ThaakatFoundation
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON BEING A LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE

 

What kind of qualities should I possess to be a good Forte Local Representative?

1. Love teenagers;
2. Posess marketing abilities;
3. Understand or be willing to learn about world cultures;
4. Excellent communication skills: be compassionate & patient, willing to advocate for teens in difficult or uncomfortable situations, mediating through tough spots;
5. Detail-oriented.

How do I qualify to be a Local Representative?

1. Pass a Criminal Background Check;
2. Fill out an application;
3. Attend two trainings over the phone;
4. Pass a reference check;
5. Pass the Department of State certification (completed online with the help of Forte staff).

What are some of the basic responsibilities of a Local Representative?

1. Recruit and screen Host Families; help them through the application process;
2. Help your Host Families select the right student;
3. Provide orientations to the Host families and students;
4. Guide and support the student, Host Family and school through the program year or semester;
5. Mediate through conflicts (help students and Host Families through culture adjustments & other problems);
6. Submit Monthly Reports to the Forte National Office;
7. Report and communicate frequently with your Area Director;
8. Market the exchange program on a local level to encourage more families and schools to become involved.

Who Governs Student Exchange Programs?

DOSThe United States Department of State (DoS) is the governing agency for the J-1 Visa student visitor program. All sponsors (student exchange companies like Forte) MUST comply with DOS regulations.


CSIET Logo web buttonStudent exchange organizations must be recognized by the Council on Standards for International Education Travel (CSIET). CSIET audits each sponsor annually to give them a rating. Forte International Exchange is listed in ‘full status’ (see certificate at right).

What kind of training does Forte provide?

1. Initial Training: Each new Local Representative undergoes a telephone training to become acquainted with Forte procedures, learn about the Department of State certification and become introduced to their Area and National Directors.
2. Department of State Certification: Forte provides a training packet in addition to the online resources available through the Department of State. This training and certification module is online.
3. Field Training: The first field training is held by the Area Director, but training is ongoing and offered throughout the program year as necessary. Training materials and presentations are also available to all field staff whenever needed.

Where do my exchange students live?

Local Representatives must live within 120 miles of the Host Families they serve. Tip: The closer the better!

Can I be a Local Representative for a student I am hosting?

No.  A student living in your home will need to be supervised by another Local Reprsentative in your area. 

If an emergency arises, who do I call for help?

Your Area Director and National Director are available 24/7 to guide you through emergency situations.
Keep a cool head, a compassionate heart and do all you can to advocate for your student. Training materials and conflict resolution procedures are available once you have been accepted as a Local Representative.

Are Monthly Reports done in person?

Some of them must be, according to Department of State regulations. Forte requires that every-other month, the Local Representative meets with the student in person. Local Representatives must also touch base with the school and host family. Email and phone contact are fine for months between personal contacts.