Program-Specific Pre-Departure Orientation Checklist

In the weeks and months leading up to departure, program directors should hold at least one pre-departure orientation with accepted students. Below is a list of suggested topics to cover at orientation meetings.

Please note, this checklist is meant to serve as a guide and is not all-inclusive. Program directors should add any additional information specific to their program.

  • Introductions
  • Description of roles
  • Icebreakers and team-building activities
  • Group rules and expectations

Examples of icebreakers and team-building activities.

See Diversity Abroad network’s Matrix for Self-Care and Creating Brave Spaces as Education Abroad Program Directors, available through the member resource library. (NC State is an institutional member. Study abroad program personnel may contact the Study Abroad Office for access to this and other Diversity Abroad resources.)

  • Local health care overview
  • Legality of medication
  • How to use international health insurance
  • Local food and water
  • Crime and safety advice/host country laws
  • Group responsibility
  • Emergency Response Plan
    • Meeting place
    • Backup plan
    • Key contacts
      • On-site partners
      • international health insurance
      • Nearest U.S. consulate/embassy
      • Home institution emergency phone
      • Counseling crisis line
      • 911 equivalent
      • Nearest hospital and pharmacy

  • Course syllabus and materials
  • Culture and academic norms in host location
  • Academic expectations
  • Participation and attendance requirements

  • Program itinerary
  • Host country entry and exit requirements
  • Travel information
    • Airfare
    • Arrival time
    • Directions
  • Local transportation tips
  • Housing expectations

  • Recommended language resources
  • In-country communication options
  • Group communication plan
  • Family communication plan
  • Electronic device requirements and advice

  • Overview of program cost and inclusions
  • Payment tips for host location
  • Money saving tips
  • Currency

adapted from NAFSA’s The Guide to Successful Short-Term Programs Abroad