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 (not Global Prep) 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.
While students going on a Global Prep program are not required to attend pre-departure orientation, doing so gives them important intercultural knowledge. Please consider extending an invitation to the Global Prep students and families in your team. Besides, it is another great way to identify potential new volunteers or host families!
- PDO Evaluation: to be printed by Area Teams (1 for each student and 1 for their parent(s)) The Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) Evaluation can be done using printed copies or by sharing the link to the online survey (http://bit.ly/AFS_PDO). If your Area Team uses printed copies, please be sure to collect them, review them and then mail them to the NY office (c/o the ICL Dept.) so that the data can be entered and analyzed. All data will be sorted by Area Team and the results will be shared with each Area Team’s Orientation Coordinator(s). Please be sure that all students and parent(s) complete the PDO Evaluation, in order to gather and process your Area Team’s data accurately.
- Writing materials: sheets of blank/lined/scrap paper (enough for each person to have several pieces of paper) and pens/pencils/markers.
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)
Log your Orientation
Please remember to log your orientation in Global Link too. Thank you!