Travel information and student conduct while overseas
Travel and accommodation
As we are running a program supported by the university we must use a university preferred travel agent. Our travel agent offers us a great deal of support and will also assist you with arrangements to travel before or after your IPE at your own expense above the cost of the IPE. You are not able to book your own travel as part of IPE. Please note that we do our best to keep costs to a minimum whilst ensuring your safety and security while travelling. While on location, you will be supported in working out the most appropriate modes of transport (e.g. walking, bus, taxi, etc.) to get you where you need to go (e.g. school, shopping areas, restaurants, etc.).
The accommodation options offered at each IPE location differ, but are essentially twin or triple share rooms in local hostels or guesthouses, which have communal kitchen, dining, living and bathroom spaces and usually reliable access to wifi. We ensure that all spaces are clean and comfortable, while being mindful of student budgetary requirements. Our intention is for all students participating in an IPE program to stay together to facilitate collaborative learning and to support each other through this experience. Friends and family are not permitted to stay with you or you with them during the IPE program. While you are welcome to go visiting or traveling before or after the IPE, you need to stay with the group, without your friends and family, while you are on the IPE. Our programs often include activities in the evening and if you’re not at an
activity you will most likely be planning anyway. Remember, this is not a holiday, it is university program to enhance your professional experience.
Passports and visas
You will need a current passport that has at least six months validity from your planned date of return to Australia. It is good practice to carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while abroad. Please note if you do not have a current passport you need to apply as soon as possible as it can take up to a month for a new passport to be processed.
For most of the locations we travel to you do no need a visa as an Australia citizen. India is the current exception and the coordinators will assist you in this process. If you are not an Australian citizen, you may require a visa for some of the countries where Australian citizen do not need one. While your IPE coordinator is able to support you, the responsibility lies with you to check with your Consulate about the visa requirements in your particular instance.
Some of the IPE locations may require you to have certain vaccinations and/or take particular medication. It is recommended you check the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advice through the Smart Traveller website (chose your specific location and check under the 'Health' tab) and/or consult with your doctor. If you do get ill while you are away, you will be supported by the IPE coordinator(s) and your travel insurance, as provided by Monash Abroad, will cover most of the expenses you incur. The IPE coordinator will carry a first aid kit, but it is recommended that carry your own personal kit as well to cover any general and/or specific issues you may face when travelling.
You do not need to have First- Aid training to go on an international placement experience.
All Monash students who are participating in the Monash abroad program and are deemed fit to travel (check with your general medical practitioner if you are unsure) are covered by the University's travel insurance policy. The policy only covers international travel. Please check details on the Monash Abroad Insurance website.
Students must attend the scheduled pre-departure meetings and provide all information requested by their IPE coordinator (e.g. copy of passport photo page; Monash Abroad application; personal information forms; consent form; OHS briefing acknowledgement, etc).
Supervision while on placement
All placements are staffed on an approximate 1:15 staff/student ratio or less. Where there are large groups of students participating, placements have two Monash staff members accompanying students. Placements with smaller numbers are coordinated by one staff member, who may accompany students to the placement location (e.g. China) or if not present maintain regular contact via email and Skype (e.g. Hong Kong).
You will undertake classroom teaching responsibilities, as well as community activities and sightseeing. Each placement has a professional experience manual and evaluation forms that are completed by supervising teachers in the local schools/pre-schools. Attending Monash staff will also visit pre-service teachers in schools, as well as work with them in planning and debriefing sessions outside of school hours.
Staying in communication
When advised by the Professional Experience Office, students may contact their mentor teacher and establish communication with them about curriculum, special events, student activities, resources that may be taken (be aware of the baggage limits/excess for particular airlines) and any planning that needs to be done before arrival.
Regular communication from the IPE coordinator will be conducted through Monash student email. Students are requested to respond to communication from the coordinator promptly and as requested.
A Facebook (or similar) page may be developed for informal, personal group communication.
Student conduct while overseas
As representatives of the University and the Faculty, we expect you to:
- complete 15 days of professional experience;
- attend professional development/team meeting sessions as required;
- conduct yourself professionally, in and out of school
- support each other; and
- respect the customs of the community you will be living and working in.
While there will be plenty of free time for you to enjoy being in another country and culture, please be mindful that participating in the IPE program is not the same thing as having a holiday abroad.