The pre-departure orientation is for both students and their natural parents. It is an introduction to AFS and all AFS-related logistical and safety guidelines. It also introduces intercultural learning concepts such as the D.I.V.E. method and encourages both students and their parents to set short-term personal goals based on the AFS Educational Goals.
The orientation should be held preferably before the earliest departure of the students, which usually translate to somewhere from May-June for Summer participants and December-January for Winter students.
Since every student is required to attend a PDO, including winter departure students, you will sometimes have to construct a one-on-one PDO. These may be a bit shorter as there is no opportunity for group interaction, and it is possible to conduct them remotely by sending the material to the student in advance and then just having a phone call review session. But whenever possible, doing it in person is preferred.
Inviting Students to PDO
To find an updated list of students in need of a Pre-Departure Orientation, see Finding Students Preparing for Departure. By selecting "Batch Process" first in Global Link you can email the students directly from Global Link. A sample invitation can be found here.
The PDO Presentation
The pre-departure orientation is split into 4 separate short PowerPoint presentation parts:
Complete slides with notes section for additional support
- The morning session: Combined (parents and students together)
- The early afternoon session: Split (parents only *The 2 early afternoon sessions are going on at the same time, but separately.)
- The early afternoon session: Split (students only * The 2 early afternoon sessions are going on at the same time, but separately.)
- The late afternoon session: Combined (parents and students together again.)
It is essential that Area Teams have at least one printed copy available during the Orientation. The Leader Guides contain important material (guided discussions, explanations, answers, etc.) to is covered during each session. It is the responsibility of Area Teams to print the condensed Leader Guides.
- Leader Guide for Morning Session (Combined)
- Leader Guide for Early Afternoon Session (Parents only)
- Leader Guide for Early Afternoon Session (Students only)
- Leader Guide for Late Afternoon Session (Re-combined)
- PDO Evaluation: to be printed by Area Teams (1 for each student and 1 for their parent(s))
- Writing materials: sheets of blank/lined/scrap paper (enough for each person to have several pieces of paper) and pens/pencils/markers.