International Studies & Programs

Home > Plan > Preparing to Travel > Orientations


Orientation sessions take place prior to your departure and cover a wide range of topics as you prepare to go abroad. It’s a great time for you to be able to ask questions and meet other students who are part of your program.

Once you have been accepted into your program, you will be REQUIRED to complete the Education Abroad D2L module at least four (4) weeks before departure. (Wait-listed students will not be required to complete the module until they have been admitted to the program.) When the module is ready, the Office for Education Abroad will notify you via email.

The presentation covers a wide range of topics including passports, visas, air travel, course enrollment, financial matters, medical insurance, safety issues, cultural adjustment, what to expect when students return home, and more. This information is an extremely important part of pre-departure planning and will answer the most frequently asked questions. As part of the presentation, you will complete a quiz in each section where you must score at least 80%.

Other orientation types include the following and may be in-person or online formats. Many times parents and family members are also welcome to attend.

Program-specific orientations: Held by your program director or education abroad coordinator where the content will be focused on your specific program or host institution. Most times these are also a required component of pre-departure orientation.

Region-specific orientations: Held by the Office for Education Abroad that focus on information about a specific country or region in the world. These are not typically mandatory but provide valuable information about local customs and culture.

Optional pre-departure workshops: Centered on cultural differences and identity or offer advice to first-time travelers may also be available. These are listed on our events page and are optional.

On-site orientations: Offered to participants who will be attending a partner institution abroad (direct enroll or exchange programs) where the local resident director will help orient you to campus and the local culture. Many faculty-directed programs will also hold on-site orientations upon arrival to the host destination.