Orientation is déjà vu

27 06 2011

Remember the YFU pre-departure orientation back in New York?

Imagine that. But again.

As completely exhausted sleep-deprived world-hopping exchange students, we (and the Indian exchange students who arrived after us) were all praying for some time to rest when we finally reached the youth hostel. No such thing, baby! YFU decided to get us started right away. As soon as we arrived we ate lunch and began our “workshops.”

First meal in Germany. GERMAN FOOD IS DELICIOUS.

And what were these workshops? Why, the exact same thing as in America. Not that the information was any less useful or irrelevant, it’s just that I’ve already heard it before.

Though it was no fault of the people who ran the programs. We were met at the airport by five young late teen/twenty-something YFU alumni, all of whom knew English and several who have traveled to multiple countries. They tried their best to make the presentations interactive and engaging. Their favorite thing was “energizers,” better known in my place as icebreakers, which basically consisted of making the kids do ridiculous dances and sing songs together.

Just one of the many "engergizers" we had to do.

So those, at least, were mildly entertaining. Still, it doesn’t take an hour to discuss the fact that you’re moving to a different culture and then another hour to discuss that you should be a good exchange student. All of the kids were essentially passed out for most of the workshops. Even worse, on the last full day of orientation (Saturday) the workshops ran until 12. At night. As in midnight. Yeah. I don’t think anyone was fully conscious at that point.

But there’s always gotta be some good with the bad, right? Out of our 48 hours here, YFU decided that at least 4 hours didn’t have to go to waste. On Saturday afternoon, after a lengthy debriefing on how to use Berlin subways and the distribution of maps, the exchange kids were allowed to roam free for 4 hours. And that was awesome. More to come later.

But tomorrow (well, today, since it’s about 2 in the morning) is the day! I travel to my host family on a lengthy train ride (from one side of Germany to the other!) but I am soooo stoked to meet them. Hopefully I don’t miss my train! Until next time!

—written Sunday, June 26th, at 2:15 AM at the Berlin youth hostel—




5 responses

27 06 2011

LOL. Hope your train ride went/goes well. And whatever type of German food that was, I want some!

28 06 2011

I think the chef said it was ratatouille…. as in the movie Ratatouille! It was indeed very tasty!

11 07 2011

loool. that is an awesome idea! 🙂

3 08 2011
Country girl’s final hour «

[…] miss my host family, that’s for sure– but at least I’ll see Berlin once again! The four hours we had before were obviously not […]

24 01 2013
6 ways to make your study abroad a success | I think in comics.

[…] to teach us how to make our travels successful. We went through a pre-departure orientation, an arrival orientation, and even an orientation at the end of our trip– let me just say I’ve had enough […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: