AFS-USA is part of a worldwide network of AFS partner organizations that work together to advance global education and foster meaningful connections across cultures. As the network’s largest partner, AFS-USA works to increase the global competency of U.S. citizens by providing a variety of international and intercultural learning experiences to individuals, families, schools, and communities. We are proud of our Staff of approximately 200 dedicated individuals, working from our national office in New York City as well as home offices across the county, who collaborate with our more than 4,000 AFS-USA Volunteers to deliver high quality programs and global education resources. These include: immersion based study abroad experiences in over 40 countries worldwide; opportunities to host foreign AFS exchange applicants; and global learning workshops and curricula for educator, schools and businesses.
The Study Abroad Specialist presents our portfolio of offerings and assists applicants in choosing the right program for them based upon their knowledge of the applicants interests and circumstances (timeframe, amount of time they can spend abroad, financial needs, academic credit concerns, custody issues, etc.). The Study Abroad Specialist also guides applicants and parents “on the path” throughout the exploration, planning, and application phases. The Specialist builds trust and understanding to weather moments of uncertainty, inspires and excites at moments of doubt, and help applicants and parents achieve experiences they didn’t know were possible.
The Study Abroad Specialist also establishes relationships with our international partner offices, AFS-USA volunteers and Team Development staff to ensure a seamless customer experience.
Support Achievement of Sending Goals
- Work with fellow team member to ensure that sending goals are met.
- Collaborate with volunteers and Team Development staff to ensure that recruited applicants are moving through the application process.
- Ensure timely communication with international partner offices, applicants, and parents.
- Through the use of multiple media ( phone, email, webinars, social media and chat), provide applicants and parents with an in depth explanation of the Sending Journey, including costs, program and country choices, application and visa processes, placement restrictions, program expectations and medical review policies and procedures, as needed.
- Guides applicants through selection of country and program in accordance with program specific criteria, promoting priority countries, scholarships, fundraising and incentives.
- Informs applicants of status changes such as program acceptance, host family placement, etc.
- Facilitates applicants and parents toward covering the program tuition.
- Advises and assist applicants and parents on general visa issues, as needed, in coordination with a Visa Specialist.
- Works alongside Administrative Coordinator to ensure all compliance documents are complete and meet CSIET and US Department of State compliance standards.
- Cultivate relationships with Team Development staff and Volunteer Area Teams as assigned.
- Maintains working knowledge of sending countries and programs.
- Coordinate application processing. Monitor student applications and ensure that applicants have completed required tasks and documents.
- Respond to all requests from Partners for additional information regarding applicants. Provide additional information or clarify items in student applications in a timely manner.
- Float applications with Partners to ascertain the likelihood of acceptance; solicit Partners to consider applicants that do not meet eligibility criteria or have special needs, in coordination with senior staff.
- Master our internal management systems in order to efficiently and effectively maintain customer relationships.
International Partner Relations
- “Guarantee sweeps” of country review applicants on an ongoing basis to ensure applicants are accepted in a timely fashion.
- Advocate on behalf of FF/F/RJ applicants (medical, physical, dietary restrictions or other needs) in coordination with senior staff.
- Coordinate with Director and senior staff to request additional or fewer matrix spots depending on need.
Administrative and Departmental Functions
- Coordinate and facilitate sending program webinars with returnees, applicants and families.
- Monitor the Ask an AFSer Facebook group and provide accurate and appropriate information to members.
- Assist with data entry from field recruitment efforts as needed.
- Execute special projects as assigned.
The Specialist will work out of the AFS-USA office in New York, NY. The Customer Experience and Program Innovation Department is open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. There will be times when hours will have to be altered with seasonal fluctuations in workload, and could include occasional weekend work. All hour alterations should be approved at least one week prior to actual date of change. An average work week is 35 hours.
QUALIFICATIONS & SKILLS
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience, preferably in an education or non-profit organization context.
- 2-3 years in customer service and/or sales experience.
- International/intercultural exchange experience (living or studying abroad or exposure to other cultures). Preference given to people who have had high school study abroad experience, with AFS in particular.
- Computer literacy, including word processing, spreadsheets, email, database management, webinar and internet applications.
- Previous admissions or international studies, call center, or customer service experience is a plus, as well as foreign language proficiency.
- Comfortable speaking with people of different backgrounds and ages including applicants, parents, educators, international partners, returnees and Volunteers.
- Confident working in a strategic and consultative sales environment.
- Able to work independently and in multiple team environments, in varying contexts.
- Excellent communication skills (spoken and written) including telephone, email and chat etiquette.
- Well organized, highly detail-oriented and able to manage multiple priorities under multiple deadlines.
- Adaptable. Able to evaluate changing demands and circumstances and to adjust tactics as necessary.
AFS-USA is committed to a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. AFS-USA prohibits all forms of unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation, including behavior which targets an individual or group based on perceived or actual characteristics, such as but not limited to: race, color, religion, creed, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions), national origin, age, disability, military service, veteran status, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, familial status, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, genetic predisposition or carrier status, alienage, citizenship status, caregiver status, status as a victim of domestic violence, sex offense or stalking, unemployment status, status as a certified medical marijuana patient or any other legally protected classification.
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