The gateway orientation helps students better understand their cultural heritage and identity, gain additional practice using the D.I.V.E. method, gives students a more in-depth view of their host country and places students' participation in an AFS program within the context of AFS's history and mission.
The participants for each program will gather together in a "gateway" city and fly together to their chosen country. It takes place around the same time of the student departures, late June - early September for Summer and January - March for Winter. The gateway orientation is an opportunity for presenting specific program/country information to them. The orientation is usually run by AFS Staff and local volunteers in the gateway city (New York, Miami, Los Angeles) together with invited "experts" in the culture of the country to which the students are going.
Each year some volunteers are given the opportunity to be a Flight Chaperone, and these volunteers will be present at the appropriate gateway orientation.