Returnee Initiative

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A Returnee Initiative logo.
Returnee Initiative AFS-USA
  • Overview: The Returnee Initiative (RI) was a National Council Task Force. It began in the spring of 2009 and continues to expand to involve more returnees who are interested in giving back to AFS while continuing their own personal and professional growth through engagement in returnee volunteer positions. The Returnee Initiative had evolved and is now known as Returnee Relations.
  • Returnee Relations Mission: AFS-USA Returnee Relations engages Returnees throughout the Returnee Life Cycle by providing resources, support and opportunities for their growth, development and connections thus encouraging a life-time of participation within the AFS community.

Get Involved in Your Community

  • Become an AFS Volunteer! All returnee volunteer roles require that you be a registered AFS-USA volunteer, so start your application today!
  • Returnee Coordinator: The Team Returnee Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the support, recruitment, integration, orientation, and recognition of returnees for the Team.
  • Returnee Meet-ups Returnee Meetups are an informal and social event for returnees to get together. Here is some helpful tips on how to plan a Returnee Meet-up in your Team!
  • Become a Returnee Ambassador: Returnee Ambassadors are registered AFS returnee volunteers who reach out to their networks and local community to share their AFS story and promote AFS sending and hosting opportunities.

National Volunteer Opportunities

  • Become a Returnee Country Specialist: AFS Returnee Country Specialists represent their study abroad country and provide students with the first-hand perspective of the expectations of living abroad. Country Specialists can share their insights in the following ways: be a representative on AFS Online Info Sessions, Speak with a Returnee online group calls, Ask an AFSer Facebook Page or as a referral.
  • Returnee Leadership Summit: AFS Returnee Relations annually provides leadership training for AFS returnees, followed by the opportunity to act as a Group Leader at YES End of Stay departing international students in Washington, DC. Returnees that are selected to attend will receive a paid trip to Washington, DC. View past Returnee Initiative Training Participants.
  • Be a Scholarship Evaluator: AFS-USA Scholarship Department loves to have AFS returnees help them select finalists for their merit-based scholarships. If you are interested in helping out, please contact
  • AFS Returnee Internship Opportunities: AFS-USA regularly hires returnee interns. Check back often for updates.
  • Returnee Engagement Advisory Group: Learn more about this advisory group of returnees, volunteers and staff members.

Returnee Engagement Highlights

  • Returnee Blog: The AFS-USA Returnee Blog regularly spotlights returnees, features returnee events, and advertises exciting opportunities for returnees. If you would like to contribute to the Returnee Blog, email us as
  • Returnee Welcome Home Packet: A personalized welcome home sent to all sending participants upon their return to the US, with tools for navigating reverse culture shock and ways to get involved as a volunteer.



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