The National Arrival Orientation for 2019-20 Batch was conducted from 3rd to 6th July 2019 in New Delhi. The orientation was attended by 48 students from 10 different countries (Italy, USA, Japan, Argentina, Finland, Mexico, Thailand, France, Germany, Switzerland), 16 chapter representatives, 4 trainers, and 9 staff members.

The orientation started with an Indian tradition of welcoming the guests with Tika and Garland. The host students were felicitated by our lovely volunteers who were dressed up beautifully for the occasion in colorful Indian clothes. The students were quite overwhelmed with the way they were given to see a glimpse of the rich Indian culture through this warm welcome with open arms.

The orientation emphasized on preparing the participants with the right expectation from the program with adequate intercultural learning. It was a great platform for the host students to make new friends and take a taste of the Indian culture before actually going to the host communities. The orientation also helped the host students in getting familiar with the support staff members, volunteers, and fellow exchange students.

The sessions spread over 3 days and included main topics like mood curve, adjustment with the host family and school, AFS educational goals, tools for emotional management, insight on Indian classroom and teaching and setting realistic expectations, AFS support to name a few. These sessions were good learning and helpful in terms of understanding about various Taboos in Indian Culture.

During the orientation, cultural bazar was also set up by our volunteers to showcase the culture of their chapters to the students.

A talent show was organized for the host students where they performed to showcase their talents specific to their countries. During both the events, Embassy representatives from France (Jatinder Singh, Responsible Adjoint, Deputy Head, Office for cooperation in French Language and Communication), Italy (Chiara Petracca, Counsellor, Head of Press and Cultural Affairs; Valentina Ierna, Head of Uni- Italia in India) and Thailand (Mr. Kritnarong Sereeswad, Second Secretary; Varaporn, Assistant to Counselor; Ms. Technikon, Protocol Officer) also had their presence and were quite amused by the student’s performances.

There were also guest speakers who delivered various sessions: Dipti Shankar, Safe for Self Defense session and Joanna Agnieszka who works in business and development with Embassy and Social Development Organizations talked about the aspects of a foreigner living in India.