The Student Orientation is an opportunity to set the student and host family up for success. We have compiled the following orientation to address the common student and family needs and concerns that we have seen throughout 20+ years of working with student exchange.

WHO

The Student Arrival Orientation is for both the student and host family. Orientations may be held as a group or with individual students. If a student or family is not able to attend the group meeting, you will need to conduct an individual orientation with them. We encourage group orientations (potluck or BBQ with families, students an siblings) because they offer students the opportunity to meet one another at the beginning of their exchange year.

WHAT

Orientation Goals

  • Prepare the student and family for the challenges of student exchange
  • Clearly present the program rules and expectations
  • Address any questions or concerns
  • *Optional: Provide a space for students, parents and siblings to meet each other

Materials to Bring to the Orientation

We would like you to adhere as closely to this agenda as possible to be sure that your group is fully prepared to have the best year possible. You are encouraged to be creative and use your own style, just be sure to cover all of the points outlined.

Food
For group meetings, we recommend you encourage each family to bring a snack or a dish to share.  Students will have a much easier time listening to you when they are not hungry.  You may want to suggest that students bring a traditional food item from their home country and/or give a short explanation to the group about where they are from.

Other Activities
Depending on the group size, you might also include some team-building and getting-to-know-you games to break up the meeting a little.  You will be covering quite a lot of information and you want to keep the participants from losing interest as best you can.

WHERE

We suggest holding the orientation in one of the following locations:

  • Your home (maybe an arranged potluck)
  • Library Room or Church Hall
  • Host Family Home
  • Any Other Free Community Spaces
WHEN

You should conduct this orientation within 10 days of the student’s arrival in the U.S.

HOW
  1. Schedule – Contact all of your students and families to set an orientation date. This meeting must be planned in advance so that as many of the students and host families have the opportunity to attend on the same day.
  2. Gather Materials – Gather all of the materials listed above and review the content of the orientation
  3. Reminder Email – Send a reminder email to all students and families and include a link to the Student Handbook for reference
  4. Game Time – Have a wonderful orientation with your students and families!