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The Center for Global Education promotes international education to foster cross-cultural awareness, cooperation and understanding. Living and working effectively in a global society requires learning with an international perspective.

We promote this type of learning by collaborating with colleges, universities and other organizations around the world.
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About Orientation

Policy Information:

Orientation programs are typically divided into pre-departure and on-site sessions. Both are designed to inform students about the realities of their study abroad program and the country where they will be studying, and to help them more quickly adjust to culture abroad. Orientation could include health and safety issues and information about the abilities and limitations of program support (who will pay for medical care? how does insurance work? etc.). NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad for Advisors and Administrators (p. 293) suggests that the following areas could be included in an orientation:

Provide essential practical information

Motivate students to learn more about the host culture as well as about themselves as Americans, prior to departure. Students could learn what differences and difficulties to expect and discuss ways to deal with them in positive and constructive ways

Help students develop cross-cultural sensitivity and become familiar with the process of cross-cultural adaptation

Help students gain a better comprehension of world issues and examine their roles as global citizens

Assist students in investigating their academic, personal, and professional objectives abroad and how these goals might fit into their long-term objectives

Reference to NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad

According to NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad for Advisors and Administrators, minimally, orientations should include past participants, international students, and other resource people who have spent time in the region, and will include a discussion of health, safety, and security issues, how to handle emergencies, and basic information on academics and appropriate cultural behavior.

Campus Advising, Whole-World Study, NAFSA’s Guide to Education Abroad for Advisers and Administrators, Third Edition, p. 239.

While pre-departure and on-site orientations have virtually become standards in the field, re-orientations given to students upon return to the United States are sparse. The process of re-entry and the effects of reverse culture shock must not be ignored. Bruce La Brack offers advice on these issues in his articles entitled: “The Missing Linkage: The Process of Integrating Orientation and Reentry” and “The Evolution Continues: The UOP Cross-Cultural Training Courses”.

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