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641 S St NW Suite 200


Volunteer Training

YFU Volunteer Training programs help to build relationships with students and host family, understand active listening skills.

This is a list of all volunteer training materials, including links to webinar registration, in-person training summaries, and all printed and recorded materials. Questions and comments about these materials should go to Education & Training.

Self-Paced Online Courses

Access the self-paced trainings through your Volunteer Portal. You can take these courses at any time from the convenience of your home. 

Roles and Responsibilities for All Area Representatives

This course is a required training for all Area Representatives and should be completed before contact with students. At the conclusion of this training, you will have a reasonable grasp of the Area Rep role, know the lines of communication within YFU, know what is required for student and host family support including YFU policy and procedures, be aware of basic problem solving skills. You will also be familiar with strategies to build relationships with students and host family, understand active listening skills, and be recognize with potential risks of poor support. 

Monthly Contact Report Self-Paced Training Course for All Area Representatives

This course will guide volunteers through the process for completing and submitting the Monthly Contact Report (MCR). This training consists of three modules and you can take them at one sitting (less than 40 minutes), or take the course over a few days working through one module at a time. 

Live Webinars

New Volunteer Orientation

Purpose: Welcome to YFU! Join us to learn about our history and the groups that you will enjoy supporting! At the conclusion of this orientation, you will be familiar with YFU history and structure, understand who YFU participants are, be exposed to YFU regulations, standards and funding, be familiar with the basic YFU programs, be aware of the variety of volunteer roles within YFU, understand the volunteer support structure and resources, learn some features on the website and be aware of further training opportunities. 
Upcoming Dates & Registration

First Student Visit

Purpose: An Area Rep's first visit with the student can help pave the way to a mutually beneficial relationship and help make your experience as an Area Rep easier and more rewarding. Setting the tone of your relationship and helping to build trust and positive rapport allows you to get to know the student. Once you know the student, you are more likely to anticipate problems. This training will be offered July-September and December. 
Upcoming Dates & Registration

Host Family Interview Skills

Purpose: This training is designed for volunteers who will be interviewing host families. Attendees will learn the requirements for a host family interview, know how to prepare for a host family interview, know what must occur during the interview, be familiar with successful interviewing techniques, know how to complete and submit the Host Family Interview Form. 
Upcoming Dates & Registration

Orientation Coordinator Training

Purpose: This is a basic orientation coordinator training for volunteers who are new to coordinating YFU orientations. 
Upcoming Dates & Registration

Printed Materials

Recorded Trainings

Robo-calling (21 mins)
Inspiring Exchange Students to Find Host Families (15 mins)
Introduction to YFU (17 mins)
Rachel Andresen's Story (7 mins)

How to Navigate the Host Family Interface (19 mins)
Host Family Application Process (7 mins)
How to Enter a Host Family Interview Report (5 mins)
How to Enter a Host Family Reference Check (5 mins)

Study Abroad Interviewing (34 mins)

First Student Visit & SEE Visit ( 1 hour)

Live Trainings

If you are interested in having one of these topics trained in your area, contact your Regional Office and/or a volunteer Certified Trainer.

The Area Rep Role

Purpose: identify AR role, understand support structure and flow of communication, identify means of establishing personal contact and effective communication, understand role of documentation in effective support, identify tools available.

Basic Listening Skills

Purpose: using questions, reflection skills, positive asset search.

Basic Support Skills

Purpose: attending and asking questions (1 hr); reflective listening and focusing (1.5 hrs); organizing a systematic interview (1.5 hrs).

Advanced Support Skills

Purpose: influencing skills (1 hr); feedback and confrontation (1.5 hrs); utilize influencing, feedback, confrontation skills (1.75 hrs).

Development a Dual Perspective

Purpose: Teaches the skills required to help YFU Area Reps develop, use, and transmit a dual cultural perspective when addressing the variety of situations that they encounter in exchange work.

Self Disclosure and Advice Giving

Purpose: Recognizing self disclosure and advice giving as helping interventions; developing guidelines for using self disclosure and advice giving.

Learning About Language

Purpose: Identifying adjustment problems that occur while learning a language, describing challenges of the total immersion experience, sorting out nature of student’s language proficiency issues and adjustment issues.

Dealing With Difficult Situations

Purpose: This unit builds on communication skills and is designed to develop skills in handling more difficult situations such as anger, hostility, and depression.

Basic Mediation

Purpose: This training is designed for experienced volunteers. This module, which builds on Basic Listening Skills and Dual Perspectives, trains 7 specific stages of mediation.

Tell Your YFU Story

Purpose: learn to talk about and communicate the values behind the work that YFU does through story telling. The key takeaway is understanding and practicing how to tell values-based stories that motivate people to action.

Recruitment and Placement

Purpose: identify and learn to access personal network, extend an invitation to host, be aware of regulations related to host family recruitment and student placement, know how to follow up with the application and interview phases.

School Relations

Purpose: increase volunteers' ability to make "the case" for schools to want to engage with YFU; become more familiar with specific obstacles which are presented for engaging with YFU; increase volunteers’ appreciation of the need for ongoing contact with the appropriate school personnel as means of demonstrating YFU's quality support system. 

Standards and Regulations

Purpose: Identify the three institutions that impose standards and regulations on the student exchange industry, Apply standards and regulations to specific YFU scenarios, Understand the importance of complying with the standards and regulations.

Muslim Student Considerations

Purpose: To provide an overview of Islamic beliefs and practices. To emphasize ways Islam is connected to Judaism and Christianity and to address the most common misperceptions about Islam and Muslims. 

Keeping Your Students Safe

Purpose: recognizing common signs preceding an act of sexual exploitation or assault, knowing what to do and who to call if they suspect a future or actual assault.

Exploring Team Dynamics

Purpose: To explore group dynamics, examine how individuals communicate within the confines of their roles, explore feelings related to the limitations of tasks, roles and boundaries of oneself and other team members, relate how the activity of building a model relates to the YFU structure and the parameters within which a volunteer must function.