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Bobcats Abroad Conference

Groups of Ohio University students in Jamaica holding up the OU and Jamaica flags.


Congratulations, you’re planning to study abroad soon!  
As a part of your preparation to go global, you are required to attend a  mandatory  pre-departure orientation. All students studying abroad through Ohio University, an exchange, or a third-party provider are required to attend. 
If you are a student going abroad over winter break, spring semester, or spring break, you are required to attend the Bobcats Abroad Conference - Fall 2018. Please see below for date/time/location and the conference schedule.
If you are a student going abroad in the summer, you may attend this session or wait for a future Bobcats Abroad Conference in the spring (tentatively scheduled April 10th, 2019). If you are a student participating on a Global Health program (with the exception of Costa Rica: Intro to Global Health) or Global Consulting Program you will receive separate instructions on how to complete this requirement - you do not need to attend the Bobcats Abroad Conference.
What is the Bobcats Abroad Conference?  
The Bobcats Abroad Conference is a study abroad pre-departure orientation providing valuable information to consider about your upcoming international travel, from health and safety to culture, identity, networking, and more.
The Bobcats Abroad Conference is not site-specific and will pertain to general tips, recommendations, and support that all travelers should consider regardless of location or time spent abroad. Most students will receive a site-specific orientation from their program director or program provider. 
When and where will it be held? 
The Fall 2018 conference will be held on  Tuesday, November 27 th  on the second floor of Baker Center. We will run concurrent, one-hour long sessions running from  10am until 7 pm. Please see the Bobcats Abroad Conference Schedule - Fall 2018  for the full details including times, session topics, and locations. 
The Office of Global Opportunities will host a spring make-up session for spring break study abroad students on February 27th (time/location TBD) for those students unable to attend the Fall 2018 Bobcats Abroad Conference.
The Spring 2019 conference for Summer/Fall programs will be held on April 10th (time/location TBD). 
How do I complete this requirement? 
You are required to attend TWO sessions for a total of two hours. Attendance will be taken at all sessions. The two sessions are as follows:
1.   “Health and Safety” will be mandatory for all participants and is offered at each session time throughout the day. It will cover the resources and responsibilities you have while you are abroad to help you stay healthy and safe. 
2.     The second required session is left up to your personal preference and availability. You may choose from:  
  • Culture, Identity and Allyship  – navigating your identity, your host-culture and how to use your own privilege to support those who may identify as individuals of a marginalized group.
  • Tips for Travelers  – packing, money, and logistics travel tips from peer advisors that have been in your shoes.
  • Global Networking  – start thinking about how study abroad may impact your career interests and future career search.
  • Returned Student Panel  – hear from your peers about their experiences abroad.  
  • CISabroad Send Off  – for students participating in programs with study abroad provider, CISabroad. Meet other students participating in CISabroad programs this Spring, chat with CISabroad Alumni Ambassadors, and ask any questions you may have. 
Failure to attend or appropriately make up these sessions may jeopardize your participation in a global program. If you are unable to attend one or both of the mandatory sessions, please email  global.opportunities@ohio.edu.  
We look forward to seeing you there!  


I am unable to attend one or both required sessions due to class and work conflicts - what should I do? 
Contact global.opportunities@ohio.edu for further instructions.
I am currently living off-campus or I am a student at a branch campus - do I need to attend the Bobcats Abroad Conference?
If you are an Athens campus student currently off-campus but are planning to study abroad over winter break, spring break, or spring semester you may complete your Bobcats Abroad requirement online. If you are a student at a branch campus, you may also complete your Bobcats Abroad requirement online, or you may attend in person. Please email global.opportunities@ohio.edu for further instructions if you require the online version of Bobcats Abroad. Please note, the online version may take anywhere from 1.5 - 2 hours to complete. 
I have previously completed the Bobcats Abroad requirement for another program - do I have to attend again?
If you completed the Bobcats Abroad requirement within one calendar year prior to the departure date for your upcoming program, you do not need to attend the Bobcats Abroad Conference again. If you completed the requirement more than one calendar year prior to your departure date for your upcoming program, you will need to attend the Bobcats Abroad Conference again.
For example: Alex completed Bobcats Abroad on 4/15/18 for a summer study abroad program. Alex is planning to study abroad again this spring break, starting on 3/9/19. Alex does not need to attend Bobcats Abroad again. Riley completed Bobcats Abroad on 11/15/17 for a spring semester program. Riley is planning to study abroad again this winter break, starting on 12/28/18. Riley needs to attend Bobcats Abroad again. 
I have traveled extensively prior to this program - why do I have to attend a general pre-departure orientation session? 
As an Ohio University student, our office has a certain level of responsibility (called duty of care) to prepare you for your upcoming travels. Studying abroad is different from family vacations, leisure travels with friends, or other types of travel you may have experienced. Also, as an Ohio University student you have access to certain resources such as UHP International Health Insurance and International SOS that you may not have had before and you need to learn how to access those resources.
If you are an experienced traveler we hope you will come with an open mind to learn more and encounter new information you may have not previously considered. Every travel experience is different and it is always helpful to hear a few reminders before traveling internationally.
I am participating on a domestic program - do I need to attend Bobcats Abroad? 
The Office of Global Opportunities does not have a domestic program session at this point in time. We are developing one for the future. As such, you are not required to attend the Bobcats Abroad Conference. However, if you have questions or are interested in the content you are welcome to attend.
I am not receiving academic credit while abroad (i.e. interning with no associated academic credit, researching, volunteering, attending a conference, etc...) - do I need to attend Bobcats Abroad?
Students not participating on a study abroad program for academic credit are not required to attend Bobcats Abroad, but are highly encouraged to do so. If you have completed or are intending to complete a Travel Registration Packet to register your travel with our office, you fall into this category. If you have not completed a Travel Registration Packet, please stop by Walter International Education Center to pick one up. 






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