When traveling abroad on UC business, you are acting as an ambassador to the University. Anytime you interact with an international community, representatives should demonstrate awareness, sensitivity to and respect for other values and cultures.
To study or work abroad, you must understand differing views regarding the value of individuality. In the U.S., we view personal initiative and the ability to question authority as valuable traits, yet in many cultures of the developing world, deference to authority and to community norms is more important because it supports community cohesion.
- Know how to deal with privacy and informed consent while abroad.
- Culture shock is common. Assess your feelings and be aware of how you react to differences and stresses.
- Speak to your local advisor or project staff about problems you may be encountering.
- Remember that you are a guest. Appreciate the privilege of visiting the people and sites hosting you.
For information on professional and ethical behavior while abroad, see the article by Jacqui Shaw, Professionalism 101.