Once your participants are confirmed, you will continue to work with the Education Abroad office in order to prepare for your program departure.
Your First Class
While your students applied for your program on our website, up to this point, they may not have engaged much with our office. Going forward, it is important that your students understand our partnership and that we build relationships with the students together. This will make them more likely to:
- Respond to important communications.
- Take advantage of complementary programming we offer that will enhance their cultural competence and increase success abroad.
- Engage in opportunities to promote international education and your program such as becoming a Global Ambassador when they return or presenting their projects at the Global Learning Symposium.
To help facilitate this, we’d like to come to one of your early classes on campus or a meeting with your newly confirmed students. We will bring food (perhaps some related ethnic cuisine), provide swag for you and the students, answer questions about next steps and as time allows, lead a discussion/activity on topics such as:
- Goal Setting - how to make the most of your international experience personally and professionally.
- Culture Shock- what is it and how do you manage it.
- Introduction to resources to learn more about your country: Global Ambassadors, Global Road Warrior, etc.
- Cultural simulation exercise
- Develop a collective contract for program behavior and expectations
- Taking the GPI pre-survey (see below for more information)
Once the number of student participants has been confirmed, we will meet to revisit the program budget, make any adjustments necessary and discuss how to move forward with making your reservation payments. This is an important meeting to communicate between the various financial stakeholders and help you best manage your program accounting.
Pre-Departure for Students and Faculty
Your students will be required to attend Bon Voyage, a two-hour pre-departure program. This program will cover general topics related to health, safety and culture shock and it was developed in conjunction with our partners in Risk Management, Public Safety, Health & Wellness and RIT Legal. You are welcome to attend or request a copy of our presentation materials. Please assist us in communicating the importance of this program to your students. Because this program supports students going to various locations, it is not country or culture specific. We rely on you to pass along important specific cultural information to adequately prepare students for the experience they will have on your program. Students will be notified of Bon Voyage meeting dates by our office shortly after their program acceptance.
You will also need attend a faculty training session that will cover a variety of important topics such as emergency planning and response, student conduct, student health and wellness and Title IX. You will be contacted about your availability to attend a training meeting prior to your departure. This is a great opportunity share ideas and best practices between new and veteran study abroad faculty directors.
Working with Access Services
It is possible that RIT will be sending and paying for Access Services providers such as captionists or interpreters on your program to support a deaf or hard of hearing students. Soon after your program is confirmed and support providers are selected, we will arrange a meeting where you will meet the providers and we will discuss how to organize travel planning and budgeting with these additional staff, as well as strategies to best accommodate these diverse learners.
It is important to familiarize yourself with RIT’s International Emergency Response Plan which outlines the steps you should take in the event of an international emergency. In addition to RIT’s International Emergency Response Plan, you can always quickly report an international emergency and be connected to RIT public safety by using the Report An International Emergency button located at the bottom of all of our website pages.
In addition, you should become familiar with the locations of the nearest hospitals and U.S. embassy in your program location and also register (and encourage your students to register) with the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment (S.T.E.P.) program. This free program allows travelers to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate and will provide you with important information about safety conditions and travel warnings.
It is important to understand whether or not your students will require visas to participate in your program. Often, US citizens will not need visa, but international student participants might and obtaining a visa may require a lengthy application, additional fees and in-person visit to a consulate or embassy. We will work together to direct students to resources to help obtain a visa, but ultimately it is the student’s responsibility to secure the necessary documents prior to departure. Our office can provide official letters confirming the student’s enrollment and the nature of the course as is often necessary for visa applications.
All students, faculty and staff participating in an RIT faculty-led program are covered by On Call which provides international health insurance, emergency evacuation, repatriation insurance and limited trip interruption insurance. All participants will receive an On Call card with policy information, contact information for global assistance and coverage details. We will explain how to use On Call in detail at faculty and student pre-departures.
Global Perspectives Inventory (GPI)
RIT has adopted the GPI, a nationally recognized assessment tool, to measure a study abroad student’s cultural competency before and after their study abroad programs. Your students will receive a link to take an online survey at the beginning of your program, just prior to departure and again around the time they return. Each survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. We appreciate your help in encouraging students to complete this important assessment, which will help us measure the impact of study abroad, develop effective programs and advocate for resources to support international education.