student Learning Journey or Orientations can be directed to

Thank you, as always, for all you do! And if you have any outstanding questions or concerns please contact the Study Abroad team at

Caitlin Schneider, Parker Allen, Adriana Miladinovic, Jennifer Hinrichs, and Erin Savre

AFS-USA Study Abroad Team