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Developing Study Abroad Program Orientations Office of Education Abroad Ohio University.

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Presentation on theme: "Developing Study Abroad Program Orientations Office of Education Abroad Ohio University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing Study Abroad Program Orientations Office of Education Abroad Ohio University

2 Why Orientation Matters  Sets expectations and guidelines.  Builds community.  Encourages better student behavior.  Informs students of risks & realities on-site.  Minimizes risk of litigation due to inaccurate or misleading information.  Leads to more successful student experiences.

3 OEA Orientation: Bobcats Abroad  Student Code of Conduct/Conditions of Participation.  Avoiding political rallies and confrontational situations.  General safety guidelines.  Appropriate alcohol use.  Safe sex.  General health guidelines.  How to respond in an emergency (keeping perspective, knowing who to call/where to go).  Managing expectations (academic, cultural, and personal).  OHIO requirements (embassy registration, HTH insurance, copies of passports and flight itineraries to OEA).  Identity issues.  Cross-cultural communication.  Logistical tips from returned students (packing, travel deals, etc.).

4 The Nuts and Bolts: Orientation Basics All study abroad orientations should include:  Site-specific health and safety information.  Advice on logistical matters.  Cultural norms and appropriate cultural behavior.

5 Site-Specific Health and Safety Information.  Students should be aware of: Risks associated with site. Risks associated with site. Recommended or required immunizations and medications. Recommended or required immunizations and medications. Meeting places and responsible persons during emergency. Meeting places and responsible persons during emergency. Laws of host country. Laws of host country.  Students should receive: HTH insurance card and brochure. HTH insurance card and brochure. Emergency card with appropriate information. Emergency card with appropriate information.

6 Logistical Support Students should receive:  Course request form and information on academics.  Direction on arrival to site, including travel from airport to lodging.  Detailed, printed program itinerary.  Required paperwork for OEA and hosting organization.

7 Logistical Support, Cont’d… Students should be informed about:  Travel documents and timelines.  Check carefully and use OEA as a resource. This will be different for non-US citizens.  Weather at destination.  Packing list and culturally-appropriate dress.  Communication– calling cards, cell phones, , skype.

8 Logistical Support, Cont’d… Students should also be informed about:  Money matters- exchange rates and where to exchange money. How to carry $ and make payments.  Meals and types of food that will be available.  Resources available on-site.  Program rules and disciplinary procedures.

9 Cultural Norms and Culturally Appropriate Behavior  Inform students of gestures, terminology, or behaviors that may be inappropriate in host culture.  Share resources for learning about culture: International students, returned students. International students, returned students. Literature. Literature. Films. Films. Periodicals. Periodicals. Culture Grams. Culture Grams.  Inform students of host country practices or beliefs that may differ from US. American views.

10 Additional Ideas  Q&A with returned students or students from host country.  Have students do their own research and present on what they’ve learned.  Include resources for LGBT students and multicultural students.  Have students collaborate on a project to build community.  Consider making your orientation for-credit.  Consider involving parents in your orientations.

11 Program Orientations and Experiential Education   “Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” – Chinese proverb   Involving and engaging students in reflective exercises at every stage of the study abroad process: Promotes active learning Strengthens group relationships Encourages personal development

12 Experiential Education, Cont’d… “Experience alone is insufficient to be called experiential education, and it is the reflection process which turns experience into experiential education.” (Joplin, 1995). Image from:

13 Maximizing Study Abroad  Study abroad orientation and culture- learning curriculum developed by the Center for Advance Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota.  Audience: students, language instructors, study abroad professionals.  Goal: To prepare students for the language and culture learning that will occur abroad.

14 Discovering your Cultural Diversity  p. 187 in Maximizing Study Abroad Guide  Summary: Students list words that describe a significant part of who they are and debrief the activity as a group.  Goal: Encourages students to reflect upon their identity and how they may be perceived abroad. Contact Office of Education Abroad for this resource.

15 Core Cultural Values & Culture Mapping  p in Maximizing Study Abroad Guide.  Summary: Students are presented with a handout describing various cultural values (Individualism vs. Collectivism, Equality vs. Hierarchy). They are asked to rank their own values, American cultural values, and the values of their host culture along this continuum.  Contact Office of Education Abroad for this resource.

16 My Personal Coping Strategies  p , in Maximizing Study Abroad.  Summary: Students review the stages of cross-cultural adjustment and brainstorm some coping strategies for culture shock. They also review scenarios and give advice for successfully crossing cultures.  Contact Office of Education Abroad for this resource.

17 Using Technology  How to use Blackboard: Create a “Non-term based course”. Create a “Non-term based course”. Contact Service Desk at Contact Service Desk at  Consider a program web site or blog. Sample: Sample: Use for: Use for: Student BlogsStudent Blogs ItinerariesItineraries Updates for parentsUpdates for parents

18 Student orientation is a continuing process   Encourage students to reflect on their experience before, during, and after their study abroad program. Journaling Group reflection questions Returned student gathering

19 Resources State Department: Centers for Disease Control: Travel guides – Lonely Planet, Let’s Go, Frommer’s Periodicals / Online news sites – international sections of US periodicals and international newspapers. Association for Experiential Education: Paige, R. M., Cohen, A.D., Kappler, B., Chi, J.C. & Lassegard, J. P. (2002). Maximizing Study Abroad: A Student’s Guide to Strategies for Language and Culture Learning and Use. University of Minnesota: Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition. Culturegrams:


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