Pre-Departure Checklist - College of the Holy Cross

Pre-Departure Checklist - College of the Holy Cross

Holy Cross Study Abroad Pre-Departure Checklist






Please read all of this information carefully.

Bring a hard copy with you abroad, and keep the electronic copy in a file on your computer or flash and/or shared drive where it is easily accessible.

These guidelines are intended as general information to help students prepare to study abroad through one of

Holy Cross’s academic year or semester programs. Almost all problems students encounter abroad can be

avoided by following study-abroad printed and web materials, as well as information given to students in program-specific pre-departure meetings.

You need to understand that studying abroad is not the same as studying at Holy Cross, academically, bureaucratically, and in terms of amenities. There will be challenges in adapting to a new system and environment, and there are also many opportunities available to you abroad that you will not find at Holy Cross.


Pre-Departure Meetings:




See attached schedule.


Please do not ignore our e-mail communiques. They contain important and, frequently, time-sensitive instructions.

Summer Mailing:

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTATION! This summer, you will receive a mailing to your home address with the following important documentation (If you have an alternate summer address where you want this mailing

to go, please advise Jacqui Schartner ( [email protected]

) BEFORE you leave campus in May!):

Two Affidavit Letters of Enrollment (one Holy Cross Affidavit Letter and one acceptance letter

from your host institution abroad): legal letters stating you are enrolled in your specific program abroad. Make sure that your full name appears on the letters, exactly as it does on your passport.

If not, contact our office immediately. Make copies and keep them in a safe place at home in the U.S and tell your parents/guardians where they are. Take the original with you when you go to the airport and through customs upon arrival in your host country. Take copies in your luggage. Do not lose the

letters. These are legal documents necessary for immigrations processes.

The International Student Identification Card (ISIC) is issued by the Holy Cross Study Abroad

Office and it is mandatory that you carry this with you during your stay abroad. The ISIC is the

"AAA" card for student travelers – it gives you access to discounts on museum entry fees, rail travel,


Holy Cross Study Abroad Pre-Departure Checklist

(4/3/17) dining, etc., as well as providing travel and expatriation insurance which is explained in detail on their website: .

 In addition, we will be emailing the Study Abroad Manual to your Holy Cross GMAIL account. If you have provided email addresses for your parents/guardians, they will be receiving the manual electronically as well.

 Your passport and visa documentation, if the Study Abroad Office has processed it.

Post-Decision Forms, Contracts, and Waivers:

 Be sure to read and electronically sign the Student Contract and Acknowledgement and Release

(Waiver) in the “Post-Decision” Signature Documents section of your online Holy Cross application as

soon as possible if you haven’t done so already!

 Remember, the Contract stipulates, among other things, that: (a) you cannot shift exam dates (even if the professor is willing); (b) a student enrolled in an academic-year program who wishes to return before completion of the full, academic-year for reasons other than safety or serious illness, forfeits all credits earned abroad and all program fees; (c) you must speak with a member of the Office of Study Abroad staff and the program director at your host institutions before dropping a course.

Insurance Waiver Information. All students participating in the Study Abroad Program are required by Massachusetts state law to either purchase the Holy Cross Health Insurance Plan or complete and submit a “Waiver of Participation” before July 15


, which you do online via STAR. If the Bursar’s

Office does not receive a “Waiver of Participation,” you will be automatically enrolled in the insurance plan and will be responsible for payment of the premium to Holy Cross. (See the section on Health

Insurance in the Holy Cross Study Abroad Manual. For more information on the Study Abroad Manual, see page 3 of this document).

 Health Clearance Forms A, B, C and D are on your Holy Cross online application under “To Submit

and To Attend.” o Form A is completed online. Provide the name and contact information of your primary care physician, as well as any medical specialists you are currently under the care of, including mental health providers (if applicable). o Download and print out Forms B, C and D. Form B requires your doctor’s signature. If you are

conditionally cleared, your doctor must list the conditions. Form C is your health history form.

Please disclose medical conditions and accommodations (if any), and be sure to include your immunization record (you can request a printout from your doctor). Form D needs to be signed by a mental health provider if you see one; if not, you need to fill out the top of the page. This

form must be submitted by all students. o Forms B, C and D must be submitted to the Study Abroad Office before May 1, 2017 for fall

2017 programs and upon return from fall break in October for spring 2018 programs.

It is imperative that for your health and safety, you disclose all medical conditions. If you do not disclose, we cannot help accommodate your health needs. Medical conditions are not considered in the application approval process.


 If you need a course to fulfill a requirement for your major, minor, or concentration, consult with the department chair or concentration director and try to get written pre-approval. You will need to provide a course description and/or syllabus. If you need a course to count for a common area requirement, you can get pre-approval from the Registrar.


Holy Cross Study Abroad Pre-Departure Checklist


 Remember, HOLY CROSS gives credit for liberal arts courses, not for pre-professional courses such as business, marketing, or law. If in doubt, contact the Office of Study Abroad or the Registrar’s Office before registering.

Before You Go:




 Check with your insurance company’s procedures for international claims. Make sure you are covered adequately and that you know how to make a claim, what to do when you are sick, etc. Make sure your parents also have this information.

 If the coverage seems too limited, purchase supplemental insurance.

 You will likely pay out-of-pocket and submit a claim with your insurance company afterwards, so you should be prepared to pay for medical visits and procedures. This might mean getting a credit card.

 Check that your medications are legal in your host country.

 Take all prescriptions for medications (except for Ireland), eyeglasses, and contact lenses with you. If possible, take a spare pair of glasses or lenses.

 Some prescription drugs may not be available in your host country. Either take enough for the whole year, ask visitors to bring more when they visit, or work with your doctor and a local doctor to fill the prescription abroad. You cannot FedEx or UPS prescriptions without a special license. (In Ireland, regular mail is used.)

 Some prescription drugs in the U.S. are available over the counter in other countries, but you must

know the medical name, not the brand name (e.g., not "Tylenol” but “acetaminophen”; also called

"paracetamol" outside North America).

 Check with your physician and with the Centers for Disease Control ( for information on immunizations and vaccinations that are recommended or required for your destination. It is your

responsibility to receive the proper immunizations.


 Check that your passport is valid for six months beyond the expected date of your return to the U.S. and make sure your passport is signed.

 Make copies of the passport information pages in case your passport is lost or stolen. Give one copy to your parents, 2 copies to Study Abroad (you should have done so already), and take two with you: leave one in your room and carry another with you when traveling.

 Scan your passport, save as a file, and email the file to yourself. Save the file in a Study Abroad folder in your email. Consider using a shared drive to save important documents, sharing access with your parents and/or guardian.


 You are responsible for purchasing your own flight. Students enrolled in a recognized Holy Cross program abroad will receive a travel credit applied to their HOLY CROSS accounts. The amount of the credit is a good faith estimate based on the average cost of round-trip travel from Boston to your host institution. If the ticket you purchase is less than the credit, you keep the difference; if it is more, you are responsible for the difference.


Holy Cross Study Abroad Pre-Departure Checklist

(4/3/17) o If there is a balance on your account, the credit will be applied to the balance. If your account is paid in full, you must request in writing that the credit be mailed to you. Otherwise, it will remain on your Holy Cross account.

 PURCHASE A FLIGHT THAT CAN BE CHANGED! You should book through a travel agency or site that allows you to change or cancel your flight, usually for a fee. Make sure the return date is changeable (again, for a fee). Call before purchasing to be sure of the rules for your ticket. Even if the fare is slightly more expensive, a lower fee change policy is worth the difference. Cheaper tickets can have outrageous change fees, and you’ll end up spending more money in the long run.

 Purchase a ticket as soon as you know your orientation start-date, or are advised by your Study Abroad advisor. Please note that these dates are subject to change, which is why you must book a flight that can be changed.

 For some visas you must purchase a round-trip ticket, not one-way. For academic-year programs, the airline company will likely not be booking flights as far in advance as your required return date at the end of your last exam period. If you are coming home for Christmas, book that return. Otherwise, take the latest date the airline will allow and change your return flight at a later date. Put a reminder in your calendar, so you don’t forget to change the date!

 Upload a copy of your itinerary to your Holy Cross Study Abroad online application (in the same section where you uploaded your passport scan). In some cases, you can send one copy to the

International Office at your host institution and, if applicable, one to your host family. As always, print a copy for yourself and keep a scanned copy in your electronic study abroad file.


 Students are responsible for obtaining and paying for their own visas. In two sites (Spain & Italy), students are guided through the process and the visa applications are submitted to the Boston

Consulates as a group by the Office of Study Abroad.

Begin your visa application as soon as possible; the process can take longer than advertised, especially if there are complications. For most countries, however, you cannot apply more than 3 months before departure date. Instructions are available on the embassy or consulate website. Contact our office if you have questions.

Please let us know if you are involved in a summer program overseas that may conflict with your

obtaining a visa for your academic year or fall semester program.

Make copies for yourself of all documentation you use to apply for the visa.

 When you receive your visa, CHECK THE DATES and the spelling of YOUR FULL NAME, and make sure they are accurate and that the dates cover the entire time of your stay abroad. If they are incorrect, contact the consulate immediately. Be sure that your name appears exactly the same on both your visa and your passport.

 If you pick your visa up at the consulate, take your copy of the documentation with you. Again,

CHECK THE DATE and YOUR NAME ON SITE BEFORE LEAVING the consulate. If the dates or your name are incorrect, point this out at the Consulate and show them your documentation. Do everything you can to get this taken care of at the Consulate on the same day. Be polite, but point out that you filled out the information correctly.

Non-U.S. Citizens: o If you are not a U.S. citizen, you will need to check on the consulate website of the host country you are visiting to see if you will need a visa to enter that country. You will be responsible for obtaining your visa as well as all costs associated with obtaining the visa. The Office of Study

Abroad can assist in providing some documentation needed for your visa.


Holy Cross Study Abroad Pre-Departure Checklist



 LESS IS MORE! Travel light. Almost all items can be purchased abroad.

 Packing too much can be very costly: 1) excess baggage fees add up when you change from international to national flight limits; 2) many airlines restrict baggage weight, even if they charge a fee;

3) when you return, you will likely have new things purchased abroad. Save room for the trip home!

 Be aware that carry-on sizes are different abroad than in the U.S. You may need a smaller bag for traveling around your country or region.

 Check with the students who are abroad this year to trade or purchase items.

 Divide up valuables and copies (passport, credit card emergency phone numbers) amongst your things.

This way if you are pick-pocketed you have everything in a second, safe location. Also do this with your money and/or cards. Do not keep all your cards, cash, passport, passport copies, etc. in the same place, bag, or pocket!

 Fill out your luggage tags and place the same information inside your suitcases. Consider using the contact information for your host institution and/or your host family. Be sure to change this on the way home after your program

 Be sure to bring: o All your legal documents and valuables, including the contact information for your host family and the onsite director (see Study Abroad Manual), and your credit card information. Keep this in your carry-on luggage. o U.S. dollars for your arrival back in the US. o One semi-formal outfit, keeping in mind that dress in your host country might be more or less formal than the US. This is required for Oxford, Melbourne, and St. Andrews. o Rain gear. o Good walking shoes, not (just) flip flops. o At least one electric plug adapter (available at travel stores, online, and in most airports). All dual current electronics (e.g. laptop computers, smart phones, tablets) need an ADAPTER, not a

CONVERTER. An adapter simply alters the plug; a converter changes the electric current, and is usually much more expensive than an adapter. o Remember: Do not bring anything you cannot afford to lose.

 Buy abroad: o Hair dryer/straightener. Check with those abroad this year to see if you can purchase theirs. o Bedding (some student apartments do not provide bedding). Beds come in different sizes in different countries, so save the space and buy yours abroad.

 Print out a copy of the Holy Cross Study Abroad Manual, which will be sent via email to your Holy

Cross Gmail account, and any Pre-Departure or handbook you received from your host institution.


 If you take a laptop, bring the appropriate adapter for your country (not a converter).

 Have a tech support plan and note the general INTERNATIONAL call-in number (see Pre-Departure

Manual for HC Dell computers). See if there is a specific contact number for your host country. If so, take both (you may be on the road when something happens). If you have an HC Dell, in general, the on-site support will cover hardware issues, while HC ITS will cover software. You might have to wait for a repair.

 In general, it is best not to travel with a laptop. When you are away from your host institution, make sure it is secure (not in plain view once on-site) in your room abroad while you’re away.


Holy Cross Study Abroad Pre-Departure Checklist


 If applicable, check your parents’ homeowner’s policy before you leave to see if your laptop is covered abroad for theft or loss and whom you should contact in the event of such an incident.

 Keep a copy of the serial number and other identifying information separate from your computer.

 If you choose not to take your laptop, there are computer labs at most host institutions.

Mobile Phones:

 It is easiest and cheapest to buy a phone abroad, but it might only work in the country where you purchase the phone. If you plan on doing a lot of international travel, look into getting an international plan or SIM card for when you travel.

 Contact returning students about buying their used phones.

 If you must use your U.S. phone, research your options with your phone company before going.

 For most incoming international calls on most cell plans, the call is free after initial connection fee.

Check with your provider. For outgoing international calls, it is best to use Skype or virtual phone cards, sold online, or local cards, which are sold, depending on the country, in tobacco stores or post offices, lottery stands, etc. Ask your host family, peers, or check online. Research phone plans abroad because some call the USA at very low rates.

 Many people in the U.S. and abroad use applications such as Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber to text and call. They may be useful for staying in touch with people at home and communicating with friends and your host family abroad.

 Your International Student Identification Card (ISIC) offers international phone plans.

 In case of an emergency, follow the procedure page 1 of the Study Abroad Manual.

Banking and Money:

 With few exceptions it is no longer necessary to open a bank account in the host country.

 Carry a credit card (with 4 digit PIN; AmEx should not be the only card) and an ATM/debit card.

 European credit and debit cards have a chip and PIN as opposed to a magnetic stripe. Many U.S. banks are now creating cards with both the chip and the magnetic stripe. Contact your bank to see if you can get a card with a chip. In many countries it is often easier to pay in cash.

 Make sure your bank and credit card company know that you will be abroad, in which countries, and for how long, or they might deny the charge. Have the phone number of your bank easily accessible!

 Check international fees for debit and credit cards and shop around for the best deal (e.g. no interest fees, no or low transaction fees or user fees). Students may be able to negotiate reduced fees.

 For added security, try to get a credit card and ATM/debit card that display your photo.

 For both cards, determine before you leave home how you can replace the cards overseas if lost or stolen.

 Consider ordering $200-$300 in your host country’s currency from your bank at home before you leave so that you have some money to get you started. Get mixed bills (large and small). It is also possible to order currency from AAA.

 Write down the INTERNATIONAL emergency contact numbers for credit/debit cards and the actual card numbers on a separate sheet of paper and keep in a safe place. Keep a copy with you when traveling (separate from the cards themselves).

 Take some U.S. dollars and/or host country currency with you in case you have trouble getting money out of the ATM at the airport. Be aware of what time you arrive, exchange offices will not stay open all night.


Holy Cross Study Abroad Pre-Departure Checklist



Don’t expect to feel at home right away. You might even feel overwhelmed at first: that’s normal! Study abroad is a process, and it takes time to adjust to a new environment. There is not necessarily a Hart

Center or a Kimball Dining Hall at your prospective university. You will have many resources available to you at your host institution but you should not expect that all resources you have at Holy Cross will be available abroad. Moreover, no two programs are exactly alike (for example, some provide home-stay accommodations while others provide rooms in residence halls or off-campus housing), so read with care and weigh this document against country-specific information you receive from Holy Cross and your host institution. You should not expect that because one service is provided at one program abroad it is automatically provided at another. Each program is unique. It is important to focus on your own experience and not be too concerned with what students in other programs are doing; every person’s experience is unique.


 Call home as soon as you can and let your family know that you arrived safely. Note the time difference and ask your parents/guardians if they want you to call when you arrive regardless of the time, or if you

 should wait until they’re awake.

As soon as you have your accommodation address and internet access, log into your Holy Cross study abroad online application

and fill out the Student Host Country Arrival and Contact Information Form.

 Alternatively, you can send an e-mail to the Office of Study Abroad ( [email protected]

) containing your cell phone number, host university e-mail account, and your mailing address. Don’t


 Contact the on-site director at your host institution AND the Office of Study Abroad whenever an issue or a problem arises. Do not wait for an issue to snowball!

 Send us an occasional e-mail and tell us about your courses, experiences, and impressions of the world beyond the U.S.


 Check your host institution AND Holy Cross e-mail accounts on a regular basis. You will get crucial

information sent to both accounts throughout the year. Add us to your Skype contacts:

 Watch your email for Crusader Internship Fund emails from Ms. Pamela Ahearn for summer internship opportunities; and for Scholarships, Grants and Grad School from Dr. Tony Cashman (see the Study

Abroad Manual). They are also available by Skype, email, and phone.

Do not ignore e-mails from our office or from your advisors overseas. It is considered especially rude overseas not to reply to your advisors. If they ask a specific question, answer it. If they’re just checking in, thank them for their concern. If they are inviting you to an event or meeting, respond whether or not you can make the meeting.

Internet Access:

 Internet access may be more limited than you are used to at home or at Holy Cross. Your housing might not include unlimited access.


Holy Cross Study Abroad Pre-Departure Checklist


 In general, although you need to stay informed, it is good to “unplug” significantly from your regular contacts and from most, if not all, on-line entertainment. Make time to seek out new friends and experiences. Do not use the internet as a crutch to avoid immersion in your host country. Parents also need to give their young adults abroad the space they need to immerse themselves in the host culture.

Host Families:


 If possible, as soon as you receive information about your family, send a hand-written letter of introduction in the host language. You can also consider an email depending on what contact information you get about your family. Include a photo of yourself and, if you wish, your family.

 Bring a “housewarming” gift—preferably something local from your hometown or region.

 Upon arrival, be respectful of cultural differences and practice environmental responsibility (conserve heat, water, and electricity).

 Do not invite friends over without the family’s permission.

 Clarify and respect the rules governing use of the kitchen/refrigerator, telephone, etc.

 Internet access may not be available in your home.

 Inform your host family well in advance if you will miss a scheduled meal.

 If something comes up suddenly, call and let them know and apologize for the short notice.

 Give your host family your contact information and itinerary when traveling.

 Spend time with your host family! It can feel awkward at first but it’s important to engage with your family members and show interest in what they are doing. The quality of your relationship with your host family is mostly dependent on you. If you go away most weekends, you won’t be able to truly integrate into their lives and become another member of the family.

Academics Abroad:

 You will need to work much more independently. There will likely be fewer assessments (papers, quizzes, exams) and less guidance than you are used to, and you will need to seek out information on your own rather than following a ready-made syllabus. This might feel overwhelming at first, but you will learn to work on your own – it is gaining experience in learning independently that is one of the main benefits of study abroad.

 Expect that teaching and learning styles will be different.

 Study Abroad is a lot more unstructured than your life at Holy Cross – you have to create structure for yourself. Ask a lot of questions to clarify things – even “stupid” questions can help you understand things better. With academics, you get out what you put in – you definitely need to be self-motivated.

 Local students’ attitudes toward coursework and their study habits may differ from those of Holy Cross students. They may pretend not to work when, in fact, they really are working hard.

 Class attendance abroad is MANDATORY, just as at Holy Cross.

 Consequences of poor performance are worse for Holy Cross students than for local students (e.g. Holy

Cross students cannot, in many instances, retake a final exam or retake a course).

 You should exhibit the same work ethic abroad as you do at Holy Cross.

 You must take your exams at the regularly scheduled time; you may not change the date, even if the professor is willing, even for an internship. You are expected to fulfill the same requirements as your local peers, who cannot alter their exam schedules.

 If tutorials have been arranged for you by the program director, be sure to attend regularly.


Holy Cross Study Abroad Pre-Departure Checklist



 There is no STAR system abroad. Registration can be time-consuming and involve multiple visits to multiple offices. Universities see students as having the privilege and resources to learn, and they expect you to take advantage of what is available instead of expecting them to offer you what you need. You need to be proactive and resourceful.

Course Approval Forms:

 You must submit course descriptions for each course you are enrolled in while abroad with the Course

Approval Form on STAR. Directions are on Page 8 of the Study Abroad Manual. Contact the Registrar’s

Office with any questions.

 Provide as much information as possible: detailed course description, syllabus, types of assignments, etc. If you got pre-approval attach the email or paste the text of the email in the form.

Independent Cultural Immersion Project (ICIP):

 For detailed information on the ICIP, check your Study Abroad Manual, our website, and/or with your

ICIP advisor.

 Get started early by meeting with the ICIP advisor. In most sites, you should be fully engaged in your

ICIP within a month of your arrival.

 Choose an activity that will immerse you in your host community: an internship, community-based learning or by following your passion—a sport, a hobby, a musical instrument, etc.

 Your ICIP will be evaluated and graded by the advisor. Each year, the Study Abroad Committee presents an award to the graduating senior with the best ICIP and all students are encouraged to present at the Holy Cross Academic Conference the spring after they return (for more information and criteria, see the Study Abroad Manual).


 Travel is an important and exciting aspect of study abroad, and you will have many opportunities to travel. Remember that your priority is study abroad, not travel abroad. When you make travel plans, check in with your learning plan and decide what serves your academic and cultural competence goals best. Do not sacrifice academic and local opportunities to create better schedules for traveling –

you’re going abroad for the unique experience of local immersion, not to be a tourist.

 Check with locals for sites and other tips.

 A good guidebook is invaluable. Get a book or do research online, make a list of 20 things you want to see in your host city/region, and make a point of visiting those sites. It can be hard to know what to do at first, and if you have a few ideas prepared it can be a great way to connect with your new home.

Get to know your host city and host country first:

 If you rush to other destinations (a common occurrence with students in Europe), you won’t meet people in your new “home” or get to know your surroundings. It’s very important to know your host city and people.

 Plan your first outings within your host country: getting to know your host country better will help you understand your new context and your position in it. Americans are known for their ignorance about other countries and cultures, but most quickly realize it when they encounter others abroad and hear them speak of the U.S. Don’t be the person that moves to a country without knowing anything about the government, languages, history, and culture. With the internet, there’s no excuse for not having basic knowledge.


Holy Cross Study Abroad Pre-Departure Checklist


 Plan to travel to more distant destinations during vacation periods, or after your academic term has ended.

 Rather than return home over the holiday break, consider having a family member or friend spend the holidays with you abroad. Holidays with a host family can be wonderful, and for those who’ll live in dorms, going home with a friend is a great cultural experience!

 Take this advice from a fellow student: “Too many people focus on seeing as many countries as they can; I think it is extremely important to travel to various parts of your host country because it will deepen your understanding of the culture and give perspective on your institution and location abroad.”

 Many students go abroad to become what they call “global citizens.” You don’t achieve that by ticking off as many countries as possible – in order to be global you have to become a local in a different place, not a visitor. Sometimes students complain about not being able to connect with local people in their host location – those same students often to not appreciate that, by traveling constantly, they are showing a very clear lack of interest in their host community. People won’t take time to integrate you if you show no interest in integrating, they’ll treat you like the tourist you’re choosing to be.

Travel Safety:

Please note that if you undertake personal travel before, during, or after your program, The Office of

Study Abroad may not be in a position to support you should emergencies arise.

 Avoid traveling alone, and be aware of your surroundings.

 Do not leave bags or backpacks on the ground without having them strapped to your leg or to some nonmoveable object.

 You are REQUIRED to register all of your travels with the U.S. Dept. of State (


This only takes a moment of your time, but ensures that your local US Embassy knows where you are in case of emergencies. This is also a requirement in the “To Complete” section of your Holy Cross

online application.

 Check out the U.S. Dept. of State’s website for student travelers at

 Always inform your host family, parents, and on-site advisor of your travel plans before you leave.

 Complete the Overseas Travel Itinerary Form on your HOLY CROSS Study Abroad application.

 Be aware that what you have learned about health and safety in your host country does not necessarily apply to other countries you visit. Talk to local friends and/or read guidebooks and the State Department travel information for that country.

Health and Safety Responsibilities:

 Think before you act; don’t take unnecessary risks.

 Follow the guidelines from the State Department country information and the mandatory pre-departure country-specific meetings.

 Follow the advice of the on-site staff.

 If you become sick, notify your host program director AND our office immediately.

 If you know that another Holy Cross student in your group is sick or missing, notify your on-site program director as well as our office immediately via e-mail ( [email protected]

, or phone (508-

793-3082). We would rather receive 10 emails or calls than none!

 Know how to access health services, both for routine care and emergencies. This information should be provided to you during your on-site orientation. If not, you need to seek it out yourself.

 See your Study Abroad Manual for strategies on staying safe.


Holy Cross Study Abroad Pre-Departure Checklist


Alcohol. In most foreign countries you can purchase and consume alcohol legally. Be a responsible consumer. You represent not just yourself, but your family and Holy Cross (as well as every Holy Cross student who will attend your host institution in the future), and lastly, your country. You have a vital role to play in helping us to maintain good relations with our partner schools abroad and even international good will.

Sexual Assault:

 If you feel threatened or need help, immediately contact your program director. If at any point you are the victim of sexual assault or other crime, feel uncomfortable, need support, or would like more information about resources, reporting policies, etc. contact your on-site advisor and/or the Office of

Study Abroad. In addition, Holy Cross’ Counseling Services is available during normal business hours to help you set up care abroad if you would like. Their website provides useful resources including emergency steps: You can call our office at

+508-793-3082, M-F 8:30am - 4:30pm EST and Mrs. Schartner can transfer you to your advisor, the

Chaplain’s office, or any other department on campus.

 What is considered acceptable varies from country to country. This is not an excuse for sexual harassment or assault, but it is important to be aware of cultural differences. It is best to follow cues from host peers you trust, on-site advisors you trust, and err on the side of caution.

Identity and Study Abroad

 For resources on race, gender identity, disability, and sexuality in your host country, please contact the

Office of Study Abroad, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and/or the Office of Disability Services.

 Every country has its own historical and political context that produce different social hierarchies based on race, nationality, language ability, gender identity, sexuality, and so on. Because of this, it is important to go into your study abroad experience with an open mind and a willingness to learn about and understand a world that you are new to.

 That being said, this does not mean that you should brush off racism because it's "how it is," accept sexist treatment because it seems to be normal, or be made to feel unsafe or ostracized due to any aspect of your identity. If you at any time experience discrimination abroad because of your identity and want to discuss it, find more resources on how others work with and through these experiences, or even just let us know that it exists - please reach out to us, anyone in the office you feel comfortable with. If you do not feel comfortable speaking to us, we encourage you to reach out to whoever you feel best communicating with.

 We would appreciate you making us aware of these experiences so that a) we can work to make sure you have a fulfilling experience abroad, and b) we can better understand the different experiences our students have abroad and better prepare future groups about what they may encounter.

Disability Services Abroad:

 As always, know before you go. Preparing yourself before going abroad will allow you to better adjust to physical and mental challenges as well as differing attitudes and perceptions.

 Please tell us about your disability so we can help your host university and on-site advisors make the necessary arrangements.

 Request documentation of any accommodations you receive from the Office of Disability Services, and bring it with you abroad. Check your host university’s website to see if they have information on steps to secure accommodations at their institution.


Holy Cross Study Abroad Pre-Departure Checklist


 Mobility International is an organization dedicated to empowering students with disabilities to study abroad. Their website has helpful resources:


We’ll cover re-entry at a later time – for now, please remember to read all emails from our office, pay attention to visa requirements and application timelines, and talk with your advisor about your academic plans!

Bon voyage!

The Office of Study Abroad


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