Taking Prescription Medications Abroad

Taking Prescription Medications Abroad



Fact Sheet

December 6, 2016


The United States seeks to build a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship with

China by expanding areas of cooperation and addressing areas of disagreement, such as human rights and cybersecurity. The United

States welcomes a strong, peaceful, and prosperous China playing a greater role in world affairs and seeks to advance practical cooperation with

China. The annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue

(S&ED) has served as a unique platform to promote bilateral understanding, expand consensus, discuss differences, build mutual trust, and increase cooperation. The strategic track of the S&ED has produced benefits for both countries through a wide range of joint projects and initiatives and expanded avenues for addressing common regional and global challenges such as proliferation concerns in Iran and North Korea, tensions between Sudan and South Sudan, climate change, environmental protection, and energy security. The United States has emphasized the need to enhance bilateral trust through increased high-level exchanges, formal dialogues, and expanded people-to-people ties. On November 10, 2014, President Obama announced a reciprocal visa validity arrangement with China, increasing the validity of short-term tourist and business visas issued to each other’s citizens from one to ten years, and increasing the validity of student and exchange visas from one to five years. The U.S. approach to China is an integral part of reinvigorated U.S. engagement with the Asia-

Pacific region.

U.S. Assistance to China

U.S. assistance programs in China focus on four principal areas: supporting efforts on environmental protection and climate-change mitigation; advancing the rule of law and

human rights; assisting Tibetan communities; and addressing the threat of pandemic diseases. U.S. support for transparency and governance crosses these sectors, supporting the development of environmental law, as well as a free, fair, and accessible justice system. Programs in each of these areas are targeted and directly address U.S. interests such as limiting the transmission of avian influenza, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases that pose threats to global security. Furthermore, such programs have been expanded with the addition of local Chinese resources, Programs in Tibetan areas of China support activities that preserve the distinct Tibetan culture and promote sustainable development and environmental conservation.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The U.S. approach to its economic relations with China has two main elements: integrating China into the global, rules-based economic and trading system and expanding U.S. exporters' and investors' access to the Chinese market. Two-way trade between China and the United States has grown from $33 billion in 1992 to over $659 billion in goods in 2013. China is currently the third largest export market for U.S. goods

(after Canada and Mexico), and the United States is China’s largest export market. The stock of U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in China was $65.8 billion in 2014, up from

$54 billion in 2012, and remained primarily in the manufacturing sector. During the economic track of the June 2016 S&ED, the two countries announced measures to strengthen exchange rate reform, improve economic transparency, expand opportunities for U.S. firms in China, enhance global cooperation and international rules, and foster financial stability and reform. For more information see http://www.treasury.gov/initiatives/Pages/china.aspx


China's Membership in International Organizations

The People's Republic of China assumed the China seat at the United Nations in 1971, replacing Taiwan, and is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Over the years, China has become increasingly active in multilateral organizations, particularly the

United Nations. China and the United States work closely with the international community to address threats to global security, including North Korea and Iran's nuclear programs.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to China is Max Baucus ; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List .

China maintains an embassy in the United States at 3505 International Place, NW,

Washington, DC 20008; Tel.: (202) 495-2266.

More information about China is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State China Country Page

Department of State Key Officers List

CIA World Factbook China Page

U.S. Embassy: China

USAID China Page

Human Rights Reports

International Religious Freedom Reports

Trafficking in Persons Reports

Narcotics Control Reports

Investment Climate Statements

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page

U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics

Export.gov International Offices Page

Library of Congress Country Studies

Travel and Business Information


If you become the victim of a crime, immediately contact:

• the local police,

• your home nation’s diplomacy or consular office

• your International Programs

Office Director

If you have a medical emergency, seek immediate care, then contact your insurance company


Do - A thorough medical and dental check-up before departure.

Do – Travel with limited cash and one credit card keeping cash in more than one place.

Do – Use official currency outlets and use caution at ATM machines so as not to be a target for thieves. Make sure your card works abroad and notify your bank and credit card companies that you will be out of the country.

Do – Lock personal possessions and valuables in the hotel or room safe or use hotel security.

Do- Use a money belt rather than a purse. If you use a handbag, keep it close to the body.

Wear backpacks in front.

Do – Maintain a security awareness of items on your person – i.e.: purse, wallet, keys, money and cell phones

Do - Use phone calling cards with care, as not to display numbers to others

Do – If you are sexually harassed, ignore the proposition and continue on your way.

Do not – Open your hotel room door for anyone not expected or known or does not have an official identification.

Do not – Wear expensive looking jewelry. Remember that thieves may not know the difference between pieces of real and costume jewelry.

Do not – Use ATM machine at night unless the area is open and well lit.

Do not – Walk in low-lighted areas without being surrounded by people and trust your instincts if something seems amiss, return to a safer surrounding, such as a hotel.

Do not – Walk, drive or travel alone and be aware of your surroundings when using public transportation, elevators or restrooms.

Travel Safety Pocket Guide

“Remember that no list can contemplate every possible “do” and “don’t” on safety issues. Every situation is unique. Be careful, don’t rush, think before you act, stay in a group whenever possible, and always use your own best judgment in any given circumstance.”


Do – Leave copy of travel itinerary with two or more known trusted people.

Do – Promise to call or email relatives or friends at unspecified times.

Do – Dress according to the social and cultural norms in each country.

Do – Exclude titles, organization names or unnecessary data on luggage tags.

Do –Do – Keep luggage near by and in view at all times and pack a small flashlight.

Do – Have alternative plans for unexpected events during traveling, keeping necessary items in your carry-on.

Do – Create and have handy detailed maps.

Do – Ask about surrounding and problem areas you may have to travel through. Check these sites:

U.S. State Department: http://www.state.gov/travel/

• http://www.airsecurity.com/

• http://www.traveldocs.com/

Do – Be aware of your surroundings – not to be lulled with a false sense of security.

Do – Keep advised, via local media, of the current security situations in the area.

Do – Use main entrance of hotels and other buildings.

Do – Use all security locking devices when in your room and keep your room key in your pocket.


Do – Acquaint yourself with all hotel emergency procedures and locate all emergency exits nearest you.

Do – Ask about hotel safety measures such as, fire alarms, evacuation procedures and if windows will open.

Do – Call fire department direct, if fire occurs then call hotel management.

Do – Feel door with palm of hand, if hot don’t open if not try to escape to nearest stairway exit-not elevator.

Do – Stay in room and wait for help when in doubt on what to do and DO NOT PANIC or DO


Do – Keep everything wet if you stay in room stuffing door cracks with wet sheets and towels.

Do – Fill the tub with water and douse the door and walls if you stay in room.



IDST 031: Intercultural Communication: Pre-Departure, Experiences Abroad, and Re-entry (S/U; 1 credit)

Note: Students do not register for this course. It will appear on your transcript after you

return from your program and attend the re-entry session. IPO then submits the grades to the Registrar to post. Please read the information below which explains the details.

Course Objective:

This three-part course, required of all semester abroad participants, is designed to prepare you for your semester abroad program, reflect on your experiences while you are abroad and challenge you to think about your encounter with your own culture/country upon returning home. Studies have shown that students who undergo a well-designed orientation program tend to have a higher probability of success when they encounter a cross-cultural conflict or difficulty or experience culture shock. This applies both to international students who study in the United States and American students preparing to study abroad. Some may think that the term “culture shock” is overplayed in some circles, but rest assured that just about everyone will face some level of stress and anxiety when placed in a cultural environment different than their own. The objective is to be able to identify and recognize the symptoms and be ready to cope with the stress so that the experience abroad will turn out to be a rewarding one.

The International Programs Office (IPO) will provide you with cross-cultural material, specific assignments and readings in order to satisfactorily fulfill this one-credit course.

This companion course to the actual on-site study will allow you to identify, examine and explore your personal objectives for undertaking the study. Linfield College has also identified some of the objectives and learning outcomes expected of all students who study abroad.


At the end of the semester or year of participation in a Linfield-administered program, participants must

be able to demonstrate the following:

 Language acquisition: participants must meet a desired level of proficiency in their language of study.

This will be determined through a pre and post test instrument specifically designed and administered by the Modern Languages Department. In some cases, the MLA faculty will also conduct mid-year evaluations of language proficiency for their majors.

 Ability to adapt and be successful in a culturally (and systemically) different educational environment.

 Ability to see and articulate similarities and differences between your own country/culture and the culture of your host country

 Ability to recognize, synthesize and articulate the cultural differences, norms, mores, habits and lifestyles of families in your host country compared with your own.


 Ability to utilize experiences abroad for (international) career building: participants should be able to write a succinct paragraph to this effect to be included in their revised resume.

 Have the skills to be more self-confident, more tolerant and flexible and less reliant on others.

Assessment tools:

 Pre and post language tests, as well as mid-year evaluations for year-long language majors.

 Coursework and final grades

 Mid-Semester assignment

 Returnee questionnaire and evaluation

 Re-entry discussion and assignment


Pre-Departure Preparation:

A pre and a post orientation assignment will accompany a day and a half of cross-cultural orientation session

(normally held in mid-March of each year), required of all participants The pre-orientation assignment will emailed to you after you have been accepted into the program and 1-2 weeks before orientation. It will be due the first day of orientation. The mandatory day and a half orientation session will include general discussion and presentation of various cross-cultural topics as well as information about the specific country of your destination. At the end of the first day (Friday), you will be asked to complete an assignment that will be due the following morning (Saturday). A post orientation assignment will allow you to summarize your thoughts about what you have gained from the sessions.


Your Experiences Abroad:

While you are abroad, we will send you a mid-semester assignment that is designed to reflect on your experience and to make comparisons across cultures, your own as well the one you are experiencing in the host country. You are required to submit your reactions via Blackboard (instructions on how to use this will be given during the March orientation program) or email to [email protected] In completing this on-site mid-semester assessment, you should be aware that IPO will post select entries on the Linfield website so that others in the community would also benefit from your experience abroad.

Mid-Semester Assessment

Please respond to the question/assignment below, with 2-3 thoughtful paragraphs.

 Identify someone from your host country (such as a roommate, a classmate, a member of your host family, a clerk at a local store, a program assistant at the study center, someone you met at the study center) and conduct an interview. Write 2-3 paragraphs to report your findings on these salient points

(make up your own questions to address these points):

 What surprised you the most about the lifestyles, mores, norms and habits of the person you interviewed compared to yours or people you encounter with back home?

 What are (cultural) similarities and differences you observed or learned (their preferences, tastes, outlook, values) between the person you interviewed and you?


 How did the interview experience and what you learned changed your initial perceptions of the host country?

 At the end of your report, include the name of the person you interviewed, who she/he is and the date of the interview.

In addition to this assignment, we also encourage you to write and post journal entries on the IPO website.

To submit an essay or a piece of creative writing, go to http://www.linfield.edu/ipo/study-abroadjournals.html. At the conclusion of your study, you will be asked to complete a “study abroad returnee” assessment of your learning experiences.


Returning home:

Studies have shown (and the Linfield experience has confirmed) that study abroad returnees often experience some level of anxiety about returning home and getting back to their normal routine after spending some time (semester or year) living in another culture. Most feel the value of sharing these feelings with fellow students who have had similar experiences. Hence, we have developed a re-entry workshop to provide for this discussion. For the final part of this course, you will be required to attend one re-entry session held each term. The dates for this session are provided below, along with information about the class meeting.


You will receive a passing grade for this course once you have satisfactorily completed all assignments associated with the three segments to this course: pre-departure, experience abroad, returning home.

Semester Abroad Mandatory Orientation Weekend:

Friday, March 17, 2017 (4:00-6 p.m.) in Jonasson Hall (followed by visa sessions for those in programs requiring visas) and

Saturday, March 18 (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) in Jonasson Hall; afternoon sessions in Walker or TJD Halls.


Due Dates

Fall 2016 Programs

Due Dates

Spring 2017 Programs

Pre-orientation Assignments March 17, 2017 March 17, 2017

Post-orientation Review

Mid-semester assignment:

Experiences Abroad



Reentry Class

March 24, 2017 March 24, 2017

Questions sent by our office for responses. Select entries will be posted on the IPO website and Linfield’s Digital Commons website.

Within 2 weeks of the end of your program.

Feb./March, 2018 Sept./Oct, 2018


Relevant texts:

These reference materials are available in Nicholson Library. Use these materials as a background to complete your assignments for this course.

Culture Shock publication for all destinations, published by Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company,

Portland Oregon. Similar publications are also available through Lonely Planet Publications.

Students with documented disabilities who may need accommodation, who have any emergency medical information that IPO should know, or require special arrangements in order to fully participate in the abroad program or in the event of a necessary evacuation from the study abroad site, should meet with a staff member in IPO as early in the process as possible, no later than a week after receiving the acceptance letter.

Students who have been accepted to participate in a semester/year study abroad program are expected to adhere to the college policy on academic honesty, as published in the Linfield College catalogue, in fulfilling the requirements of this course and in all the courses they would be taking while abroad.

The Overseas Security Advisory Council’s

Travel Safety Reference Guide

November 2011

In This Guide:



P. 1

P. 1

Know Before You Go



During Your Trip


Personal Conduct

P. 1

P. 1

P. 2

P. 2

P. 2

P. 3

Electronics Security


P. 4

P. 4


Preparing for the

“what if” scenarios


P. 5

P. 7

P. 8

About OSAC P. 9


Globalization has made overseas travel – be it for business, academia, charity, personal, or mission work – quite common. International travelers are exposed to many new experiences and phenomena and among these, certain risks. This guide offers international travelers information, tactics, techniques, and procedures to mitigate risks inherent to international travel.

OSAC acknowledges that every destination is unique and that no one resource can address all eventualities. Therefore, we have developed this reference in coordination with our constituents to inform the private sector of best practices for personnel safety abroad. The risks of international travel are no longer just tied to local or transnational crime. It is our hope that the enclosed recommendations will both encourage individuals to seek overseas opportunities and provide greater comfort and confidence for those traveling internationally.


Know Before You Go

 Register with the U.S. State Department’s

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .

 Review the U.S. State Department’s country specific information and OSAC’s country crime and safety reports .

 Do your homework. Visit country-specific websites for important information on your destination country.

 Understand the laws and currency exchange rates in your destination country.

 Be culturally aware; learn a few common phrases in the local language and the basics of the cultural values and norms.

 Get a map and study it. Identify potential hazards and safe havens; learn several routes to key places you will be staying/living/visiting.


 Pack your luggage wisely. Make sure to place any prohibited materials (scissors, files, other sharp objects) in your check-in luggage.

 Be sure to pack 2-3 day “survival items” in your carry-on bag. This includes: medicines and toiletries, an extra change of clothes (including undergarments), important documents, drinking water, snacks (e.g., Powerbars), and anything else you may want.

 Do not display company or other identifying logos on luggage. Place your pertinent contact information in a visible place inside each piece of luggage.

 Do not openly display your name tags on your luggage. Include only your name and contact number on your tags, and keep them covered or turn the paper over and write

“see other side.”

 Get a plain cover for your passport.


 Make out a will.

 Consider a privacy act waiver.

 Leave travel itinerary and contact information with family or friends; do not otherwise disclose.

 Consider getting a telephone calling card and a GSM (tri-band or “world”) cellular phone that allows access to most local cellular systems (and provides a single contact number). Depending on your situation, you may want to purchase a local phone or SIM card in country.

 Take out property insurance on necessary equipment (cameras, binoculars, laptops, etc.).

 Consider securing a new credit card with a low credit limit separate from existing credit cards; in the event of theft, your personal accounts will not be compromised.

 Notify your credit card company of your intent to travel; confirm credit limit and availability.


 Make sure health insurance covers foreign medical providers and medical evacuation expenses.

 Take an extra pair of glasses; depending on the destination, contact lenses can be problematic.

 Visit a travel clinic, inform them of destination(s), and get any needed inoculations and medications.

 Get a dental cleaning and checkup if you had not recently had one.

 Prep and pack a travel med kit; some items you may want to include:

 Anti-diarrheal medication

 Antibiotics

 Anti-malaria (if applicable)

 Antihistamine and decongestant

 Antacid and laxative

 Anti-fungal/anti-bacterial and hydrocortisone cream

 Anti-bacterial hand wipes/ hand sanitizer

 Pain reliever/fever reducer, sleep aid

 Gauze, bandages, and medical tape

 Insect repellant with DEET 35%

 Shaving razor, tweezers, manicure kits

 Sunscreen and aloe

 Thermometer

During Your Trip


Situational Awareness is very important domestically but becomes critically important overseas in unfamiliar environments. Keep your head up, eyes and ears open, and listen to your intuition! Situational awareness can and should be practiced and will improve the more you do so. Focus on seeing and remembering everything around you. It will seem extremely arduous and time-consuming at first but will become increasingly easier as time passes and proficiency is gained. Your goal should be for these efforts to become habitual and completed sub-consciously. Some important practices are:

 Trust your instinct; if a place does not feel right, move to a safer location – immediately.

 Assess your emotional and physical strengths and limitations.

 Be attentive to how others perceive you; behave in an unprovocative manner that discourages unwanted attention.

 Familiarize yourself with your neighborhood and work environment.

 Use common sense. Beware of EVERYONE, including pickpockets, scam artists, etc.

 Remove name tags or convention badges when outside the venue.

 Pay attention to local media for any activities or events that might affect you.

 Be aware of surroundings, including the people, cars, and alleys nearby.


 Keep alert to potential trouble, and choose to avoid when possible. Trust your instincts.

 Educate yourself of any pending events (elections, demonstrations, anniversaries) that may cause civil disturbance, and avoid unnecessary risks.

 Establish a support network among your colleagues and when possible, embassy personnel.

 Inform yourself of the availability and reliability of local support services (police, security, medical, emergency, fire).

 Confirm (with your embassy) the procedures for you and your family in the event of a crisis or evacuation.

 Politely decline offers of food or drink from strangers.

 Accept beverages only in sealed containers; make sure there has been no tampering.

Personal Conduct

You can dress, behave, and move about in a manner that is respectful of local custom, but rest assured,

YOU WILL NOT BLEND IN. Remember that whenever you travel anywhere, whether you realize it or not, you are representing yourself, your family, your organization, and your country. Your behavior and actions will be applied as a positive or negative impression of all that you represent. In many cultures, this will essentially make or break your ability to successfully function and interact in another culture. Always keep in mind the following:

 Behave maturely and in a manner befitting your status in the local society; insist on being treated with respect.

 Dress in a manner that is inoffensive to local cultural norms.

 Avoid clothing that shows your nationality or political views.

 Establish personal boundaries and act to protect them.

 Exercise additional caution when carrying and displaying valuable possessions (jewelry, phone, sunglasses, camera, etc.); what may be a simple, even disposable item to you, may be a sign of extreme affluence to another.

 Vary your patterns of life/behavior to be less predictable.

 Divide money among several pockets; if you carry a wallet, carry it in a front pocket.

 If you carry a purse, carry it close to your body. Do not set it down or leave it unattended.

 Take a patient and calm approach to ambiguity and conflict.

 Radiate confidence while walking in public places.

 Do not expect privacy, anywhere.

 Do not discuss personal, professional, or financial issues of your group or yourself; these can be used to exploit you and your group.

 Be cool when facing confrontation; focus on de-escalation and escape.

 Respect local sensitivities to photographing/videotaping, especially at airports, police, and government facilities.

 Carry required official identification with you at all times.

 Report any security incidents to your embassy or consulate (who will advise you of options including reporting to local authorities, prosecution, corrective measures, etc.).

 Maintain a low profile, especially in places where there may be hostility toward foreigners and/or citizens of your country; do not seek publicity.

 Avoid public expressions about local politics, religion, and other sensitive topics.

 Avoid being out alone late at night or after curfew.

 Stay alert.

 Be unpredictable.

 Carry yourself with confidence.

 Be aware of distractions.

 Watch for surveillance. If you see the same person/vehicle twice, it could be surveillance; if you see it three times, it probably is surveillance.


Electronics Security

 First and foremost: if you don’t NEED it, don’t bring it!

 If you need to bring a laptop and/or phone and have “clean” ones available, use them.

 Back up and then wipe (sanitize) your laptop, phone, and any other electronics to ensure that no sensitive or personal data is on them while traveling .

 Carry laptop in a protective sleeve in a backpack/purse/bag that does not shout “there’s a computer in here.”


 Do not leave your electronic devices unattended.

 Do not use local computers to connect to your organization’s secure network.

 Clear your temporary files, to include your temporary internet files, browser history, caches, and cookies after each use.

 Consider opening a new e-mail account (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, etc.) for use during your trip.

 Ensure you update your computer’s security software (antivirus, firewall, etc.) and download any outstanding security patches for your operating system and key programs.

 Upon return, change all of your passwords for devices and accounts (including voicemail) used while traveling.


Air Travel

Air travel can be incredibly convenient and frustrating at the same time. While traveling you are extremely vulnerable and must bear this in mind that a distracted individual is a prime target for all kinds of nefarious actions. You must control what you can and readily adapt to, as well as what you cannot (i.e., flight schedules/delays and time to clear security). Here are some key considerations:

 Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing.

 Arrive at the airport in plenty of time (1.5 – 2 hours before departure).

 Move through passenger security immediately after ticketing and locate your departure gate.

 Stay with your bags at all times.

 Set your watch to local time at destination upon take off.

 Be careful about how much of your personal/business information you share with fellow passengers; they are still strangers.

 Limit intake of alcohol in flight, and drink plenty of water to counteract “jet lag”. This will help limit stress and increase alertness.

 If possible, pre-arrange transport from the airport to your hotel. Consider paying the additional room rate for a hotel that provides shuttle service to and from the airport.

 Have your immigration and customs documents in order and available. A durable folder secured by a buckle or elastic band may be useful.

Ground Travel

Ground travel poses several risks to the traveler. Not only are you more vulnerable, but many places do

not have the traffic laws, enforcement, infrastructure, or assistance that you are accustomed to. Be prepared. You will be in an unfamiliar environment and may have to contend with, among other things, dangerous road conditions; untrained or unlicensed drivers; drivers operating under the influence of alcohol and/or narcotics; vehicles that are poorly maintained and therefore hazardous, police and/or criminal checkpoints or roadblocks, and others with malicious intentions. Some recommendations for ground travel are:


 Use a common vehicle model (local taxis may be a good indicator). If you rent, remove any markings that identify vehicle as a rental.

 If you have to drive, always leave a path for escape when you stop (at a light, stop sign, cross-walk, etc.).

 Park in a manner that expedites your departure.

 Carry a cell phone, first aid kit, maps, flashlight, and official documents in your vehicle.

 Keep the vehicle windows rolled up and the doors locked.

 Use the seat belts.

 Be alert to scam artists and carjackers while stopped in traffic.

 Understand the proper local procedures should you be involved in or witness a traffic accident. In some locales, stopping for an accident can put your life at risk.

 Only take official, licensed taxis; note the license plate number of taxi and write it down.

 Avoid getting into a taxi already occupied by others. If necessary, pay extra for a single fare. Negotiate a price before getting in taxi. Have money ready to pay in appropriate denominations.

 Take a seat on a bus or train that allows you to observe fellow passengers but does not preclude options to change seats if necessary.


At the Hotel

For most destinations you travel to (in addition to being an obvious foreigner), you will be considered wealthy and a prime target. You should not consider a hotel a complete safe haven, there are still many threats and you are potentially very vulnerable at them. Some important considerations:

 Use reputable hotels, hostels, or boarding houses; your safety is worth any added cost.

 Remind hotel staff to not give out your room number.

 Meet visitors in the lobby; avoid entertaining strangers in your room.

 Take a walk around the hotel facilities to familiarize yourself with your environment. Are hotel personnel located on each floor? Are they in uniform? Do they display any identification? Who else has access to your floor?

 Ensure the phone in your room works. Call the front desk.

 Inspect the room carefully; look under the bed, in the showers and closets.

 Ensure door and window locks are working. Do not forget the sliding glass door, if the room has one.

 Ensure the door has a peephole and chain lock.

 Avoid ground floor rooms at the hotel. Third through fifth floors are normally desirable (harder to break into, but still accessible to firefighting equipment – where available).

 Read the safety instructions in your hotel room. Familiarize yourself with hotel emergency exits and fire extinguishers.

 Count the doors between your room and nearest emergency exit (in case of fire or blackout). Rehearse your escape plan.

 Keep all hotel doors locked with a dead bolt or chain at all times (do not forget the sliding glass door and windows).

 Consider traveling with a rubber door stop, smoke detector, and motion detector.

 Identify your visitor before you open the door.

 If you doubt room delivery, check with the front desk before opening the door.

 If you are out of your room, leave television/radio on at high volume. Place a “do not disturb” sign outside door.

 Do not leave sensitive documents or valuables visible and unattended in the room.

 Keep your laptop out of sight, in a safe, or in a locked suitcase. You may wish to use a laptop cable lock to secure your laptop to a window frame or bathroom plumbing.


 Keep your room number to yourself. If your room key is numbered or has your room number on a key holder, keep it out of sight. If a hotel clerk announces your room number loud enough for others to hear, ask for a new room.

 If you leave the hotel, carry the hotel business card with you; it may come in handy with a taxi driver who does not speak your language.


When residing overseas, it is critically important to understand the threat environment in which you will be living. Take the time to reach out to the resources available, including security professionals in your organization, the local embassy or consulate, and the appropriate crime and safety reports. Here are some security measures you might want to consider:

 Avoid housing on single-entry streets with a dead end or cul-de-sac.

 Housing near multiple intersections can be beneficial.

 Ensure the sound, secure structure of your residence.

 Strictly control access to and distribution of keys.

 Install adequate lighting, window grilles, alarm systems, and perimeter walls as necessary.

 Establish access procedures for strangers and visitors.

 Hire trained guards and night patrols; periodically check-up on guards.

 Set-up a safe room in your house; consider adding additional locks

 Establish rapport with neighbors. Is there a “neighborhood watch” program?

 Seek guidance from local colleagues or expatriates who have insight into local housing arrangements.

 Ensure adequate communications (telephone, radio, cell phone) with local colleagues, authorities, and your Embassy.

 Install a back-up generator and/or solar panels.

 Set aside emergency supplies (food, water, medicine, fuel, etc.).

 Install smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide monitors, as appropriate.

 Avoid sleeping with the windows open or unlocked.

 Speak on the phone inside, somewhere that is and away from windows (through which you can be seen and heard).

 Ensure all windows have treatments that can prevent external observation.

 Lock up items, such as ladders and hand-tools, which could be used to facilitate forced entry.

 Store emergency funds in multiple places around the house.

 Keep a “go-bag” with clothes, water, and food (Powerbars, etc.) for three days packed and ready at all times. Keep copies of important documents and some emergency funds with the bag. Keep other necessary items (medications, etc.) in a centralized place for easy placement into bag. Key items include:

 Documentation

 Copies of all key documentation

 Passport and/or national ID

 Driver’s License

 Health Insurance Card

 Communication

 Mobile phone – including a charger and extra battery

 Work and emergency contact lists

 Satellite Phone (if available)

 GPS devise (if available)

 Food and water

 Water bottle

 Purification tablets

 Energy bars / dried fruit / nuts


 Other essentials

 Cash (USD and local currency)

 Full change of clothing

 Rain jacket

 Sweater

 Walking shoes or boots (with heel and closed toe)

 Insect repellant

 Matches (ideally windproof and waterproof)

 Flashlight (with extra batteries)

 Medical/first aid kit

 Sun screen

 Sunglasses

 Toiletries

 Toilet paper

 Extended items

 Sleeping bag or blanket

 Mosquito net

Preparation for the “what if” scenarios

If You Become a Victim

Despite all of your efforts to reduce exposure to risks and to avoid threats, you may still become the victim of a crime or critical event. Following are some general response strategies:

 Remain calm and alert.

 Carefully note details of the environment around you (license plate number, distinguishing features, accents, clothing, etc.).

 First, try to defuse the situation. Culturally appropriate greetings or humor may reduce tensions.

 If an assailant demands property, give it up.

 You can create a timely diversion by tossing your wallet, watch, etc. to the ground in the opposite direction you choose to flee.

 Against overwhelming odds (weapons, multiple assailants) try reasoning, cajoling, begging, or any psychological ploy.

 If someone tries to grab you, make a scene and fight; kick, punch, claw, scratch, and grab as if your life depends on it, it very well could.

 If you feel your life is endangered and you decide to physically resist, commit to the decision with every fiber of your being; turn fear into fury.

 Report any incident your embassy.

 Seek support for post-traumatic stress (even if you exhibit no symptoms).


 You may be targeted for kidnapping. As discussed previously, when traveling, you represent yourself, your family, your organization, and your homeland (or perceived homeland). You may be targeted due to any of these affiliations, or you may simply just end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Because abduction situations vary greatly, the following considerations should be applied based on one’s best judgment at the time:

 Know the “ransom” policy of your government. The United States of America will not pay a ransom.

 The greatest risk of physical harm exists at the point of capture and during a rescue attempt or upon release.


 If you are going to resist at the point of capture, do so as if your life depends on it; it most probably does.

 Remain calm and alert; exert control on your emotions and behavior.

 Humanize yourself, quickly and continually.

 Be passively cooperative, but maintain your dignity.

 Assume an inconspicuous posture and avoid direct eye contact with captors.

 Avoid resistance, belligerence, or threatening movements.

 Make reasonable, low-key requests for personal comforts (bathroom breaks, a blanket, exercise, books to read, etc.)

 If questioned, keep answers short; volunteer nothing.

 As a captive situation draws out, try to establish some rapport with your captors.

 Avoid discussing contentious issues (politics, religion, ethnicity, etc.)

 Establish a daily regimen to maintain your body physically and mentally.

 Eat what your captors provide. Avoid alcohol.

 Keep a positive, hopeful attitude.

 Attempt to escape only after weighing the risks and when you are certain to succeed.


U.S. Department of State and OSAC

 Overseas Security Advisory Council: www.osac.gov

 Country Crime and Safety Reports: www.osac.gov/Pages/ContentReports.aspx?cid=2

 Visit www.travel.state.gov

for security advisories and other travel guidance

 Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP): www.travel.state.gov/step

 Country Specific Information: www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_4965.html

 U.S. State Department’s role in a crisis: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/ emergencies_1212.html

World Factbook

 CIA World Factbook: www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html

Study Abroad

 To get the latest in education abroad security information and training, go to www.globalscholar.us

 U.S. State Department Students Abroad website: www.studentsabroad.state.gov

 NAFSA (Association of International Educators) and The Forum on Education Abroad: http:// nafsa.org/ http://www.forumea.org/


 Review the climate and weather at your point of destination and/or any layover cities: www.weather.com

Travel Medicine/Health

 Centers for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov/travel

 World Health Organization: www.who.int/ith


About OSAC

OSAC's Commitment

The Overseas Security Advisory Council is committed to providing the American private sector with customer service of the highest standard. As OSAC is a joint venture with the private sector, we strive to maintain standards equal to or surpassing those provided by private industry. OSAC activities directly correspond to requests from the private sector.

OSAC has received exceptional support for its initiatives from the chief executive officers and corporate security directors of many of the largest international corporations in the United States. The U.S. State

Department and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security recognize the need in OSAC's goal to support the

U.S. private sector by continuing to develop an effective and cost-efficient security information and communication network that will provide the private sector with the tools needed to cope with security-related issues in the foreign environment. OSAC's unique charter and continued success serve as an example of the benefits of mutual cooperation.


The U.S. State Department's Overseas Security Advisory Council (Council) is established to promote security cooperation between American private sector interests worldwide (Private Sector) and the U.S.

Department of State.

The objectives of the Council, as outlined in its Charter, are:

 To establish continuing liaison and to provide for operational security cooperation between State Department security functions and the Private Sector.

 To provide for regular and timely interchange of information between the Private Sector and the

State Department concerning developments in the overseas security environment.

 To recommend methods and provide material for coordinating security planning and implementation of security programs.

 To recommend methods to protect the competitiveness of American businesses operating worldwide.

For more information and to join the Overseas Security Advisory Council, please visit www.osac.gov


This document is a compilation of constituent and OSAC efforts and is meant to serve as a reference guide for private sector best practices. OSAC wishes to thank all of our constituents who generously provided their input and assistance. A special thank you to Michael O’Neil, Director of Global Safety and Security, Save the Children International, whose contributions were vital and provided the foundation for this reference guide.





The China Studies Institute advises us students usually spend approximately $2,000 out of pocket on items such as books, food, local transportation, etc. The amount for independent travel would be at your own discretion.

Be aware of the exchange rate while you are there. Currently, 1 US DOLLAR = 6.86

Chinese Yuan (as of November 15, 2016).


Transportation (local)

Independent travel







Total estimated cost:**











If you are on a tight budget, these items can be reduced considerably by concentrating on local travel and taking care with discretionary expenditures.


Plan to exchange $200 USD into your country's currency, preferably at the airport of departure or you can exchange currency at most airports of arrival, but often arrival is a hectic time plus you might be experiencing jet-lag.

The easiest method for obtaining funds is to use an internationally recognized ATM

(Automatic Teller Machine) card – such as PLUS or CIRRUS –for cash withdrawals. You will need to get a pin number from your bank, and you will probably be able to withdraw money only from checking accounts, not savings accounts. Be sure to check with your

bank here at home. Have a back-up plan in case your card does not work. ATM's are not always available outside of cities.

Another practical solution to international banking is a VISA credit card. You can use the card to charge expenses in most stores, restaurants, and hotels. You can also get cash advances at exchange windows of many banks. Be aware, however, that there is often a fee for the advance plus interest charges that begin immediately after withdrawal.

It is also advisable to photocopy the backs of all your ATM/credit cards and keep that with a photocopy of your passport. If you lose any of your cards, you will have the phone numbers to call the companies.

Spring 2018

Classes Begin


Classes End



14 January

30 April

Linfield Student Guide

Beijing University

Beijing, China


Table of Contents

Before You Go ……………………………………………………………………………3

Travel Tips ………………………………………………………………………………..6

When You Get There ……………………………………………………………………..6



Beijing University ………………………………………………………………...8

Host University - Peking University/Beida

Class registration ………………………………….………………………………9

Location …………………………………………………………………………..8

Housing ………………………………………………………………………….10

Postage ………………………………………………………………………..…11

Campus facilities ………………………………………………………………...11

Food …..…………………………………………………………………………13

Money matters …………………………………………………………………..14

Student life ………………………………………………………………………15


Transportation …………………………………………………………………...16

Sightseeing ……….……………………………………………………………...18

Shopping ……….……………...………………………………………………...19

Health …………………………………………………………………................19

Safety ……….…………………………………………………………………...21

Final notes ……………………………………………………………………………….22


Before You Go

• Learn as much as you can about China, Beijing, any surrounding areas you may want to visit, and Beijing University.

• Make sure IPO has all your contact information and your financial aid is in order.

• Make sure the coordinators in Beijing know your flight schedule and your current address (they will send documents you need to get a visa).

• Make sure your passport doesn’t expire while you’re abroad. Many countries require that your passport is valid at least six months after your return. If you don’t have a passport, then apply for one immediately. New passports cost $100 and renewals cost $75.

• If needed, get a student visa. In the case of Beijing, if you’re studying for less than 6 months apply for an F-visa, which is also for short-term study. If you get an X-visa, you will need to apply for a residence permit within 30 days of your arrival. Second-best after an F visa is a tourist visa. The program will help you with the necessary adjustments once you’re in Beijing.

• Register with the Embassy. U.S. citizens must register with the U.S. Embassy before departure from the U.S. In the event that a passport is lost or there is an emergency, the Embassy is better able to assist you if you have registered. Visit the Department of State’s website at http://travel.state.gov to register.

• Make a copy of your passport, visa and the confirmation of your registration with the Embassy and leave it with your mom or dad.

• Make sure you get all your shots and have a dental checkup.

• Sign up for a Skype account to keep in touch with friends and family.


• Write down Beijing University and its address in Chinese on a card in case you need to take a taxi. You can hand it to the driver and he will know where to bring you. All drivers know where the University is so if you do not have the address on you simply tell them “Beida”.

• Packing o Pack lightly, since you will be carrying your things up stairs and through airport security. To make sure you haven’t over-packed, carry your bags around the block and up some stairs, then re-evaluate what you really need. o Check with the airline about baggage allowances. Note how many checkin bags are allowed, and what the weight limit is.Checking a second bag may be cheaper if you check it in online before the flight. o Keep in mind that you will buy things while you’re abroad, so leave space for these items. o Pack your most important items in your carry-on, but don’t pack any liquids or sharp objects (even sewing kits aren’t allowed on the plane). o Pack a smaller duffle bag to allow you to pack lightly while traveling for the weekend or for the two week trip at the end of the program.

• What to bring o 220/240V converter o Passport and visa, as well as photocopies kept separately o Traveler’s checks, credit cards, local currency o Insurance card o Medical records o Medication o First aid kit


o Adaptors (Voltage in China is similar enough to US voltage so you don’t need a converter, but the plugs are slightly different. They are uniform double prong plugs, meaning they don’t have a larger prong or any threehole sockets. You may not have problem with plugging in your laptop but hair blow dryers can blow a fuse) o Travel kit/first aid kit/sewing kit (not in carry-on) o Camera o Alarm clock o Your acceptance letter o Linfield student ID o A pocket dictionary o Gifts for any host families or friends o Toiletries, including feminine hygiene items (if you use tampons, you will want to bring some along, it is nearly impossible to purchase them in

Beijing) o Contraceptives such as birth control (enough for the whole trip) o An umbrella o Rain boots (you will need these in Beijing), warm boots, shower flip-flops, comfortable walking shoes, dress shoes, running shoes o A formal outfit. Two or three if you’re doing an internship, and more if you are planning on going to parties or cultural events such as the Beijing

Opera. o Swim suit and workout clothes o Jeans, shorts, skirts, shits, dresses for everyday use o Warm clothes, such as sweaters and gloves, and clothes that you can layer o 14 pairs of underwear o 14 pairs of socks

Travel Tips


• Wear comfortable clothing; you will be in them for a while. At the same time, realize that you are not traveling alone, and depending on who you sit next to on the plane, you may want to look presentable.

• Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off, as some airports require you to remove your shoes and run them through the airport scanner.

• Drink plenty of fluids on the flight, but skip the alcohol. Chinese will be even more confusing if you’re drunk.

• Say “thank you” to the people helping you, even if it is their job.

• Keep your passport easy to access.

• Keep your laptop easy to access, sometimes you will be required to run in through the airport scanner separately.

• Adjust your watch to the time in Beijing, where you will be landing.

• Do NOT put your passport in the seat pocket in front of you. Keep it on your person or in your bag.

• Try to sleep on the plane so you aren’t exhausted when you arrive.

• Bring lotion, moisturizer, and sunblock

Keep the Entry/ Departure customs card the flight

attendants give you, as you will need it for your return flight.


When You Get There

• The Beijing airport was renovated for the 2008 Olympics and has signs in English, making it easy to navigate.

• Exchange $200 into RMB (also known as Yuan) for pocket money. If you are planning on taking a taxi, make sure you have change.

• Ignore people who approach you offering a taxi, because they will likely overcharge you. If you want a taxi then go to the taxi queue outside.

• Sometimes a taxi driver will try to offer you a fixed price; do not accept it. Insist that he turns on the meter before you begin the trip or leave the taxi. But;

• There will be a toll charge in addition to the meter price (around 10 yuan) because there is a toll on the airport road. The driver pays this at the toll both then adds it to your fee afterwards. If the driver asks you to pay at the booth, get a receipt.

• There’s also a 2 yuan charge for gas on trips further than 3km.

• Get a local cellular phone or an international SIM card that can be used in your current phone

• Purchase an international calling card for emergencies so you can contact the U.S.

Use the hotel phone with the card to avoid extra charges on your cell phone.

• Don’t panic if you can’t understand anything anyone is saying, many Chinese know a little English. Especially the younger generations.

• Adjust to the time zone as quickly as possible by eating and sleeping according to the local time.

Although China is working to minimize its pollution rates, bad air quality is a fact of life in Beijing and other modern cities. It is quite normal for people to wear masks and respirators when walking around outdoors. Your best bet is an N95 respirator mask that filters 95% of airborne particles larger than


0.3mm. You can buy them in pharmacies, stores like Home Depot or Lowes as well as online.



Beijing is the capital of China and the country’s political, economic and cultural center.

It’s rich in history and located on the edge of the North China Plain. It’s the second largest city in China and contains more than 12 million people. It is the most concentrated place of China’s historical sites and scenic spots. Beijing starts getting cold in November.

In December it is quiet, cold, windy and dusty. December and January may bring snow. It will start getting warm again in March, and the hotter months in Beijing are generally from May to July. March and April are nice spring months, and August and September are nice fall months.

Beijing University

Beijing University is known as Peking University (PKU), or more casually, “Beida,” the abbreviated form of “Beijing Daxue,” which is Beijing University in Chinese. It was founded as the Imperial University of Peking in 1898 and was the first national comprehensive university. It’s establishment signified the beginning of China’s modern history of higher education. Peking University emphasizes diligence, conscientiousness, truthfulness and innovation. PKU is also landscaped with gardens and courtyards, and is a friendly campus for international students practicing Chinese. There is twenty-four hour security, making it a safe campus day or night. It was also among the first universities in


China to develop programs for international students with language training and culture dissemination. PKU has partnerships with more than 200 universities in 50 countries and regions. At present, Peking University has 46,074 students, among whom 4,400 are international students from 80 countries.

Host University - Peking



Peking University is located in the Haidian district. It’s 38 kilometers away from the

Capital Airport, 18 kilometers away from Tianamen Square and the Forbidden City and 3 kilometers away from the Summer Palace. Most of these places are easily accessible by subway or taxi.

Class registration

Students who have been accepted into the program are contacted by the coordinators from Beijing University around late May to early July. The classes listed on the website are a guideline, but keep in mind that they change every semester. A complete class list will be sent out to students in time for pre-registration, which occurs in June. Required textbooks will also be sent out via email, and students are responsible for their own textbooks. To avoid packing heavy textbooks in your luggage it is easy and cheaper to get the books once on campus. The program has extra books as well so they will send an email about borrowing books from their office when they email you about required readings. These books are first come first serve so be pro active in reserving books. For language courses, textbooks will be provided. The class schedules are sent out in July.

Classes meet once a week in 3-hour-sessions, and language classes for non-immersion


students meet for 9 hours a week in both the mornings and afternoon. All courses except language courses are taught in English in the history department, and if a class has fewer than five students enrolled it is subject to cancellation.

Students are allowed to add or drop classes within the first two weeks of the semester, but if a student has missed the first two sessions of class, he or she won’t be able to add that class.

Immersion students can expect to be at school from 8:30am to around 4:30-5:00pm with an hour and a half lunch break and ten minute breaks between each session. The sessions include conversational, one-on-one, comprehensive, and drill. Every Friday, every

Immersion class will be tested on the week’s material and have an afternoon activity with their teachers. For example, visiting a local elementary school, practicing asking strangers for directions, or ordering at a restaurant. The language pledge is enforced from

Monday morning through Friday afternoon, both in class and at home.


On campus dorms: The on campus dorms are triple occupancy, and are the most standard option. Most students will be in Shaoyuan, where he or she will live with students from your school unless you specify you do not want to live with students from your home college or you are not going to China with students from your school. If this is the case, you will room with other students from the program.. These dorms come with private bath, airconditioning, TV, internet access and a telephone. There are two


bedrooms: a double and a single room. It may be a good idea to move all beds into the double room and make the single room into a study room. Beddings will be provided along with towels. Room service will come in every morning to switch out the towels and the bedding if necessary. They also provide hot water as the tap water should not be consumed. Note: there are no elevators, so pack light!

Off campus hotels: Off campus hotels are less expensive than the dorms but are five to ten minutes away on foot. They have the same facilities as the dorms.

Off campus apartments: A limited number of off campus apartments are available in Chinese residential neighborhoods. These have air conditioning, TV, internet access, telephone, a bath and a kitchen. They are ten to fifteen minutes away, but students will be able to interact more with Chinese citizens. If you are not in the Immersion program, there are certain requirements to live off campus, such as fluency in Chinese or having previously lived in China.

If you are in the immersion program

Homestay: Students who have chosen the immersion course (an intensive Chinese language option) can choose to live with a local host-family, called a homestay. Some of the homestays are further from campus, some as far as 45 minutes. You will be responsible for subway or taxi fare to and from school.


There is an on-campus post office located in Shaoyuan building #7. When you receive mail, a notification will be posted on the window of the front desk in your building. To claim mail, go to the mail office with our passport and the notice. The standard price for sending a letter to the U.S. from China is 6 yuan. The history


department also allows you to have your mail and packages sent to the department. They will email you to notify you of the package and you can pick it up when the office is open.

There is also a larger post office on campus that handles all kinds of mail services, including selling stamps and envelops.

Keep in mind that this is international mail and it is common for mail and packages to be lost in the mail.

Mailing address for Shaoyuan buildings:

Rm. # ___

Shaoyuan building # ___

Peking University

Beijing, 100871, China

Campus facilities

Classrooms – Air-conditioned and equipped with modern aural comprehension training facilities. The Centennial Commemorative Hall (close to the Audio & Video Education

Center) can be used by teachers and students for meetings, performances, or to show films.

University Library – The largest university in Asia, with 5.51 million books and more than 6,500 Chinese and foreign journals and newspapers. They also have many rare books, and a digital library system that provides an online catalogue, international pool search, subject uploading paper search and citation. There are over a hundred workstations where you can look through more than 270 academic CD-ROMs and various foreign network databases and e-journals. In order to use the library you will


need to pay for each visit using your meal card. If you want to check books out, they require you to put down a large deposit before checking books out. If you need a book from the library, you should talk to Chinese friends to check them out for you or talk to the history department about getting the book for you.

Gyms – In front of Shaoyuan buildings are badminton, tennis, volleyball and basketball courts that are open to all international students. Some facilities such as the swimming pools require a usage fee, and equipment can be rented by presenting your student ID card. There are two gyms and a tennis court on campus. There are also indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a track, football field, and basketball, volleyball, tennis and badminton courts. The Sports Activities Center also holds pool tables, table tennis and rock climbing areas. There are a few stadiums where events such as sports competitions are sometimes held.

Kangmeile gym is in the basement of Natural Science Building No. 1 and generally charges 580 yuan for half a year.

Wusi gym is close to the south gate and holds a swimming pool. It charges 8 yuan per visit for students.

The tennis court is just east of Shaoyuan building 7, and the charge is 30-40 yuan per hour. Rackets are not provided. The admission is free, however, for the track and field and outdoor basketball court.

University hospital – Located in the northwest area. There is a fee of 3 yuan for ordinary cases and 5 yuan for emergency cases. Students must bring their student ID cards, and are responsible for their own prescriptions. There are extra charges for house calls.


If you are suffering from a serious illness, you can go to Peking University’s Third

Hospital, called the Chinese-Japanese Friendship Hospital, or the ISOS Clinic where there are special outpatient services and wards for foreigners. The ISOS clinic has a pharmacy that carries many western medications.

Laundry – There are on-campus laundry services as well as coin- and card-operated washing machines inside dorm buildings. The washing machines in the dorm building cost approximately 5 yuan. Many choose to hang the clothes to air dry but there is one dryer available to dry clothes. On-campus laundry services are approximately 10-20 yuan for a load of laundry and they will wash, dry, and fold your clothes.

Off campus student apartments all have washing machines. However they do not have dryers, so hanging up your clothing to dry is a necessity.


There are more than a dozen cafeterias and restaurants on campus. In order to eat in the cafeteria, you must buy a “fanka,” a prepaid dining card. All meals are subsidized by the government, making them very inexpensive. Therefore, a 15 percent charge will be deducted from each meal that you purchase. For example, if you purchase a meal that is 5 yuan, it will charge your card 5.75 yuan. There are also plenty of eating places within walking distance of the campus. Meals are generally 5-25 yuan. There is also a large supermarket and grocery stores on campus that sell food, drinks, stationary and other daily items. There are also many stores and boutiques within walking distance. Wu Mei is a mini-supermarket on campus that resembles Wal-Mart. It’s located on the southern side of Shaoyuan 7. There is also a small convenience store in the front of Shaoyuan 2.The

French hypermarket and Carefour are about two bus stops away from Peking University


in the Zhangguancun area. Lotus Center is a hypermarket in WuDaoKou, also around two bus stops away from the east gate of Peking University. Chaoshifa is the most common supermarket chain in Beijing. They are like an Albertsons or Safeway. They can be found near all of the student apartments and in many other places throughout the city.

Money matters

The estimated cost for food, transportation and shopping over one semester can be as low as $800 and can go upwards of $3000 depending on how much you purchase and how much you travel. You may spend more if you choose to travel in your spare time, but the program already includes many excursions. Bring around $200 in cash to exchange when you land. If you plan to travel frequently and buy a lot of souvenirs, I would suggest

$3,000 USD.

• Students are advised to have at least one credit card in their name, and have parents co-sign so if there are problems, the parent can take care of it. A VISA is more widely accepted in China than MasterCard.

• The most convenient way to access funds is through an ATM machine, but keep copies of your cards on you in case you need the phone numbers. The maximum amount you can withdraw in a day is $300, roughly 2,000 yuan. ATMs at major shopping malls such as Wangfujing and Xidan will accept most international

ATM cards, but the machines in Peking University may not. Visa cards should work as long as the card has Cirrus or Plus on the back, which the ATM will recognize as a conversion system. Most ATM transactions will charge a conversion fee so be aware of what your bank charges.


• Be aware that most credit card or debit card transactions charge a fee.

• Business hours for banks are generally from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to

Saturday. Most banks do have 24 hour ATM’s that are easily accessible.

• The larger bank chains such as Bank of China, Construction Bank of China,

Agricultural bank of China will have English options readily available when you begin your transaction.

On campus banks:

The Industrial Commercial Bank of China

Agricultural Bank of China

Nearby banks:

Bank of China

China Construction Bank

Bank of Communications

Student life

You can make friends with Chinese students by joining organizations and participating in activities. There are recruitments every semester, just go to the recruiting fair or ask any program assistants. There are also numerous students who would like an English speaking partner. Beijing University also sponsors many culture events, talent shows and dances.


Immersion students should expect to spend the large part of their semester preparing for class and doing homework. Do not expect to be able to attend all club meetings, sports games or on campus events if you choose the immersion path.

Public restrooms in China normally do not have toilet paper. Always carry a few packets of tissue with you. Western Style (sit) toilets are uncommon in China. Instead the majority of toilets are squatters. All student apartments both on and off campus will have western toilets, but the classroom buildings have only squat toilets. Some homestays may also lack western toilets.



The most cost effective way to travel is by subway or bus. The subway is one of the quickest ways to get around in Beijing because it avoids traffic jams, but during rush hour the cars get very crowded. The subway is easy to navigate since stops are announced in both Chinese and English. As of December 2014 the subway fare is now relative to how far you travel. The more transfers and stops you make the more expensive the trip will be. On average it will be less than 6 yuan.

Buses and bus routes can get complicated, but if you purchase a Beijing

Transportation Smart Card, you may get up to 60 percent off bus fares. The smart card works as a pre-loaded transportation card that you can swipe to get into the subways and onto busses. They may also be used as debit cards at some supermarkets, toll booths, and some pay phones. Don’t load too much onto these cards, however, because if you lose your card there is no way to retrieve the money inside. You don’t need anything to apply


for the card, but you must put a 20 yuan deposit for the card. So if you load 40 yuan, there will be 20 on the card. This deposit will be returned when you return the card. You can buy and reload the card at all metro stations, some bus stations and some supermarkets. Place the card on the card reader at the front of the bus in order to use it.

Sometimes you will also have to place the card reader on the bus when getting off. Far is

2 yuan regardless of time or distance. If the bus has three doors, board on the middle and exit through the other two. If paying for a bus in cash, bring small notes and exact change, because no change will be given. CSI will show you how to use the subway system, but often does not guide students with the bus.


Taxis are the most convenient but they also get expensive, and during rush hour the street traffic can come to a standstill. They are still less expensive compared to the

U.S. taxi rate, with an initial fee of 13 yuan and an additional 2.3 yuan per kilometer.

There is a fuel surcharge of 2 yuan for each ride. Rates are usually posted on the right side window. When taking a taxi, be sure to keep the receipt with you in case you leave anything in the cab and want to get them back.


Visa office: 8402-0101

Airport Shuttle Bus:

6459-4375, 6459-4376

Some of the popular international places to visit over the long breaks are Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, , Mongolia and Hong Kong. If you plan on leaving the country for any travel during your semester, including Hong Kong you need to have a multiple entry visa.

However, you don’t have to go out of the country to see cool things. Since you’re in China, I would suggest traveling within China (it’s cheaper, too). The following are a list of suggested places within China. o Inner Mongolia (no visa needed for this, and if you only have a single-entry, it’ll work) o Xi’an o Shanghai


o Nanjing o Hangzhou o Suzhou o Pingyao o Yuntai mountain o Taishan (mountain) o Hainan Island o Dalian o Kunming o Guilin o Chengdu

** Before visiting any of the places above be sure to check and see if the two week trip you will be going on at the end of the program does not include the places above**


Bargain in markets and small shops, but not in large department stores or supermarkets. You can ask “ke yi pian yi yidianr ma?” which means “can you go a little cheaper?” Never ask “how much” in English. If you can, say it in Chinese at first

(especially if you can pass for a local). They tend to charge less to people who speak


Look at how much locals pay, and price check between two to three difference stores. If you’re shopping in touristy areas such as the Great Wall, always bargain. The prices will be exorbitant no matter what you ask about. To save money, make sure you really want whatever item you are buying and know your price limit before you get into any serious bargaining. A good tip is to mentally convert the price in yuan to the price in


USD. Then ask yourself if you would spend that much money on the same item back in the states.

The Silk Market is far from campus, but still reachable through the subway. It’s the famous shopping district of Beijing and has many different goods you can bargain for, such as clothes and souvenirs. It’s gotten more tourist-oriented, however, but there are still good prices – if you know how to bargain. Some fun places to go near campus where you don’t have to bargain are EC Mall and Zhongguancun Shopping District. These are located in Zhongguancun, which is only a bus stop away.


When applying for a China visa, you may be required to undergo a medical examination at a specific accredited clinic that the Chinese embassy will specify. They will need you to test for such diseases as AIDS, typhoid, etc. Routinely, you will have a blood test, an x-ray examination, a psychological analysis (simple standardized test), and a routine physical.

Make sure you’re insured! Inform your insurance companies about you travel and make arrangements as required. The program will provide information about medical services and assist students in accessing them.

Some recommended immunizations are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, tetanus, and diphtheria.

It might also be a good idea to get an influenza vaccine. No immunizations are required.

You may want to take some routine prescription and medications in case. Also, have a copy of your medical records.


Medical Facilities in Beijing

At Peking University, there is a school clinic, which is convenient for getting basic doctor consultation and medicines. Student may also choose to go to the following hospitals where English-speaking doctors are available:

Asian Emergency Assistance (AEA) 北京国 救援中心

Clinic: 010 - 6462-9112

24-Hour Medical Service: 010 - 6462-9100

Add: AEA International

Building C, BITIC Leasing Center 北信租 中心 C 座

No. 1 North Road, Xingfu San Cun 幸福三村北街一号

International Medical Center (Beijing) 北京国 医 中心

24-Hour Medical and Out-patient Service: 010 - 6465-1561/2/3

Add: Beijing Lufthansa Center Office Building S-106, S-111

燕莎中心写字楼 S-106.S-111

Beijing United Family Hospital (24 hours) 北京和睦家医院

Phone: 010 – 5927-7000

Emergency Contact: 5927-7120

Add : No.2 Jiang Tai Road, Chaoyang District

朝阳区将台路 2 号

Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital 中日友好医院

Foreigners’ Out-patient Section: 6422-1122, ext. 5121

Outpatient Department: 010 - 6422-2952


Beijing Yinghua East Road.

北京 花 路


The following comes from the program coordinators.

Personal Safety and Crime Prevention

Students’ personal safety is of the utmost important to us. All students are encouraged to register with the embassy of their home country for safety reason.


Embassy of the United States of America

Website: http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/

US Embassy in Beijing

Location:No. 55, Anjialou, Beijing, China

Telephone: (8610) 8531-3300

Emergency Contact: (8610) 8531-4000

In addition, we offer the following advice. These are tips to keep you safe in Beijing and wherever else you might travel. The main tip—USE COMMON SENSE.

 Activate you cell phone and have up-to-date contact information.

 Avoid exploring places alone.

 Contact program director or other program staff in any crisis involving safety issues.

 Inform program director and leave contact information if you will travel to other places on your own during semester (students are expected to sign an Out-of-Beijing Travel Form before departure, see Appendix III).

 Obey the law! Once in China, ALL CHINESE LAWS WILL APPLY TO YOU. You will not have immunity of any kind, and it is NOT the responsibility of the US Embassy to rescue you if you are in trouble with the law.

 Unlike the in US, the use of recreational drugs could be punishable by death.

 Although there are no known cases of Americans attacked by religious extremists in China, there have been threats made by such groups, so always keep vigilant.

Other useful tips:

Do not drink excessive alcohol.

Do not drink tap water.

Either peel or cook all food.

Avoid foreseen trouble by common sense.

Avoid leaving your person items unattended.

Keep a close eye on your belongings during crowded times. Especially on packed subway rides. Things can easily go missing when everyone is packed so tightly together.

Emergency Services

110 ....................Police

119 ....................Fire


122…………….Traffic accidents

Final notes

Staff Contacts:


Academic Director: Dr. Youli Sun, [email protected], 1391-127-6089 (c). 6276-7380

(o), Rm. 215, History Department, Peking University.

Associate Director: Dr. Hong Li, [email protected], 1391-121-7570 (c); 6275-

5236 (o); Rm. B103, History Department.

Language Coordinator: Mr. Lixing Meng: [email protected], 1381-190-

2457(c), 6276-0629 (o), Rm. B 103, History Department.

Program Coordinators:

Joyce Li, [email protected], 139-1155-8831(c), 6275-5236(o), Rm. B 103, History


Amy Huang, [email protected], 1381-085-6943(c), 6276-0629(o), Rm. B103,

History Department

Shelton Guo, [email protected], 1861-193-0056, 6276-0629, Rm. B103, History


Program Assistant: Naixi Feng (Nancy): [email protected], 1512-003-2340.

Cell phones

You should activate your cell phone as soon as you get to China. If you have a threefrequency type phone with removable SIM card, it may work in China if you buy a SIM card. If you don’t have a phone, you can use a program cell phone for a deposit of 200 yuan. You can buy a SIM card from convenience stores on campus, such as in Shaoyuan buildings 7 and 2. When buying pre-paid phone cards, load it immediately to make sure you get the right minutes. The vendor may be willing to do it if you ask nicely.

Students will also have a phone in their dorm rooms from which they can make a limited number of local calls for free. You may use IP cards, available at many stores on campus, to call internationally. Some major brands of IP cards are China Unicom and China




There is wireless access available beside the main office. If you wish to use internet in your dorm you can purchase a router for 100 yuan. One dorm has one internet access cable, so you are encouraged to share with your roommates. There are also computer labs on campus with hourly charges.

There is no Facebook allowed in China, so your hourly charges won’t be too high. If you would like to access Facebook, Netflix, or other sites that are blocked in China, you should purchase a VPN that will allow you to access a server that is not in China.


Taking  Prescription  Medications  Abroad:  


While  you’re  abroad  is  not  the  time  to  suddenly  realize  you  ran  out  of  your   prescription!  

If  you  have  a  condition  that  requires  regular  medication,  bring  an  extra  quantity   with  you  and  pack  it  in  your  carry-­‐on,  just  in  case  your  checked  luggage  gets  lost.  

Just  remember  to  keep  it  in  its  original  container  and  clearly  labeled  —  you  don’t   want  to  create  the  impression  you’re  carrying  drugs  which  haven’t  been   prescribed  to  you.  In  fact,  you  should   check  with  the  local  embassy  to  make  sure   that  your  medication  is  acceptable  to  carry  into  the  country.  Some  countries  may   consider  your  prescription  medication  to  be  illegal.  Bring  a  letter  from  your   doctor  listing  your  medications  and  explaining  why  you  need  them.  Doing  your   research  and  having  a  letter  can  help  prevent  any  misunderstandings  along  the   way.  

Bring  extras  of  any  medical  necessities  you  need,  like  contact  lenses  or  glasses.  

You  might  want  to  pack  a  pair  in  both  your  carry-­‐on  bag  and  your  checked   luggage,  just  to  be  safe.  

If  you  have  allergies  to  certain  medications,  foods,  insect  bites,  or  other  unique   medical  problems,  consider  wearing  one  of  those  “medical  alert”  bracelets  and   carry  a  letter  from  your  doctor  explaining  required  treatment  if  you  become  ill.  It   might  not  be  the  coolest  piece  of  jewelry  you  wear,  but  it  could  save  your  life.  


-­‐Do  you  have  prescription  medications  that  will  require  you  take  a  supply  that  will   last  for  the  duration  of  your  program  abroad?    

-­‐Will  your  insurance  company  allow  for  a  prescription  to  be  filled  at  one  time  to   last  for  the  duration  of  your  program  abroad?  


-­‐Is  the  prescription  that  you  take  classified  as  a  narcotic  and/or  stimulant,  and  do   you  know  if  you  will  be  allowed  to  enter  your  host  country  with  the  drug?    

There  is  no  one  master  list  or  web  search  that  will  give  you  a  list  of  what   medications  are  or  are  not  allowed  in  every  country  you  may  visit  while  abroad,   but  it  is  important  for  you  to  do  some  research  regarding  studying  abroad  and   your  prescriptions.  


-­‐Have  a  conversation  with  your  healthcare  provider  at  least  8  weeks  before  your   program  abroad,  to  help  you  determine  what,  if  any,  medications  you  will  need   while  you  are  abroad.  

-­‐Contact  your  insurance  company  at  least  8  weeks  before  you  program  to  discuss   how  best  to  fill  a  prescription  that  will  need  to  last  for  the  duration  of  your   program  abroad.  

-­‐Your  insurance  company  may  be  able  to  advise  you  if  your  prescription  is  legal  in   the  country  in  which  your  program  will  take  place.  

-­‐Go  to  the  host  country’s  embassy  website  to  see  if  drug  rules  and  regulations  are   posted.  For  example:    

-­‐View  the  U.S.  Department  of  State’s  Travel  Information  page:   http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis_pa_tw_1168.html


< http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis_pa_tw_1168.html


-­‐View  the  U.S.  Department  of  State’s  Custom  and  Import  Restrictions  page:   http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/tips_1232.html#customs  


-­‐View  the  U.S.  Departments  of  State’s  Bringing  Medications  or  Filling  Prescriptions  

Abroad  page:   http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/tips_1232.html#medications  


-­‐View  the  U.S.  Department  of  State’s  Country  Specific  Information;  click  on  a   country  and  then  read  Medical  Facilities  and  Health  Information:   http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_4965.html  


-­‐Have  a  conversation  with  your  local  county  health  department.  

-­‐Contact  Mobility  International,  located  in  Eugene,  Oregon:    

Surviving a Protest

Product of the Research & Information Support Center (RISC)

The following report is based on open source reporting.

August 7, 2014


Travelers are regularly cautioned about protest activity when visiting a foreign country. The U.S.

Department of State, for example, consistently encourages citizens to

“avoid all demonstrations, since even peaceful gatherings can quickly turn violent

” – a phrase common to many Consular messages.

However, a deeper understanding of what motivates protest activity, and who or what the intended targets are, can be useful tools for educating travelers.

The Nature of a Protest

Protests by Region

– 2006-2013

According to a 2013 report by

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, a

German non-profit organization that promotes democracy and political education, the global number of protests has increased every year from 2006 (59) through the first half of 2013

(112). [Note: these were protests covered in online news media. The countries analyzed represent 92 percent of the world’s population]

While protests take place throughout the world, where

Data provided by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

* As of July 2013

they occur is not always a good indicator of how they will proceed. A country with a peaceful tradition of rallying can experience violence, while another with a more acrimonious style can experience no incidents at all. For example, in Cambodia, generally known for a peaceful tradition, demonstrators and police have recently come to blows over anti-government sentiment as well as a demand for a higher minimum wage among garment workers. In South Africa, known as the “ protest capital of the world

” and where violence is not a rarity, most demonstrations end peacefully and without incident. Demonstrations can also take place in countries not known for having any protest tradition at all, such as in Iran during the

2009 Green Movement, or in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, and Libya during the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

By their nature, protests also attract attention. They can be exciting events, and for a foreigner, provide an upclose look at a country’s political landscape. But the advice to avoid them is not dispensed arbitrarily. An overzealous demonstrator can incite a crowd; individuals with ulterior motives can infiltrate an otherwise peaceful rally; a heavy-handed police response can provoke an aggressive reaction from gatherers. When this happens, onlookers can pay the price. This past May, a bystander was killed by a stray bullet during an anti-government protest in Istanbul, Turkey. Authorities in southern China acknowledged that police

“may have accidentally injured…bystanders” during an April protest against a chemical plant in Guangdong province. During Egyptian riots in June 2013, an American college student was stabbed to death as he took photographs of the unfolding violence. What starts as simple curiosity can easily turn into a fight to stay out of harm’s way.

The contents of this (U) presentation in no way represent the policies, views, or attitudes of the United States Department of

State, or the United States Government, except as otherwise noted (e.g., travel advisories, public statements). The presentation was compiled from various open sources and (U) embassy reporting. Please note that all OSAC products are for internal U.S. private sector security purposes only. Publishing or otherwise distributing OSAC-derived information in a manner inconsistent with this policy may result in the discontinuation of OSAC support.

Indicators Can Help

There are indicators, however, that can be helpful to any traveler when assessing the probability for protests, and how they will play out. Anti-government protests, for instance, may not be as likely to target foreigners as they would police officers or nearby property (although the death of the American student referenced above shows this is not always true). Destroying property can be a way of not only displaying intense dissatisfaction with conditions in the country, but also attempting to undermine the government.

This was the case in Thailand in 2010, when anti-government protesters targeted not only government buildings, but also commercial facilities. The same was true for 2010 anti-government/-austerity protests in Greece. In both cases, foreigners were not directly targeted, and in Thailand, they were actually greeted warmly if they happened to pass by the event.

A protest against another country, on the other hand, might not result in widespread violence, but particular people and properties could be vulnerable. This past May, anti-Chinese protests in Vietnam targeted what were perceived to be Chinese-affiliated companies and factories following a maritime dispute between the two countries. In July, anti-Israeli protests in Germany and France led to the attack of synagogues and Jewish businesses in those countries.

There are also a number of issues that seem to bring protesters to the street regardless of location. For example, citizens accustomed to government subsidies (fuel, transportation, etc.) can quickly mobilize if their entitlements are threatened in any way; violent clashes in the streets of Jakarta in 2013 following a reduction of fuel subsidies are a prime example. The suspicion of electoral fraud is another key catalyst, as was evident during protests in Russia following disputed 2011 legislative elections. Another major indicator pertains to infringements-- real or perceived-- on basic democratic rights. Residents of Hong

Kong, for example, regularly take to the streets to demand greater democratic freedom.

The Likeliest Scenario

More than likely, the biggest impact to travelers during a demonstration will be transportation difficulties, including blocked roads, crowded public transportation, and congested traffic. A lot of protests advertise in advance where and when they will take place, which makes a traveler’s job of planning to get around them easier. Even for the ones that do not, it should become pretty clear what area(s) to avoid as numbers amass. Social media can be a great tool for collecting information; organizers and participants are likely to tweet about the event or post pictures to Facebook, Instagram, or a popular local social network (such as VKontakte in Russia). During past protests, OSAC constituents have allowed employees to work remotely or even take the day off when demonstration activity encroaches on work sites or precludes safe commuting. Over periods of sustained protest activity, employers have deferred travel, and in some cases, removed personnel from the city or country entirely. Each organization is responsible for its own plan, but understanding the fundamentals is a good start to making one.

Additional Information

For recent OSAC analysis on other regional protests, please see the below reports:

Middle East Conflict Fuels Europe Protests

Haiti Opposition Protests

Northern Ireland Orangemen Parade Volatility

Royal Thai Army Invokes Martial Law

May Day

For Further Information

Please direct any questions regarding this report to OSAC’s

Cross Regional Analyst .

The contents of this (U) presentation in no way represent the policies, views, or attitudes of the United States Department of

State, or the United States Government, except as otherwise noted (e.g., travel advisories, public statements). The presentation was compiled from various open sources and (U) embassy reporting. Please note that all OSAC products are for internal U.S. private sector security purposes only. Publishing or otherwise distributing OSAC-derived information in a manner inconsistent with this policy may result in the discontinuation of OSAC support.

Don’t  Go  Soft  on  Study  Abroad:     a  Call  for  Academic  Rigor  

The  following  is  a  guest  post  by  William  G.  Moseley,  chair  and  professor  of  geography  

at  Macalester  College.  He  has  worked  and  conducted  research  in  Africa  for  25  years.  


Study  abroad  can  be  a  powerful  experience  for  many  students.  A  student’s  trip   overseas  can  be  one  of  those  transformative  educational  periods  after  which  a  young   person  will  never  look  at  the  world  the  same  way  again.  Yet  many  students,  faculty   members,  and  college  administrators  don’t  take  this  education  as  seriously  as  they   should.  


Study-­‐abroad  students  bird  watching  in  Botswana’s  Okavango  Delta.  

Let’s  be  frank,  some  students  view  study  abroad  as  a  vacation  or  at  least  a  time  when   normal  academic  standards  ought  to  be  relaxed.  But  as  an  instructor  and  director  on   two  different  study-­‐abroad  programs  for  undergraduates  in  South  Africa  and  

Botswana,  I  have  sought  to  expose  participants  to  new  cultures  and  provide   academically  rigorous  courses.  

Many  students  initially  chafed  at  the  large  amount  of  reading  and  writing,  in  addition   to  original  fieldwork,  that  I  assigned  during  these  programs.  Not  only  did  some  start  

the  program  with  an  educational  holiday  in  mind,  but  they  saw  students  in  other   study-­‐abroad  programs  not  working  as  hard.  Knowing  my  interest  in  having  them   have  cross-­‐cultural  experiences,  my  students  would  couch  their  concerns  about  the   workload  in  terms  of  not  having  sufficient  time  to  travel  and  interact  with  the  local   population.  How  could  I  deny  them  exploring  southern  Africa?,  they  asked.  

Occasionally,  a  class  of  students  confronts  me  directly  about  the  workload.  This   happened  a  little  over  halfway  through  the  term  in  my  most  recent  study-­‐abroad   teaching  experience  in  Botswana.  Students  asked  me  point-­‐blank  how  my  courses   compared  in  difficulty  to  those  I  teach  at  my  home  institution.  I  indicated  that  the   classes  I  offered  in  Africa  were  actually  a  little  less  challenging  as  I  was  trying  to   account  for  the  added  stress  of  unfamiliar  surroundings  and  less  reliable   infrastructure.  Their  collective  gasp  was  audible;  they  shook  their  heads  in  disbelief.  

However,  in  explaining  why  the  academic  requirements  of  the  program  could  not  be   relaxed,  we  had  one  of  the  more  interesting  discussions  of  the  term.  

I  shared  my  view  that  a  successful  study-­‐abroad  experience  often  means  at  least  two   things:  1)  getting  outside  of  your  own  cultural  head  space  (that  is,  coming  to   understand  that  other  cultures  may  have  very  different,  yet  equally  valid,  approaches   to  life);  and  2)  knowing  enough  background  information  about  a  place,  its  history,   and  connections  to  other  parts  of  the  world  to  really  understand  what  you  are  seeing.  

Of  course  the  two  criteria  are  often  linked;  you  can’t  set  aside  your  own  cultural   prejudices  until  you  understand  why  other  people  do  things  the  way  they  do.  

Furthermore,  learning  enough  to  get  a  handle  on  what  you  are  seeing  requires  hard   work.  That  is,  it  means  critically  reading  the  academic  publications  about  a  place,   discussing  those  insights  with  your  peers,  and  synthesizing  your  understanding  by   writing.  

Over  time,  my  students  began  to  value  the  rigor  with  which  we  explored  this  new   area  of  the  world,  and  the  nuanced  insights  and  deeper  personal  growth  that  it   eventually  yielded.  For  example,  these  students  lived  in  a  rural  home  for  a  time  in  the   second  half  of  the  semester.  This  experience  produced  some  beautiful  reflections  on   what  it  meant  to  be  with  a  local  family.  Gone  were  the  shallow  complaints  about   inefficient  bureaucracy,  the  slow  pace  of  life,  or  bad  food  from  earlier  in  the  term.  

Instead,  the  students  showed  a  better  ability  to  contextualize  poverty,  a  greater   appreciation  for  taking  the  time  to  get  to  know  someone,  or  understanding  Botswana   on  its  own  terms  and  in  relation  to  the  region,  rather  than  just  comparing  it  with  

American  norms  and  practices.  

Could  we  have  done  better?  Yes,  certainly.  But  I  am  also  aware  of  the  fact  that  we   could  have  done  a  lot  worse.    It  is  expensive  to  have  someone  like  me,  a  scholar  of   western  and  southern  Africa,  to  relocate  for  a  term  (with  his  family  no  less)  to  teach  a  

course  or  two.    It  is  far  cheaper  to  subcontract  study  abroad  to  third-­‐party  providers.  

While  many  such  organizations  are  excellent,  some  may  be  tempted  to  hire  less-­‐than-­‐ qualified  teachers  who  were  never  (or  are  no  longer)  active  scholars,  and  succumb  to   student  pressure  for  less  academic  rigor  because  their  business  model  demands  it.  

The  reality  is  that  the  study-­‐abroad  experiences  can  be  orchestrated  quite  poorly,   potentially  leaving  students  with  a  highly  superficial,  if  not  deeply  flawed,   understanding  of  another  area  of  the  world,  not  to  mention  a  false  sense  of  regional   expertise.  

So  my  hard  advice  is  this:  If  you  are  a  student  looking  for  a  study-­‐abroad  “vacation,”   then  either  think  about  this  opportunity  anew  and  look  for  a  rigorous  program,  or   don’t  go  at  all.  If  you  are  a  faculty  member  looking  to  take  a  group  of  students   overseas,  get  the  necessary  training  and  make  sure  you  have  the  place-­‐relevant   research  background  to  be  a  competent  study-­‐abroad  instructor.  

Finally,  if  you  are  an  administrator  that  oversees  study-­‐abroad  programs,  then  please   treat  this  semester  the  same  as  you  would  the  rest  of  an  undergraduate’s  career.  If   you  are  unwilling  to  compromise  quality  and  provide  education  on  the  cheap  at   home,  then  a  semester  abroad  should  be  no  different.  


[Photo  courtesy  of  William  G.  Moseley]  

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