Visit the Table of Orientation Publications which details the latest version of the resource and next revision.
All handbooks are provided in PDF format.
If you would like to request a Word copy of any handbook, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To request hard copies of orientation leader's guides and handbooks, please contact your Regional Travel and Logistics Coordinator at 1-800-AFS-INFO (237-4636).
AFS Orientation Framework
The AFS Orientation Framework provides the theoretical basis for all of our orientation handbooks and leader's guides.
AFS Orientations Summary Table
Types of orientations include the following:
|Orientation Type||Required?*||Approximate Dates||Parent/Guardian Attendance||Participant Attendance|
|Summer Departure||Winter Departure|
|Pre-Departure Orientation||yes||May - Jun||Dec - Jan||yes||yes|
|Dates for Pre-Departure Orientations|
|Gateway Orientation||yes||Late Jun - Early Sept.||January - March||no||yes|
|Reentry Orientation||no||Early Fall||Early Winter||no||yes|
|Orientation Type||Required?*||Approximate Dates||Host Family Attendance||Participant Attendance|
|Summer Arrival||Winter Arrival|
|Host Family Pre-Arrival Orientation||yes||Summer||Nov - Dec||yes||no|
|Host Family Pre-Arrival Orientation Dates|
|Participant Arrival/Welcome Orientation||yes||August||January||no||yes|
|Participant Post-Arrival Orientation||yes||September||February||sometimes||yes|
|Host Family Post-Arrival Orientation||no||September||February||yes||sometimes|
|Participant Mid-Stay Orientation||no||January||May||sometimes for part or all||yes|
|Participant Pre-Return Orientation||yes||May||December||sometimes for part or all||yes|
|Participant End-of-Stay Orientation||yes||June||no, except sometimes for social gathering beforehand||yes|
* Required refers to both whether the orientation is required to take place and whether the target audience is required to attend. In the case of the Mid-Year orientation, although the vast majority of teams provide it, it is not required to take place. However, when it does take place, participants in the team are required to attend.
The Team Orientation Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that all hosting and sending orientations take place within his or her Team and that the Coordinator for each orientation or event is properly trained.
For a list of all orientation related positions, see the the links in the tables above under "Orientation Type."
How to Lead an Orientation
- Select orientation site
- Ask a leader of your team before signing a contract, making a payment, or offering proof of liability insurance.
- Arrange food.
- Arrange meeting supplies.
- Arrange meeting transportation.
- Ensure that group leaders are trained and send them a link to the leader's guide well in advance of the event. See Table of Orientation Publications
- Ask your treasurer about budget, expense monitoring, receipt collection, and reimbursement.
- Determine and distribute contact number for questions/concerns on day of event.
(insert your ideas here)
- Scheduling the Mid-Year
From the College Board: "According to our formula, [SAT] test dates fall on the first Saturday in November, December, May and June; the second Saturday in October and March; and the fourth Saturday in January."
It is easier to get AA's to attend the Mid-Year if you avoid the 4th Saturday in January.
- AFS Digital Intercultural Learning (ICL) Library
- Team Orientation Coordinator
- AFS International Icebreakers and Energizers
- orientation norms of conduct
- Signing Authority
- Orientation Materials Request Sheet
- Transatlantic Orientation Exchange Work Group
- Orientation Advisory Group
- Orientation related materials from the March 2009 Hosting Conference
Return to the Orientation Home Page