Once you have been accepted to a program, you will be invited by your GEO Advisor to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation session. For UO students, this session will take place on the Eugene campus. For non-UO students, the session will be carried out online.
The pre-departure orientation session has several learning objectives, including the following:
- To discuss travel logistics and arrival process. What will the first few days on site look like?
- To provide you with an opportunity to meet other students who will be participating on the program
- To learn from past participants who can share advice and insights from having recently participated in the program
- If applicable, to meet with the faculty director(s) who will be leading the program
- To learn how to respond to emergency situations, and to go over health and safety protocols
- To discuss communication strategies and expectations in terms of contacting on-site staff, faculty leaders, GEO, and other local contacts such as host family, fellow students, etc.
- To discuss cross-cultural communication and the process of adjusting to a new culture and environment. What should students manage expectations of the program, the country, and of themselves throughout the program.
- To go over housing arrangements and discuss responsibilities of students as guests or tenants
- To hear about academic culture in the country you will be studying abroad. What should students expect in terms of teaching styles, assignments, classroom communication, etc?
UO students participating in provider programs (SIT, Semester at Sea, IE3 Global, CIEE, DIS) will have a separate and more detailed program-specific orientation session with staff from those organizations.