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The Ohio State UniversityOffice of International Affairs

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Orientations and Workshops

Hungary education abroadThe Office of International Affairs provides a variety of professional development opportunities for leaders of university-managed education abroad programs.

Health and Safety Orientation Requirement

Resident directors (program leaders) are required to participate in an annual health and safety training. The training covers resources for preparation ahead of departure and protocol for responding to incidents and emergencies abroad.

  • First-time resident directors and those who have not attended a health and safety orientation in the past two years must attend the Core Health and Safety Orientation. First-time Resident Directors are also welcome to attend any of the Special Topic Health and Safety Workshops, in addition to the Core orientation.
  • Once every two academic years, resident directors who lead programs annually must attend either the Core Health and Safety Orientation or the Advanced Health and Safety Orientation. Those who have completed the core or advanced orientation in the prior academic year may complete their annual training requirement for the current year by repeating either of these sessions, or by attending a Special Topic Health and Safety Workshop.

Core Health and Safety Orientation
The core session covers pre-departure resources for preparation of group travel, reviews standard protocols for responding to health and safety incidents that may arise abroad. Specific attention is paid to utilizing the resources of the supplemental insurance and understanding particular areas of federal compliance related to education abroad.

Advanced Health and Safety Orientation
This orientation covers the material presented in the Core Health and Safety Orientation by introducing two evolving case studies. These are designed in a question and answer format to cover common scenarios and address previous questions that have risen in responding to student concerns and incidents abroad.

Special Topic Health and Safety Workshops

Alcohol Use Abroad: Preparation, Mitigation and Response
The Alcohol Use Abroad orientation reviews research studies on expectations and norms of alcohol consumption among education abroad students. The data will highlight trends that may result in higher rates of consumption among some program participants. The workshop also will focus on elements of program design and behavioral standards to mitigate potentially disruptive or harmful behavior. Topics addressed will include the Code of Student Conduct, group expectations contracts, signs, symptoms and reactions to alcohol poisoning and use of the supplemental health insurance for assisting students.

Essential Documents: Crafting and Using Emergency Action Plans and Group Expectations Contracts
An Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is an indispensable component of health and safety planning for education abroad programs. It provides the core information that program leaders and participants will need in responding to an urgent or critical incident. A Group Expectations Contract sets standard guidelines for participant conduct and engagement. This workshop will review templates for crafting effective documents. It will also provide examples on how the documents are utilized, including the use of the Incident Response Handbook along with various technology apps and social media platforms.

Managing Participant and Group Dynamics: Responding to Student Concerns and Incidents
The role of Resident Director requires a high degree of interpersonal contact with students in residential and non-classroom environments. Issues routinely arise that may challenge individual students, small cohorts or the entire program. While these often do not constitute an urgent health or safety matter, they may require significant intervention and ongoing management. This workshop will pose sample incidents, review management techniques from the Office of Residence Life and resources for response and maintaining resiliency.  It will also cover the use of technology and social media in maintaining consistent interaction with a group.

Supporting Student Mental Health in Education Abroad
The Supporting Student Mental Health orientation will focus on assisting students managing mental health conditions to complete safe and rewarding education abroad experiences. Topics discussed will include pre-departure services, student access to the Office of Disability Services, traveling with prescription medications, constructively working with distressed and disruptive students abroad and using the Code of Student Conduct. In addition, it will review the provisions of the supplemental health insurance related to care of mental health while abroad and campus resources for assisting in emergency response. 

Financial Orientation Requirement

If OIA will be issuing you a GET credit card for your program, you will be required to attend a meeting with OIA Business Operations to review the usage guidelines. Please review pages 33-37 of the Resident Director Handbook before attending the GET Card Orientation.

The following orientations are open for spring break resident directors only. GET Cards will be available for only spring break resident directors during this time:

The following orientations are open for May/Summer resident directors only: