Welcome to the Pre-Departure Orientation Page

for students and families!

Congratulations on your acceptance into one of our Youth Study Abroad programs. Welcome to the YFU family! Youth for Understanding is excited to help you prepare for this life-changing experience. YFU requires that all study abroad students attend a Pre-Departure Orientation.

Orientation Information

How do I participate in an orientation?

You will receive an invitation from the YFU National Office to attend a local Pre-Departure Orientation that is closest to your home of record.

What if I can’t attend a local orientation in person?

If there is no local orientation within driving distance you can register for one of our Pre-Departure webinars. You will receive the registration link via email.

What is the National Pre-Departure Orientation(NPDO)?

If you are going on a semester or year program you are required to attend our National Pre-Departure Orientation in Naperville, Illinois in addition to your local orientation. More information about NPDO can be found here.

What is the Japan Pre-Departure Orientation(JPDO)?

Students going on our Summer Japan Program will attend a three day orientation directly before their departure to Japan. More information about JPDO can be found here.

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Local Pre-Departure Orientation Information: 

The Guide- Student Edition

Share Your Experience on Social Media! 

Cities and Dates for Pre-Departure Orientations:

Listed below are the cities and dates for local Pre-Departure Orientations. If you enroll in a study abroad program, you will receive an invitation with a mandatory RSVP link in April. On this invitation, you will indicate which local orientation you would like to attend. Please note: If there is no local orientation within two hours driving distance of you, you may opt to attend the pre-departure webinar.

  • Mt. Laurel, NJ: May 11
  • Farmington Hills, MI: May 18
  • Minneapolis, MN: May 5
  • Kensington, MD: May 4
  • Denver, CO: May 4
  • Clarksville, TN: May 5
  • Alameda, CA: May 19
  • Naperville, IL: May 4
  • Germantown, WI: May 11
  • Rogers, AK: May 18
  • Dallas, TX: May 4
  • Des Moines, IA: May 11
  • Shelbyville, IN: May 4
  • Western MI: May 4
  • Fullerton, CA: May 18
  • St. Louis, MO: May 5
  • Orlando, FL: TBD
  • Seattle, WA: May 11
  • Atlanta, GA: May 18
I think that the best part of the orientation was getting so close with teams and doing special exercises! I also enjoyed learning about others experiences as exchange students!

The best part, in my opinion, was getting to meet people from all over the country. I also feel like I am more sure of going abroad.

This is a great video for parents to discover how YFU’s Intercultural Exchange program changes the lives of not only students, but their families in the US and abroad.