Improving/Implementing Pre-Arrival Orientation for Host Community Members
A number of host community members also expressed a desire to either improve or implement pre-arrival orientation sessions for themselves. For example, Duarte (Chapter Seventeen) wrote about how often, host communities are not included in lessons in foreign culture or language, in excursions to sites within their own community, training on reflection, or the potential to take positions of leadership. Murphy’s respondents claimed that orientation sessions for local Haitians should promote dignity: The students are not coming to solve your problems, and the ISL students are “just like you” (Chapter Fifteen).
In-Country Support for Host Community Members
In addition to orientation and preparation sessions for both students and local community members, there is also the need to provide support for host community members during the ISL student internships. MacDonald and Vorstermans (Chapter Ten) and Agudey and Deloughery (Chapter Fourteen) discuss Intercordia’s ISL mentor system, in which an individual mentor provides not only support for ISL students, but also acts as a liaison between ISL partner organizations and local host families. This appears to be a strong model upon which to base in-country support for local community members, especially when local partners on the ground are consulted about what kinds of support they need.