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UTA Faculty-led Study Abroad Orientation, Summer 2010
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UTA Faculty-led Study Abroad Orientation, Summer 2010


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  • 1. UTA Study Abroad Pre-departure Orientation
  • 2. Expectations and Concerns
    • Write down some of your expectations and concerns
    • Expectation vs. Reality
  • 3. Today’s Topics
    • Academic expectations
    • Insurance requirements
    • Health and safety abroad
    • Post Acceptance Forms
    • Course registration at UTA, transcripts
    • Packing and travel advice
    • Money – financial aid, tuition payments, etc.
    • Cultural learning and adjustment
    • Anything you want to discuss
  • 4. What Study Abroad Is (and is not)
    • Not a vacation for credit or easy A
    • Not without challenges and difficult moments
    • Not Texas
    • It is an academic pursuit that will be fun too
    • It will be one of the best choices you will make as a student
  • 5. Class Attendance
    • Students will be held accountable to any attendance policy put forth by the host institution and/or faculty
    • Travel is NOT an excuse to miss class!
    • Attending classes will improve performance in all courses, especially language studies
  • 6. Insurance
    • Insurance is required!
    • HTH Worldwide Insurance information in your folder
    • UT System Study Abroad Insurance - no current policy
    • Information about ISIC insurance in your folder
    • You can choose another insurance plan as long as it meets UTA’s minimum required levels of coverage
    • Coverage levels:
      • Medical – $100,000.00
      • Medical Evacuation – $10,000.00 (included with SOS)
      • Repatriation of Remains – $7,500.00 (included with SOS)
  • 7. More on Insurance
    • Most insurance is not accepted in the host country (any type)
    • Find out exactly what documents you need in order to get your reimbursement (i.e. receipts, Dr. notes etc…)
    • Reimbursement can be VERY DIFFICULT if you try to collect documentation after the fact
  • 8. ISIC Cards
    • ISIC Basic cards have insurance coverage, but not enough to be sole source of insurance
    • You can upgrade your ISIC card to carry a sufficient amount of insurance
    • Discount airfares, domestic and international
    • Worldwide discounts at hotels, restaurants, museums etc…
    • $22 for Basic, $72.00 for Premium – available at Study Abroad Office
    • Good for one year
    • Increasing discounts available in DFW area
    • Visit for discount information
    • ISIC application in your packet
  • 9. International SOS
    • Information and registration instructions in your packet
    • Free for all UTA students, faculty and staff
    • Emergency services, does not replace medical insurance
    • Follow instructions in packet to register with SOS
    • Print out proof of your registration with SOS and include this with your Post-acceptance Form
      • You can also email your proof of registration directly to [email_address] from the SOS website
  • 10. Post-acceptance Forms
    • Forms included in your packet
    • Please be sure forms are fully completed, especially your itinerary information
    • Forms must be submitted by May 14th. Submit to the Office of International Education, Swift Center, 1022 UTA Blvd
    • Feel free to contact the Study Abroad Office with questions: 817-272-1120, [email_address]
  • 11. Taking Medications Abroad
    • ALWAYS carry medicines, both prescription and non-prescription, in factory or pharmacy packaging.
    • Take a copy of the prescription with you. You may need it to carry the drug into the country.
    • Find out, from the country’s embassy or consulate, if the drug is legal or is considered a controlled substance in the country. You can go to jail in some countries if you are in possession of a controlled substance.
    • Please refer to the section on taking medications abroad in your Study Abroad Handbook for more information.
  • 12. Health and Safety Abroad
    • Handouts
    • Communicate with your host institution staff while abroad
    • Recognize the effects of travel and stress on your mind and body
    • If something is bothering you, mention it to someone
    • Don’t underestimate the importance of your health
  • 13. Medical Conditions
    • Health Form – Optional, but HIGHLY encouraged
    • Study abroad can be a stressful activity, particularly in the early stages of the experience. This stress can exacerbate pre-existing conditions.
    • 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.
    • Medical alert bracelets are a good idea!
  • 14. Center for Disease Control (CDC)
    • Become familiar with the Center for Disease Control’s information pertaining to your study site at
    • You can also call the CDC International Travelers Hotline at (888) 232 3228
  • 15. U.S. State Department
    • Register your trip with the US Embassy or Consulate where you are traveling:
    • You should read A Safe Trip Abroad, also published by the State Department:
    • Questions about your entry requirements? Go to
  • 16. Travel Documents
    • Leave a copy of your documents with your spouse, parents or designated emergency contact
    • Carry a copy of your documents in your luggage
    • Scan a copy of your documents and email them to yourself so that you can access them easily
    • Before you leave, develop an itinerary and leave it with the OIE and your emergency contact
    • ALWAYS tell emergency contact, OIE and program sponsor about your travel plans
  • 17. Financial Aid
    • You are responsible for setting up distribution of all financial aid and scholarships
    • FA procedure – direct deposit
    • No university officials can take care of financial aid in your place
    • Only a person to whom you have given power of attorney can sign documents and pick up your award checks
  • 18. Power of Attorney
    • This gives a person legal authority to act in your place
    • Be sure you trust the person to whom you give this implicitly!
    • You are responsible for any debt incurred in your name by the person with your power of attorney
    • For more information, visit the UTA Student Legal Services:
  • 19. Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time. - Stephen Wright
    • You can live with less and be happier doing it
    • Power converters are a must for most
    • Know the weather where you are going and pack accordingly
    • Comfortable shoes!
    Less Is More and other practical matters
  • 20.
    • How are you going to access your money?
      • ATM’s are widely available in most countries, but it’s good to have some back-ups
    • Keep exchange rates in mind when budgeting and spending your money
    • Let your bank know that you’ll be travelling so that they won’t freeze your account
    • Check with your bank and credit card company about foreign transaction fees
    • See if your bank partners with any international banks
    Money dinero moolah quid. . . Money
  • 21.
      • Don’t carry large sums of cash
      • Get a money belt
      • Be aware of your surroundings and be very skeptical of any strangers who want to help you with anything money-related
      • Don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket
      • Don’t carry an open purse/bag
      • Be especially vigilant at ATM’s
      • Put your money in more than
      • one place: some in your pocket,
      • some in your shoe, etc. . .
      • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry
    Money as a Safety Issue
  • 22. More on playing it safe and smart overseas
    • “ Alcohol removes inhibitions - like that scared little
    • mouse who got drunk and shook his whiskers and
    • shouted: ‘Now bring on that damn cat!’”
    • - old Guinness ad
  • 23. 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.
  • 24. 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.
  • 25. 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.
  • 26. Other Bad Ideas
    • Don’t travel with a person you don’t know well, especially if the trip involves picking up or dropping off a package.
    • Never agree to carry anything for another person across a border.
    • It’s important to remember that even if illegal activity like drug use seems common and overlooked by authorities, it can still come with horrible consequences.
  • 27. Locked Up Abroad (Just Say No)
    • For more convincing evidence for avoiding illegal activity overseas, check out Locked Up Abroad on National Geographic
  • 28. More Tips for Safe Travel
    • Wear your pride on the inside.
    • Steer clear of demonstrations large or small.
    • Do some research about your destination before you get there – weather, customs, political climate, landscape, currency, etc.
    • Stay aware of your surroundings and listen to your instincts.
  • 29. Hostels
    • Tips for Staying in Hostels
      • Research your options ahead of time if possible
      • Is the hostel you’re considering mentioned in a guidebook? Lonely Planet and similar books are good resources.
      • Does it have a website? Are there photos?
      • Is it part of an international hostel association, like Hostelling International?
      • Can you find comments online from other folks who have stayed there?
      • Is there a place for you to safely store your things?
  • 30. 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.
    • 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.
  • 31. Culture Shock & Adjustment
    • Symptoms
    • Helplessness and withdrawal
    • Irritability
    • Fear of being cheated, robbed, or injured
    • A glazed stare
    • Intense desire for home and friends
    • Loneliness, isolation and disorientation
    • Defensive communication
    • 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.
  • 32. Cross-Cultural Adjustment
  • 33. Remedies for Culture Shock
    • Expect culture shock
    • Rest- you will need to sleep more than normal
    • Meet new people- this helps you learn the culture faster
    • Suspend judgment as much as possible
    • Write and reflect on your experiences and feelings
    • Talk to a counselor or friend
  • 34. Blog Abroad!
    • Journal about your daily adventures
    • Download your pictures anytime
    • Share it all with your friends and family as it happens
    • UTA Study Abroad Blog
      • Send us the link to your blog and we will post it on our website. This is also a good way to fulfill scholarship requirements.
    • Blogging Websites:
  • 35. UTA Study Abroad Blog /
  • 36. Stay Connected
    • Become our Fan on Facebook
    • Message us on Skype
      • UT Arlington Study Abroad
    • Follow us on Twitter
      • UTAstudyabroad
    • Email us
      • [email_address]
  • 37. Coming Home
    • Reentry and reverse culture shock
    • Underestimated, misunderstood
    • Often more difficult than adjustment to foreign cultures
    • How to cope
      • Prepare a 30 second answer
      • Find people who have had similar experiences and ways to share those experiences
        • Be a Study Abroad Ambassador!
        • Returning Party, Study Abroad Fair, Photo Contest
      • Be patient
  • 38. Be a Study Abroad Ambassador
    • Share your overseas experience with interested students
    • Help promote studying abroad at SA fairs, info sessions, preview days, etc.
    • Serve as an International Peer Advisor and help welcome new international students to UTA
    • Help organize activities for International Education Week, including the annual Study Abroad Photo Contest
    • Sign up in the Study Abroad Office once you return to the US
  • 39. Annual Study Abroad Photo Contest
    • Annual Study Abroad Photo Contest is held every November
    • Submit a photo and short narrative for each category:
      • Landscape
      • People
      • Architecture
      • Cultural Snapshot
      • Comical
    • Photos will be displayed in the University Center Gallery during International Education Week
    • The public votes for their favorites in each category
    • Winning photographers receive cool prizes
    • Check out the 2008 photos on the UTA Study
    • Abroad Facebook Page
    Einstein and His Esteemed Colleagues Location: Paris, France Photographer: Robert Clark
  • 40. Global Connections
    • A new housing program offered through UTA’s on-campus apartments and OIE
    • 1 International Roommate + 1 American Roommate
      • Expand your cultural knowledge
      • Meet people from all over the world
      • Take part in international events
      • Certificate of completion
    • Apply now for the fall semester
  • 41. Study Abroad Survey
    • Survey time!
    • Dolores Aguilar
  • 42. Conclusion
    • Questions???
    • Thoughts to share with the group?