Study Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation Preparations

Study Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation Preparations

NH23 Study Abroad programs are almost full, and it is time for Area Teams to start planning their local Pre-Departure Orientation events, connect with their outbound students and prepare them for their AFS experience abroad!

Information, guidance and content for the Local PDOs can be found on the PDO Help & Learning page. Materials for the orientation are focused on setting realistic expectations, sharing hopes and concerns, brainstorming coping strategies, the AFS Support Structure, and intercultural learning tools such as the D.I.V.E. model.

Please note a couple of new things this year as you prepare for your Pre-Departure Orientations:

  1. Regional Virtual PDO option – an evolution of the National PDO the Regional option is an opportunity for area teams with a very small number of students going abroad to join together and facilitate a virtual PDO for their students as a group. Please review detailed information and instructions on how to participate HERE
  2. Summer Program Participants – It is optional for teams to invite summer program participants to their orientations, we now have a Summer Program PDO Guide for teams to use if they choose to invite summer participants and want to hold a separate breakout session with them, please review the guide HERE

Click here for more information about Pre-Departure Orientations and how to find a list of students going abroad in your area to invite to your PDO.

Please read the instructions carefully to search for both core and sponsored programs students and note the information about students who should not be invited because they have alternate orientation events planned. NOTE: There are still a few students awaiting confirmation, e.g., YES students, so they will not yet appear in GL, please check back regularly in the next few weeks for any additional students going abroad from your area team.

Pre-Departure Orientation Coordinator Volunteers will be receiving an email in the coming days with information specific to their team’s outbound students and PDO plans.

A Note about Travel and Logistics: As AFS USA no longer has gateway orientations for our core participants, students will be invited to Travel and logistic webinars.  The webinars are held in the month prior to their departures and includes a detailed review of international flights, logistics for the day of travel, and travel safety protocols. Students will continue to receive their travel notification anywhere from 4 – 8 weeks prior to departure.

Please direct any questions about orientation materials to Martha or Emily, program-specific study abroad questions to and Travel questions to