Once it’s been finalized that I was going to the USA, I was to attend a pre-departure orientation (PDO). It was organized by the closest hub to the city I was living in (Chelyabinsk) – the Yekaterinburg office of the American Councils.
Anyway, all the finalists and semifinalists spent 2 days at what used to be a suburban “summer camp”. I suppose, those who have been to a summer camp would say it was similar to one in terms of the agenda and schedule, but I’d never been to one, so to me, it was all one big adventure.
Looking back, I now realize it was a kind of a cross-cultural training exercise. We had some sessions on family life, academics, program policies and so on. I think, from that point on I was actually eager to go.