On-Site Orientation

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GUIDELINES

 

 


 

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS TO THE PROGRAM DIRECTOR

  • Do not conduct the on-site orientation when the students are fatigued (directly after arrival on the program site.)
  • If there is more than one site in the program, provide a brief orientation at each location, pointing out cautions unique to the area.
  • Add any information to the outline that is specific to your program.
  • Please put your student participants through an emergency exercise which prepares them on ways to exit the housing facility/host family or classroom facility in case of fire or other emergency.
  • Emphasize that if they are missing, or do not return at the appropriate time, the local and national police will be notified, as will their emergency contact person in the states. If they are detained, they MUST call the program site to let someone know where they are and when they will return. They should carry adequate currency at all times to be able to make a phone call in an emergency or in case they are delayed.

 

The orientation cannot prepare students for EVERY eventuality, but will point out general and specific ways in which to avoid danger and handle emergencies.

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BEHAVIOR AND THE PROGRAM CONTRACT

  • Provide students a copy of the Rules of Conduct Contract and review it with them.
  • Give examples of possible infractions which could result in expulsion from the program such as: cheating, disregard of program rules or directives from the program director, use of drugs, abuse of alcohol, non-participation in program activities or academic classes, etc.
  • Process leading up to expulsion from the program (written and witnessed warnings on disciplinary action form).
  • Consequences of expulsion
    • No academic credit
    • No refund or program fee
    • Student’s responsibility for expenses connected with return to U.S.

 

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PERSONAL WELFARE

  • Local areas to avoid (VERY IMPORTANT)
  • Walking in groups as opposed to alone
  • Traveling on trains or other mass transit
  • Gender issues (VERY IMPORTANT)
  • Walking at night/alone
  • Health precautions
    • drinking local water (carry bottled)
    • food preparation variables
    • sexually transmitted diseases
    • alcohol/drug use
  • Legal issues
  • Impure street drugs
  • Alcohol tolerance/altitude variations
  • Medical emergencies or illnesses
    • Contact program director immediately – catch any situation early
    • Do not call home first and worry parents
  • DO NOT DO ANYTHING YOU WOULD NOT DO AT HOME (i.e. hitchhike, go with a stranger, etc.).
  • Do not drive cars, ride bicycles or motor scooters because of unpredictable traffic patterns and driving habits of locals.
  • When leaving the place of residence, always tell someone else where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • When leaving the program on free time, you must have pre-approval from the Program Director. In your request, provide the Program Director with information on where you are going and when you expect to be back. It is important to understand the implications involved if you do not return when you are expected.
  • Always carry important phone numbers with you when you are away in the event you are delayed and need to contact someone in the program. Provide important numbers to a contact person in the program.
  • Always let someone know if you will be delayed returning to the group.
  • Should you have an emergency when away from the program site, find a policeman and ask for assistance. DO NOT follow strangers or accept a ride with anyone. Always carry adequate money with you to meet such an eventuality.
  • Only use taxicabs that are licensed and metered. If it is necessary to travel by taxicab, it is better to find one in a hotel than to hail one off the street. Women should never sit in the front seat of a Taxicab.

 

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PROTECTION OF VALUABLES

  • Keep passport, money and plane ticket in a SAFE PLACE.
  • Do not carry valuables, a large amount of money or passport unless absolutely necessary.
  • Be aware of the proper way to carry a purse, backpack or wallet. Pick-pocketing is a “fine art” in many foreign countries.
  • Keep the door to your room locked whenever you are away.

 

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RULES, REGULATIONS, LAWS, PROTOCOL OF HOST COUNTRY or CITY
Program Directors should explain any important local laws, curfews, do’s and don’ts

ACADEMIC BEHAVIOR

  • Class attendance
  • Absences – excused and unexcused
  • Consequences of unexcused absences (lower grade and possible expulsion)
  • Tardiness
  • Required attendance at excursions – what is paid for by the program and what is at the participant’s expense?
  • Information from individual faculty members regarding what is expected/required regarding class and excursion attendance (BE VERY SPECIFIC! If a student’s grade is negatively affected by lack of information of what is required, the program is liable).
  • Drop/add process and time frame – consequence of not dropping a course within allotted time frame (credit will not be given if a course is added after the deadline).

 

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TRAVELING TIPS

  • In case of emergency when away from the program site, contact the Program Director. If unable to reach the Program Director, contact someone connected with the program. If the situation is serious, contact the police, a U.S. consulate or embassy or a hospital and cope the best you can until you can reach the Program Director or ODIA. Be sure to get proper documentation – doctor’s itemized bill, police report, whatever applies – for insurance purposes.

 

Always notify someone of where you plan to travel, carry important phone numbers in case you need to contact someone connected with the program, and CALL if you are going to be delayed in your return.

  • USE COMMON SENSE WHEN CONSUMING ALCOHOL. You GREATLY increase your chances of forgetting something, getting lost, getting detained in a foreign country.
  • Never arrive in a city late in the evening or in the night without having made pre-reservations for accommodations.
  • Avoid traveling alone.

 

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POTENTIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL and PSYSIOLOGICAL PROBLEMS
(All to be expected, and easily dealt with by Program Director and group members)

  • Jet lag
  • Culture shock
  • Homesickness
  • Loneliness
  • Changes in diet
  • Lack of exercise

 

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PRACTICAL MATTERS

  • Meal times - consequences of missing a meal (student must pay for own food)
  • Always carry your TSU Intl ID Card
  • Local bank schedules, locations, money changing, budgeting, tipping
  • How to telephone home
  • Receiving phone calls, e-mail (if applicable), nearest internet café
  • Laundry facilities – location and operation
  • Protocol of program living facility (i.e. when do doors lock, meal times, etc.)
  • How to get around – mass transit that’s available, directions, etc
  • BE ON TIME FOR DEPARTURES!
  • Recommended guidebooks

 

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CULTURAL DO’S AND DON’TS

  • Male/female issues
  • Behavior cautions
  • Dialectical differences in common expressions
  • Cautions regarding use of phone, hot water, electricity, etc.
  • Dietary/meal pattern differences
  • What are language quirks/differences between English and local language
  • How should family members or acquaintances are addressed
  • How family life differs in the host culture from the U.S.
  • Basics of how to dress, eat, greet people, and show affection

 

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