What is the best method to communicate with my student studying abroad?
It is recommended that you develop a communication plan with you student. Many students
communicate with their families through a combination of e-mail, Skype, or cell phone (in many countries, incoming cell calls are free with certain phones/plans.) Most students will still have access to their Colgate email account. However, there are some places where students may not have reliable or consistent internet access, so please plan accordingly. Also be sure that you have the emergency contact information for on-site faculty or staff to ensure them quickly in an emergency.
What if my student needs to withdraw from a study abroad program?
Written notification of withdrawal must be dated and delivered to the director of international programs. E-mail notification from a Colgate e-mail address is acceptable. The postmark or date of e-mail will serve as the basis for any refund.
A student who withdraws from a Colgate study group, extended study or approved program after confirming their participation with the Office of Off-Campus Study/International Programs will be charged a $1,000 withdrawal fee to defray the administrative costs incurred by the university. Refunds of Colgate tuition charged for off-campus study are governed by the university’s refund policy. Students will also be charged for any non-recoverable expenses including, but not limited to, non-refundable deposits, approved program charges, housing, transportation, visas, and/or shared group expenses. The extent of non-recoverable expenses vary by program and the date of withdrawal.
What precautions should be taken concerning safety abroad?
1. Parents and students should discuss openly their feelings about security and what their risk tolerance is. Are there limitations about location?
2. Off-Campus Study reviews services Colgate contracts with, such as International SOS and CISI (Cultural Insurance Services International) that specialize in international risk and security analysis. We recommend that all travelers enroll with STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) offered by the U.S. State Department. These groups offer different services but communicate with individual travelers abroad about safety, health and security needs. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact our office. Students on non-Colgate, Approved Programs may have similar insurance coverage. Colgate University wants all students to have similar insurance while abroad and we require students to also purchase the CISI insurance if their program doesn't offer comparable services. A list of these programs that require additional coverage can be found HERE
3. Keep alert when traveling and especially around high crowd areas (shopping, airports, train stations, carnivals, and avoid protests). Pay attention to the news and check the US State department study abroad site before traveling independently to locations outside your study abroad base. Listen to security police instructions and your programs' director(s) and be prepared to follow their instructions (including staying away from an area).
4. Discuss a reasonable communication schedule and method with your family that includes social media. If you need to quickly alert them of your whereabouts, you can text or post to Facebook/Twitter..
5. Know how to contact Colgate's Campus Safety office after hours (315-228-7333). After hours, Campus Safety can contact Colgate staff for you from the Deans to Counseling to the Health Center or to Off-Campus Study.
6. Students are covered by several international insurance programs including International SOS (which requires students to sign up individually) and is a risk security firm; CISI (an international medical, travel and security services company that all Colgate students studying abroad will be registered for, unless the program enrolls the student in their own international health insurance program). Colgate-sponsored programs students are enrolled in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) through the State Department. All three groups will send individual emails to students with advice based on where they are - they can enroll in MyCISI and MyPlan to get individual messages, especially when traveling independently and without the group. The State Department will do this automatically.
7. If on a study group, students will have a faculty leader on-site with them for the semester. Students will need to ensure that they are communicating their whereabouts to the faculty director. If the student is participating on an Approved Program, there will be a program director through that program that the student should communicate with.
8. Housing is a safe space. Students are advised to protect themselves and their peers by not inviting strangers to their housing. Meeting at neutral locations - cafe's, pubs, museums, e.g. -is a safer option.
9. Commonsense safety tips include:
a) Your passport/visa and phone/device are critical to your security and must be kept safe
b) Keep the following information in a safe space on the cloud and in a physical safe space while abroad: emergency contacts (include phone/email contacts and names/address; medical information/contacts; credit card cancellation phone numbers; copy of your passport's photo page and visa page;
c) Have some local currency in reserve when you go abroad
d) Always have a plan, especially when considering independent travel outside a program. What will you do if your flight is
cancelled? Always keep family and the program informed of your wherabouts and where you'll be staying outside the