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Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) in Washington, D.C.

Arrival Day/ Welcome

Participants arrive to a D.C. area airport or train station and travel to the hotel for check-in, which is followed by an opening reception. Your flight or train should arrive by the afternoon, and you can then make your way to the hotel by Metro, public bus, shared-ride van, or taxi. You will receive your e-ticket and transit instructions in May.

Full PDO Day

All CLS participants are required to participate in the one-day PDO in Washington, D.C. Multiple language groups will participate in each PDO, although there will be site specific break-out sessions. The PDO covers a wide range of information, including a discussion of CLS Program Terms and Conditions, site-specific information, presentations from the U.S. Department of State, career information, and a question and answer session with CLS alumni. Please note that you are required to wear business casual attire for the full-day orientation.

Departure Day

You will be required to be ready at the hotel with your bags at an assigned time, and the group will travel to the airport together on a bus arranged by CLS. Participants will not be allowed to arrange alternate transportation.

Will I have free time during the PDO?

We realize that many participants have friends in the D.C. area, places they want to see, or last-minute preparations to take care of before departure. Participants can generally plan to have free time after 8 p.m. on the day of arrival and after 6 p.m. on the full day of the PDO. The amount of time you have on the day of departure depends on the timing of your group’s flight, but please be aware that some groups will be booked on early morning flights and won’t have any free time on departure day. Please also be advised that absence from any part of the PDO, including sessions and activities, is unacceptable and will be considered grounds for disciplinary action.

Lost Luggage

If your luggage is lost during any of your flights, please inform the baggage customer service counter of your airline. Ask for the name and contact number of the person dealing with your case and insist on a proper receipt.