While Abroad

You've arrived! Consider these factors as you manage your time abroad.

Arrival Checklist

  • Notify UC International of your safe arrival and encourage students to contact their loved ones
  • Conduct an on-site orientation with students 
  • Build sufficient time for rest and recovery into the first day or two of the program and actively monitor how students are adjusting

On-Site Orientation

The first day or two upon arrival is important for establishing a comfortable environment for students to have a successful experience. Creating a comprehensive on-site orientation will help students acclimate to their new surroundings as they process being in a new and different environment.

You may want to:

  • Give a walking tour of the neighborhood and point out local landmarks, grocery stores, inexpensive restaurants, ATMs, etc.
  • Explain how to use transportation systems
  • Share information about local customs and cultural expectations
  • Provide faculty contact information
  • Discuss health and safety considerations
  • Review itinerary and discuss how planned activities enhance learning
  • Share your expectations for student conduct (e.g., interacting with guest speakers, being on time for group departures, etc.)

Group Management

Developing a healthy group dynamic is important for a successful program abroad. Create opportunities for formal and informal meetings before and during travel so that students can lean on their peers throughout the experience.  Faculty should encourage community building by including group meals, collaborative projects, structured free time, etc.

Establish group expectations by allowing students to collectively develop a group constitution or set of norms to which they will hold each other accountable. 

Monitor student interactions and be aware of any students who might be feeling lonely or excluded.  

Reflection Exercises:

  • Summary of daily activities and next-day preparation by group members
  • Rose, Bud, Thorn – Everyone shares a rose (something positive), a bud (something they learned), and a thorn (something that was challenging)
  • Structured time for journaling/reflection

Crisis Response

If an emergency arises abroad, it is the faculty leader’s responsibility to respond to the crisis and notify the appropriate contacts at UC. Faculty should identify the severity of the crisis and respond accordingly. 

The first priority is to assure the health and safety of the students.  Remain calm and encourage the students to do the same. As appropriate, contact the following contacts as you respond to an emergency:

  • Local authorities
  • US embassy or Consulate
  • UC International (or UC police if after hours)

Faculty may be able to handle minor disruptions without significant intervention from UC International, but we always encourage faculty to reach out for support as needed. For more serious emergencies, UC International will collaborate with the faculty leader to implement the best solution.

Always contact UC International for guidance in the event of the following emergencies: 

  • Physical assault
  • Disappearance or kidnapping of a student
  • Robbery
  • Sexual assault or rape
  • Serious illness, physical or emotional
  • Significant accident and/or injury
  • Hospitalization for any reason
  • Terrorist threat or attack
  • Local political crisis that could affect the students’ safety and well being
  • Arrests or questioning by police or other security forces
  • Any legal action involving a student

Keep in mind that you are also responsible for maintaining Title IX and Clery standards and reporting as pertinent. Review these requirements before travel.

Expense Tracking

Coordinate with your financial manager to make sure that all financial expectations are clear before travel. We recommend reviewing the UC Financial Travel Policy before you leave. Plan to pre-pay for what you can to limit the amount of tracking needed on the ground. 

If you will be seeking post-program reimbursement for monies spent, keep all receipts for these purchases. Consider downloading the Concur app on your phone for easy tracking of receipts and expenses.