WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER STUDYING ABROAD
Studying abroad can be one of the most enriching and satisfying experiences of your education. Studying abroad can help you acquire an international outlook and the skills that will give you a competitive edge needed for the job market, graduate school or simply for effectively functioning in a diverse cultural environment. Below are summaries of the main benefits for study abroad participants:
- Studying abroad opens your window to the world. Your own perspectives will be broadened and future employers will value your experience.
- Study Abroad promotes world peace and security, because to experience another culture is to understand it better.
- Study Abroad enriches the home-campus experience, because students return with greater abilities in learning, in problem solving, and in coping with change.
- Study Abroad will allow you to meet people from other cultures who can give you a fresh perspective on life. Your worldview will be tested and strengthened through the relationships you build on your trip.
- Through study abroad you can improve your foreign language skills, gain international work experience and possibly even learn more about personal and family heritage.
- Through study abroad you get college credits while learning about other cultures and languages.
- A study abroad experience will make you more marketable in the workforce.
- Studying abroad will help you see the United States from a different perspective and understand yourself better.
- IT IS IMPORTANT FOR PARTICIPANTS TO REALIZE THAT THE STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE IS DESIGNED TO FACILITATE ENHANCED STUDENT LEARNING IN ANOTHER CULTURE. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR RECREATIONAL DRUG OR ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION, OR OTHER DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR. IF A STUDENT'S CONDUCT DURING A STUDY ABROAD TOUR DETRACTS FROM THE ORDERLY DELIVERY OF CURRICULA OR THE COHESIVENESS AND COOPERATION OF THE TRAVEL GROUP, THE STUDENT MAY BE SUSPENDED FROM PARTICIPATION AND REQUIRED TO LEAVE THE STUDY ABROAD TOUR.
Before you go:
- Obtain a Passport
- (Leave a copy of passport at home. Write down your passport number and take it along with 2 passport pictures; see Important Document Checklist.)
- Review insurance, purchase additional coverage, if necessary.
- Order travel supplies: adapter plug kit, money belt, etc.
- Review money matters, obtain necessary currency and cards.
- Let banks know you are abroad.
- Order phone card (AT&T can be used everywhere overseas).
- Complete Emergency Information Forms.
- Make household arrangements, see list below (long-term programs).
- Arrange airport pick-up for day of return.
- Pack-see luggage restrictions and "What to Take."
- Call airlines for special meals 48 hours before departure.
- Make sure that your name and address are marked on your suitcase, flight bag, and camera case.
Vaccinations not required for travel in Costa Rica; check with the Center for Disease and Control (CDC) for guidelines.
Day of Flight:
- Make sure that you have your passport and copies of all important documents (see Important Document Checklist).
- Make sure you have your eyeglasses and/or contacts.
- Leave early for airport (2 hours now required for international flights).
- Wear comfortable loose clothes.
- Rest as much as possible.
- Eat lightly.
- Drink lots of water and eat fresh fruit.
- Avoid drinking alcohol on flight.
- Sleep on the plane.
Long Term Programs:
- Stop newspaper subscription.
- Arrange for pet and plant care.
- Arrange for lawn and garden care.
- Shut off gas and electricity.
- Empty refrigerator.
- Leave a copy of house, car and other keys with relative or friend.
Important Document Checklist:
In case of an emergency, it is vital that you can easily access the following information. The steps described below will help alleviate the frustrations of losing documents while overseas.
Take a copy of the documents listed below and keep them in a secure place. Leave another copy at home with someone reliable:
- Copies of the first two pages of your passport.
- Copies of any visas required for this trip.
- Copies of the prescriptions of any medication you are currently taking. Do the same for your contacts or eyeglass prescription.
- Copy of your birth certificate.
- Emergency contact information including telephone numbers.
- Receipts listing the numbers of your traveler's checks (required for replacement).
- Host family/site contact information (obtain from program co-directors).
Also take with you:
- Record of baggage contents in case of loss.
- Two passport size photographs and write down your passport number.
- Prescriptions and eyeglasses/contacts.