AFS Pre-departure Orientation

Hey people,

So this weekend May 20th-21st 2017 I had my pre-departure orientation for Germany. This orientation took place about an hour drive away from my home. Just an overall I LOVED this orientation! It was so much fun to meet everyone from all over. This was a pre-departure orientation for 9 students, but a pre-return orientation for about 23ish students. Of us nine soon to be study abroad students, 4 (including myself) are with CBYX going to Germany, 2 to Spain, 1 to Norway, 1 to the Philippines, and 1 to France. And those study abroad students come from Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Austria, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Lebanon, Thailand, Japan, and a couple others that I can’t remember.

What we did during the orientation was we split into the parents with the 9 of us students, and other students. Both groups went to two different places as to talk about the specifics of pre-departure or pre-return. Many of the “workshop sessions” were about how to be prepared and how to differentiate expectations from the realities. Later after all the parents left we just hung out between us kids. There was a nice trail to walk through so that was fun. We started to talk in-between us 9 and them 23. We ended up building a fire from around 7 to 10pm. S’mores are amazing, but some people (aka one person) enjoyed having the marshmallow catch on fire, as well as their stick. We ended up having a miniature dance party in the dining hall. Truthfully I knew none of those songs, they all knew the songs in perfect English; I was just so surprised. Around 11.30 we had to go up to the cabins to “sleep” nope!

Back at the cabins we just talked. Food came up a lot as well as music, and some Harry Potter weird song. I think that might have been my favorite part of the orientation as it was so intriguing to hear them speak in Dutch, German, Italian, and French. I know some French so I could understand some words. It was just a fun bonding time as 3 of us “Americans” were just talking to 5 or 6 exchange students. We also talked about everyone’s own experiences and their host families. We ended up sleeping around 2am, and had to wake up at 8 (ugh).

I’m deeply sorry for this long post, but ya know maybe it might help a future exchange student. Safe travels to everyone who is going back home and safe travels to all those who are about to start their exchange. I love all of you.

P.S. countdown to DC is 80 days and countdown to boarding a plane is 82 days.

-Yaismin
May 21st, 2017 3.44pm

 

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