On June26-29, 15 FLEX finalists took part in the Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO). The main goal of the event was to introduce finalists to the realities of life in the U.S., living in a host family and studying at the U.S. high school. The program lasted for four days during which, the finalists were immersed in English speaking environment.
On the first day, the program participants were welcomed by the U.S. Embassy Cultural Affairs Officer, representative of the Ministry of Education in Turkmenistan and American Councils Country Director. Following, the participants took part in interactive sessions on American culture, society and education system organized by the PDO instructors.
On the second day of PDO, the finalists had an opportunity to share lunch with the U.S. Embassy Regional Security Officer and ask questions about U.S. states and their peculiarities. On the last day of the PDO the participants met with program alumni, who shared first-hand experience of being a successful exchange student in the U.S. and provided useful advice on succeeding in a cross environment. A week after, one of the program finalists commented, “These four days were the best days in my life and I will never forget those moments. I am sure that PDO sessions will help me in the U.S. and I am grateful for this opportunity.”