AFTER ARRIVAL - A FEW KEY NOTES
ORIENTATIONS, EVENTS & GATHERINGS
CONNECTING & COMMUNICATING
STUDENTS COUNTRY PRESENTATION
INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO COMMUNITY VIA ARTICLE
PREARRIVAL INFORMATION FOR HOST FAMILIES
AFTER ARRIVAL - A FEW KEY NOTES
- While some of the questions on the Family Questionnaire may feel silly, it is important for the family and student to go through it together. You never know what you each might be assuming that could be different.
- Students, remember those important documents? (Hint: Passport, Health Addendum/immunizations/insurance card, and Cerfiticate of Eligibility for Exchange DS2019.) Keep those together in an important, accessible place. Email a copy to Host Coordinator Bill Nelli and to your host family.
- As students get their email and local cell phone number determined, please send that updated contact information to Rebecka Nelli.
- High school host siblings - fill out the online application to become a teen volunteer, and participate as a friend and teen leader for all our exchange students. This will allow you to receive volunteer hours, stay overnight at the orientations, and participate in the DC and NY trips.
- It's a lot to take in during your first few days in the US! If you have questions about any of the things we talked about - handling cultural differences, goals and expectations, the chain of communication, anticipating your own adjustment curve, logistics, rules/safety/expected behaviors/laws ... - don't hesitate to email Bill Nelli or Susan Moon.
- Please take a look at the host family contact list you received, email any updates to Rebecka Nelli, and look for an updated one on the Facebook group and via email. As soon as Rebecka has contact information for students and for liaisons/volunteers, she will create those lists and send them to you as well.
- Host siblings: your exchange student may become just like a sister/brother to you. Do your best to be helpful and patient as they learn. Remember that everyone is different, and they may or may not become a friend. So, be yourself, give them some room and give it some time.
- Families and students: as soon as you are able, begin to build a trusting relationship with your Liaison. Reach out to them with questions and issues, no matter how small. Your Liaison is committed to making sure this is a great year of cultural exploration for you.
- Use fellow students, teen volunteers, families, liaisons, and your community to help. Whether you need to get a ride to an activity, are trying to find an ultimate frisbee team to play on, or just want to find someone to do something with on the weekend, we are all your community of support.
ORIENTATIONS, EVENTS, & GATHERING
The attached GENERAL 2018-19 SCHEDULE will give you an idea of what to look forward to across the year.
Orientations are the required meetings for students sprinkled throughout the year. Check the Events page and Facebook for dates and details. Typically, parents will also be invited to gather at a close location to receive information, share their experiences, and ask any questions. Note: volunteer helpers are always needed.
Two trips are organized by volunteers of AFS Greater Charlotte - Washington DC (November) and New York (June). Highly encouraged, watch for details/dates/deadlines via website Events page, email, and/or Facebook.
Together, we'd like to find fun ways to get you and your students together so that we can support each other in this unique experience. We also encourage volunteerism, local culture, and government learning. Some activities we have enjoyed in the past include Carowinds, a Knights/Panthers/Checkers game, Operation Christmas Child, a corn maze, holiday parties, street cleaning, bowling, Habitat for Humanities, and an uptown scavenger hunt. If you would be willing to plan or host something fun, let Rebecka know and reach out to your AFS families via Facebook. Currently:
- Carowinds - Thursday 8/16 - organizer Rebecka. Contact Rebecka if you're coming.
CONNECTING WITH EACH OTHER
The following are important ways to keep in touch with this year's families, students, and volunteers.
- This website will have broad information and useful links.
- Look for emails periodically from AFS volunteers or from "AFS Greater Charlotte". If you havent received one in a while, check your spam folder to ensure you aren't missing out.
- The closed Facebook group AFSGC2018 is our primary vehicle for communicating details to each other. It is accessible only to approved AFS participants. Click on the link above to receive access.
- The Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram are how we connect to the world of AFSers and more. Follow each of these to find local and global friends and even share your story.
STUDENTS COUNTRY PRESENTATION
You will have opportunity to serve as an "ambassador" for your country by talking to people about it using a formal presentation. Attached is an example presentation that you can use to guide you in creating yours. Attached are also the directions for this presentation project. Remember: do the presentation with your family - Its a great way for them to learn about you.
Attached is the form for the presentation competition. Remember: deadline is form to Rebecka no later than end of day October 6th. Attached is the flyer - side one, side two - to print and hand out to participants (two sided, it works in color or black and white).
INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO THE COMMUNITY
As an ambassador to diversity and global peace, it's important to share our stories. Introduce yourself to the community through local newspapers, school and church newsletters, and more. This is also a great way to introduce yourself and uncover friends.
Personalize the attached article for a newsletter (church/school/neighborhood name, student name, student anecdote, and picture) and submit August/early September to introduce your student and encourage presentation opportunities for them.
PREARRIVAL INFORMATION TO FAMILIES
Gearing up for a great year? Below should get you started.
CONTACTING YOUR EXCHANGE STUDENT
You can reach out to them as soon as you receive the acknowledgement from AFS-USA, and introduce yourself. You're probably both a little nervous. Connect to them on social media, send them an email and give them some information about your family and about your region.
- They will want to know what the weather is like as they prepare to pack. Packing advise: Boys, Girls.
- Tell them a bit about each of your family members in the house, your hobbies and interests. Don't forget any pets!
- Encourage them to bring lots of electronic pictures to share with you, a favorite recipe or two you can learn to cook here, and an outfit or item that represents their country to demonstrate to others. Note: they will be asked to prepare a 10 minute presentation about their home and home country soon after arrival, so the pictures are useful for that.
- Figure out how you want to handle access to a cell phone and to a computer for your student. Some bring their own. Often there are issue with compatibility, so others use what is already in the household, and still others figure it out when they get here. All are OK, so you can explore what makes the most sense to you and your exchange student.
- If they are at all likely to participate in any sports, send them (for NC) a link to the North Carolina Preparticipation Physical Form. You can do the physical here at a CVS, but its nice to have it done for sports that may already have begun, like Cross Country. (AFS health coverage does NOT include physicals for sports.)
HOST FAMILY WELCOME GUIDE
Some useful information for families preparing for their exchange students to arrive, including things like upcoming mandatory orientation dates, preparing for school, and key points of contact.
HOST FAMILY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A lot of information is shared at the PreArrival Orientation for host families. Check here for a refresher of some of the most frequently asked questions.
Text or email with any questions or for help: firstname.lastname@example.org, 704-281-0805.
quick links to useful supporting AFS resources for coordinator roles.
AFS USA informational Wiki
to order marketing & branded materials
AFS USA marketing & design support
AFS Greater Charlotte shared documents