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Student Preparation and Orientation

Student Pre-departure and Onsite Orientation

FAQs for Online Orientation

Program-specific Orientation Meetings

Pre-departure Orientation Talking Points

Teambuilding

Advising Students on Travel Health

Accommodating Students with Disabilities

Onsite Orientation

Re-entry (End-of-Program) Meeting


Student Pre-departure and Onsite Orientation

Orientation is a critical part of the learning abroad process. It provides necessary, practical information and sets the stage for student success onsite. Orientation can be divided into three parts:

  1. Mandatory, online orientation provided by the Learning Abroad Office
  2. Program-specific orientation meeting(s)
  3. Onsite orientation meeting(s)

All faculty directors are required to hold at least one (1) group orientation meeting before departure and one (1) onsite orientation meeting upon arrival.  Instructors for custom programs are required to hold one orientation meeting before departure, but are not required to hold an onsite orientation meeting unless they are traveling with the student to the host country.

Faculty directors and instructors who are actively engaged in orientation programs tend to have more successful academic programs with fewer disciplinary problems abroad. Additionally, orientation protects you and the University from liability. By ensuring that we provide every student with certain information before departure and upon arrival, we protect the University, faculty and our students from accidents and mishaps abroad.

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FAQs for Online Orientation

The Learning Abroad Office provides a mandatory, online orientation program for all students. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about the online orientation program.

What software is used to host the program?
The orientation program is hosted through the same program as the students' Learning Abroad Applications, Terra Dotta.

Is orientation an official, transcripted course?
No. The orientation program will not appear on a student’s transcript or be factored into their GPA.

How are quizzes graded?
The student needs to achieve a score of 90% or better to be considered to have "passed" the quiz. If a student submits an incorrect answer to a quiz question, the correct answer will be provided for them. The student can retake the quiz until up to 6 times until they achieve the required score.

How are students enrolled in the program?
The orientation will automatically appear in the students' Learning Abroad Application when they are in the Committed phase.

Is there a deadline for completing orientation?
Orientation deadlines are listed in the Learning Abroad Handbook.

How is the program structured?
The program is based on thematic modules covering topics such as culture, policies, money matters, health, and safety.  The program is designed so that students work through modules one by one in any order. The other modules can be completed in any order. Within each module, students are required to view the information and answer quiz questions. 

Is there program specific information in online orientation?
No. The information covered in the online orientation is applicable to all programs and is intended to provide general orientation for all students.

Should I hold meetings for my group?
Yes! All faculty are required to hold at least one group meeting before departure. Since the online orientation is intended to provide a general overview, there is no program-specific information included in the canvas modules. Faculty directors provide destination- and program-specific information in group meetings.

What should I talk about when I meet with my group?
We have compiled a list of suggested and required topics for program-specific orientation sessions. Talking points for these discussions are available at the link above.

Can Faculty Directors, Instructors, and Program Assistants participate in online orientation? 

Faculty Directors, Instructors and Program Assistants are welcomed to view the orientation content in students’ applications. You can view the content by opening a student’s application and clicking on the link to the assessment that you would like to view. 

Do I need to monitor which students from my group complete the program?

No. Our staff will monitor the orientation program and contact students who do not complete orientation.

Are there hard copy orientation packets?
No. Students are provided with links or electronic copies of all materials.

How will my students get course registration information?
Course registration is included in the students' Learning Abroad Application in the Committed phase. Students are provided with an instruction sheet for course registration and registration deadlines.

How will my students get their billing statements?
Billing statements are included in the students' Learning Abroad Application in the Committed phase.  Students are provided with an instruction sheet for making payments and payment deadlines.

What if I have a student with disabilities who is struggling to use the application program?
Contact us! We want to make learning abroad accessible to all students. Our staff will work with the Disabilities Services Center to make sure that the student receives an equivalent orientation.

Can non-U of U students participate? 
If non-U of U students are eligible for your program, they will participate in orientation the same way that U of U students participate.  But non-U of U Students must follow the instructions available on the Non-U of U Students page. 

Aside from the online orientation, are there other opportunities for students to prepare for their program?
Yes. The Learning Abroad Office hosts pre-departure workshops for students. Topics include cultural acclimation, sharing your experience, and health and safety. Contact our office for a workshop schedule.

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Program-specific Orientation Meetings

The Learning Abroad Office provides a mandatory, online orientation to all students. The information in this orientation program is applicable to all programs. Thus, topics specific to your program are not addressed in the online program. All faculty directors and custom program instructors are required to hold at least one (1) group meeting before departure. To help you prepare for your meetings, we have developed talking points to help you facilitate the discussion. Faculty who are actively engaged in the pre-departure orientation process tend to have more successful academic programs and fewer disciplinary issues onsite.

Please recognize that, due to the high number of learning abroad programs sponsored by the U, your Learning Abroad Coordinator may not be able to attend program-specific orientations. However, we are happy to assist you by reserving rooms and communicating orientation times to your students. To help you prepare for orientation, please consider the following tips:

  1. Be aware of holidays, breaks, and exam schedules when picking a time or date for orientation. We find that the most well attended sessions happen over the lunch hour on Monday through Thursday.
  2. Communicate all necessary information to students prior to the completion of the previous semester. If you plan to email students between or after semesters, alert them so they can regularly check their Umail accounts. If you create a Web site for your program that is not protected by a password, please refrain from providing identifying details regarding housing, such as street addresses.
  3. Be prepared for family members to attend the session along with the student. Many students will invite parents or partners to participate in these meetings.
  4. We suggest scheduling a meeting at least 2 weeks in advance.  If you would like assistance in reserving a room for your meeting, contact your Learning Abroad Coordinator to reserve a room.

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Pre-departure Orientation Talking Points

When preparing for an orientation meeting, it can be overwhelming to organize information. Below are some suggested topics for program specific orientation meetings. This list is not exhaustive; we encourage you to think about the unique aspects of your program, destination, and time frame so that you can address the most appropriate topics for your group. Please note that there is one topic that faculty directors and instructors are required to discuss: Travel Health and Safety. We also encourage you to familiarize yourself with the policies outlined in the Learning Abroad Handbook.

Topic Suggested Talking Points
Online Orientation Reminder & Learning Abroad Handbook.
  • Remind students that they must complete the online orientation provided in the Assessments panel in their Learning Abroad Application.
  • Highlight the Learning Abroad Handbook and the Learning Abroad Checklist references for preparing for this experience.
Academic Expectations and Requirements
  • Provide syllabi and other relevant documents if they are available.
    • A detailed syllabus that outlines the expectations, includes excursions as part of the program, and identifies the requirement that students will write papers, do research, and take tests reinforces the message that this is an academic experience. We also encourage faculty to provide a written attendance policy in the syllabus that clearly states that students will not be excused from program activities for visitors or independent travel.
    • Include a written attendance policy in the syllabus that clearly states that students will not be excused from program activities for visitors or independent travel
    • Remind students that the grades they earn will appear on their permanent transcripts and affect their GPA.
Local Culture and Language
  • Discuss important cultural and linguistic norms for your destination.
    • If your students will have local instructors or guest speakers, we also encourage you to discuss classroom etiquette in the host country.
    • If your program is taught in English but takes place in a non-English speaking country, consider having a language "crash course" of important vocabulary.
  • Remind students that they are representatives of the University and cultural ambassadors for their country. Poor or inappropriate behavior will be attributed to the entire group and affect the experience of all students. Be honest with your students about how their poor behavior reflects on you, as the program leader, to your local colleagues. Most importantly, participants need to understand that the viability of a program rests in their hands. Offensive or indifferent behavior resulting in negative evaluations by colleagues abroad could lead to the cancellation of a program.
Packing and Appropriate Dress for Program Activities
  • Discuss any special items that your students should pack and the likely climate in your destination.
  • Provide students with notice if there is a dress code for certain activities, make students aware of those expectations.
    • For instance, if it is inappropriate to wear sandals or flip flops on an excursion, let your students know.
Travel Health and Safety
  • FACULTY DIRECTORS ARE REQUIRED TO DISCUSS HEALTH AND SAFETY IN PRE-DEPARTURE AND ONSITE ORIENTATIONS. INFORMATION AND BASIC TALKING POINTS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR THESE DISCUSSIONS ARE AVAILABLE USING THE LINKS BELOW.
    • Travel Health- Guidelines for discussing medical care with students are found in the Faculty Directors Guide. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your Learning Abroad Coordinator. You can also review the health information available in the Learning Abroad Handbook.
    • General Safety-Discuss basic safety tips with your students. Talking points for this discussion are available.
    • Site-specific Safety Information- If a Safety, Security, and Health Assessment was conducted for your host country, we will email you talking points that address specific safety concerns for your destination. Discuss these points during your meeting. Keep in mind that the list may not be exhaustive. You can add tips and suggestions based on your expertise in the host country.
    • Emergency Action Plan- provide students with a pre-set meeting place, the Learning Abroad 24/7 Emergency Line, and instructions on what to do in case of an emergency.
Passports and Visas
  • Instruct students should apply for passports immediately and use the following guidelines
    • Students should ensure that their passport does NOT expire less than 6 months after their intended return date.
  • If a visa is needed for your destination, discuss this with your students. The Learning Abroad Office does not acquire visas for students. Remind students that it is their responsibility to acquire the proper entry visa.
  • Non-US passport holders face special visa considerations.  Be sure to direct non-US passport holders to the information on our website.
  • You can view the passport and visa policies on our website.
Flights & Arrival Instructions
  • Provide students with some flight suggestions and even if your program does not coordinate group flights
  • Discuss when students should leave if they want to arrive on time. Many destinations require that students leave 2-3 days before their required arrival date.
  • Provide your students with arrival instructions including:
    • When to arrive
    • Where to arrive
    • Where to meet the group upon arrival
    • What to do in the event of a flight delay or if they miss the group
Program Itinerary
  • Provide students with a tentative program itinerary if possible. Having a sense of what to expect on sight will reduce student anxiety before departure.
  • Highlight the tentative nature of an itinerary. Students are often frustrated by unexpected changes to program itineraries or course offerings. We discuss the likelihood of itinerary changes in the online orientation program, but we recommend that faculty take a few minutes to reiterate the unpredictability of international travel. You can also review the policy on program changes.
  • Provide students with the full name, address, phone numbers and URLs (if applicable) for any overnight accommodations. Remember, this information should not be posted in a public forum to avoid FERPA violations.
Program Housing
  • Discuss the program accommodations and what students should expect (i.e. availability of air conditioning, roommate assignments, and linens)
    • If your program utilizes homestays, we recommend discussing gifts, expectations, and family culture.
    • If there are pricing differences for different housing options on your program, discuss these factors with students. This will enable them to budget appropriately.
Alcohol and Drug Policies
  • Announce that students are held to the University of Utah’s drug and alcohol policies for learning abroad and are discussed in the Student Conduct section of the Learning Abroad Handbook.
Course Registration Information
  • Inform students that Course registration instructions are provided in the online Learning Abroad Application and remind students that there are course registration deadlines.
Money Matters
  • Discuss local currency, exchange rates, and the use of debit cards, and credit cards.
  • Remind students that they should notify their bank before departure to avoid problems using credit and debit cards abroad.
  • Discuss issues relevant to your destination even though general information about money matters is provided in the students' Learning Abroad Application.
Independent Travel
  • Discuss independent travel plans (information is available in the Learning Abroad Handbook).
  • Remind students that they should notify you if they plan to travel independently.
  • The University of Utah is not responsible for students travelling independently.

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Teambuilding

Many faculty directors indicate that one of the more challenging aspects of leading a program is creating a team environment among group members. When a team environment is developed, students tend to behave better and meet expectations more successfully.

To develop a team environment with your group, you need to discuss appropriate conduct and academic expectations in the pre-departure orientation as well as upon arrival. Begin by developing a vocabulary that highlights the nature of learning abroad. For instance, refer to the experience as a "program," not a "trip." A "trip" implies that this is a vacation, a "program" implies that this is a serious endeavor. Discuss your academic expectations from the beginning and remind students that poor behavior onsite reflects on themselves, the group, and the University. Planting these ideas sets the stage for a successful program.

Next, consider creating a group "contract" that allows students to contribute to the expectations for the group. You can create one in advance, or employ a method of community-building similar to that used in the residence halls. Please note that these are not legal contracts but are good faith efforts and written agreements between the students and leaders or among the group.

For this exercise, ask students to identify acceptable and unacceptable behaviors onsite. Based on your dialogue, create a "contract" that the students sign and agree to. In some cases, it is important for you to identify non-negotiable expectations from the beginning. In addition to the expected requirements (such as "don't be late for bus departures"), ask students to decide on behaviors that will help them avoid such situations. For example, students can agree to check that everyone is awake at a certain time. The students may also agree upon consequences and/or group responses to repeated offenses. For instance, if they are late for the bus departure, they will be left behind; which could impact their grade. There is no need for complete agreement - consensus should be the desired goal.

During the exercise, consider the following as well:

  • Emphasize what the students should do, rather than what they should not do.
  • Discuss what a student should do if they see a peer violating the contract (i.e. step forward and say something to the student). This gives the group a sense of self-accountability.
  • Ask students to discuss how personality conflicts can undermine the atmosphere of the program and recommend practices such as:
    • be polite and listen to one another
    • respect each other, leaders and local people affiliated with the program
    • honor diversity and differences within the group
    • look for compromises
  • Address your concerns for alcohol and drug use. Referring to the Learning Abroad Alcohol and Drug policies may be helpful.

Once your group has come to a consensus about their expectations for the program and each other, create a document that they can sign. For simplicity, we recommend having everyone sign the same copy. As a member of the team, the faculty director should also sign the agreement. Take the signed copy with you to the host country. In the event of a behavioral problem, showing the student that he/she agreed to certain behaviors as a member of the team is often very effective in correcting inappropriate behavior. A sample agreement is available to help you get started.

Lastly, review this conversation after arrival, and a few weeks into the program. Be alert to group dynamics. Don't make light of incidents of abuse. Make sure you follow up on your stated consequences.

For other recommendations on teambuilding activities, we recommend “104 Activities that Build,” by Alanna Jones for suggested activities.

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Advising Students on Travel Health

Students and parents will inquire about immunizations, medications, and travel health. This is a normal part of pre-departure preparations and faculty directors should expect to receive some questions relating to travel health. Faculty directors are advised to use caution when discussing these matters with students. Be aware that most faculty directors are not licensed medical personnel, and discussing health care options with students can open you and the University up to unnecessary liability.

Since travel medicine recommendations change rapidly, the best recommendations are often provided by a traveler's own physician or qualified travel health professionals. In pre-departure orientation, we provide students with general information about travel health. We also provide students with a list of local practitioners that provide travel health consultations and administer immunizations. Information on travel health is also available in the Learning Abroad Handbook. When talking with students about travel health, we recommend that you consider the following:

  • Review the information provided to students in theLearning Abroad Handbook. Familiarize yourself with the information available for your host country so that you can talk in general terms about this topic.
  • Be honest about your limitations. Explicitly tell students and parents that you are not a licensed health care professional.
  • Be familiar with recommended and required immunizations. Know what immunizations are required and recommended for your destination, but always remind students to check the CDC website.
  • Recommend that students schedule an appointment with the experts. Obtaining adequate pre-departure advice will protect the patient, you, and the University. A list of local travel clinics is found on our website.
  • Encourage your students to fill out the Travel Health Questionnaire. A travel health questionnaire is included in the post-acceptance steps of the application. We cannot require that students disclose medical conditions, but having this information available will enable us to accommodate a student’s needs and respond to emergencies onsite.
  • Pre-existing conditions are important. International travel can exacerbate pre-existing conditions even if these conditions are well-controlled here at home. Every student should discuss pre-existing conditions with a medical provider before departure. This includes students with mental and emotional health conditions. Information about mental and emotional health is available in the Learning Abroad Handbook.
  • Request accommodations early. If a student discloses that he/she has a disability, contact the Learning Abroad Office. In conjunction with the Disability Services Center, we can help you find ways to arrange for accommodations onsite.
  • NEVER give a student personalized medical advice unless you are licensed to do so. This creates unnecessary liability for you and the University.
  • Be aware that, by giving students information about your own personal choices, you could be influencing a student’s decision to obtain adequate health care. For instance, telling a student that you have chosen not to take malaria medication could be perceived as a recommendation by the student.
  • Be cautious about local impressions of risk. Your contacts in the host country may not be the best source of advice for preventative health care. Cultural perceptions and limited knowledge about travel health can lead to poor, albeit well-intentioned, advice from local contacts.

Contact the Learning Abroad Office with any questions or concerns you might have regarding advising students about travel health.

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Accommodating Students with Disabilities

In the past ten years, there has been an increase in the number of students with disabilities who successfully participated in learning abroad programs.  Learning Abroad and the Center for Disability and Access (CDA) are committed to helping as many students learn abroad as possible, and for students with disabilities, planning is the key to successful learning abroad experiences.

Students with disabilities face unique challenges when learning abroad.  The rights, privileges, cultural beliefs, and infrastructure to support students with disabilities vary depending on the destination. Additionally, institutions are beginning to see Learning Abroad as an extension of the on campus community.  As such, many universities are beginning to apply the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to international programs to the extent possible.

The University recognizes that some of the variables that impact students with disabilities are beyond our control abroad, including infrastructure and cultural beliefs.  However, we are committed to finding creative ways to support students with disabilities who want to participate in a Learning Abroad program.  For this reason, we will make every effort to make reasonable accommodations in the host country. 

In conjunction with the CDA, Learning Abroad has developed a process for handling accommodations requests for students with disabilities.  Be aware that, while the process for handling accommodations on learning abroad programs is similar to the process for on campus activities, faculty may need to take extra steps to ensure that the student receives the accommodations to which they are entitled.  Faculty directors are not expected to navigate these situations alone.  Learning Abroad and the CDA are here to help!

Accommodating Students with Disabilities

Disclosures are student-driven and voluntary.  Students cannot be compelled or forced to disclose a disability.  A student does not have to use a “magic” word to trigger a referral to CDA (i.e. does not have to use the actual word ‘accommodation’ or ‘disability’).  Additionally, while faculty and staff have the right to know what accommodations a student needs, they do not have the right to know what a student’s disability is. 

To encourage students to consider their needs and communicate them early, students are prompted to disclose the need for accommodations related to a disability at various parts of the pre-departure process.  It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to disclose their need for accommodations.  A faculty member has no responsibility, nor should s/he, provide any accommodations related to a disability without formal approval from CDA.   Only CDA can determine if a student qualifies as a student with a disability and approve accommodations.  When you contact Learning Abroad about the student’s disclosure, our staff members will work with CDA to ensure that the accommodation request has been approved. 

For more information about the services available for students with disabilities, visit the CDA website.   If you have questions or concerns about accommodating students with disabilities on your program, contact Learning Abroad.

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Onsite Orientation

After arriving onsite, faculty directors should hold an onsite orientation session. The purpose of this session is to familiarize students with their new home and reiterate some of the points discussed in pre-departure orientation.

Onsite orientation can be as interactive and creative as you would like. Some faculty directors include a city tour or scavenger hunt in their onsite orientation. A sample scavenger hunt is available. We recommend that you utilize the resources and experts onsite to help you. If your students are staying in residence halls, request that a resident director or housing manager talk to students about housing rules and regulations. You might also include materials such as city maps and local transportation guides.

Regardless of the format, there are several points that should be covered in onsite orientation. Below are some suggested topics for onsite orientation meetings. This list is not exhaustive; we encourage you to think about the unique aspects of your program, destination, and time frame so that you can address the most appropriate topics for your group. Please note that there is one topic that faculty directors are required to discuss: Travel Health and Safety. We also encourage you to familiarize yourself with the policies outlined in the Learning Abroad Handbook.

Topic

Suggested Talking Points

Academic Expectations and Requirements

  • Consider handing out syllabi and other relevant documents if they are available.
  • We recommend reminding students that the grades they earn will appear on their permanent transcripts and affect their GPA.

Local Culture and Language

  • Discuss important cultural and linguistic norms for your destination.
  • If your students will have local instructors or guest speakers, we also encourage you to discuss classroom etiquette in the host country. Consider giving a tour of the classroom facility.
  • If your program takes place in a non-English speaking country, consider having a language “crash course” of important vocabulary.
  • Remind students that they are representatives of the University and cultural ambassadors for the United States. Poor or inappropriate behavior will be attributed to the entire group and affect the experience of all students. Be honest with your students about how their poor behavior reflects on you, as the program leader, to your local colleagues. Most importantly, participants need to understand that the viability of a program rests in their hands. Offensive or indifferent behavior resulting in negative evaluations by colleagues abroad could lead to the cancellation of a program.

Appropriate Dress for Program Activities

  • If there is a dress code for certain activities, make students aware of those expectations. For instance, if it is inappropriate to wear sandals or flip flops on an excursion, let your students know.

Travel Health and Safety

  • FACULTY DIRECTORS ARE REQUIRED TO DISCUSS HEALTH AND SAFETY IN PRE-DEPARTURE AND ONSITE ORIENTATIONS. INFORMATION AND BASIC TALKING POINTS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR THESE DISCUSSIONS ARE AVAILABLE USING THE LINKS BELOW.
  • Travel Health- Guidelines for discussing medical care with students are found in the Faculty Directors Guide. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your Learning Abroad Coordinator. You can also review the health information available in the Learning Abroad Handbook.
  • General Safety- Discuss basic safety tips with your students. Talking points for this discussion are available.
  • Site-Specific Safety Information- If a Safety, Security, and Health Assessment was conducted for your host country, we will email you talking points that address specific safety concerns for your destination. Discuss these points during your meeting. Keep in mind that the list may not be exhaustive. You can add tips and suggestions based on your expertise in the host country.

Emergency Action Plan

  • Discuss the onsite emergency plan with students.
  • Identify meeting points and talk about trip wires.
  • Establish a communication plan, including a phone tree.
  • Distribute the emergency cards that were sent to you before departure.
  • Select the alternative leader (if appropriate)
  • More information on emergency response is available in the Faculty Directors Guide.

Passports

  • Remind students to store their passport in a safe, secure location.
    • Students should not carry their passports with them unless it is absolutely necessary.
    • Remind students that, if they intend to travel independently outside of the host country, that they should take their passport with them.

Program Itinerary

  • Provide students with a tentative program itinerary. Having a sense of what to expect on sight will reduce student anxiety before departure.
  • Be sure to highlight the tentative nature of an itinerary. Students are often frustrated by unexpected changes to program itineraries or course offerings. We discuss the likelihood of itinerary changes in the online orientation program, but we recommend that faculty take a few minutes to reiterate the unpredictability of international travel. You can also review the policy on program changes.

Program Housing

  • Discuss the program accommodations and what students should expect (i.e. availability of air conditioning, roommate assignments, and linens)
  • Give the students a written address for their housing facility. Recommend that they carry this information with them. If they have trouble communicating with a taxi driver or get lost, they can use the written address to obtain help.
  • Discuss any housing regulations or rules.
    • If your program utilizes homestays, we recommend discussing gifts, expectations, and family culture.

Alcohol and Drug Policies

  • The University of Utah’s drug and alcohol policies for learning abroad are discussed in the Student Conduct section of the Learning Abroad Handbook.

Money Matters

  • Discuss local currency, exchange rates, and the use of debit cards, and credit cards.
  • Remind students that they should notify their bank to avoid problems using credit and debit cards abroad.

Local Transportation

  • Discuss local transportation options including buses, subways, and other local practices.
  • Traffic and pedestrian accidents are the leading cause of injury to students abroad.
  • DISCOURAGE STUDENTS FROM DRIVING IN THE HOST COUNTRY OR HITHCHIKING.
  • If the transportation system is set up so that vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road, discuss this with students.

Communication

  • Talk to students about communication options including cell phones, internet cafes, and computer labs.

Independent Travel

  • Discuss independent travel plans (information is available in the Learning Abroad Handbook).
  • Remind students that they should notify you if they plan to travel independently.
  • The University is not responsible for students travelling independently.

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Re-entry (End-of-Program) Meeting

Faculty Directors are often the resource that students turn to once they have returned to campus.  Including a formal end-of-program meeting before leaving the host country can help students reacclimatize to the home culture, discuss how to use the transferable skills that they have developed, and generally prepare for returning to campus. Providing a re-entry meeting also re-enforces the connections that Faculty make with their students during the program and provides a space for them to express their thoughts, concerns, or insights. Additionally, students often help Faculty Directors by serving as advocates for the program and recruiting future applicants. A re-entry meeting gives Faculty Directors the opportunity to identify students who might be interested in helping the Program in the future. 

Below are some suggested topics for a re-entry meeting. This list is not exhaustive; we encourage you to think about the unique aspects of your program, destination, and time frame so that you can address the most appropriate topics for your group. Depending on your program location you can choose to conduct this meeting at a more traditional space such as a classroom, but you might find that a local restaurant or informal setting could be better. We encourage you to be creative and to consider what is appropriate and works for your program!

Academic Expectations and Requirements

  • Review syllabus as necessary and remind students of any academic requirements or assignments that occur after the program ends
  • Discuss the grading timeline

Travel Logistics

  • Discuss departure information and local transportation to airport
  • Prepare for U.S. Customs and declaring items
  • Remind students to store their passport in their CARYY-ON LUGGAGE and in a safe, secure location
  • Discuss exit visas or exit taxes (if necessary)

Cultural Adjustment & Re-Entry Resources

  • Discuss reverse culture shock and adjusting to life back “home.”  Resources for Reverse Culture Shock can be found on the Returned Students section of the Learning Abroad website.
  • Highlight the Global U Program
  • Highlight the Returned Students section on the Learning Abroad website for information on readjustment, meeting returned students, future research opportunities abroad, and more
  • Refer students to the Learning Abroad handbook and to their Pre-Departure Orientation modules for support services on campus

Communication

  • Talk to students about how to communicate experience with friends, family, employers, etc.
  • Identify ways to keep in touch with host family, local colleagues or contacts
  • Highlight ways to keep in touch and be advocates for prospective students (attending info sessions for example)  
Last Updated: 11/2/16