YFU orientations are designed to be guide posts for students and families as they travel through the exchange experience together. While each orientation is a distinct entity with distinct objectives, they are tied to the preceding and succeeding orientations by common threads and language. In this way, the individual orientation programs, when experienced together, form a cohesive whole in order that students and families meet the overarching goals of the YFU orientation cycle. It is therefore important that the prescribed curriculum be utilized and that the primary facilitators for each orientation communicate with one another so that issues raised in one orientation can be referenced in the next.
A well-planned, well-organized, and well-executed orientation gives a sense of professionalism, security, and confidence in YFU. Coordinating an orientation encompasses a great number of things, from understanding the purpose and goals of the program to securing and developing a team of volunteers to deliver it. This Orientation Coordinator Handbook provides in depth information to help Orientation Coordinators oversee a successful event, from start to finish.
The YFU international community, with great input from YFU USA, developed Learning Outcomes for YFU Orientation Programs (LOOP) in order to ensure that each participant’s educational experience with YFU grows from the point of engagement in the home country through the exchange experience and back home again. All YFU USA orientation materials are developed to ensure that we meet LOOP expectations. Learning outcomes for mid-year, re-entry and homecoming orientations are in development.
YFU: From Visiting to Belonging
The international exchange experience is a journey that YFU lays out for students and families. Starting as visitors (or having a visitor in the home), the ultimate destination is belonging and developing a meaningful understanding of the impact of exchange. Students and families control this journey, using the power of choice and communication as tools to steer the experience. YFU’s role is that of guide, using orientation programming, and the support structure as their tools. In this way, each orientation provides a stopping point along the journey; a time for reflection on progress made and consideration of the next goal ahead. The concept used to illustrate this structure and provide common language is YFU: From Visiting to Belonging.