Policies and Procedures

Prior to applying:

Students should:

·         Discuss their plans to study off-campus and their academic plan with their academic advisor and/or the Department Chair of their major department.

·         Research program options and inform themselves about the application process by attending information sessions; meet with a CIIS Peer Advisor; or a member of the CIIS staff.

·         Insure they meet all eligibility requirements including course pre-requisites and minimum GPA requirement where applicable. 

Please Note:  

  • Students must be enrolled full-time on campus in the semester in which they apply for off-campus study.  Students on leave or already studying off-campus are not eligible to apply for off-campus study in the following semester. 
  • Students may not participate on off-campus programs in sequential semesters. For a variety of reasons, they must return to campus for at least one semester between off-campus study programs.  
  • Students seeking to participate on a second off-campus program must have an especially strong academic rationale for doing so.  Among equally-qualified applicants, preference is normally given to those who have not had prior off-campus study experience over those who have studied off-campus previously, and to those who are more advanced in their studies and will not have future opportunities for off-campus study. 
  • Students may not participate on more than two off-campus programs during their time at St. Lawrence, excluding short-term programs.

The Application Process:

•      Applications are available on the CIIS Website

•      Applications should demonstrate an academic rationale for participation in a particular program, as well as maturity, responsibility, and cultural sensitivity.  Complete applications include two faculty recommendations and one recommendation from a member of the St. Lawrence community who knows the student from a context other than that of the classroom.  For example, this may be a coach, a work supervisor, an FYP advisor, etc.

•      Students who choose to apply to more than one program are asked to rank order their program preference immediately following the application deadline. Although students are permitted to apply to two programs, they will be offered a place (if accepted) to only one program.

•      Admission to the program is based on the quality of application. Candidates must present a coherent academic rationale for participation on the program and a record of academic performance that demonstrates the ability to meet the challenges of off-campus study. 

•      Students currently on disciplinary, social, or academic probation are not eligible to apply for, or participate in, this program or any other SLU program. In addition, students with outstanding disciplinary fines, service hours and/or education program requirements are not eligible to participate in the program.

Once you are accepted:

To demonstrate a commitment to participation on the program, students studying on a semester or year-long program must submit a non-refundable $500.00 deposit to the Student Financial Services Office (Room 315, Student Center). Should the student withdraw from the program after the deposit is paid, the student will forfeit the deposit and will be billed for any expenses over and above the amount of the deposit that St. Lawrence and/or the program provider have incurred on the student’s behalf.  

Orientation Meetings on-campus. Students must attend all orientation meetings and activities both on the St. Lawrence campus and in-country. Orientation will cover a variety of topics ranging from course choices to cultural information and safety and security protocols. Non-SLU students participating on programs may be required to attend some orientation sessions, otherwise they will receive printed information by mail.  Please see the Student Orientation Manual for additional information.

Country specific Information. In addition to materials provided by St. Lawrence University or the program sponsor, students are encouraged to consult the web site of the US State Department.  The State Department maintains information for every country of the world  including information such as the location of the U.S. embassy or consulate in the host country, health conditions, local politics, currency restrictions and entry regulations, immigration practices, crime and security information, and drug penalties.

Passport. You must have a valid passport to participate in any of the St. Lawrence University abroad programs. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to issue United States passports. Find out more about applying for a passport and download the application.

Visa. Generally, you must have a visa to enter a foreign country. The type of visa you must have is defined by immigration law, and relates to the purpose of your travel. You will receive information about applying for a visa after you are accepted to the program.  Please follow the visa process and time-line very carefully to insure that you receive your visa in a timely manner.

Immunizations. Students planning to study off-campus should consult with their physician/counselor about individual medical and counseling needs and the specific requirements of the site of their proposed study.  St. Lawrence Health and Counseling Services receive the names of all students accepted to study off-campus and can offer advice to individual students upon request, but cannot certify that all medical and counseling needs can be met in all off-campus study sites.  Off-Campus study often entails health risks and challenges that a student might not encounter on-campus and it is the individual student’s responsibility to be aware of and take steps to address these concerns.

For information in regards to immunizations, please consult the general off campus study orientation manual, your family physician or the Health Center.  Students participating on programs where specific immunizations are required will receive additional information during orientation sessions.

Additional Travelers’ Health Information such as recommended travel vaccinations and disease outbreaks for specific destinations is available through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) web page.

Travel Abroad Tips. The State Department offers some general safety tips for traveling abroad. In addition, there are several excellent travel guides that you should read in preparation for your program abroad, such as Lonely Planet or Let's Go. Another excellent resources is the series of Culture Shock! books published by Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company.

Currency Converter. To have a better sense of how much things cost in your host country, you should know how much the local currency is worth compared to the U.S. dollar.

Insurance.  St. Lawrence requires that all study abroad students have health insurance that covers them internationally and includes repatriation.  If your health insurance does not include international insurance coverage, there are many companies that offer such insurance specifically for students studying abroad.  The St. Lawrence student policy provides the required coverage or you can do a search for short-term policies online by utilizing the search term, “insurance for study abroad students.”  If you need a place to start, a few companies that provide this type of short-term international coverage include:  Gateway Connections, CMI Insurance Worldwide, HTH Worldwide. 

Please be aware that some countries require students to enroll in their national health insurance plan in order to obtain a student visa; including Australia, Japan, New Zealand.  Students on programs in Austria, Italy and Spain will be required to have the St. Lawrence University student policy or a short-term study abroad policy for visa purposes.   ISEP participants must carry national insurance of the host country or ISEP insurance coverage – depending on the program site.  Kenya program participants are required to purchase the Kenyan health insurance coverage upon their arrival in Kenya.  Students are responsible for the costs of any and all required policies.

More information on travel and health insurance is available here

Security Issues. Travel Warnings are issued by the U.S. State Department for reasons that might include unstable government, civil war, ongoing intense crime or violence, or frequent terrorist attacks when the Department of State wants you to consider carefully travelling to that country. Travel Alerts are issued by the U.S. State Department for short-term events, such as an election season that is bound to have many strikes, demonstrations, or disturbances; a health alert like an outbreak of H1N1; or evidence of an elevated risk of terrorist attacks, that you should be aware of when planning travel to a country.

Upon Return:

For most returning students, the return "home" is the most challenging part of studying off campus.  While you expect to encounter cultural adjustment challenges -- or to feel culture shock -- when you go to a different culture, you don't expect to feel it when you return home or to campus.  But you've been changed by the experience and you look at things differently.  In most cases, you're more independent and mature.  We hope that the materials here will help you think through this phase of cultural adaptation and will encourage you to reflect on your learning and the impact you experiences will have on you now that you are back on campus.

Please remember to:

·         Complete the program evaluation.  (Your grades will not be posted to your SLU transcript until you've submitted the evaluation and the Registrar has received your grades.)

·         Register for classes that build on your experiences and what you have learned during the program.

·         Try to stay in touch with students who participated in the same program as you or with students who have studied abroad.  (You may find that you have more in common now with someone who studied abroad than you do with some of your "old" friends.  A great time to meet these students is at the Welcome Back Reception. 

·         Apply to be a Peer Advisor.  If your program doesn't have a Peer Advisor, or you don't have time for those responsibilities, contact CIIS about other ways you can volunteer to help with information meetings, orientation, public presentations, and class visits.