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Pre-Departure Orientation: Bobcats Abroad and Away

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Congratulations, you’re planning to participate in a global experience soon! 

As a part of your preparation to go global, you are required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation sponsored by the Office of Global Opportunities.  

What is covered in the pre-departure orientations? 

The Bobcats Abroad/Away pre-departure orientation provides valuable information to consider about your upcoming travel. These orientation sessions are not site-specific and will pertain to general tips, recommendations, and support that all travelers should consider regardless of location or length of program. 

Most students will receive a site-specific orientation from their program director or program provider. If you would like to talk about site-specific information with someone from our office, please contact global.opportunities@ohio.edu

Who needs to complete the pre-departure orientation sessions? 

Anyone who is participating in a study abroad/away experiences through Ohio University, including exchange and third-party provider programs is required to complete the mandatory pre-departure orientation sessions.  

Bobcats Abroad: This pre-departure orientation is for participants on international, credit-bearing experiences, including Ohio-Credit, Exchange, and third-party provider programs. 

Bobcats Away: This pre-departure orientation is for domestic study away experiences. 

How do I complete this requirement?  

Program participants will receive instructions on how to complete this requirement no later than 6 weeks before their experience departs. If you have not received an email with instructions, please contact global.opportunities@ohio.edu

For late-Fall 2021, Winter Break 2021-22, and Spring 2022 programs: Students will complete the pre-departure orientation in Blackboard Learn. Students will receive an email with specific instructions in late October.  

Frequently Asked Questions

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. Participating on a global experience like 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 International Health Insurance and/or 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.

I have previously completed the Bobcats Abroad or Bobcats Away requirement for another program - do I have to attend again?

If you are participating on an international experience:

  • If you completed the Bobcats Abroad (international) requirement within one calendar year prior to the departure date for your upcoming program, you do not need to complete the pre-departure orientations again. OGO will verify when you completed the orientation session and update your GO App record appropriately. 
    • For example: Alex completed Bobcats Abroad on 4/15/20 for a summer study abroad program. Alex is planning to study abroad again this spring break, starting on 3/9/21. Alex does not need to attend Bobcats Abroad again
  • If you completed this requirement more than one calendar year prior to your departure date for your upcoming program, you will need to complete the Bobcats Abroad pre-departure orientation sessions again. 
    • For example: Riley completed Bobcats Abroad on 11/15/20 for a spring semester program. Riley is planning to study abroad again this winter break, starting on 12/28/21. Riley needs to attend Bobcats Abroad again.
  • If you completed the Bobcats Away (domestic) requirement, you will need to complete the Bobcats Abroad pre-departure orientation sessions prior to your international experience.

If you are participating on a domestic experience:

  • If you completed the Bobcats Away (domestic) requirement within one calendar year prior to the departure date for your upcoming program, you do not need to complete the pre-departure orientations again. OGO will verify when you completed the orientation session and update your GO App record appropriately. 
    • For example: 
      • Sam completed Bobcats Away on 8/17/20 for a fall semester program. Alex is planning to study abroad again spring break, starting on 3/11/21. Alex does not need to attend Bobcats Away again.
  • If you completed this requirement more than one calendar year prior to your departure date for your upcoming program, you will need to complete the Bobcats Away pre-departure orientation sessions again. 
    • For example: Riley completed Bobcats Away on 11/15/20 for a spring semester program. Riley is planning to study away again this winter break, starting on 12/28/21. Riley needs to attend Bobcats Away.
  • If you completed the Bobcats Abroad (international) requirement, you will need to complete the Bobcats Away pre-departure orientation sessions prior to your domestic experience. 
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 or Away?

Students not participating on a study abroad or study away program for academic credit are not required to attend the pre-departure orientation sessions, but are encouraged to do so. 

If you have completed or are intending to complete Travel Registration in the GO App to register your travel with our office, you fall into this category. If you have not completed Travel Registration for your experience, you can do so now in the Global Opportunities Application and Registration Portal (GO App)