Language educators often assume that pre-service teachers will immensely benefit from short-term immersion programs regarding their second language (L2) proficiency, intercultural competence, and L2 teaching capability; however, study abroad (SA) researchers (e.g., Barkhuizen & Feryok, 2006; Benson et al., 2012, 2013; Jackson, 2008, 2010; Trent, 2014) have discovered that language and culture learning in SA contexts is complex. Both contextual and individual factors contribute to the variability of sojourn outcomes (e.g., Coleman, 1997, 2013; Jackson, 2008, 2010, 2012, forthcoming; Kinginger, 2009). The present study adopted a mixed-method (largely qualitative) design to explore the L2 identities and language and intercultural learning trajectories of English Education majors from Hong Kong. This paper reports on the first phase which gathered data prior to their participation in an eight-week immersion program in the U.K, centering on their views about their L2 identities, language learning attitudes and experience, and their expectations for SA. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through a questionnaire survey, semi-structured interviews, and a reflective essay. Drawing on the findings, this paper discusses the implications for the pre-departure phase. Suggestions are offered to better prepare and enhance the language and intercultural learning experiences of L2 sojourners who join a short-term immersion program.