Islamabad, July 3-8: The week-long Pre-Departure Institute (PDI) for outgoing batch of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program (K-L YES) concluded successfully. 77 students from across Pakistan will travel to the United States this fall to spend a year at American high schools, live with host families, attend various leadership, cross-cultural understanding and interfaith harmony events and share Pakistani culture with their host communities. Alumni of the YES program, staff at Society for International Education (SIE) and iEARN Pakistan worked with the students over this week to prepare them for a successful exchange. Officials from U.S. Embassy Islamabad spent an afternoon on the first day of PDI with the outbound students. They answered their questions and told them about life in United States. Minister Counsellor for Public Affairs Mr. Christopher Fitzgerald shared his remarks with the students. He said, “I want to congratulate you. It is a huge accomplishment. You really are an impressive group. Make the most of your experience.” The sessions of the PDI week focused on helping the students understand the true nature of the program along with rules and guidelines. They expanded their knowledge of American culture and learned how to adjust with host families, in American high schools, how to deal with culture shock and become flexible and communicative. The students also built their presentation skills and participated in various team building activities. The event was filled with productive sessions, fun energizers and ice-breakers. The students also presented folk dances at culture night and played American board games during game night. The participants will travel to the U.S. and will be spending their exchange year at high schools across America starting this August. The students also prepared their cultural presentation which was yet another preparation for their exchange year. For more info about the YES program, please check www.yespk.org.