Once you have made the commitment to global study you have a lot to do to get ready! Some of the preparation is mandatory -- like going to the CGE Pre-departure Orientation and getting a passport. Others may only be necessary depending on your destination -- like a visa or immunizations. The more you know about the place you are going before you go, the better your experience will be. This section is full of resources that will help you prepare.
Have I Changed My Plans?+
If you have decided to study globally during a different semester, or if you have decided not to study globally, you must tell the Center for Global Education and your global study program. If you do not alert the Center for Global Education to your changed plans, you will be unable to register for your semester at Gettysburg.
Course Approval Process+
When you applied to your global study program, you submitted Course Approval Requests that outlined what courses you may take at your global study program. For some students, the courses you listed initially will be the courses you take. For others, and perhaps the majority of students, you will end up taking only a few of the courses you initially listed on your Course Approval Request page.
The Course Approval Request page will be available on your CGE Dashboard even after you arrive at your program. All registered courses must be approved on this page.
Many programs post their course lists several months in advance. At other programs, course lists are not available until students arrive. In order to help you plan for global study, you should have at least three extra courses approved than you will actually take. This means that if you are planning to take four courses, you should have at least seven courses approved. It is much easier to get courses approved while you are still on the Gettysburg College campus.
Students participating in Affiliated Programs will receive credit and grades for the courses they take. All grades will show on your Gettysburg transcript (A - F) and they will be factored into your Gettysburg GPA.
All courses taken on Non-Affiliated Programs are transferred to Gettysburg as credit only, assuming you receive a C- or better. If you receive a grade lower than a C-, you will not receive credit for the course. Grades on Non-Affiliated Programs are important, however, particularly for those students whose GPA at Gettysburg makes them eligible for graduation honors. In these cases, grades from Non-Affiliated Programs will be factored into your overall record in order to assure you maintain your honors eligibility.
Students participating in Non-Affiliated Programs must refer to the following chart in order to determine how many Gettysburg Course Units you will receive:
2 Semester Hours of Credit = 0.50 Gettysburg Course Units
3 Semester Hours of Credit = 0.80 Gettysburg Course Units
4 Semester Hours of Credit = 1.00 Gettysburg Course Units
5 Semester Hours of Credit = 1.25 Gettysburg Course Units
6 Semester Hours of Credit = 1.50 Gettysburg Course UnitsIf your program does not use Semester Hours as the unit of credit, please see the Registrar before you depart for advice on how many courses you need to take. It is very important that you do not assume that one class abroad counts for one Gettysburg Course Unit, as this is often not the case.
S/U Courses of Global Study Programs+
Students studying globally who wish to take a course S/U must check with their program to see if the program has an S/U policy. If so, that policy must be the same as Gettysburg College, students must receive a C- or better, and the program must list the course as S/U on the transcript. Please confirm with CGE that your program's S/U policy matches Gettysburg College's. Students may take no more than two S/U courses per academic year, no more than six S/U courses in their academic career, and all courses must be electives.
Forwarding Your Mail+
While you are studying globally, the Gettysburg College Post Office will forward any First Class mail and magazines to your home address. They will not forward campus or other mail. If you have any questions about your mail, please contact the campus Post Office.
Housing Arrangements For When You Return To Campus+
Every spring, housing selection occurs for the following academic year.
If you are studying globally, you will be able to select your OWN housing online (if you are not applying to live in the College House Program or off-campus housing). With the online housing system, students will need to pre-select each other as roommates prior to selecting a room or apartment. (Instructions regarding this part of the process will be distributed with lottery numbers and lottery times in March and April.) When doing so, the online housing system will confirm that all roommates have selected one another, and the students will now become a group. Only the student with the lowest (best) lottery number and earliest lottery time will select housing for the group via the online housing selection system.
If you are studying globally during this process and your lottery number will carry a group to select housing, you can select for your group via "MyHousing" in CNAV, or you may select a proxy here on campus to select housing for your group. Lottery numbers are not transferable, and in the event where you need to have your proxy select housing for your group at the appointed time, you must email Sharon Fissel firstname.lastname@example.org
As mentioned previously, the Office of Residential & First-Year Programs will provide additional information about the online housing selection process. When you receive this information via your campus email, you will also be able to log onto CNAV/MyHousing to:
Should you have any questions, please contact the Office of Residential & First-Year Programs.
International Student ID Card (ISIC)+
The International Student Identity Card offers a variety of benefits to study abroad students. For instance, students with an ISIC are eligible for reduced airfares, discounts on museum entrances and other sightseeing admission fees. The cost for the ISIC is approximately $22.00 (subject to change), and it can be purchased through STA Travel by calling 1-800-692-3130 or you can purchase online.
Please note that some programs will supply you with an ISIC card as part of the program fee. Therefore, you should check your program material before purchasing a card.
If you are participating in an Affiliated Program you will pay the Global Study Fee for Affiliated Programs to Gettysburg College. This fee is comparable to the cost of a semester on-campus at Gettysburg College and is paid by the same process as a normal semester payment, regardless of the actual cost of the program. While specific arrangements vary, this Global Study Fee for Affiliated Programs will cover tuition, room, and board for your program. You will also receive a flight credit. Students who study for an academic year or two semesters will only receive one flight credit (whether they are consecutive semesters or not, regardless of location).
If you are participating in a Non-Affiliated Program you will pay the cost of the program directly to the institution sponsoring the program. You will be billed by Gettysburg College for a Global Study Fee for Non-Affiliated Programs that covers the Medical Evacuation and Repatriation insurance and administrative services provided by Gettysburg College. You will not pay tuition, room, or board to Gettysburg College during the global study term. Institutional aid can not be used for a Non-Affiliated Program, but Federal aid and, in some cases, State aid can.
You will have access to the Payment Understanding form through your Center for Global Education Dashboard that includes details for your specific program. You will be asked to sign this form stating that you understand the financial arrangements for your program.
Agreement and Release+
The Agreement and Release form on the CGE Dashboard describes the risks associated with global study. Students are required to sign this form in order to participate in a global study program. If you have any questions specifically about this form, or generally about the risks associated with global study, please speak to the Center for Global Education and/or your particular program provider prior to signing this form.
Good Academic and Conduct Standing+
In order to study globally, all students must continue to be in good academic and conduct standing, have a 2.0 cumulative GPA, and 2.0GPA in the semester prior to studying globally. If a student has been placed on academic probation, conduct probation, or has more than 4 points at any time between their approval for global study and their participation in a global study program, their right to participate will be rescinded. Questions about this can be directed to the Center for Global Education.
Financial Responsibility and Withdrawal Policy+
All global study students must be in good financial standing with Gettysburg College in order to participate in a global study program. The College may withdraw a student from their global study program for failure to pay College charges.
Any student who decides not to participate in a program or becomes ineligible to participate in a program, after already confirming their participation in the program, is responsible for all costs paid on their behalf prior to their withdrawal.
Any student who withdraws from a program after arriving at the program site is responsible for the full cost of the program (tuition, fees, room, board, and any other incidental expenses) as if they participated in the entire program.
In the event of a cancellation of a global study program, special arrangements will be made.
As a Gettysburg College student, you are expected to act with a high level of responsibility and maturity at all times and this expectation extends to participation in global study. By participating in global study, you are serving as an ambassador of Gettysburg College. Your actions reflect not only on yourself, but on Gettysburg College.
While studying globally, you must continue to adhere to all the policies included in Gettysburg College’s Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. Any actions which violate these policies and take place while you are studying globally will be addressed on-site by the Faculty Director or other program representative. These actions will also be addressed through the College's conduct system.
As a guest in another country, there are certain behaviors that are considered unacceptable and could lead to possible disruption of the program and your dismissal from the program. You must act in an appropriate manner that does not infringe upon the customs of the country in which the program is being conducted, nor upon the rights and safety of yourself or of other participants of the program. The use or possession of illegal drugs during the program or being knowingly present in instances of use or possession of illegal drugs during the program is cause for immediate dismissal from the program. Should you be dismissed from your program, the return passage and the full cost of the program (tuition, fees, room, board, and any other incidental expenses as if you participated in the entire program) are your sole and exclusive financial responsibility.
If you have accommodations, now is the time to speak with your program about this information. For example, do you have a learning disability, dietary restrictions, housing needs, or counseling needs? Programs that know about your accommodations prior to your arrival are best able to help you settle into your program successfully. If you are unsure with whom to speak, please reach out to the Center for Global Education.
In different regions of the world, there may be cultural mores, local practices, unawareness, or stereotypes that can challenge various aspects of a person’s identity. This should not discourage you from participating in global study, but it is encouraged to take these topics into account in your pre-departure preparations.
If you have questions about how your gender, sexuality, physical ability, religion, race or ethnicity, dietary restrictions, or financial ability may be perceived in your host culture, there are numerous resources available to support you. See CGE’s "Know Yourself" page about questions to consider and recommendations for resources. Reach out to students who have studied globally in that area, speak with international students on the Gettysburg College campus who have lived where you plan to study, read up on current events, politics, and news in your host country, and talk to your program provider.
There are a number of positions that are geared toward upperclassmen. If you are a junior interested in applying for Rhodes Scholarships, Marshall Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships, Fulbright Grants and Teaching Assistantships, and/or National Science Foundation Fellowships following your graduation, be sure to contact Assistant Provost for Scholarship Maureen Forrestal (email@example.com) prior to your departure. Take time to stop by the Center for Career Development to learn about resources for finding employment and internships and applying for graduate school. There are also resources for resume and cover letter writing, conducting a job search, interviewing, and more.
From the United States
A passport is an official document of identification issued to citizens of their own country and allows the individual to travel to and from a foreign country in accordance with visa restrictions. All study abroad students need a passport to enter into or return from any country in the world. You should keep your passport with you at all times when you are traveling to and from your program. When you reach your study abroad destination, keep your passport in a safe place. You should also have a photocopy of your passport kept apart from your passport to assist you in the event that you lose your passport.
Most students who are US citizens will need to apply for a passport in person at a Passport Acceptance Facility. US Passport processing can take four to six weeks. It is possible to get your passport much quicker, but there may be additional costs. Between March and August, there is heavy demand for US passports. US Passports cost approximately $140. More information about Passports.
Students who are not US citizens who have questions related to their passports should consult their Embassy or Consulate for more information.
If you already have a passport, confirm that it will be valid for at least six months past your anticipated return.
A visa is official permission to visit a country, granted by the government of that country. Visa requirements vary from country to country. In order to determine if you need a visa for your global study program, you should contact your program provider or the Embassy or Consulate of the country in which you will study. It can take one day to several months to process your visa. You will need to have your passport in order to apply for your visa. Do not delay getting a visa if you need one, as students have missed flights due to delays in visa processing. For students who are not US citizens, the visa process may be significantly different. It is essential that you start planning early and speak with International Student Services.
One of the most important parts of your preparation for global study is to learn as much as you can about the country in which you will be studying and about your particular global study program. There are a number of resources that you can use to get this information.
Speak with other students who have either studied in the country in which you will be studying. Speak with other students who will be studying in the same program at the same time as you. Speak with your program provider and CGE. Read travel books or novels about your host country. Watch movies or listen to music from your host country. These are excellent ways to prepare yourself for this experience. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and read about your host country before you depart.
Although it can be tempting to try to squeeze as much travel as possible into your global study semester, be aware that frequent “country-hopping” can make it difficult to fully immerse yourself into your host culture. Be sure to take time to explore your host culture and consider day trips to different regions within your host country.
However, should you choose to travel, there are number of resources available to you to save money. Youth hostels offer affordable dormitory-style overnight accommodation and staff can often recommend restaurants, walking tours, and sights to see. For more information on different hostels, including ratings and reviews, see HostelWorld and Hostel.com. Discount airlines, such as Ryanair in Europe, can offer low-cost flights between major cities.
For travel within your host country, check if there are travel passes for frequent bus or train travel. Check with past global study students, your program provider, and online for more information.
While traveling, students should remain aware of safety precautions that can lessen the risk you are exposed to. Lock up any valuables that you bring with you or leave them at you homestay/residence hall/apartment. You should act in the same safe and responsible manner that you would in Gettysburg, any large American city, or your host city.
Before you leave, you should have a complete physical examination. Your program may require you to do this. Some countries require proof of good health in order to be granted a visa. Other countries require certain vaccinations to enter the country. Some vaccinations must be given as much as 6 months in advance of your departure and some may require multiple doses. All students should consult the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Homepage for further information about specific geographic health recommendations.
You should consult your primary care physician or a travel clinic about how to prepare for a healthy trip.
It is very important that you have health insurance that covers you adequately while you are studying globally. Some students are currently covered by an insurance policy that will cover them while studying globally, but there may be special requirements that you should know in advance. For example, how will you pay for medical assistance since most insurance companies will reimburse you for medical expenses rather than pay bills up front? Some insurance plans do not cover overseas travelers at all. In all cases, you should determine exactly what you need to do to use your insurance while you are studying globally.
Some global study programs provide health insurance as part of the program fee. Please read your program materials to determine if your program offers insurance.
Medical Evacuation/Repatriation Insurance+
The vast majority of U.S. health insurance programs do not include medical evacuation and repatriation coverage, which is an additional concern for global study students. Medical evacuation insurance is coverage that pays for the additional costs associated with moving patients from one city to another, or one country to another for medical treatment. Repatriation insurance pays the cost of returning someone’s remains to the U.S. if they die overseas. While discussions of this kind are not easy, they are clearly important. Gettysburg College has a medical evacuation/repatriation insurance policy that covers the costs of medical evacuation and repatriation in the event of such an emergency. It is required for students to have medical evacuation and repatriation coverage while abroad whether it is through Gettysburg College, your global study program or your own policy. Information about the Gettysburg global study insurance is sent to each student, and the cost of the insurance is automatically billed directly to each student’s account. The cost is currently $216 per semester. You can waive Gettysburg’s coverage if you have equivalent coverage through your program or on your own by completing the Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Waiver found on the student's CGE Dashboard. If you currently have Gettysburg College student health insurance, this portion is covered under this policy and you will not be charged the additional $216 per semester while abroad. Please contact Lynn Garskof at 717-337 6069 if you have any questions about this insurance.
If you take regular prescription medication, make sure to schedule time to speak with your doctor well in advance of your departure for your global study program. You should continue to take your regular medication as prescribed by your doctor. Studying globally can add additional mental and physical stress and it is important to continue doing the things that keep you healthy.
Verify that your medication is legal within the country/countries to which you will be traveling. Your primary care physician and program provider will be able to assist you with this. In addition, check if you are able to bring enough of your medication with you for the duration of the program. If your insurance has limits on how much of your prescription you can have at one time, check with them about receiving a “vacation override.” A copy of your global study program acceptance can assist you with this exemption.
When traveling with medication, be sure to keep all medication in your carry-on luggage in its original container, clearly labeled, with a doctor’s note listing the medication and why you are taking it.
If your medication is not allowed in the country, or if you cannot bring enough for the duration of the semester, consult with your primary care physician and your global study program provider. Your primary care physician may be able to recommend a generic version or another version that is available in that country. Your program provider will be able to recommend health specialists near the global study program. Medication cannot be shipped to you from overseas.
In addition to health insurance, many travelers will purchase travel insurance. This extra coverage will cover things like flight cancellations due to airline strikes or lost luggage, etc. There are many options to choose from regarding travel insurance, please check with your current insurance company for more information.
Please see this excellent article by Rick Steves, the travel writer, about travel insurance- including trip cancellation insurance, things to watch out for, and links to the most common travel insurance companies.
Every year hundreds of young travelers are arrested in foreign countries for illegal possession, use, or trafficking in drugs. Some countries are stricter and more severe in their treatment of those arrested on drug-related charges, but even reputedly liberal countries can have strict laws. Remember that you are subject to the laws of the country you are visiting. Your government, and Gettysburg College, is completely powerless should you be arrested in another country on drug charges. DON’T use drugs.
Not knowing local laws can get you into serious trouble. Just because something is legal in the United States does not mean it is legal in the everywhere. Most students who study globally do not break the law on purpose; instead, they end up doing something illegal without knowing it, often involving drugs or alcohol. Even as a foreigner, you must obey all laws in the country of your global study program and the laws of other countries to which you are traveling.
If you break local laws while abroad, the U.S. government can do very little to help you. You are granted no special privileges or rights and will be dealt with according to standard procedure of the legal system of that country. Consult with the program staff on-site if you have any questions.
For more information, see U.S. Department of State website.
Gettysburg College encourages students to explore all parts of our world. At any given time, countries may be placed under a US Department of State Travel Warning due to specific risks associated with travel to that country. If a student wishes to apply to study in a country under a Travel Warning, Gettysburg College requires the student and family to sign a secondary waiver acknowledging and accepting these additional risks prior to departure. If a student is studying in a country when a Travel Warning is issued, the student will need to sign a secondary waiver on site and return it to Gettysburg College or the student will need to make arrangements to return home immediately. A current list of countries under a USDOS Travel Warning is available here:
State Department Travel Warnings+
The State Department regularly publishes up to date travel warnings that may be pertinent to your travel plans. For the most recent travel warnings see the Worldwide Caution.
There are many different ways to handle your money while you are studying globally. Below are some options that you may wish to consider:
DEBIT CARDS: Debit cards offer a convenient, inexpensive way to access money. The exchange rate used at ATMs is often the best rate available. If you have a debit card, ask the bank that issued the card whether your card can be used to access money in the country to which you are traveling and if there are any fees for withdrawing money abroad. Alert your bank of the dates of your travel and all the countries to which you will be traveling.
CASH: It may be possible to obtain foreign currency in the United States, but there are often fees associated with these transactions. Do not carry large amounts of cash. Students recommend taking between 50 and 75 US dollars. It is not advisable to have cash sent to you through the mail while you are overseas.
CREDIT CARDS: Visa and MasterCard are accepted in most any country in the world. American Express is accepted on a more limited basis depending on the country to which you are traveling. Call your credit card company to alert them to when you will be traveling.
You may be wondering how you could fit everything for a semester in a suitcase and carry-on bag, but it is not as difficult as you may think. In fact, many returning students say that they packed too much for the semester.
Check with your airline to see their particular restrictions for checked baggage and/or luggage weight limits. It may be less expensive to pay for two medium-sized checked bags than one overweight bag. Do not bring more luggage than you can move by yourself.
Be sure to check the weather and climate of your global study program for the time of year when you will be studying there. It is often recommended to pack clothing that can be layered, as you may be experience multiple seasons throughout your global study term. Be sure to pack sturdy, comfortable clothing than can withstand heavy use, especially walking shoes.
In some countries, there may be cultural expectations and norms concerning apparel, especially concerning piercings, tattoos, and tight/see-through clothing. Being aware of these cultural norms will help you to be respectful to your host culture, and may prevent you from being easily marked as a tourist. Many program providers will share a packing list with recommendations specific to your host country.
Avoid fully packing your suitcase when departing for your global study program, as you may want to bring back gifts or other objects to remember your experience.