Here are some commonly asked questions every new AYA Local Coordinator has. Maybe you have the same?
1. What is the expected time commitment?
As a Local Coordinator (LC) you are encouraged to recruit host families throughout the year. During the spring and summer months LCs spend a lot of time finding families and in the fall focus on supervising, conducting orientations and getting to know exchange students and host families.
You definitely get out what you put into it. This position is highly flexible and can be worked around your everyday schedule. We typically recommend between 5-10 hours per week to work towards your personal goals.
2. How do I find families in my community?
You can find families in your community in a variety of ways. They are often found through word of mouth by spreading the AYA word and sharing AYA marketing materials. Our LCs say they find most families through referrals: friends, families or community connections at local churches, clubs or recreation centers.
Most importantly, share your passion for cultural exchange, have a volunteer spirit and a desire to help bring the world together through international education.
3. Do I have to find the students?
No. AYA has a selection of wonderful international students from around the world who excel academically and have knowledge of the English language. As a LC you will find families in your community and assist them in selecting a student. We believe it’s very important for each family to choose a student that will be the best fit for their family. You will support the family in selecting a student based on the family’s lifestyle, family dynamics and activities.
4. What happens if I don’t place a student?
Don’t panic, and don’t worry! We understand that it takes time to build your network in your community and establish yourself as a LC. AYA offers a variety of training opportunities to better equip you to become a successful LC and our team is always here for you to create a unique strategy that fits you and your area.
5. Can I talk to an AYA LC who has done this before?
If you’re looking for “insider” knowledge about the LC position, look no further! AYA has created a new LC Mentorship Program to link veteran LCs with new LCs just like you. Becoming a mentor or mentoring a LC is a mutual beneficial relationship. It’s always a great way to brainstorm, share ideas and connect with like-minded individuals.
6. Are Local Coordinators required to host an exchange student?
As a LC you are not required to host an exchange student. Although many of our LCs do decide to host and find it’s the best way to get to know the program and our participants.
The only time a student would live with you in your home would be if there was an emergency with a student you are supervising. This is very rare, but as the supervising LC you must provide temporary safe housing until a permanent family is found.
7. How else can I get involved?
At AYA you can get involved in a variety of other ways from hosting, to participating in the LC Mentor or Loyalty Program or participating in challenges with travel and merchandise rewards. We also offer a Referral Program for LCs who refer other LCs to us and an incentive for each referral. We find our best LCs are referred to our program from people just like you!
If you’re interested in joining our program, contact us today to learn more!