Study Abroad Specialist- Diversity Initiatives

  • AFS-USA Inc
  • New York, NY, USA
Full Time Admin-Clerical

Job Description


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 students; and global learning workshops and curricula for educator, schools and businesses.


The Study Abroad Specialist supports the AFS mission and organizational goals by providing customer service throughout the admissions process for students applying to AFS’s scholarship programs. In addition, the Study Abroad Specialist is responsible for providing support to seasonal staff during the peak seasons.


The Study Abroad Specialist will provide excellent customer service when working with students, families, and AFS employees, and volunteers in response to inquiries, concerns, and requests about AFS programs and scholarship opportunities.

In addition, the Study Abroad Specialist must use the knowledge gained through daily interaction with participants, natural families, host families, and AFS employees and volunteers to contribute to process improvement measures for the Customer Experience and Program Innovation Department and AFS.

Customer Support

  • Guide, support, and inform scholarship students through the admissions process: 
  • Promote countries, scholarships, fundraising, and incentives.
  • Guide students through selection of country and program in accordance with program- and scholarship-specific criteria.
  • Provide in-depth explanations of the application, scholarship application process, placement restrictions, program expectations, and medical review policies and procedures, as needed.
  • Maintain personal knowledge of sending countries and programs.
  • Motivate and assist students to complete the full AFS application:
  • Work in collaboration with Supervisor for the coordination of interviews with volunteers.
  • Inform students of status changes such as program acceptance, host family placement, scholarship award notifications, etc.
  • Provide support for Faces of America, BP Global Citizens of Tomorrow (BPGCT) Scholarship and other scholarships applicants
  • Work with community-based organization (CBO) Staff to establish productive relationships. 
  • Facilitate guidance and counseling to CBO Staff on the AFS applications process. 
  • Visa support:
  • Provide support to participants during the visa application process.
  • Coordinate with the Visa Specialist to communicate with participants/natural families when situations arise that may cause delayed departures due to visa-related issues.
  • Maintain knowledge of CSIET/US Department of State standards

Pre-program Orientation

  • Coordinate and facilitate a series of sending program conference calls each cycle with returnees, participants, and natural families pertaining to the AFS application process, country selection, program preparation, money management, etc. Recruit AFS returnees for calls as needed.

Seasonal Staff support

  • Maintain initial and ongoing training materials and forums for staff and volunteers.
  • Direct the daily activities seasonal staff member(s), as needed.
  • Assist team members to strategize problem solving techniques when escalated customer service issues arise.

Short term project support:

  • The Study Abroad Specialist may also be assigned special tasks:
  • BPGCT Quarterly Report information collection and draft
  • Faces of America, BP Global Citizens of Tomorrow and other related scholarship data analysis
  • Domestic travel coordination with Travel Department and CBOs as needed
  • FoA recruited NSLI-Y application support and review


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience working with community-based organizations serving underserved and underrepresented communities.
  • Verbal and written fluency in Spanish is preferred.
  • Excellent phone- and email-based customer service skills.
  • Computer literate, including word processing, spreadsheets, and internet applications. (Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, general database knowledge).
  • Experience volunteering or working with volunteers in a professional setting is a plus.
  • Comfortable collaborating with people of different backgrounds and ages including students, parents, colleagues, volunteers, and educators. 
  • Able to work in multiple team environments, in varying contexts.
  • Well organized and detailed oriented. Able to manage multiple priorities under multiple deadlines and navigate intense spikes in workload.
  • Self-motivated. Able to maintain a high degree of quality and productivity with minimal supervision.
  • Adaptable. Able to evaluate changing demands and circumstances and to adjust tactics as necessary.
  • Excellent diplomatic and troubleshooting skills.
  • International/Intercultural travel or study abroad experience is preferred.


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.