Volunteering Roles with AFS

AFS has online modules and face to face training and support for volunteers. If you're interested in any of the following roles, please contact Carla, carla.reyvasquez.org or call 0800 600 300.

Volunteering is an excellent way to get valuable work experience and to keep busy if you're looking for work, or slowing down in your career. 

AFS Ambassador:
Do you want to meet students travelling overseas, and help match them with host families? AFS Ambassadors are sending students’ first point of contact with their local chapter. Once a student’s application is accepted, the Ambassador will arrange a home meeting with the student and their family. The Ambassador’s role in this meeting is to answer any questions about AFS, promote contact with the local chapter, promote hosting, and, once the meeting is concluded, fill in a confidential form about the student and family.

Training: You will be sent a ‘Guidelines for AFS Ambassadors’ handbook prior to your first home meeting. This will explain the role of ambassador and how to conduct home meetings, as well as how to be a contact person for the sending student and their natural family. Home meetings generally take around half an hour.
We also have a specific e-learning module available for ambassadors.

Connect Coordinator:
Do you want to work with students online? AFS Connect is our online orientation system, where students who have been selected to go on an exchange can talk to other students departing at the same time as them and some of our recent returnees. The role of volunteers who coordinates the forum is to facilitate communication between students, organise ‘chats’ with returnees, post relevant information such as videos or articles, or set short assignments for the students about intercultural learning, culture shock and so on.

Training: Basic + Modules 5 and 11. Support from other volunteers and Sending Coordinator.

Airport Volunteers:
Do you want to see our students arrive filled with excitement and ready for their new experience? Do you want to assist them and their families in the emotional journey home? As a member of the airport “meet and greet” team you will have the wonderful opportunity of meeting and greeting young people from all around the world.  You could be:
·                 Saying “Goodbye” to New Zealand students who are just about to depart for their programme in another country.
·                 Saying “Welcome” to hosted students who have just arrived to commence their programme in New Zealand.
·                 Saying “Goodbye” to hosted students who have just completed their programme of a few weeks to a year in New Zealand.
This role requires volunteers to be at Auckland airport for about 5 hours on every duty. Busy times at Auckland airport run from the end of January until mid March, June, August/ September and early December. Duties are rostered amongst volunteers according to volunteer availability. Volunteers taking on this role need to have the ability to be organized, remain calm under pressure and, if possible, to have their own car.

Training: Basic + Modules 4 and 7. National Office staff support at the airport.

Hosting Coordinator:
Do you want to facilitate hosting our exchange students from all over the worls within your community? Hosting coordinators help with finding and interviewing host families, coordinating school enrolment for students on exchange, liaising with the local chapter to allocate a support person to each student and host family, and ensuring the correct paperwork is filled out.

Training: Basic + Modules 8 and 9. One hosting workshop per year.

Orientations and Camp Facilitator:
Do you want to help prepare students for their exchanges? Orientation camps are held prior to each major departure (generally Queen’s Birthday Weekend and a weekend in December). These are not mandatory for the student but highly encouraged – there students will meet other students departing at the same time, and participate in discussions and activities about what to expect on their exchanges – the highs and lows, cultural information on the hosting country, how to behave and so on. The role of a Camp Facilitator is to help run the camp and the activities.

Training: Basic + Modules 10 and 11. A facilitators training weekend and selection is required for this role.

Are you interested in working closely with sending students and host families? AFS Support volunteers are the primary source of contact for hosted students and their families during their exchange.  This important role would suit somebody who enjoys building relationships, has good communication skills and who can comfortably relate to people of all ages. It also requires a person who has the ability to be there when things don’t go so well for those they support. A knack for problem solving, good time management skills and a genuine commitment to the role are very important attributes for a Support volunteer.

Here's our complete Support Person role description

Training: National annual one-day workshop, online training plus training as required through National Office support.

Do you want to spread the word about AFS? Presentation volunteers help by representing AFS at exhibitions or community events, as well as doing vital work by building and managing relationships between AFS and local schools. AFS school presenters are students who have recently returned from exchanges and make a short presentation at their current or previous school, where they discuss their exchange experience and the work done by AFS.

Training: Basic + Modules 6 and 9
Presenters are given a rough guide of key points to cover, however how the presentation is structured is entirely up to the presenter – this could be at an assembly, careers seminar or a notice could be put in the newsletter for students to attend a meeting. We are also able to provide a power point presentation about AFS for the presenter to use if they wish to, however this is not necessary and most students prefer to create their own. The presentation is very informal, so presenters are largely able to decide how their presentation goes themselves.

Marketing Volunteer:
Do you want to create promotional and PR activities in the local community and encourage Returnees and hosted students to be involved?
As a Marketing Volunteer you will have a wide range of opportunities, from liaising with local volunteers, students and families about PR activities to building strong working relationship with local media and schools, the sky is the limit to build up the profile of your chapter.
You will be working in the production of a regular chapter newsletter on mail chimp for wide distribution, helping us manage the chapter Facebook account, as well as helping us maintain and record the history of the Chapter for promotional use. The role also includes the opportunity of organising public events, displays, and talks with other community groups, such as scouts, girl guides, and Rotary, and liaising with National Office to approach local schools and organisations about publishing AFS information in their newsletters and setting up presentations and displays. This is a perfect role if you are interested in learning about marketing tools, database management and strengthening your communication skills.

Training: Basic modules + 6 The AFS brand - using social media and other marketing resources.

Event Coordinator:
If you enjoy organizing events, then you will definitely fit in our Event-Coordinator role. You will help coordinate and bring to fruition regular (at least four times a year) chapter events for hosted and sending students, volunteers, and their families, as well as support with the organization of orientation activities such as arrival, mid-stay and end of stay orientation for hosted students. You will act as a link between students, families, returnees and AFS; encouraging them all to become members of the community you live in.
AFS always needs new and motivated volunteers so another task under your care is to ensure that you are attracting people in your community to become involved and aware of the full range of AFS volunteer opportunities available. You also have a key role establishing and maintaining contact with potential and new volunteers as well as cultivating and supporting the local volunteer network by keeping regular contact with chapter/local units, recognizing and awarding their efforts.

Training: Basic training + 7 How to run successful chapter events.

Committee Roles:

Are you organized, like working with people and love to look at things from a strategic perspective?  As a chapter president your role is to ensure that things run smoothly in the chapter and that volunteers feel encouraged, included and inspired to conduct their roles. You will prepare and run chapter meetings, keep an oversight of all the AFS community activities, and be part of the decision making process at the national level. You are in charge of the strategy and future of the chapter, so you will be heavily involved in the budgeting and annual planning, monitoring that standards are met and that sending and hosted students, their families and volunteers are satisfied. This is a great role to be part of and it looks fantastic on your CV! No one is too young or old to be chapter president/leader and National Office will be supporting you throughout this journey.
Training: Basic training + Advanced modules. Face-to-Face training at National office as you take on this role.

Are you a great people’s organizer? AFS offer you the possibility of working as a chapter  secretary, dealing with inward and outward correspondence, maintaining records and minutes, chapter calendars as well as keeping an up-to-date membership list. This is the perfect role for someone who is quite methodical and likes to contribute their computer skills to our organization. It allows you great flexibility working from home.

Are you a numbers person? Do you enjoy dealing with finances, managing accounts and expenditure? Are you great at fundraising and knowing how to best invest and spend money? Then you should join our Treasurer team at AFS. In this role you are in charge of keeping accurate financial records and accounts as required by AFS National Office , taking part in planning and drawing up an annual budget, and reporting the financial state of the chapter at committee meeting. While this might sound like the big leagues it really suits someone who is motivated to learn about accounting and finances and it won’t require a huge involvement, while you will have a great impact in the life of the chapter. The AFS National Office finance team will be able to help you with any questions or difficulties.
Training: Basic training

Committee Member
As a committee member at AFS you’ll attend local AFS committee meetings where you will be able to partake to the decision making of the chapter. Committee members generally have other roles as volunteers and join their committee to provide support in the strategic future of the community.