A mandatory pre-departure orientation session takes place in Canada in mid-April . Orientation components are varied, and aim to prepare volunteers for their overseas experience. This includes basic Arabic lessons, overview of the context of teaching in the camps, socio-political history of Palestinians in Lebanon and history of Lebanon, etc. Volunteers also meet with former CEPAL volunteers, as well as some members of the Palestinian community in Canada.
Volunteers are also provided with an orientation manual detailing all aspects of the Summer Program, as well as a literature manual that includes background articles and readings on the Palestinian situation in Lebanon.