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2011 Faculty Pre-Departure Orientation
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2011 Faculty Pre-Departure Orientation



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  • 1. UT Arlington Study Abroad
    Pre-Departure Orientation
  • 2. Today’sTopics
    • Insurance requirements
    • 3. Optional plans through UT Arlington
    • 4. International SOS
    • 5. Cards available for all participants
    • 6. Health and safety abroad
    • 7. Emergency procedures
    • 8. Alcohol & drugs abroad
    • 9. Accessing money abroad
    • 10. Packing and travel advice
    • 11. Cultural learning & adjustment
    • 12. Post Acceptance Forms
    • 13. Anything you want to discuss
  • Expectations & Concerns
    • Write down some of your expectations and concerns
    • 14. Expectation vs. Reality
    “How not to blend in with your surroundings” by Maggie Lunday
    COBA in Spain, summer 2010
  • 15. What Study Abroad Is:
    • Not a vacation for credit or easy A
    • 16. Side note: Travel is NOT an excuse to miss class!
    • 17. Not without challenges and difficult moments
    • 18. Not Texas
    • 19. It is an academic pursuit that will be fun too
    • 20. It will be one of the best choices you will make as a student
  • Insurance Requirements
    • Travel insurance is required of all participants
    Minimum Coverage (as specified by the UT System)
    • Medical - $100,000
    • 21. Medical Evacuation - $10,000 (covered by SOS)
    • 22. Repatriation of Remains - $7,500 (covered by SOS)
    • 23. If your current insurance provider does not cover you while abroad, or does not meet the minimum coverage above, UTA offers affordable options to consider.
  • Optional Insurance Plans
    United Healthcare (UT System Policy)
    • $43 per month
    • 24. You pick the start date
    HTH Worldwide
    • $33.80 per month (up to age 59)
    • 25. $129.00 per month (age 60-64)
    • 26. $0 deductable per injury or sickness
    • 27. You pick the start date
    ISIC Premium
    • $72 – valid for one full year from date of purchase
    • 28. $0 deductable per injury or sickness
    • 29. Cards can be made in the UTA Study Abroad Office
  • 30. More on Insurance
    • Most insurance policies will not “up-front” the cost of medical treatment abroad – you must pay for the treatment and then file a claim on your own
    • 31. Keep your insurance policy with you while traveling and know the customer service number for insurance claim advice
    • 32. Be sure to ask your provider what documents you will need for your claim (receipts, doctor’s notes, etc)
    • 33. Reimbursements can be tricky if you try to collect documents after your return to the U.S.
    • 34. Utilize International SOS!
  • More on the ISIC Card
    • Two card types: Basic ($22) and Premium ($72)
    • 35. Basic card provides less medical coverage ($25,000)
    Card Benefits:
    • Discount airfares - domestic and international
    • 36. Non-medical coverage – travel delay, lost baggage, etc
    • 37. Worldwide discounts – hotels, restaurants, museums, etc
    • 38. Increasing discounts available in DFW area
    • 39. Good for one year
    • 40. Visit for discount information
  • International SOS
    • Free for all UTA students, faculty and staff
    • 41. Provides emergency services while abroad, but does not replace medical insurance
    • 42. Great resource for non-emergency situations as well!
    • 43. The Study Abroad Office will register your trip for you, but it is important for you to create your own profile
    • 44. Follow instructions in your Post-Acceptance Forms
    • 45. Print out proof of your registration with SOS and include this with your Post-acceptance Forms or Email registration to
    • 46. More information:
  • 47. Your SOS Itinerary
  • 48. Health & Safety Abroad
    • Review Health & Safety section of website & handbook:
    • 49. Communicate with your program leader concerning any potential health issues that may arise
    Know Before You Go
    • CDC – country specific information on immunizations, health risks, and travel preparations (
    • 50. WHO – provides country profiles that include health risks & statistics (
    • 51. OSAC – collects health & safety news articles and updates from around the globe (
    • 52. ISOS – provides country specific safety information
  • Medical Conditions
    • Health & Medical Self-Assessment
    • 53. Failure to let in-country staff know about a medical condition can cause a serious and even fatal delay in the diagnosis and treatment of any condition you have that may occur while on study abroad
    • 54. Medical alert bracelets are a good idea while traveling abroad
    • 55. Inform International SOS
  • Traveling with Medications
    • ALWAYS carry medicines (both prescription and over-the-counter) in factory or pharmacy packaging
    • 56. Take a copy of the prescription with you - you may need it to carry the drug into the country. For more tips, visit
    • 57. Some drugs available by prescription in the US are illegal in other countries. Check the US Department of State Consular Information Sheets for the country(s) you intend to visit or the embassy or consulate for that country(s). If your medication is not allowed in the country you will be visiting, ask your health-care provider to write a letter on office stationery stating the medication has been prescribed for you.
  • U.S. Department of State
    • The Study Abroad Office will register your trip to with the US Department of State (
    • 58. It is highly recommended that you register any side-trips
    • 59. You should read A Safe Trip Abroad, also published by the US Department of State:
    Other Useful Information
    • Entry/Exit Requirements by Country
    • 60. Travel Alerts/Warnings
    • 61. Emergency/Crisis Information for US Citizens Abroad
  • Travel Documents
    • Leave a copy of your travel documents with a family member or designated emergency contact
    • 62. Passport, visa, credit card(s), insurance policies, etc.
    • 63. Carry a copy of your documents in your luggage separate from the originals
    • 64. Before you leave, develop an itinerary and record it through your International SOS profile. Also leave a copy with your emergency contact
    • 65. ALWAYS tell your emergency contact and your program leader about your travel plans
  • Emergency Procedures
    What would you do if…
    • There was a natural disaster and you lost communication with the group and contacts back home?
    • 66. You were traveling with a friend independently from the rest of the group and your friend needed immediate medical attention?
    • 67. Your faculty-leader was involved in an accident and was incapacitated and in the hospital?
    • 68. You missed your flight and were unable to join the group at the pre-determined destination?
    • 69. You lost your passport on the last day of the program?
  • Travel + Overindulgence = Regret
    Be aware of the customs of the country. Drinking to excess may be less tolerated where you are studying.
    There are some serious dangers to consider in reduced alertness in unfamiliar surroundings. Drugging is not at all uncommon. Always try to buy your own drinks.
    Keep control of yourself and be aware of your own limits.
  • 70. More on Alcohol
    Never go home with a stranger.
    Always go out with at least one friend (especially if you are a woman), and return with that friend.
    Please note that abuse of alcohol can be grounds for dismissal from the program.
  • 71. Drugs
    Doing illegal drugs in a foreign country is a VERY BAD IDEA.
    Drugs account for almost half of Americans arrested overseas.
    If you get caught with them, you could be thrown into a jail unlike any you could ever imagine.
    The U.S. government cannot help you out of such a situation. You are subject to laws of that country.
  • 72. A Few More Tips
    • Wear your pride on the inside
    • 73. Steer clear of demonstrations, large or small
    • 74. Do some research about your destination before you get there – weather, customs, political climate, landscape, currency, etc.
    • 75. Stay aware of your surroundings and listen to your instincts
  • Other Bad Ideas
    • Don’t travel with someone you don’t know well, especially if it involves picking up or dropping off a package
    • 76. Never agree to carry something across the border for another person
    • 77. It’s important to remember that even if illegal activity like drug use seems common and over looked by the authorities, it can still come with horrible consequences
  • International Romance (and why a US Passport is more valuable to some than a big diamond)
    • Be aware that different cultures have different ideas about relationships, dating and appropriate behavior concerning these issues.
    • 78. It’s probably not the best idea to get married while you’re abroad. Be aware that an individual may be interested in you more for your citizenship than for your shining intellect, wholesome southern beauty and cute American accent.
  • 79. UTA Financial Aid
    • You are responsible for setting up distribution of all financial aid and scholarships
    • 80. FA procedure – direct deposit
    • 81. No university officials can take care of financial aid in your place
    • 82. Only a person to whom you have given power of attorney can sign documents and pick up your award checks
  • Money Abroad
    • How are you going to access your money?
    • 83. ATM’s are widely available globally, but it’s good to have some back-ups
    • 84. Currency conversion & other ATM fees
    • 85. Does your bank have an overseas branch?
    • 86. Money as a safety issue
    • 87. Be diligent at ATM’s & mindful of where you keep your money
    • 88. Keep exchange rates in mind when budgeting and spending your money
    Bank of America
    Traveling Internationally?
    Use your ATM card or check card within our Global ATM Alliance in the countries shown with no fees.
    Barclays (United Kingdom)
    BNP Paribas  (France)
    China Construction Bank (China)
    Deutsche Bank (Germany)
    Santander Serfin (Mexico)
    Scotiabank (Canada)
    Westpac (Australia and New Zealand)
  • 89. Money as a Safety Issue
    • Don’t carry large sums of cash
    • 90. Get a money belt
    • 91. Be aware of your surroundings and be very skeptical of any strangers who want to help you with anything money-related
    • 92. Don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket
    • 93. Don’t carry an open purse/bag
    • 94. Be especially vigilant at ATM’s
    • 95. Put your money in more than
    one place: some in your pocket,
    some in your shoe, etc. . .
    • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry
  • Travel Preparations
    • Take into account baggage restrictions
    • 96. Checked vs. carry-on items:
    • 97. Baggage weight & restrictions – be sure to check your airlines website well in advance! AirfareWatchdog has a great chart of all major airlines:
    • 98. Packing checklist:
    • 99. Power converters are a must (for most)
    • 100. Universal Travel Adapters are best
    • 101. A money belt & travel umbrella
    • 102. Comfortable Shoes!
  • Travel Resources
    Student Airfare
    • STA Travel – airfare deposit program, student priced airfare, rail passes, etc. (
    • 103. Student Universe – student airfare (
    • 104. Kayak – search multiple sites at once (
    Travel Guides
    • Lonely Planet (
    • 105. National Geographic Traveler Guidebooks (
    International Communications
    • Skype (
    • 106. Local mobile phones
    • 107. Calling cards
    • 108. International SIM cards
  • What does Culture Look Like?
    Things to consider:
    • Surface behaviors are influenced by beneath-the-surface values and assumptions.
    • 109. Culture is formed by a group deciding what values are most important to them.
    • 110. All cultures consider their behaviors to be good, proper, natural and normal. Therefore conflict and change involving core values cause tension.
    • 111. Therefore, studying abroad can be expected to be uncomfortable and incomprehensible at times.
    Taken from: What’s Up with Culture?
  • 112. Culture Shock & Adjustment
    • Helplessness and withdrawal
    • 113. Irritability
    • 114. Fear of being cheated, robbed, or injured
    • 115. A glazed stare
    • 116. Intense desire for home and friends
    • 117. Loneliness, isolation and disorientation
    • 118. Defensive communication
    • 119. Stress- headache, upset stomach, sleeplessness
    Culture shock can be very intense for some and nonexistent for others. But it can be controlled and eventually eliminated.
  • 120. Cross-Cultural Adjustment
    The Four H’s:
    1) Honeymoon 2) Hostility 3) Humor 4) Home
  • 121. Remedies for Culture Shock
    • Expect culture shock
    • 122. Rest- you will need to sleep more than normal
    • 123. Meet new people- this helps you learn the culture faster
    • 124. Suspend judgment as much as possible
    • 125. Write and reflect on your experiences and feelings
    • 126. Talk to a counselor or friend
  • Study Abroad Photo Contest
    • Annual Study Abroad Photo Contest is held every November
    • 127. Submit a photo and short narrative for each category:
    • 128. Landscape
    • 129. People
    • 130. Architecture
    • 131. Cultural Snapshot
    • 132. Comical
    • 133. Photos will be displayed in the University Center Gallery during International Education Week
    • 134. The public votes for their favorites in each
    • Winning photographers receive cool prizes
    • 135. Check out the past years’ photos on the
    UTA Study Abroad Flickr Page
    By: Joshua CampbellCategory: Cultural SnapshotLocation: Bologna, Italy
  • 136. Study Abroad Ambassadors
    • Share your overseas experience with interested students
    • 137. Help promote studying abroad at SA fairs, info sessions, preview days, etc.
    • 138. Serve as an International Peer Advisor and help welcome new international students to UTA
    • 139. Help organize activities for International Education Week, including the annual Study Abroad Photo Contest
    • 140. Sign up in the Study Abroad Office once you return to the US
  • Post-Acceptance Forms
    • Forms were emailed to you
    • 141. Please be sure forms are fully completed – if any forms are unclear, please give me a call to discuss
    • 142. Forms must be submitted by 04/29/11. Submit to the Office of International Education, Swift Center, 1022 UTA Blvd
    • 143. Feel free to contact the Study Abroad Office with questions: 817-272-1120,
  • Conclusion
    Thoughts to share with the group?