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Having the Time of Your Life in AMERICA !. Orientation Agenda Let’s Get Comfortable! What to Expect this year  Program Info  Student Safety  Student.

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Presentation on theme: "Having the Time of Your Life in AMERICA !. Orientation Agenda Let’s Get Comfortable! What to Expect this year  Program Info  Student Safety  Student."— Presentation transcript:

1 Having the Time of Your Life in AMERICA !

2 Orientation Agenda Let’s Get Comfortable! What to Expect this year  Program Info  Student Safety  Student Support & Disciplinary Policies  Expectations & Adjustment  Roles & Responsibilities  Alumni Network & Multiplier Effect  Calendar of Activities & Wrap up

3 Program Information AYA Program Goals YES/FLEX Program Goals

4 Student Safety Awareness & Prevention  Student Safety Video Student Safety Video  Appropriate vs. Inappropriate behaviors & interactions  Who to contact should you or a friend be in an unsafe situation  Local Coordinator  AYA office or AYA Emergency Service 1-800-322-4678 or 1-800-926-2506  Any trusted adult (guidance counselor, law enforcement, parent of a friend)  Department of State  1-866-283-9090  Insurance  Covers required treatment by a physician, confinement in an infirmary or hospital, services of a nurse  Does not cover dental work, eye exams, routine physicals, sports exams, psychological treatment  In-network physician;

5 Rules & Expectations  Zero Tolerance Rules:  Must abide by all U.S. laws  No drinking/drug use  No driving  Expulsion from school  Travel Policy  Family Rules  Abide by all family rules including household chores and curfews  Behavioral expectations  Positive attitude towards school, family and community  Ask if you are unsure about a rule  Think before you act  Refrain from posting negative or inappropriate comments on social media sites

6 Social Media Circumstances that will result in disciplinary action: Inappropriate or passive aggressive comments about the host family, the home or the placement in general Culturally inappropriate posts, including derogatory political cartoons, lewd posts or images containing sexually explicit content and/or expletives Photographs of students in compromising situations, where they appear to be drinking, smoking or engaged in behavior unbecoming of an exchange students Provocative photographs of students wearing revealing clothing or engaged in displays of affection Discovery of messages or posts revealing breach of program rules

7 Disciplinary Policies Disciplinary process –Mediation –Warning –Probation –Disqualification

8 Rules and Expectations Host Family Changes  Considered a last resort  Expected to make a concerted effort to adjust to your host family  Not moved based on simple dislike of your location, style of housing or host family  Unless there is a safety concern you are expected to stay with your assigned family  You may not change families at will or without permission from AYA National office  30 day rule

9 Effective Problem Solving Identify the problem –Talk to HF or LC Choose a good time to talk Use “I” statements Listen to other point-of- view Explore a creative solution

10 Chain of Communication Natural Parents Overseas Office American Councils AYA Office Local Coordinator Student

11 Support Issues & Fears Feeling Homesick Food Making Friends Dogs/Pets in the home Religious Practices

12 Activity Expectations Worksheet –Student Handbook –What expectations do you have about how your program experience will be? –How could these expectations not be met?

13 Adaptation Process Honeymoon High Culture Shock Cultural Adjustment Adaptation

14 Culture Shock Symptoms of Culture Shock: No energy/exhausted Anxious Feel sick Extreme homesickness Crying for no reason Extreme anger Psychological disorientation What can you do? Leave Deny or fight it Accept and talk about it

15 Expectations of your Host Family Majority of your HF’s are middle class Americans who do not live in mansions Most AYA host families live in small towns and rural areas Most families need to drive long distances to get to town/movies/shopping Share interests, customs and information with HF Expect disagreements Don’t expect HF to entertain or schedule trips for you


17 American Host Families Host families come in all shapes and sizes –Older parents with no children –Single parents with children –Larger families with young children All of your host families have one thing in common: –Chose to host you for free –Volunteering to make you part of their family –Want to get to know you and about your country

18 American Teenagers Social Life Revolves around school activities and events Weekend activities include hanging out with friends at the movies, mall or a friend’s house with adult supervision Aside from friends and school, American teenagers typically spend their free time with their family Household Responsibilities Chores –American teenagers participate in household chores such as doing the dishes, taking out the trash, sweeping, and in most cases teens are expected to clean their own rooms and do their own laundry Curfew –It is customary for American teens to have a set time that they are expected to be home after an event or activity –Examples include having a curfew of 9pm on the weekdays and 10pm on the weekends Reminder Although you are expected to abide by the same household rules as other members of your host family, you are also responsible for following ALL AYA Program Rules

19 Expectations for Communication Avoid frequent or excessive communication with fellow exchange students Limit time talking to friends and family from home

20 Expectations for High School Peer pressure English & U.S. History courses New hobbies and activities Homework & participation Grade assignment, diploma, participation in sports or graduation ceremonies is not guaranteed Lunch time Ask for help

21 American Culture General attitude –Independent –Outspoken –patriotic Customs and Courtesies –Greetings –Personal space & eye contact –Timeliness Personal appearance/Hygiene –Generally free to wear whatever –Short pants and recreational clothing worn in public –Cleanliness –Shower regularly –Deodorant/Antiperspirant Religion –95% American profess religious belief –Various Christian churches across country –Personal matter –Understanding of different religious backgrounds

22 Cultural Iceberg

23 Adaptation Tips Say “please” and “thank you” Homework Ask for help Language Be aware Suspend judgment Relax Become involved

24 Activity Rights V. Privileges –Student Handbook –What is a right? –What is a privilege?

25 Responsibilities of Host Families Welcome student as a family member Provide students with own bed & place to study Provide all meals Provide transportation to & from school and religious services Help student adjust: school, language, homesickness, culture shock

26 Your Responsibilities: Follow ALL AYA program rules Maintain C+ average or better in all classes Treat your Host Family with respect –Respect rules for computer, curfew, homework, dating, phone, meals, chores Help with chores –Clean up after yourself Be involved with Host Family activities –What about church? Show appreciation Community service Attend enhancement activities Manage monthly stipend Fulfill YES/FLEX program goals and act in a positive manner Character, good judgment, ambition

27 Local Coordinator’s Role  Select safe and suitable Host Families  Enroll students in High School  Supervise & support students  Monthly contact with Students and Host Families  Submit monthly reports  Provide emergency assistance

28 AYA Staff Grant Regional Director –Mark Cavanagh ext. 5081 – Grant Manager –Lisa DeBeradinis ext. 5070 –

29 Key Program Components Volunteerism/Community Service –50 hours required Enhancement Activities –Exposed to American society, volunteerism, leadership and diversity –Reflection Form

30 Student Finances Monthly stipend –$125 each month –Social activities and personal items –Not allowed: Travel, clothing, school lunch, sent home Incidentals allowance –Assist with program related expenses –Must have receipts for reimbursement

31 Student Opportunities International Education Week (IEW) Better Understanding for a Better World (BUBW) Civic Education Workshop (CEW) Social Media and English Teaching Workshops Global Youth Service Day

32 Multiplier Effect & Alumni Network Promote program Create mutual understand and long last connections Media outreach, visits to government offices, IEW presentations Alumni Network

33 Stay Connected Participate in AYA contests & Activities Stay connected with AYA –Quarterly Surveys –Connections –LC of the Month Erin Sesil: Current email addresses

34 Conclusion Calendar of Events Q & A

35 Make memories that last a lifetime!

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