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Pre-departure Orientation. Health and Safety Abroad. International Student Exchange Office, University of Toronto. Pre-departure Orientation. Introduction. Who We Are Objectives of Orientation Goals of Going Overseas. Pre-departure Orientation. Introduction. Who We Are ISXO

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health and safety abroad

Pre-departure Orientation

Health and Safety Abroad

International Student Exchange Office,

University of Toronto

introduction

Pre-departure Orientation

Introduction
  • Who We Are
  • Objectives of Orientation
  • Goals of Going Overseas
introduction3

Pre-departure Orientation

Introduction
  • Who We Are
    • ISXO
    • Safety Abroad Advisor
    • Student expectations of workshop
introduction4

Pre-departure Orientation

Introduction
  • Objectives of Orientation
    • Legal responsibility
    • Share in health and safety risk assessment
    • Students participate fully in risk management
introduction shared responsibility

Pre-departure Orientation

Introduction— Shared Responsibility

University

Choose sites carefully; provide info regarding risk; provide on-going support

Evaluate risk; make decisions regarding participation; employ sound safety practices; report problems

Students

getting there

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There
  • Waivers
  • Registering on-line
  • Budget and Money Issues
  • Health Issues
  • Travel Documents
getting there7

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There
  • Waivers
    • Participation is optional; waivers are mandatory
    • Take all waivers, T.O.P. home and read carefully
    • Contact us if you have any concerns
    • Bring copy of DFAIT country specific advisory with you when you return health & safety form
    • Emergency Info will be forwarded to DFAIT and shared with UofT offices as needed
getting there preparing to go

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Preparing To Go
  • Research prior to going overseas can minimize problems overseas
    • PDO is general review; up to you to do the research on specifics
    • FAC has website containing information regarding health and safety for over 220 travel destinations http://voyage.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/destinations/menu_e.htm
    • ISC Work/ Study Abroad Library has books, magazines related to cross-culture travel
getting there money issues

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Money Issues
  • Financing Your Sojourn
    • Bursary Help
    • OSAP
      • Power of Attorney
    • Scholarships
    • Fundraising
    • TALK TO STUDENTS CURRENTLY LIVINGIN HOST AREA
getting there money issues13

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Money Issues
  • Accessing Money
    • Consider all options that are available to you
    • Plan on at least two backup plans for accessing money
    • Bring (if possible) local currency
    • Have access to an emergency fund
getting there money issues15

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Money Issues
  • Safety Tips
    • Avoid unregulated money vendors
    • Fanny Packs
    • Money Belts
    • Carry Small Currency (separate from money belt)
    • The ‘Fake Wallet’
    • Don’t leave your wallet with a stranger! (Even another Canadian)
    • If available, store valuables in hotel safe
getting there health issues

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Health Issues
  • OHIP Extension
    • Required for students planning on being outside Ontario for more then 153 days in a 12 month period
    • Students may apply for Continuous OHIP for work, study and vacation (limits apply)
    • Extension required for many supplementary health plans
getting there health issues17

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Health Issues
  • Mandatory Supplementary Health Insurance
    • Compare various policies
    • Include coverage for pre-existing medical conditions and for all aspects of your sojourn
    • Easy to extend and make claims
    • War, SARS
    • Know How To Use Insurance
getting there health issues18

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Health Issues
  • Mandatory Supplementary Health Insurance
    • Repatriation of remains
    • Emergency room expenses
    • Med-Evac
    • Deductibles
    • Up-front coverage
getting there health issues19

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Health Issues
  • Mandatory Supplementary Health Insurance
    • IT IS UP TO YOU TO DECIDE WHAT IS SUFFICIENT HEALTH INSURANCE
    • Insurance may not cover all aspects (eg. long-term disability, natural disasters)
    • U of T is NOT liable for any limitations in insurance
getting there health issues20

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Health Issues
  • Immunization and Travel Care
    • Visit all health (mental/ physical) care providers that are currently providing you care
    • Discuss accessing medical info while away
    • Evaluate any medical conditions and how they might affect trip
    • Consult with travel clinic well in advance of travel
    • Visit FAC website for additional information
getting there health issues21

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Health Issues
  • For detailed travel health advice, visit a Travel Clinic
    • Appointment for UofT Travel Clinic should be made 3 months in advance (more for some destinations)
    • Fees waived with ISXO letter
    • Costs for immunizations can vary widely
getting there travel documents

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Travel Documents
  • Passport
    • Most destinations require passport valid 6 months beyond the expected date of return
    • For Canadian passport application, visit www.ppt.gc.ca
    • Make copies of passport photo and ID page; consider making electronic copy and emailing it to yourself
    • Tape copy to inside of all luggage
getting there travel documents23

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Travel Documents
  • Visa
    • Contact Consulate of host country for details concerning visa
    • Obtaining correct documentation to work/ study is the full responsibility of the participant
    • Understand what your visa entitles you to do
getting there travel documents24

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Travel Documents
  • Dual Citizenship/ National of Host Country
    • Having citizenship of host country does not necessarily mean that you can work/ study in that country
    • Travelling to a country to which you are either citizen or considered a national may include additional obligations such as military duty, special tax
    • Travel on Canadian passport
getting there travel documents25

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Travel Documents
  • Permanent Resident
    • Landed residents residing outside of Canada run the risk of losing permanent resident status
    • Apply for a Returning Residence Permit in advance of departure
getting there travel documents26

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Travel Documents
  • Preparing documents for travel
    • Make copies of all essential documents
      • Passport, visa
      • Prescriptions (medical, eye wear)
      • Introductory letters
      • Important numbers
      • Travellers cheques
    • Leave copy at home and have duplicates with you
getting there emergency contact

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Emergency Contact
  • Emergency Contact
    • Contact should clearly understand and agree to responsibilities
    • Contact should be someone you trust with financial/ personal information
    • Contact should be good in emergency situations
    • Leave copies of important documents and travel itinerary
    • Emergency contact should be your contact back home
getting there packing

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Packing
  • Luggage
    • Pack lightly
    • Carry-on luggage kept to minimum
    • If needed, consider shipping items in advance
    • Separate essential belongings in the event that one piece of luggage is stolen
    • All luggage should be carried keepingone hand free
getting there packing29

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Packing
  • Carrying Medicine
    • Keep all medicine in original containers
    • Ensure that all medicine is legal in country that you are traveling to
    • Bring copy of prescription and if possible also bring doctor’s note
    • If you need to carry syringe bring doctor’s certificate
getting there packing30

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Packing
  • What to Pack
    • Mosquito repellent, sun tan lotion
    • Items from home
    • Small gifts/ tokens
    • Basic medical kit
    • Conservative clothes that match the culture
    • PRE-DEPARTURE MANUAL
getting there packing31

Pre-departure Orientation

Getting There– Packing
  • What NOT to Pack
    • Things of value (monetary or sentimental) that you cannot afford to lose
    • Flashy clothes items, items that mark you as a tourist
    • Clothes that are too casual, also indicating that you’re a tourist!
preparing for life overseas

Pre-departure Orientation

Preparing for Life Overseas
  • Life as Ambassador
  • Researching Host Culture
  • Observing Local Laws
  • Drugs
  • Understanding Culture
preparing for life overseas33

Pre-departure Orientation

Preparing for Life Overseas
  • Life as Ambassador
    • Knowledge of Canadian culture
    • Familiarity of host culture
    • U of T Code of Student Conduct
preparing for life overseas34

Pre-departure Orientation

Preparing for Life Overseas
  • Researching Host Culture
    • Do classes start on time?
    • How formal are the relations between professors and students?
    • What is an appropriate gift?
    • How far apart do people generally stand? Does it change between persons of opposite gender?
preparing for life overseas35

Pre-departure Orientation

Preparing for Life Overseas
  • Researching Host Culture
    • Try to familiarize yourself with the food before leaving
    • Know dining customs (Do you finish your plate or not)
preparing for life overseas36

Pre-departure Orientation

Preparing for Life Overseas
  • Researching Host Culture
    • Academic or work environment
      • ISC library
      • Talk to past participants
    • Flora and Fauna
      • Fear of animals more of a risk then actual risk
      • Take local warnings seriously!
preparing for life overseas37

Pre-departure Orientation

Preparing for Life Overseas
  • Observing Local Laws
    • You are subject to the laws of your host country
    • Caution about how and what information you communicate; never admit wrong doing or sign anything
    • Right to access Consular Representative; request appropriately
    • Canadian Consulate will keep all information in strict confidence
preparing for life overseas38

Pre-departure Orientation

Preparing for Life Overseas
  • Most tourists are arrested for-
    • Drug Violation
    • Possession of Firearms
    • Photography
    • Purchasing Antiques
preparing for life overseas39

Pre-departure Orientation

Preparing for Life Overseas
  • Drugs
    • Rules governing drugs may differ for locals and tourists
    • Drugs available in other countries may be stronger then what you are used to; may be more dangerous
    • Careful while crossing border
preparing for life overseas40

Pre-departure Orientation

Preparing for Life Overseas
  • Sex and Dating
    • Bring condoms with you!
    • Remember that etiquette surrounding gender can be completely different from what you are used to
    • HIV/ AIDS is more prevalent in many countries
      • Safe sex practices reduces chance of infection
      • If you are required to have HIV test, be prepared
preparing for life overseas understanding culture

Pre-departure Orientation

Preparing for Life Overseas– Understanding Culture

“Culture is Communication”-- Edward Hall

  • Direct versus Indirect
  • Reading between the lines
  • Personal space
challenges overseas

Pre-departure Orientation

Challenges Overseas
  • Culture Shock
  • Culture Clash
  • Issues of Diversity
  • Opportunistic Crime
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Traffic Accidents
  • Site Specifics
challenges overseas culture shock

Pre-departure Orientation

Challenges Overseas– Culture Shock
  • 4 Stages
    • Euphoria
    • Anxiety
    • Rejection
    • Adjustment
challenges overseas when culture s clash

Pre-departure Orientation

Challenges Overseas– When Culture’s Clash

“One barely has time to participate in the host society and not nearly enough time to become a prophetic voice for social change.”

--Dr. Brian Harley (Transitions Abroad, Jan/ Feb 2001 vol. xxiv, No. 4)

challenges overseas stress

Pre-departure Orientation

Challenges Overseas– Stress
  • Common signs of stress feelings of loneliness, sadness, feelings of isolation and exhibiting certain behaviour such as excessive drinking, smoking
  • Learn ways to manage stress
    • Explore your new home
    • Become involved
    • Adopt techniques used at home for overseas
    • Maintain a sense of humour!
challenges overseas stress46

Pre-departure Orientation

Challenges Overseas— Stress
  • Leaving Loved Ones Behind
    • Arrange to keep in touch with friends and family at home
    • Be careful not to live in two places at once
challenges overseas diversity

Pre-departure Orientation

Challenges Overseas—Diversity
  • Race and Ethnicity
    • Dealing with racism abroad
      • Assumptions about what makes a “Canadian”
      • Fitting into a culture of similar heritage
      • Being a visible minority for the first time
    • Absence of multiculturalism
challenges overseas diversity48

Pre-departure Orientation

Challenges Overseas—Diversity
  • Gender Conflict
    • Understand customary etiquette between genders
    • Consider how you will deal with aggressive situations
    • When in a new area, monitor to see if other women are around
    • If confronted with verbal hostility, walk within hearing range of elderly/ local women
challenges overseas diversity49

Pre-departure Orientation

Challenges Overseas—Diversity
  • Queer Issues
    • Coming Out for the first time
    • Coming out again
    • Know the legal/ social implications of homosexuality
    • Consider how you will deal with homophobia
challenges overseas50

Pre-departure Orientation

Challenges Overseas
  • Opportunistic Crime
    • Foreigners tend to be at greater risk to many opportunistic crimes; criminals simply have more opportunity to commit crimes against travellers
    • Be cautious particularly in crowded and tourist areas
    • Act confidently; avoid being over confident
    • Beware false sense of anonymity or belonging
    • U of T does cover lost of students personal property
challenges overseas51

Pre-departure Orientation

Challenges Overseas
  • Sexual Harassment
    • Sexual harassment is a source of stress for many travellers
    • Cultural sensitivity is important, however, should not replace common sense, gut reaction or ability to define personal boundaries
    • Concept of male/ female friendship differs from culture to culture
    • Deeper meaning in (mis)communication
challenges vehicle accidents

Pre-departure Orientation

Challenges– Vehicle Accidents
  • Over 1 million people die in road crashes per year
  • Road crashes cost developing countries twice what they receive in developmental assistance
  • Avoid driving at night, in unsafe buses or when drivers appear over-fatigued or intoxicated
challenges

Pre-departure Orientation

Challenges
  • Food and Drink
    • Don’t cut costs by cutting back on nutrition
    • Take advantage of local foods
    • Consider any dietary needs in advance (eg. vegetarian, kosher foods)
    • If allergic to certain foods, know how to communicate this to locals
challenges54

Pre-departure Orientation

Challenges
  • Food and Drink– hygiene and contamination
    • Choose food that have been freshly cooked or boiled, peeled in front of you, or sealed
    • “Western Food” often not what is expected
    • Make sure plates are washed with detergent, rinsed in clean water. Otherwise rinse with alcohol swab and flame cutlery with candle
    • Avoid salads, ice, food set out for too long
    • Food handled by dirty fingers
challenges55

Pre-departure Orientation

Challenges
  • Food and Drink– hygiene and contamination
    • Don’t drink the water
    • Don’t eat ice
    • Don’t eat uncooked food washed with water
    • Don’t eat use bottled water if the cap was not secure
    • Do bring your own water purifier/ tablets! (Cut down on plastic waste)
challenges climate

Pre-departure Orientation

Challenges - Climate
  • Know what type of climate to expect
  • Warm climate
    • Protect yourself from sun!
    • Drink lots of water and if necessary add salt to your diet
    • Be aware of fungal infection such as athlete’s foot
challenges57

Pre-departure Orientation

Challenges
  • Site Specifics
    • Observe the customs of the locals but check in with other travellers
    • Avoid swimming in unmarked areas
    • Research! (www.lonelyplanet.com/postcards)
when things go wrong

Pre-departure Orientation

When Things Go Wrong
  • Help While You Are Away
  • Staying in Touch
  • What to do in an Emergency
  • Emergency U of T Card
when things go wrong59

Pre-departure Orientation

When Things Go Wrong
  • Foreign Affairs Canada
    • Register prior to going abroad
    • Limited support available to students not travelling under Canadian passport
    • Students travellling under other passport should research what support is available to them from their Consulate
when things go wrong60

Pre-departure Orientation

When Things Go Wrong
  • Department of Foreign Affairs can--
    • Contact your relatives for emergency funds
    • Help you during emergencies such as natural disasters or civil and military uprisings
    • Direct you to sources of information regarding local laws, regulations, cultural customs
when things go wrong61

Pre-departure Orientation

When Things Go Wrong
  • Department of Foreign Affairs can--
    • Assist with medical emergencies
    • Replace passports
    • If arrested, they can try to ensure equitable treatment under local law
    • Notify your next of kin regarding accident or death
    • Locate missing persons
when things go wrong62

Pre-departure Orientation

When Things Go Wrong
  • Department of Foreign Affairs cannot-
    • Make travel arrangements
    • Transfer of funds or paying local bills
    • Storing or searching of personal items
    • Translating or interpreting information
    • Visas for other countries local permits or licenses
when things go wrong64

Pre-departure Orientation

When Things Go Wrong
  • University Emergency Support System
    • Contact University 24/7 in an emergency
    • Call in cases of critical incidents such as serious injury or threat of injury, sexual assault, arrest
    • Regional disaster– call and let us know that you are okay!
    • Prepare to leave contact information so that staff member can call you back (may take up to 24 hours)
when things go wrong65

Pre-departure Orientation

When Things Go Wrong
  • Staying In Touch
    • Participants are obliged to stay in touch
    • Check utoronto Email account
    • In event of regional emergency, report back to exchange office/ UofT regarding status
when things go wrong on line information

Pre-departure Orientation

When Things Go Wrong—On-line Information

Go Global Guide

Program Sponsor Manual

Workshops & Pre-departure for Students

Workshops for Staff

Database

returning home

Pre-departure Orientation

Returning Home
  • Re-entry Shock
  • Using Your International Experience
returning home68

Pre-departure Orientation

Returning Home
  • Re-entry Shock
    • Euphoria
    • Anxiety
    • Adjustment
returning home69

Pre-departure Orientation

Returning Home
  • Using Your International Experience
    • Cross-cultural skills, gaining a global perspective
    • Visit Career Centre to learn how to highlight experience in resume
    • Join international organizations
    • Volunteer for ISC Buddy Program
for more information
For more information:

http://www.utoronto.ca/safety.abroad

Holly Luffman

Safety Abroad Advisor, University of Toronto

[email protected]

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