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Study Abroad Orientation

Congratulations & Welcome to Study Abroad

1) Join a prestigious group of collegiate colleagues

2) Expand your horizons
3) Learn new culture

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a
page,” – Saint Augustine

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating

that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce
the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even
become friends,” – Maya Angelou
Before you leave
1) Make sure luggage is appropriate for travel – liquids in containers,
luggage tags on the outside, be sure to leave room for mementos
A. Check luggage the rules on your airline’s website otherwise
you will be required to pay extra at your own expense
B. You are responsible for your luggage at all times
C. If customs/immigration requests something of you, please do
it – they do have the power to arrest you

2) Have copies – electronic or paper – of your passport, credit cards

(both sides), health insurance, state ID (drivers license) – in case
they get lost
A. If you provide copies, International Education Center will keep
them on file for you

3) Keep with you at all times:

A. Passport
B. Safety Card
C. Some money
Health Concerns
1) Make sure immunizations are up to date and carry shot record card
in your passport – double check the CDC website to see if other
vaccines are necessary

2) Take EXTRA amounts of prescription drugs – and carry ALL

prescription drugs in their labeled bottles

3) Take bug spray and sunscreen, especially if you will be spending a

lot of time outside

4) Other first aid kit items: disinfectant, thermometer, band-aids,

favorite headache medicine, favorite upset stomach medicine,
favorite cold medicine, anti-itch cream, anti-fungal cream, and

5) Jet lag: get a good night’s sleep before departure, try to walk
around every hour you are on the plane, allow 1 day of
adjustment for each time zone crossed – Ehret method
Eating Habits
1) When you travel to locations with poor sanitation, regular “from
the tap” drinking water may not be safe. Be sure to only drink hot
beverages or bottled drinks – you may want to carry extra bottled
water even to brush your teeth

2) If water is contaminated, then fresh produce may be as well. If you

are eating fresh fruit, peel it first and if you are eating vegetables
make sure they are cooked

3) Always wash your hands before eating

4) Stay hydrated – by the time you are “thirsty” your body is already
depleted of fluids

5) Food abroad isn’t like American food – but it is part of the cultural
experience, don’t be afraid to try new things
Staying Safe
1) Be sure to stay in public, well-lit areas
2) Don’t travel alone, even if you’re adventuring without your class,
go with another student – local trains are available
3) Tell someone where you are going and when you intend to be back
4) Keep your emergency cards with you at all times
5) Obey the local laws – even if you don’t agree with them
6) Crime is everywhere – pick-pocketing and theft of a purse or bag is
most common, keep money on your person (pocket, pouches under
clothing, inside pockets, zipped outside pockets)
7) Dress conservatively and according to local customs when possible,
revealing clothing that is acceptable in the US may unintentionally
invite strangers to interact inappropriately with you
8) Avoid protest groups and other potentially volatile situations, while
you may agree with the idea behind the protest, you are a visitor to
the country and need to be mindful of their political processes
9) You are young adults and are expected to behave BETTER
than you do in your home country
Communicating across cultures
1) Pay attention when communicating with people not from your
country – put down the cell phone – Americans are more
preoccupied with technology than other cultures, be respectful of
their ideals
2) Don’t be afraid to ask questions – don’t assume you know what
someone is saying ask for clarification – be patient and know some
natives may not speak ANY English
3) Withhold judgment of peoples reactions and body language, cultural
norms in other countries are not the same as in the United States, for
a) In Thailand, showing the souls of your feet is considered an
b) In Costa Rica, putting your feet on furniture is very impolite
c) In Liberia, it is considered rude to not say hello to people you
pass on the street
d) In United Kingdom, it is unacceptable to “cut in line”
e) In Trinidad, cursing is considered a criminal offense
Money Tips
1) Keep your money in pockets/pouches separate from your credit
cards and your passport
2) Don’t travel with more money on your person than you would
normally in the states (we recommend $100) – take travelers
checks and exchange them once you get to your excursion
3) Your bank may not have a branch where you are going – be mindful
of ATM fees and other charges for international transactions –
contact your local branch to let them know you are going abroad
4) Credit cards are readily accepted abroad but can come with fees to
withdraw cash – check with your provider and let them know you
are traveling internationally
5) Personal checks are typically not accepted
6) Keep copies of the front and back of your debit card AND
credit cards you are taking – in case they become lost or
stolen you have all of your information at your fingertips
Code of Conduct
1) Although you are abroad and we encourage you to have a good
time, remember you are still a student of Savannah State University
and the rules still apply
A. Possession and/or use of drugs is prohibited
B. Excessive alcohol use is prohibited
C. Damage/destruction of facilities/property is prohibited
D. Fighting (whether with another student or a local citizen) is
E. Theft is prohibited
F. Students who travel outside of the group MUST notify the
program director of their travels and estimated return time
G. No unwelcomed sexual overtures or conduct – verbal or
physical, do report incidents either with another student or
with a local citizen
H. No disturbance of any other students academic progress
I. Rule violations CAN lead to being sent home at the
expense of the offending student