PRIME aims to produce graduates who function effectively in multinational work environments, adapt comfortably to foreign cultures and different international settings, and recognize how their disciplines are practiced in a global context. The program prepares students for the workforce of the 21st Century by honing professional skills, instilling an international perspective, and encouraging students to be global ambassadors during college and beyond.

PRIME has two key learning experiences: first, developing and honing a student's scientific inquiry and research skills; and second, developing a student's cultural competency skills. Thus, success in the nine-week experience requires scientific as well as cultural preparation, which includes an understanding of the culture of the lab and host institution.

During the spring quarter, students admitted to PRIME are expected to participate in several workshops and sessions to guide and prepare them for the research, cultural, and logistic experiences. We have assembled on this page the calendar of events, a checklist, and the materials used in those sessions.


Sessions and Workshops

For students accepted into the program, following is a brief description of the PRIME sessions and workshops, including goals that students can expect to achieve by attending. (See box at right for 2013 calendar of events.)

  • Orientation Session: This session covers topics of visas, setting up payment accounts, currency exchange, health insurance, reporting expectations and format, among other topics.
  • Expectations and Logistics Workshop: This workshop covers three broad topics. First, students will be prepared for the practical, day-to-day living at the host site, e.g., how to get around, where to do banking, where to buy food. This component will be taught by previous PRIME students. Second, students are exposed to challenges in research and are provided strategies for how to overcome obstacles in the research process. Finally, we explore case studies of situations students can find themselves in, to prepare them to represent the program, UC San Diego and the United States while in the host country.
  • Pre-departure Cultural Awareness Workshop: This workshop is designed to prepare PRIME students for the cultural adjustment they will encounter while abroad. Through interactive exercises, we teach students to navigate another culture by learning about elements of culture, identifying critical incidents, and developing techniques to bridge cultural differences.
  • Re-entry Workshop: The goals in this workshop are for each student to share and reflect upon some key cultural interactions that they encountered while abroad, and to engage in group learning about how the PRIME experience expanded their understanding of other cultures. We engage students to develop their own personal "elevator speech" about the experience abroad, which can be used in job interviews. PRIME returnees also develop a focused list of key achievements that can be incorporated into a resume as well as a graduate or professional school application. We share the group results of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) to measure the group's progress in adapting to other cultures.

Attendance is required at each of the above sessions or workshops.


Pre-departure Checklist:

    • Waiver (legal agreement) signed and returned:
    • Direct Deposit form fill-out and returned:
    • Proof of insurance (NEW):
    • City of departure location, dates for return.
    • Requires input from UCSD Mentors (e.g., student has been in lab, has learned required technique, has account on machines, etc.)
    • Verification of Skype call with host mentor/lab
  • Cultural Instrument IDI

Sessions and Workshops Calendar:

For students accepted into PRIME, attendance is required at each of these events on the 2015 calendar:

Date TBD

Orientation Session, 9-11am

Date TBD

Expectations and Logistics Workshop, time

Date TBD

Pre-departure Cultural Awareness Workshop

Date TBD

Re-entry Workshop