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AFS
Topic Started: Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:17 am (807 Views)
mburucuja

I went abroad, hosted, interned, and volunteer with AFS. If you have any questions about AFS, ask 'em here! :)
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Ethan

What is the application process like after I actually complete and submit my application? What do AFS do if they have questions? How long does it take (on average) to hear back about acceptance? (For a little context, I am applying for the fall semester 2015 Japan program)
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mburucuja

The preapp is the first step. It's super short. Do it as soon as you can, the country choices here don't mean much.

The full app is a lot more involved, but really no worse than a college app. That's your host family letter, medical forms, academic forms, a parent statement, and some other basic info like your country list.

Most volunteers recommend doing your interview before you turn your application in so that they can address any concerns right away. If that doesn't happen, get your interview done ASAP afterwords. The interviews aren't scary- volunteers just want to get to know you and make sure that you've got a shot at having a successful exchange. This is a great time for you and your family to ask questions.

If AFS has any concerns, they'll call or email you to discuss them. Assuming there are no concerns, they'll probably accept your application within a few weeks. From there, it's sent to your first choice country. If you're accepted there, then you wait for a host family. If for whatever reason you're not accepted (could be anything from the program filled to being unable to accept students taking a certain medication) your app will be sent to your second choice country and so on. Acceptance can take anywhere from days to more than a month, depending on the country, the timeline, and any complications that may exist.

For me, I submitted my full app in late October, was accepted by AFS USA about 2 weeks later, and then by AFS Paraguay about 2 weeks after that. I got my host family the last week of December, and then arrived in Paraguay 6 years ago today. :)
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Ethan

Thanks for the info. Just pressed the submit button on my full application a few seconds ago, sure hope I am accepted!
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