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Global Connections: Professional Development Initiative


May 2019: Vietnam and Thailand 

Busy street view lined with trees in Vietnam with banner over street. Photo credit: CISabroad

Program Dates
Eligibility and Selection
Good to Know
Health and Safety
Requesting Accommodations
Entry and Exit
Deadlines and Details
Apply Now

The Office of Global Opportunities and Office of Global Affairs, in conjunction with the University International Council and its Global Mobility Subcommittee have created the OHIO Global Connections: Professional Development Initiative to strengthen university-wide global engagement efforts; promote outbound mobility of students, faculty and staff at OHIO; encourage strong global partnerships and research initiatives; and foster a diverse and inclusive environment for our university community.  

The Initiative kicks off in May 2019 with a cohort of OHIO faculty and staff traveling to Vietnam and Thailand. During this immersive experience, participants will connect with their counterparts at universities, learn about the culture and history of the host countries, engage with OHIO alumni, and participate in community service. They will also learn about global mobility models, such as study abroad or exchange programs and  COIL  classes. The program will be led by Catherine Marshall, director of the Office of Global Opportunities, and Jeffrey Shane, Southeast Asia Reference Librarian, and facilitated by an on-site program coordinator from CISabroad.   

The Office of Global Opportunities is sponsoring the majority of travel costs. Each participant’s department must commit to providing $1,000 in funding.  

Information Session


Friday, February 8th, 2019

12:00pm - 1:00 pm

Walter International Education Center (Room 106)- Next to Baker



If you missed the information session, please check out our  Frequently Asked Questions



Program Dates 

May 11-25, 2019*  

*Exact dates will be finalized by March 15, 2019 

Overview of Itinerary and On-Site Program*

*Daily activities are subject to change

Day 1-5: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam  

  • Tours of city and sites of historic and cultural significance
  • University visits
  • Exploration of education abroad opportunities including study and intern abroad
  • Meeting with local students interested in pursuing a degree at OHIO
  • Networking with alumni
  • Cultural activities

Day 6-10: Chiang Mai, Thailand 

  • Tours of city and sites of historic and cultural significance
  • University visits
  • Exploration of education abroad opportunities including study and intern abroad
  • Networking with alumni
  • Service project focused on elephant conservation
  • Cultural activities

Photo of a temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Photo Credit: Kirsten Dabelko

Eligibility and Selection Process 

All full-time OHIO staff and faculty are eligible to participate. Successful applicants must have the endorsement of their supervisor, confirming that participation will be considered professional development and use of PTO will not be required. Participant’s departments/planning units must also commit to providing $1,000 in financial support towards the cost of the program. 

The selection committee will choose a group of participants who represent the diversity of people, positions and backgrounds at Ohio University. 

The following individuals are  strongly encouraged to apply:  

  • Staff and faculty who have never been outside the US or have limited experience out of the country or in Southeast Asia.  
  • New faculty.
  • Regional campus staff and faculty.  
  • Faculty interested in exploring global mobility options for their students, such as a study abroad program or a  COIL  class.  
  • Staff from academic or administrative units whose work directly furthers the  strategic priorities  outlined by President Nellis.  
  • Faculty from departments that are currently not actively engaged in student global mobility and/or international activities.  

Expectations of Participants

Participants must procure a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the return date.  

Participants must engage in all aspects of the program including:  

  • Four orientation sessions prior to travel highlighting OHIO’s global connections and opportunities for engagement in addition to program-specific information regarding logistics, health and safety. 
  • All scheduled on-site activities including meetings, presentations and cultural experiences. 
  • Post-travel online evaluation and debrief meeting.  

Participants must implement an initiative that does one or more of the following: 

  • advances global engagement in the participant’s department, planning unit or area of expertise (e.g.  COIL  classes, training for academic advisors);  
  • promotes outbound mobility of OHIO students (e.g. development of education abroad programming);  
  • encourages strong global partnerships and research initiatives;  
  • fosters a diverse and inclusive environment for the OHIO university community.

Initiatives can be defined prior to or during travel.   

Implementation is expected to take place by December 15, 2019.  

Program Inclusions

  • Round-trip airfare originating in and returning to Columbus. 
  • Entry visa for Vietnam
  • In-country and regional flights as well as ground transportation for all scheduled activities/events. 
  • Lodging in double occupancy rooms (single occupancy available at a one-time additional cost of $325 that must be covered by the traveler or their department). 
  • 2 meals/day while abroad plus a $100 meal allowance. 
  • Reimbursement for Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccines, if recommended by medical professional
  • International health and evacuation insurance. 

Out-of-Pocket Costs for Participants 

  • $165: Passport valid through November 30, 2019 plus postage
  • $30: Incidentals
  • Transportation to and from Columbus Airport

Busy street view in Vietnam with fruit vendors. Photo Credit: CISabroad


Good to Know: Additional Information about Vietnam and Thailand

Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s largest city with a population of approximately 8.4 million. It is Vietnam’s economic center and a popular destination for tourism. The city offers a mix of what one would expect from a major urban destination, including lots of traffic and a fast pace, alongside areas that offer a glimpse of the history and culture of the city.   

Excursions will take the group to the Cu Chi Tunnels outside of Saigon and for a day trip to the Mekong Delta, where one of the world’s longest rivers meets the South China Sea, to experience rice paddies, floating markets and pagodas.  

Chiang Mai is the largest city in northern Thailand and is a popular destination for foreign and local travelers. The city itself has a population of approximately 160,000, but with the greater metropolitan area, that number grows to over 1 million. It is surrounded by mountains and filled with ancient temples. Excursions include a visit to an elephant sanctuary.  

The weather in both locations will be hot and humid with average highs expected to be in the low 90s. May is also the beginning of the rainy season, so monsoon-type rain (short-term heavy downpours) is possible.  Hotels and charter buses will have air conditioning.  

According to information collected by DiversityNetwork.org, both Vietnam and Thailand tend to be welcoming destinations for LGBTQ travelers. Current law in Vietnam prohibits discrimination based on political opinion, age, language, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Similarly, Thailand has no laws that criminalize sexual orientation or same-sex relations, and LGBTQ individuals are generally well integrated into Thai society.  

Laws in both countries protect individuals with disabilities  from discrimination , according to information collected by DiversityNetwork.org, but  facilities often have a limited infrastructure, (i.e. buildings are most likely to have stairs rather than elevators; streets and sidewalks may have high curbs and uneven pavement.)   

Outside of tourist areas, squat-style toilets can be found in many locations in both Vietnam and Thailand.  

To learn more about these destinations, please visit  CIA World Factbook  and  Lonely Planet .  

Health and Safety 

The  US Department of State  has designated both countries with a level 1 travel advisory. This is the lowest level assigned by the State Department and indicates that normal precautions should be exercised. 

Requesting Accommodation for Disabilities 

If you plan to apply to participate in this program and need to request accommodation, please contact Dianne Bouvier, associate director for university accessibility, at  bouvier@ohio.edu . We recommend you do this as early as possible to allow sufficient time to determine what accommodations can be made for this program.  

Entry and Exit Requirements

U.S. citizens are required to have a US passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the program return date. The passport must also have at least 3 blanks pages. They will also need a visa to enter Vietnam. Participants will apply for an E-Visa during the program orientation. 

Application Deadline and Details 

Friday, March 1 at 11:59 pm EST 

The on-line application will require a 250-500 word, double-spaced statement of purpose explaining your interest in this experience and how the university community will benefit from your participation. Applicants must also upload the completed “ Consent to Participate ” to their application. 

Applicants should have their prepared statement of purpose and completed “ Consent to Participate ” ready to upload at the time of application. 


For More Information: 

Catherine Marshall 
Director, Office of Global Opportunities

Hand on the head of a baby elephant. Photo Credit: Mackenzie Young, IEW Photo Contest submission 2017





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