National Arrival Orientation for year program participants 2016-17

The National Arrival orientation was held from 5th-9th July, 2016 in New Delhi. The four-day orientation was lighted with success as 54 participants from 14 countries attended the same. These participants are currently placed in 18 different diverse chapters across the country. The focus of the orientation was to enable the participants to allow the gist of the expected reality in correlation to their expectations. On the first day, the sessions ranged from AFS Rules, Line of communication, Support system of AFS India. The orientation also had the emphasis of the AFS educational goals along with workshop on expectations. To make it special at the start, all the AFS chapters displayed their chapter stall showcasing their city’s traditions, variety of their unique background and belonging of their heritage. On 7th July, the session such as Mood Curve, School Life, My Host family, Communication style & Girls and Boys Talk, gave a light to the participants’ holistic encounter.

On 8th July, the day’s session was entirely addressed to the Iceberg concept- Indian style, risk management, chapter conversations and expected requirements of the first week in the host community. To give a personal touch, the day was concluded with a special session by Ms. Cindy Peace, who oriented about a foreigner perspective of living in India and its understanding towards culture. 

At the onset to the evening, Mr. J. P. Das, Country Exchanges Advisor, from Public Affairs Office, US Embassy, graced the evening with encouragement and understanding of the vitality of choosing the exchange to India as their destination.

The last day was poised with conclusions of the previous days and evaluation of the orientation as a whole. The participants left to their respective chapters at the day’s dusk.

National Security Language Initiative for Youth - Arrival Orientation

The Arrival Orientation for NSLI-Y Year & Summer Intensive Program was successfully conducted in New Delhi with 22 participants, 4 AFS IND staff & also their local coordinator/counselor. The participants were from USA who arrived to India on 2nd July with their Chaperone. The focus was to prepare the participants for the expected cultural shock with realistic and unrealistic expectations as per the duration of their program. The sessions were aligned to ensure that the participants have practical tips which will help them in reducing higher expectations in order to adapt better more collaterally.

The participants were given the knowledge of the cultural specific examples of the host family setting and the host school. They were oriented on the topics of risk management & line of communication. In addition, the orientation session was undertaken clearly on AFS rules, travel & medical rules. On 3rd July evening, they departed to Indore, their host chapter by train to reach thereby the next morning to the desired destination.

Hosting Meet

The hosting meet was attended by 21 participants represented from 16 chapters, along with 6 AFS staff from 2nd to 5th June, 2016. The three-day event has been a successful highlight where the hosting aspects of the cycle was introspected and equally retrospect with the shortcomings. The sessions were mainly focused on the goals and responsibilities of the hosting coordinators, overview of the hosting realities & hosting process, perspectives on the outreach to the school relationships. There were constructive dialogues with solutions on the challenges of the hosting & the practices which worked well for the hosting.

The planning for the new cycle and the goals kept forward by the chapter representatives were more emphasized and recognized. The initiative to have more broadened reporting & recording of the Monthly contact and Monthly Learning Reflections was highlighted and reflected.

This meet was focused on the adjustment of the students, relationships of the school and the reach out to the permanent host families. The documentation process and its clarity with the engagements with the student & partner nations were briefed and oriented on the same. There was great compatibility involvement of the newly formed chapters and the old chapters. There had been dialogues to undertake the understanding on how AFS India could provide a larger base to volunteers, families and the participants.

Eventually, the hosting meet was successfully completed on an enthusiastic with the plan of actions, evaluations and decisive promises to ensure great hosting experiences. We wish the volunteers all the best for the upcoming cycle.

National Pre-departure Orientation 2016

Venue-  Delhi | Dates- 14th-17th June, 2016 | Our 2016 batch of Young ambassadors came together to attend the PDO Camp in Delhi. It was a 4 days camp in Delhi and this year where we had total of 59 students participating in the same. 40 students has been shortlisted to go to USA on YES program while 19 students to Germany, Belgium Flanders, Italy, Denmark, Austria, Canada, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland and USA on AFS program.

The orientation was conducted by 3 IND staffers along with 2 AFS-YES Alumni, Yashodhan Shende & Surbhi Bhat. The sessions focused on setting the student’s expectation from the program, AFS Rules and communication channel, Iceberg concept of culture and tips for adapting in new culture, DIVE model, Communications Styles, Journaling, Etiquettes, Indian Traditions & Religious Matters, Stereotypes & Generalizations, Learning Objectives from Participants, Budgeting and Being an ambassador.

During this orientation, sessions were done while keeping in mind the concepts of Intercultural Learning. In this orientation, new methodologies and techniques were adopted to carry out the sessions which made participants interact and take active part in group activities and energizers.

We had officials from American Center, Matthew K. Asada, First Secretary for Exchanges and Education and JP Das, Country Exchanges Advisor, Public Affairs Office, at the orientation. They interacted with the participants, shared adjustment tips and talked about the value of exchange program. We're thankful to American Center officials for joining us.

One of the highlight of the orientation was the talent show where participants from various cities came together to showcase Indian culture and tradition. It was a successful orientation as it was a learning experience for all the participants.

YES Re-entry orientation for 2015-16 Batch

Venue- Delhi | Dates- 18th-20th June 2016 | Group of 37 students were welcomed at the Delhi airport on 17th June. AFS India staffers received them at the airport and the students stayed in Delhi till 20th June evening and attended a re-entry orientation.

The orientation was facilitated by AFS-IND staffers. The orientation sessions mainly focused on reflecting on their experiences, dealing with reverse cultural shock, weaving AFS experience in participants’ life, intercultural learning concepts (communications styles, DIVE, ice-berg & cultural dimensions), common challenges & solutions with the tips for re-adjustment in the family, school and society. One of the highlights of the orientation were when participants got to read Dear Me letters which they wrote a year back and also saw the Before/After presentation of how they have changed in looks. It was a great way to make them realize the change that took place over a year gap.

On 20th June, the students also had the chance to meet and share their experiences with the US embassy officials at American Center. They had the chance to meet Matthew K. Asada, First Secretary for Exchanges and Education and JP Das, Country Exchanges Advisor, Public Affairs Office, Shailey Tucker, Cultural Affairs Assistant – Alumni Outreach and Programs, and official running English Language Program. The interaction with the officials made the participants realize the value of being YES Alumni and how they can use the resources that are available for them upon their return back home. The officials interacted with the participants, shared adjustment tips and talked about their responsibility as global citizen. We're thankful to American Center officials for taking out time and meeting with the participants.

We wish the newly YES graduates good luck. We look forward to seeing them get engaged and participate in various activities. We're thankful to the chaperone, Frank Bush, for being there and taking care of participants throughout the journey.
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