IS 393: Pre-Departure Orientation was so beneficial. We had our Global Education Adviser as well as a number of Student Assistant Advisers to help walk us through the process and help prepare us.
We learned that culturally its a huge adjustment to go to another country. It will take some time to understand and to become comfortable with their new environment. Different isn’t always bad. It’s an opportunity for growth and expanding your mind.
- Cultural Diversity: The existence of a variety of cultural or ethnic groups within a society.
- Culture Shock U-Curve: generally moves through four different phases: honeymoon, frustration, adjustment and acceptance.
- Adaptation: the process and time it takes a person to integrate into a new culture and feel comfortable within it.
On the first day of class, we played a game. We couldn’t speak or make gestures. We had 4 groups of 4. We each read the instructions and played the card game. At the end of the game, the winner moved to the next table clockwise and the loser moved to the next table counter clockwise. We played another round of the game with 2 new members. Still not speaking, it was clear, we all were confused and didn’t have the same understanding of the rules of the game. We continued this two more times. Some students would just follow along adapted to the rules of that table, but others tried to make their table play by their original set of rules. After 4 rounds of this, we learned that each group had a different set on instructions. This was to teach us that at home, we have cultural norms and a way of doing things. When we travel internationally, we will see a different way of life. We have two options, to be stuck in our ways, and force them to adapt to our lifestyle OR being respectful of their culture and learning what its all about. We need to remember are visitors in their home. How would you feel if someone came to your home and tried to force their rules on you?
- 4 Article Reviews: an article that relates to the political, economic, or social situation in your host country
- 4 Country Briefings
- Economics, Environment and Population
- Daily Life
- Cross-Cultural Interview
- Classroom Presentation
- Final Report and Presentation
Once accepted in the UH Hilo Go Global program, we are nominated to our partner school. But we still need to go through the partner school’s application, which I’ll discuss in a different post. For UH Hilo, we are required to submit the following forms before the last day of IS 393 classes.
- Pre-Departure Forms Packet
- Student Abroad Course Approval
- Budget Sheet
- Financial Aid (SUMMER SESSION ONLY)
It was extremely helpful and less stressful to have a group of people that are in the same situation as you, that you can share your experiences and get suggestions from others. We also get advice from students who already walked in our shoes and wants to help ease the process for us. I really think all study abroad programs should have this course.
Throughout the semester, we also worked on getting Visa/Passports, Financial Insurance, Flights, and much more. Stay tuned as I dive deeper into those topics.
Photo by: The CEO Kid