National Pre-Departure Orientation
Welcome to the 2018 National Pre-Departure Orientation [NPDO]! NPDO gathers soon-to-be exchange students from all over the United States and provides information about how to make the most of the exchange experience. Attendance to this orientation is a mandatory part of the exchange program for all students accepted to our 2018 semester- and year-long programs [including Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange students].
2018 NPDO inFORMATION
Dates and Location
This year, NPDO will take place on the campus of North Central College [NCC] in Naperville, Illinois. It will begin on Friday, July 20th and end on Sunday, July 22nd. Students must arrive to NCC’s campus between 1 and 3pm CST on July 20th and can leave the campus after 1pm CST on July 22nd.
North Central College is located at:
Residence Hall/Recreation Center
440 S. Brainard St.
Naperville, IL 60540
For more information, please check out our NCC Map which highlights the buildings that will be used for NPDO. NOTE: If you are driving, please make sure you are using the directions to NCC's Residence Hall/Recreation Center at 440 S. Brainard St. Do NOT go to 30 N. Brainard St. as this is the Visitors' Center on the main campus.
Your program tuition covers all of the fees and expenses for NPDO, except for Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange [CBYX] students. CBYX students need to pay a registration fee and cover their own travel expenses.
For non-CBYX students, YFU will pay for your travel, lodging, and food during the orientation. Our YFU Travel Department will arrange flights for students traveling from far away. For those of you taking public transportation or driving from within approximately 300 miles, YFU will reimburse you. Reimbursement covers the cost of travel to and from the orientation, and YFU reimburses mileage at $0.20 per mile. Parents will NOT be reimbursed for any additional travel while in the Chicago area.
CBYX students must pay the registration fee and the cost of their travel to North Central College. CBYX students are expected to attend. If you anticipate it will be difficult for you to attend due to financial reasons, please indicate this on the CBYX Registration Form.
How Do I Get To NPDO?
Students need to arrive on campus between 1:00 and 3:00 pm CST on July 20th and can depart from the campus after 1pm on July 22nd. Please plan your travel accordingly. Here are some options to explore:
- Driving: Please make sure you drive to NCC's Residence Hall/Recreation Center at 440 S. Brainard St. If your parents drop you off, they are invited to attend the parent orientation at 2pm CST on July 20th. If driving yourself, there is a parking lot next to the center where you can park for free.
- Metra: The Naperville Metra Station (BNSF commuter train) is two blocks north of campus; YFU will make arrangements to pick you up once you arrive.
- Amtrak: Amtrak is a cost-effective option for those who live three to four hours from Chicago. Students will arrive at Union Station in downtown Chicago and then transfer to the Metra commuter train in Ogilvie Station to get to NCC’s campus. If you choose to take the train, plan to arrive in Chicago around noon CST to give yourself time to commute to Naperville for the start of the orientation. If arriving at this time, a YFU orientation staff member will be at Union Station to help you and other students make the transfer to the commuter rail line. On July 22nd, please choose a train that departs at or after 2pm CST.
To be met by YFU staff upon arrival, please select from these trains:
- Illinois - 302 Lincoln Service or 390 Saluki
- Indiana - 851 Hoosier State
- Michigan - 351 Wolverine or 365 Blue Water
- Missouri - 302 Lincoln Service
- Flying [for CBYX]: Please make your own flight arrangements to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) arriving mid-day on July 20th. Students should plan to arrive between 10 am and noon on July 20th. Ground transportation will be provided upon arrival. The return flights can depart at or after 4pm on Sunday, July 22nd from O’Hare.
- Flying [for non-CBYX]: YFU Travel will be taking care of your flight arrangements.
What Happens at NPDO?
NPDO is an informative, fun-filled orientation, and it is also your introduction into your life-long YFU family. Expect to have a busy weekend on NCC’s campus!
At NPDO you will:
- Meet other YFU students from all over the country (maybe one who is going to your country!)
- Attend informational sessions led by Team Leaders who are all YFU alumni
- Participate in cultural activities to prepare you for your study abroad and host family living experience