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AFS 2011 returnees at the South Beach Returnees Reunion, February 26, 2012. JENESYS departures and homestay.

2012 April

Autumn Issue

West Australias AFS info

For enquiries and questions, contact:

Send offs, Returnees, and new arrivals - the AFS exchange cycle is ongoing in 2012!
On February 26, we had a pleasing turnout at the AFS Returnees Picnic, where year, semester and short program returnees, including Claire, Bonnie, Tessa, Alex, Kieran and Grace were all keen to talk about their overseas experience as well as their pending start to their University Studies in Perth. Also returning to WA were the 38 JENESYS scholarship winners, who spent a 17-day short


AFS WA - In WA and Around the World program to Experience Canada, and we are looking
Japan thanks to the generosity of the Japanese Government. Just days before our returnees picnic, however, AFS WA welcomed 12 new arrivals who landed in Perth on the 23 of February for their Year and Semester programs. And, thanks to the generosity of the AFS host families in both Perth and the country, these new arrivals have found homes in Perth, Bunbury, Busselton, Albany, Pinjarra, Bridgetown, Katanning and Geraldton. Our new arrivals herald from Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Denmark, Guatemala, Belgium and forward to sharing their experiences and stories! But lets not forget those excited WA students who also just left for their AFS adventures abroad. A large contingent left WA in January and February for their exchange programs in Italy, France, Germany, Latvia, Argentina and China. We are looking forward to a fantastic 2012 in AFS WA, with returnees sharing their experiences and volunteering to help at camps. We also look forward to hearing from both the foreign students presently in WA as well as the WA students who are

Inside this issue:



To support and promote intercultural exchange between Young West Australians and youth from across the globe. To inform and communicate as best as we can all the information that you need as an applicant, exchange student, student volunteer, host family or returnee.

Volunteering with AFS CALENDAR of EVENTS Information nights

Returnees Write...

2 3 3

Our objective:

Hosting News Whos Who in AFSWA

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Volunteer at Camp: You could have fun with AFS students such as these at the next mid stay camp-

How you can volunteer with AFS

1. Write an article for this newsletter! Include some photos and words, and it may be published! If you would like to tell us about your AFS expereince , send your details to Newsletter coordinator at 2. Share your photos and experience at a local AFS support Group meeting. To do this, contact your local AFS support group or : 3. Support a student or host family during their exchange period - this involves a phone call or meeting for a cuppa once per month and is one of the most important things we need to do to help make AFS exchange programs a success. Contact Shannon or Joyce at

From Helen Mein, AFS WA State Chair

May is Recruitment Month - Can you volunteer a couple of hours?

As you can see on the calendar on Page 3, May is focused on the Careers Expo and Information Nights. As returnees, or parents of hosted students or returnees, you are in the perfect position to share your experience, provide information, and help new AFS applicants on their journey. Volunteering at an AFS event is not only a wonderful way to give back, it is also an ongoing way to add to the skills and experience that the AFS program has given you and your family. More and more, educational institutions and future employers are looking at the contributions that applicants make towards their community. Consider building your resume and sharing your AFS experience at one of the information nights, helping to staff the AFS booth at the Careers Expo. - We need you to be there to chat with young people and their parents about exchange, all

the information will be provided for you. Just a couple of hours over the first weekend in May at the convention centre and at one of the four information nights would be fantastic! Contact Felix our exchange volunteer who is coordinating these events at or leave your details at . If you can help later when we have applicants to interview and camps to prepare applicants for their exchange or host families and students to interview and support we would also love to hear from you. Our WA sending coordinator, Marion and Joyce who coordinates hosting in WA always need people for their teams.

4. Help out at one of the Discovery, Orientation, or other campsand get togethers . As a returnee or AFS parent, you have already experienced AFS and have lots to share with new students and their families. You can gain experience and skills as a group leader What a great addition to your CV for your future career. If this interests you, contact: Marion or Bianca at

5. Help with interviews for prospective AFS exchange students or host families. Parents who have hosted or sent students on exchange and older returnees are encouraged in this area. A great way to meet new families and reap the rewards of helping the next young person on their AFS journey. Contact: Marion or Joyce at:

Keep this date for AFS Volunteer Training weekend 16th and 17th June

WA calenda r
Look for AFS Western Australia on facebook

trimester, semester and, community service arrivals

MAY 3-6
Careers, Education and Employment Expo Perth Convention Centre AFS Booth where you can help us promote AFS

JUNE 11AFSWA state committee



Greens & Co Cafe Get ToGether for students, returnees and anyone interested in AFS see facebook for details

12Greens & Co Cafe GTG

workshop on intercultural learning with special guest from AFS international

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State Committee Meeting North Perth Hills

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Greens & Co Cafe GTG

Joondalup Info



and Central Group Meetings


North Perth Hills

Info Night

volunteer workshop 9 am to 12noon followed by the mid winter soup and casserole get together at Kings Park for everyone



Volunteer Conference, Sydney

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Central Info Night


South Perth Metro Info Night Details of information nights below

South Perth Metro group meeting 30th Lansdale Farm School Discovery Camp for all students and young people interested in exchange programs. Returnee volunteers required

Busselton Camp 23 -25 March8s

& Co Cafe TG

4 Special Events in May! AFS Information Evenings Around Perth: 7:30 to 9:00pm.

16 Hosted students and a wonderful team of volunteers had a successful camp weekend at Camp Geographe near Busselton. Special thanks to Liz, Georgia, Tracey, Eli and Felix for ensuring the camp was a great success and also Darren for communication and transport duties. If you know of southwest students interested in exchange who were unable to take up the opportunity to visit the camp for information sessions direct them to or

Tuesday 15th May - Beaumaris Community

Centre, Joondalup. contact Bianca Chantry at

Wednesday 16th May Noranda Family centre in conjunction with North Perth and Hills Support Group. Contact Mark Bogoars at

Wednesday 23rd May SUBIACO, at the Tom

Dadour Community Centre, East Hall 363 Bagot Rd - in conjunction with Central Support group. Contact Nic Trimboli at

Monday 28th May at East Vic Park Family and Community Centre in conjunction with South Perth Metro Support Group. Contact Nicci Johnson at

Returnees Write.......
JENESYS 2011 :
On the 7th of October I received the email of the century. The subject title: I had been selected out of 900 applications to participate in the JENESYS Program. WOW! What an amazing feeling. JENESYS Experience Japan: The Departure - December 5, 2011.

Perth Airport, temperature: 37 degrees Celsius. On 5th December 2011, around 600 students, from all over Asia and the Pacific, travelled to Japan as part of the JENESYS programme, managed in Australia by AFS. Mixed into diverse groups, we experienced two jam-packed weeks of Japans unique culture, cuisine, language, landscape and people. There were many activities and educational expeditions, a highlight being a visit to the Peace Memorial Park and Museum in Hiroshima. We visited Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Tokyo and another district where a family hosted us for five days (for me, this was West-Mikawa). Each student stayed with a family and attended a Japanese school. This was a full immersion in Japans modern culture and its people. My host family was incredibly welcoming and accepting of me, I truly felt like part of the family in the very short time, even with some difficulties in the language department! I think the most amazing aspect of the JENESYS trip was that despite it only being two weeks, we came away with strong friendships and connections with each other and with the country. My travelling group and I loved it so much that we have decided to reunite in Hiroshima, year 2020. Around 20 high school students filed into Perth International Airport with their large yellow tags on their suitcases, wearing, thick jeans, jumpers and sweaters the perfect outfit for a 37-degree day. Final goodbyes were said and we left hot, sunny Perth. We arrived in the morning to cold and gloomy Japan, where we received our ginormous (sic) bright blue JENESYS jackets. I was in the group, Explore Nippon and Nihongo 6 where students who studied Japanese for at least a year from all over Australia were included. In the other group were other AFS Jenesys scholarship winners from Perth who were in the Country Mix. While in Japan, we visited Nara, Kyoto, Tokyo, Hiroshima and our allocated home stay city. I stayed in the city of Oita on the southern island of Kyushu.

My outlook on the international world has certainly changed for the better. I am inspired to work toward mutual understanding between Asia and the Western world.
Arlene Mendoza, age 15, Perth

While there, we visited the local high school and university, engaged in a conversation with the mayor and viewed various parks such as the aquarium and the monkey exhibition. The language barrier between my host family and me was a struggle. A constant looking at the dictionary and weird looks was the norm. From this experience I improved my language skills tremendously. Throughout the whole trip the sights were breathtaking and the food we ate everyday was beyond amazing. My outlook on the international world has certainly changed for the better. I am inspired to work toward mutual understanding between Asia and the Western world. I would like to thank the Japanese government, AFS and the JENESYS Co-ordinator Rebecca Whitcomb very much for making the JENESYS program possible and making my dreams come true.

Zo Akindele-Obe

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Host Families Needed!

AFS WA has 15 students arriving in July for an 8-week program - would you like to share your home and your family with one of these students? Ask Joyce to show you a some profiles of students coming to WA so you can choose the best student to fit your family contact Joyce Vandenberg at

2011 student group on safari

Experience your World with AFS!

AFS Intercultural Programs one of the worlds largest not-for-profit Intercultural Students Exchange Organizations is on the lookout for Australian students willing to embark on the experience of a lifetime. Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone and Become a part of a whole new family, making friends from all over the world Learn about a new culture and be immersed in the language Represent Australia with pride AFS has over 50 destinations on our high school exchange program, and over 30 destinations for the 18+ program, ranging in duration from 2 to 11 months. All you need to tell us now is where you would like to go! Its a once in a lifetime opportunity youll never forget! Feel up to the challenge? Checkout, call 1300 131 736 or email for everything you need to know to make your dream a reality. We cant wait to hear from you!

Whos Who in AFSWA

AFS WA volunteers work as a part of a State Committee, Local Groups or " Chapters" or as part of sending, hosting support or camp volunteer teams . Local groups meet regularly and maintain contact with AFSers in their areas.
AFS Board Member Henry Moser represents WA on the national AFS Board of Directors

AFS WA State Committee

State Chair Helen Mein Secretary Akindele-Obe Treasurer Cliff Wooldridge Sending Team Leader Marion Robertson Hosting Team Leader and Host Family Support Joyce Vandenberg Hosted Student Support Shannon Brisco Orientation Bianca Chantry and Imogen Mason Carola

Chapter Convenors:
Central - Nic Trimboli South Perth Metro - Nicci Johnson and Jennifer Potier

Public Scholarships:
Explore Thailand Scholarships Get your online application in by April 2012 for a July Departure open to students aged 15-18 at the time of departure. Private Scholarships: Go online to check out the Private Scholarships that are now open for departures in 2012 and 2013.

North Perth, Hills and Joondalup Mark Boagers

Other locations contact to find you local AFS contact person

call 1300 131 736