Checklists: 10 Things You Shouldn’t Forget to Do Before Your Study Tour
Congratulations! You are about to embark on one of the most memorable experiences of your life - a trip that would be educational, productive, and entertaining all at the same time. Plus, will help you establish worthwhile and lasting professional relationships with others in your niche throughout the world. The opportunity to receive training, to exchange ideas, and to participate in collaborative problem solving will be invaluable for both you and your organization back home.
While all of the logistical aspects of your study tour will have been carefully planned, there are a number of things you will want to do before you depart for you grand experience.
1Learn About Your Tour Mates
You will receive a listing of those who will be touring with you. Read through the professional information provided, so you have a good idea of the backgrounds and expertise that these individuals bring to the group. This will allow you to formulate questions and ideas about potential collaboration between your organization and theirs.
2Research the Organizations from which Your Tour Mates Come
Learning as much as possible about the organizations that your tour mates represent will help you prepare the questions you might have or for information you will want to share. As well, research any local organizations that will be involved in your study. Are there potential areas for collaboration that might come out of you experience?
3Read through the Information on the Sessions to Be Provided
As you look through the curriculum of each session, think about the kinds of questions you will want to ask on the various topics. While they may be answered during the sessions, they may not. You don’t want to complete your tour and then be criticizing yourself for not thinking about questions you’ve just thought of. Preparing yourself in advance will be important, if you are going to get all that you can from this experience.
4Check the Weather
Depending upon the season, you will want to check the general weather patterns in you host country and in the specific region of that country. Nothing is worse than packing for warm weather only to discover that the nights are really chilly – after you get there! And while on the subject of clothing, check the itinerary for social events, and then check those venues, so that you have the proper attire.
5Do a Bit of Research on Your Host Country
Your old history books will not suffice. You will want to get online and read all that you can about the current political, economic, and social aspects of your host country, and its place in the world today.
6Gather Organizational Documents You Want to Share
Based upon the session topics and the inevitable discussions, you should identify those documents from your organization that may be valuable to others. Organize them in folders on your desktop for easy access and sharing.
7Bone Up on the Language
If you are unfamiliar with the local language, you should immerse yourself in a few minutes each day, practicing common vocabulary and phrases. Locals appreciate it when they think you have taken the time to do this, even if it is only to ask where the restroom is!
8Check the Voltage in the Host Country
You may need adapters for your electronics, phone charger, electric razor, etc. These can be purchased online from several major retailers. Just be certain you get the right adapter for your country.
9Find a Native from your Host Country or Pre-Tour Discussion
If you can find such a person in your niche, have some discussion with him/her about the “climate” for you niche in the host country. What are you likely to see? What are their strengths and challenges?!
10Pack Your Business Cards!
Last, but not least. Prepare and pack your business cards, preferably in two languages – English and the language of your hosting country if different. Make sure all your personal information is up-to-date with social media contacts included.