Content

The Pre-DOC offers 10 concurrent sessions on topics ranging from academic integration to acculturation processes, career planning and conducting international research; among many others.  Students selected one session from two concurrent session periods throughout the conference.  The diversity of sessions and concurrent format allows each student to develop a highly individualized orientation while also receiving essential information during the conference's global session on health and safety abroad.  The following themes and topics were used to develop specific sessions during this year's Pre-DOC.

 

A FOCUS ON CULTURE

  • What is culture? / individual cultural identity/ theories and discussions of culture
  • Cross-cultural communication; anticipating conflict and dealing with it effectively
  • Cultural dimensions of being in another country; relevant laws, customs and norms alongside resources to explore these in depth
  • Culture shock during and after; dealing with cognitive dissonance
  • Intellectual dimensions of global citizenship and intercultural competency
  • Culture shock coming back
  • Cross-cultural gender differences
  • Educational systems, different style


A FOCUS ON LANGUAGE

  • Language learning strategies
  • Colloquial language and language learning
  • Language acquisition
  • Goals for language learning


A FOCUS ON ETHICS

  • Ethics of international travel; how to give gifts/donate
  • Dealing with poverty and perceived or actual power differences
  • Ethics of photography


A FOCUS ON RESEARCH

  • Discussion of IRB / Human Subjects protocol so that students can begin thinking about study abroad research
  • Discussion of applying research methods and techniques (interviews, recordings, etc) in complex cultural contexts


A FOCUS ON BEST PRACTICES

  • How to properly explore vs traveling every weekend
  • Setting clear goals for learning; reflecting on these goals afterwards
  • General rules that are useful; general do’s and don’ts
  • Opportunities to get involved while abroad: research, volunteer, internship, alumni clubs, local clubs
  • Technology in other countries: cell phones? laptops? transportation?
  • Logistics: flights, passports, student visas, transportation to and from classes, paperwork
  • Policies: Host university/ program policies, Notre Dame policies
  • General rules that are useful; general do’s and don’ts


A FOCUS ON ACADEMIC INTEGRATION

  • Pre and post assignments: readings (e.g. essay before departure; key takeaways on return); possible coursework before and after
  • Pre/post faculty connections for research and academic continuity
  • Using this study abroad experience to lay the groundwork for future study abroad; making connections; identifying resources for research and study
  • Taking advantage of library resources to improve preparation and academic integration
  • Connecting past study abroad participants with students going abroad; must go beyond proposed panel and include contact info for peer ‘liaisons’
  • Pre/post faculty connections for research and academic continuity
  • Using this study abroad experience to lay the groundwork for future study abroad; making connections; identifying resources for research and study


A FOCUS ON NOTRE DAME MISSION

  • Foundations of Catholic Social teaching and discussions on the Church
  • Attitudes towards globalization, solidarity, and the common good; These should be the bases for all study abroad programs
  • Social teaching and service to justice
  • Service learning/volunteer opportunities; reputable organizations
  • Global citizenship themes of responsibility


A FOCUS ON HEALTH & SAFTEY

  • *Note: A global session on university policies relating to health and safety abroad is already scheduled to be led by Director of ND Risk Management, Robert Zerr and ND Travel Nurse, Sheila Hughes.  Any additional sessions devoted to health/safety issues should focus on specific [types of] issues in greater depth – rather than attempt to restate the general guidelines that will be provided in the global session.
  • Emergency card and response; self defense resources
  • Risk management, safety, health insurance
  • Policies: Host university/ program policies, Notre Dame policies
  • General counsel and liability issues
  • Alcohol: drinking may be legal but must consider one’s actions and their consequences
  • How to respond to urgent situations in local contexts: Pharmacies abroad; corruption in police force; ND alumni network as point of contact and info
  • ND policies and expectations
  • Risk management: very consistent policy needed; university emergency policy; emergency response system articulated in detail