So, I am back from the Fulbright ETA Pre-Departure Orientation which took place in the Washington DC area. I spent four days with young twenty somethings like myself going to South and Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. I had a lot of fun getting to know my fellow Fulbrighters and learning a little bit about their lives and backgrounds. There was an air of mutual excitement among the crowd and a general spirit of positive energy. I know that I was excited for the people going countries other than India. It is always fascinating to hear how people develop an interest in a certain country or culture and how they continue to follow that interest.
There are 15 of us going to India, with five in each of the three cities: Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. I like that we had some time to get to know each other beforehand. That way, when we arrive in India, we will be re-uniting with familiar faces.
The orientation was administered by NOVA. So we were actually in Virginia for the orientation, and usually went into DC for dinner.
We spent a lot of time talking about culture shock and teaching practices. We got the chance to meet the people that will be essentially taking care of us while we are in India. Some of the other ETAs aren’t leaving until October or January even. I can’t imagine having that much time between orientation and my actual departure. I prefer to have all of the tips from orientation fresh in my mind.
When I sat and listened to our speakers tell their tales and share advice I felt so delighted to be there and so thrilled for my upcoming trip.
That said, I have a week left. My mind is buzzing and I am really hoping that I will be able to check off all the boxes on my list of to do’s.