Spring 2013 8-Week Program

Spring 2013 8-Day Seminar - Professional Development

Studying abroad is an exciting way to continue your education while seeing the world and experiencing new cultures. Below you’ll find some general information about health & safety, financing your trip, and available scholarships and deadlines.

Information for Parents

Dear Parent/Guardian of a Study Abroad Participant,

Congratulations to your student for deciding to study abroad, an experience that we know will be fulfilling and transforming. Thank you for supporting your student through the planning, participation and return from their study abroad program.

In an increasingly global society, an international component has become an essential part of higher education. The Global Institute of Comparative Studies (GICS) at Chancellor University (CU) is committed to encouraging students to study abroad. Studying overseas enables students to develop maturity and independence, expand their knowledge of the world, and increase their sensitivity to other cultures. While abroad, students test the skills they have and obtain new ones. These traits help prepare them for graduate school or the job market.

Study abroad opportunities range in duration from eight to sixteen weeks, so a study abroad experience can fit into any student's schedule. The longer you go, the more you grow.

Students can be sure that the social and political climate in the area they will be traveling is conducive to studying. GICS follows the advice of the U.S. Department of State regarding safety. For more information concerning the health of your student, please see the Health & Safety page.

In addition, we recommend that parents and study abroad participants acquaint themselves with the following resources:

  • The GICS Pre-Departure Handbook
  • U.S. State Department
  • NAFSA: AIE Health and Safety Guidelines
  • U.S. State Department's Travel Warnings and Advisories
  • Diversity Abroad
  • U.S. Embassies' Recommendations to Americans Abroad
  • Study and Travel Abroad Resources
  • World-Wide News Links
  • Current Travel Conditions in Europe

Health & Safety

Many places you will go have no special health concerns. Health-care systems and facilities in many European locations are quite similar to what you have in the United States. However, your health during your study abroad experience will depend on the choices you make and precautions that you take prior, during, and following your time overseas. Before your departure, you should make sure that you are in good health, get any immunizations that are required and learn as much as you can about the health and safety conditions in your host country.


We recommend having a physical and dental checkup before you go, especially if you will be gone at a time when you would normally schedule these appointments. This will give you an opportunity to talk with your health care professionals about any general health precautions you should take.

Pre-existing Conditions

If you have an ongoing medical problem, such as allergies or diabetes, you need to take special precautions in preparing for and managing your condition overseas. How will the stresses of the environment and the study abroad experience impact your health? If you have a disability, how will your needs be met?

If you have food allergies, please inform us in advance, as we will consider this when choosing menus for group meals.

If you take prescription medications regularly you should bring a supply to last throughout your time abroad, if practical. Foreign drugs are not necessarily closely related to those that are standard in the United States, even if they have the same chemical formula. They may be marketed under different names and may not be available in the strengths you desire. It might be wise to also have a letter from a home physician or pharmacist describing your medicines, their dosage, a generic name for them, and describing the condition being treated. This letter could be helpful in an emergency.

You should make sure that all drugs are in the original pharmacy containers and are clearly labeled. You should carry copies of the prescriptions to avoid problems with Customs. In the case of narcotic medicines, it may not be prudent to carry additional supplies because of possible Customs difficulties. In that case, you should bring a prescription with the drug's generic name.

If you are diabetic or have another medical condition in which a syringe is needed to administer medication, you should bring a supply of disposable syringes, as they are not available in all countries. Some countries, however, restrict the import of syringes - as well as certain medications and contraceptives. Before departure, you should find out of this applies to your host countries.

For certain conditions such as diabetes, asthma, mild epilepsy, or allergy to penicillin, it would be wise to wear a tag or a bracelet or carry a card to identify the condition so that you can be treated properly. You should pack any medication in your carry on so as not to be without them if your luggage gets lost.

Emotional and Mental Health

Emotionally and mentally, international living can be stressful. Most travelers will experience a degree of culture shock during the normal adjustment period. Culture shock causes feelings of disorientation and unease which can be intensified for students dealing with ongoing unresolved emotional or medical issues. It is thus very important that you discuss such problems with your coordinator, mental health providers, or other trained medical personnel before leaving. Once on site, our staff is available to help you through the adjustment cycle.


You should be aware that you will probably experience a change in your diet and eating habits. You may start eating a healthier diet, as people in most countries do not eat as much processed food nor drink as many caffeinated and sweetened beverages as Americans do. It is customary in many countries to eat more grains, fresh fish, fruits, vegetables, etc. Before you leave, you should try to learn more about the foods eaten and the eating habits of your host country. These are an integral part of the culture.

Medical Kit

Everybody should be prepared for minor health problems with a home medical kit. This should include: bandages, gauze, and adhesive tape, sterile cleansers, antibacterial cream, painkillers, anti-diarrhea medicine, insect repellent (for any warm climate).

Family Emergencies

You should discuss with your family what they will do in the event of a family emergency, illness or death. It is much easier to have these conversations around the kitchen table prior to departure than in an intercontinental phone call in the midst of a crisis.

Financing Your Trip Abroad

Financial Aid

Can I use Financial Aid for my study abroad expenses?

Yes! If you are eligible for financial aid as a student at Chancellor University or your home institution, you may be eligible to use this aid towards your study abroad program.

The following types of funding may be used for study abroad: Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and PLUS loans), Perkins Loan, HOPE Scholarship, and other scholarships.

For more information, please speak to a financial aid advisor at your university.

Important: While most students are able to use financial aid to assist with the cost of studying abroad, it is very likely that you will need to cover these expenses up front and then be reimbursed at a later date by financial aid or other scholarships. Due to federal regulations, these funds very rarely come through in time to use them to cover your study abroad expenses directly! Please be aware of this and make arrangements to have your expenses covered.


"GICS" was designed to fit the criteria of the Gilman International Scholarship™ awarded by the Department of State (International Institute of Education); The Gilman was created with the mission of "providing underrepresented students a chance to experience international education diversifying the kinds of students who study abroad."

The" Gilman" awards up to $3,000 per summer/$5,000 per semester to students who qualify for study abroad with the following criteria:

    • The applicant must be receiving a Federal Pell Grant or provide proof that he/she will be receiving a Pell Grant at the time of application or during the term of his/her study abroad.
    • The applicant is applying to or has been accepted into a study abroad program eligible for credit by the student's accredited institution of higher education in the U.S.

Deadlines for Gilman applications:

October 2, 2012: Student Deadline for submission of online application, including transcript(s). Must submit application by 11:59pm CST.
October 9, 2012: Advisor Deadline for submission of online Study Abroad Advisor and Financial Aid Advisor section.
December 2012: All Applicants are notified of the status of their application via email. Study Abroad and Financial Aid Advisors will be notified of scholarship recipients via email. A list of the recipients will be available on the Gilman website.

Apply for Gilman scholarships online at http://www.iie.org/en/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program

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