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All orientation Handbooks and Leader's Guides can be found on each orientation's individual wiki page linked to the Orientation Summary Table below.

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 Emily Kawasaki (ekawasaki@afsusa.org).

To request hard copies of orientation leader's guides and handbooks, please click on the specific links below. For questions about AFS Orientation materials requests, please email the respective Contact Person. If you have any questions about AFS Orientations in general, 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 Orientation Materials Request Guide

ALL Orientation materials requests should be made at least 3 weeks prior to the date of orientation to allow time for processing and shipping. Ideally, materials requests are made 4-6 weeks before the date of orientation. Larger orders should be made earlier to allow additional time for printing and shipping. Remember, inclement weather can cause shipping delays, so please plan accordingly. PLEASE BE AWARE that last-minute orders may result in additional shipping charges to the area team!

Dept. Orientation Direct Link to Document Direct Link to Request Form Contact Person Contact Email Contact Phone
Hosting Host Family Pre-Arrival Printed Leader Guide https://docs.google.com/forms/d/18bcun7L0tsm7DRu_bSjken5PjTcUisOwLXkFwKEwe8g/viewform Emily Kawasaki ekawasaki@afsusa.org 646-751-2175
Arrival (Welcome) Leader Guide (Overnight) https://docs.google.com/forms/d/13NP_xzzQ0ZnXohbfz16-ZgKehiSW_DetAam66vWaysE/viewform Emily Kawasaki ekawasaki@afsusa.org 646-751-2175
Participant Guide (Overnight)
Leader Guide (3-hour)
Participant Handbook (3-hour)
Post-Arrival Leader Guide https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1bnFxO0KzmoC66spGGmuDW9tnlzFkuDk5DO3zIBa0Svk/viewform Emily Kawasaki ekawasaki@afsusa.org 646-751-2175
Student Handbook
Mid-Stay Leader Guide https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1T_Y6eeG5Krf98SvtlpEHtpREusWlSUMwVh7oj3cEsBk/viewform Emily Kawasaki ekawasaki@afsusa.org 646-751-2175
Student Handbook
Pre-Return Leader Guide https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1NgYAOzCbymbq53lBy-ywmzMrZfjVCLDWH3MxL8UF6fU/viewform Emily Kawasaki ekawasaki@afsusa.org 646-751-2175
Participant Handbook
End-of-Stay Leader Guide https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1aDKYuKUIC-JCD-4p1M5JBI2bcoCh7t_W_sItRe4JM2Y/viewform Emily Kawasaki ekawasaki@afsusa.org 646-751-2175
Participant Packet
Sending Pre-Departure Orientation Leader Guides Leader Guide **Email Floyd directly to request PDO Leader Guides** Floyd Van Weelden fvanweelden@afsusa.org 760-723-3019
Pre-Departure Orientation Attendee Booklets Attendee Booklet https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1zpGV9jP4w1Dw6o9RBEm7ZZMoUtM9dami1CRtINCQ1fY/viewform Emily Kawasaki ekawasaki@afsusa.org 646-751-2175

AFS Orientations Summary Table

Types of orientations include the following:

Sending Orientations

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

Hosting Orientations

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.

Country-Specific Resources

Volunteer Positions related to Orientations

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

Best Practices

(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.

See also

Return to the Orientation Home Page

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