Partner Team Resources
We are so excited to have you participating in our exchange
programs! Below is information on how we help prepare you for hosting participants.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions or needs.
Preparing To Host
- Typically assigned 2-4 CONNECT participants, giving consideration to gender and field of study/work
- Utilize the gifts and talents of each team member to actively engage participants in work, culture and life
- Stipend provided to help with expenses
For Vautrin Education Exchange:
For Wilson Medical Exchange:
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for each program provides critical information on the program’s operations and expectations. Please be sure that each team coordinator has thoroughly reviewed these MOUs.
The following describes the roles & responsibilities of various members of a U.S. Partner Team. Your situation may vary, but this provides you general guidance on how to organize your team to best serve your participants.
Every successful team needs a team leader to pull together all the resources necessary to accomplish its objectives and to troubleshoot when problems arise. The project coordinator would fulfill this role by recruiting all the other coordinators, casting the vision for the CONNECT Program, leading the project preparation period, establishing clear lines of communication with team members and with their CONNECT representative, and providing oversight to the actual project when the participants are in the U.S.As one can imagine, this role requires many hours of labor and is probably best suited for someone that is gifted in coordinating.
Host Family Coordinator
CONNECT Programs are very unique from other types of exchange programs offered to Chinese in that participants stay with host families.Our Chinese partners also recognize this as a highly attractive aspect of the program.Thus, the host family coordinator has an important role of recruiting willing host families and matching the participants with the appropriate families.The host family coordinator is responsible for all communications with the host families, passing along host family information to the project coordinator and dealing with any participant/host family issues that may arise during the project.
Professional Experience Coordinator
Providing opportunities for CONNECT Program participants to develop professional skills and interact with professionals in their area of interest is a vital element of the exchange program.Though not always possible, our goal is to provide a large variety of opportunities in which the participants may engage.It is the professional experience coordinator’s role to find these opportunities by promoting CONNECT’s vision through their network of professionals.Once participating companies/professionals prepare descriptions of their professional experience opportunities, the coordinator should pass these along to the project coordinator.This role also has the responsibility to recruit professionals to lead the weekly discussion groups.Once the project is underway, the professional experience coordinator should follow-up with the schools/professionals to ensure the participants are receiving a quality experience.
Transporting the participants to and from the workplace is a worthy challenge for the most gifted coordinator.Host families are often unavailable to provide all the necessary transportation needed, as they may be working or preoccupied with family responsibilities.Besides, they are already greatly contributing to the program.Some mornings the participants will need to arrive early to their workplace, and it is common to have multiple transportation needs throughout the day for just one participant.The transportation coordinator would need to recruit a pool of volunteers willing to meet the transportation needs, create a transportation schedule, and coordinate with the transportation volunteers and the host families to ensure the transportation needs are me
Partner teams are responsible for creating a detailed schedule for their participants. CONNECT has some suggested schedules from which to start from, but each location will be unique in how they lay out their time with job shadowing and culture/recreation time.
It’s important that participants have a few days of rest upon their arrival given their jet lag. They will also need time for orientation before beginning job shadowing.
Expectations on timeliness should be communicated to participants so they know what time to wake up and how much time they have to prepare for a day’s activities.
Here are a few sample schedules for reference. Partner teams are encouraged to review their schedules with CONNECT staff before participants arrive.
CONNECT staff with work with your team’s coordinator to place participants on your team. We will use several factors in making placements, including professional goals, experience, age, sex, and medical conditions (ex: pet allergies).
Sometimes though infrequently, changes to placements become necessary due to a variety of circumstances. We try to pin placements down before we communicate them to participants to minimize disruption in participant and partner team planning.
CONNECT will help your participants create a bio/introduction of themselves, which will be shared with you before their arrival. You are highly encouraged to email and chat with them once you receive their introduction. They are very eager to get to know you!
We have each host family write an introduction of themselves, including a picture of themselves and maybe one of their city. That information should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be formatted into CONNECT’s standard Host Family Introduction document, and sent to each of your team’s participants.
1. Send us your introduction in an email or a Word document, leaving the salutation blank. Include a bit about yourself, your background, and your interests:
3. We will review your introduction and discuss any suggested modifications. We’ll then format that into…
4. Example Host Family Introduction that will be shared with each participant with their name inserted in the salutation:
CONNECT provides travel health insurance to each of the participants. Insurance is through Cigna Global Health Benefits, and is issued by BlueBridge International, CONNECT’s US parent company for the duration of the participants’ travel.
Note that the insurance does not cover participants outside of the program’s begin and end dates.
Participants will receive an insurance card, which they should keep with them at all times. Hosts should also keep a copy of this card. This card must be presented at any medical facility when a participant requires treatment so a claim may be submitted and medical expenses covered.
Here are copies of the Statement of Benefits and insurance card:
There are no hard and steadfast guidelines on what to provide your participants during their stay. However, consider what their needs and challenges may be upon arrival, as well as what might bring them a sense of warmth and caring and feeling welcomed. For example:
- A personalized welcome basket, maybe with some toiletries, a few snacks, some pens and paper or note cards, etc. These can be things they can use during the program and take with them when they leave.
- Privacy. They’ll need time to rest and decompress after their travel, along with time to connect with family and friends back home. Their room should provide them peace and tranquility, along with necessary amenities such as a comfortable bed, good lighting, internet/wifi, a clock.
- Your time and attention. They will have lots of questions but may be afraid to ask them. Helping them get settled and extending grace as they navigate your culture will demonstrate grace and love that they won’t forget.
Each partner team will be sent program funds in advance of the program.
An amount per/participant is budgeted for group program expenses incurred (i.e. orientation, welcome/farewell banquets, group excursions/entertainment, evening discussion group
snacks, group transportation, materials, etc.). *Receipts necessary. Within 2 weeks after the completion of the program, partner teams must submit an expense report itemizing these expenses. Any unused funds, along with the expense report and receipts are to be returned to BBI. See the program Finance Agreement for details. The following is the expense report template to use:
Further details are provided in the program Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Program Finance Agreement documents provided to each partner team. The following is a sample of the Program Finance Agreement:
Participants are provided guidance on what might be reasonable to request when eating out and engaging in recreational activities. We encourage each team to review financial expectations during orientation with participants to avoid awkward situations during meals or excursions.
Upon completion of the program, participants receive 2 certificates of completion.
The first certificate is provided by CONNECT, and requires signature by the partner team’s coordinator. Here is an example Certificate of Completion:
The second certificate is provided by the partner team indicating what specialties and specific environments were shadowed by the participant. Participants’ schools often require this for the participants to get school credit for their participation in our program. CONNECT can provide you a MS Word document template if you need. Here is an example:
Language and Culture
你好！Take some time to learn some Chinese words and phrases before your participants arrive. There are some simple ones that will go a long way to building bridges with your participants. If you can learn to properly speak their Chinese names (be sure you get the tones right!), they’ll be delighted beyond measure!
Ready? Check out these language references:
- Intro to Pinyin and Tones
- Useful Survival Phrases
- Numbers, Money, and Time
- Meals and Directions
- Grocery List
Want more? Here are a few useful websites:
- Yoyo Chinese – a favorite instructional site! Their free content is excellent, and you can find many of their lessons on youtube. If you’re more serious about learning Chinese, their paid lessons are worth every penny.
- Google Translate – a simple but effective translator to help you build your vocabulary.
- And of course, YouTube has an seemingly endless supply of good, short, and free instructional videos, starting with the basics of how to say “hello” to much more complicated expressions and grammar.
And there are tons of great translator apps for your phone:
- Baidu Translate
- Google Translate
Here are some other suggestions if you’re serious about learning Chinese:
- Consider volunteering at a local ESL class where there are Chinese speakers
- Find a beginning Chinese conversational class in your community
- Connect with a local Chinese fellowship
- Go to a Chinese restaurant. Try conversing with the staff in Chinese, and try ordering just by using the Chinese characters.