Study Abroad A-Z
-- A --
Academic credit You will receive direct Stanford credit for all classes taken on a Bing Overseas Studies program. Check the online course database for listings of pre-approved departmental credit and for the number of units, GERs, etc. http://bosp.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/course_search.php
Academic program Complete and updated information about our academic programs is available on the Overseas Studies website (http://bosp.stanford.edu). You are responsible for knowing about academic requirements (e.g. language courses) and procedures (e.g. submit proposal for directed reading at least one month before start of quarter).
Academic standing All participants of a Bing Overseas Studies program must be in good academic standing, for example not on provisional registration or University suspension.
Address changes It is your responsibility to make sure that BOSP has your current contact information. Mailing address and Email address.
Airfare You are responsible for arranging and paying your own round-trip transportation to the program center abroad. If you are on financial aid and will have great difficulty paying for transportation prior to receiving aid for your first quarter overseas, you can apply for an advance on your aid. For more details see http://bosp.stanford.edu/orientation/finance.html.
Airplane reservations You are responsible for arranging your own round-trip flight. We advise you to start working on your travel arrangements shortly after you have been accepted into a program. More itinerary choices and lower fares may be available if you book early. Always make sure to ask for / print out and read the fare rules for the ticket you purchase.
Arrival at your center You are expected to arrive at your center location on the arrival date indicated on the program calendar. For more details on arriving at your program destination, see the center specific section for your program.
Axess Computer clusters in all program locations allow students to use Axess for the same functions they would perform on the home campus. It is very important that you plan ahead to meet deadlines! Remember that you work in Pacific Standard time on Axess, which means that the hours that it is available will vary according to differences in time zones. At most of the centers, availability of Internet access will be dependent on your center's hours.
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Bank accounts Money and center specific section
Bing events Thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Bing, BOSP can offer a number of cultural events at little or no cost to all students participating in our programs. The Bing events vary from location to location and quarter to quarter. Ask your student advisors about their Bing event experiences and be sure to bring one nice outfit with you overseas.
Books and readers Books for your courses are usually available for purchase or loan through the center’s library. Bring appropriate grammar and language book(s) and a good foreign language dictionary, if applicable.
BOSP The acronym for the Bing Overseas Studies Program
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Cardinal Care Stanford’s student health insurance gives you the coverage Stanford and BOSP require you to have: coverage for medical costs outside the United States, medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.
Cell Phones see Phones
Checks see Money
Clothing It is especially important to discuss clothing with students who have been to your center. The weather can be much colder and damper or hotter and more humid than it is in Northern California. Take clothes that require little care, since you may end up washing a lot by hand. Bring at least one outfit for special occasions, such as a formal dinner, a reception or theater.
Linens, blankets, and towels are generally provided with your housing, but you might prefer to bring your own small bath towel.
Contract All students signed the BOSP Participation Agreement at time of application. To re-read the contract, please go to:
Computers A computer cluster is available for student use at every program location. Hours of usage and computer/software availability vary by center. Contact your student advisor for specific information on availability of computers and printers.
Laptops: We encourage you to bring your own laptop. Be familiar with its functions especially changing network configurations and IP settings. Most centers have wireless internet access. To get more information specific to your center contact your Orientation Coordinator.
Contacts see Lenses Glasses and contact lenses
Courses All available courses are listed with detailed information on the BOSP website. You must take 12 units from the selection offered at the center. Be sure to check for updates prior to departure.
Credit Cards see Money
Customs see U.S. Customs
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Directed reading If you want to enroll in a directed reading while overseas, you need to submit a proposal to Overseas Studies no later than 30 days before the start of the quarter. Forms are available from the Academic Coordinator for BOSP. Any directed reading must be taken in addition to 12 units from the course offerings at the center.
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Early arrival If you choose to arrive before the scheduled arrival date at your center, you are responsible for making and paying for your own housing and meal arrangements.
Electricity Electricity in the United States is 110V/60Hz, Mexico is 127V/60Hz, Chile, Argentina, and Europe are 220/50Hz (except for England which is 240V/50Hz), Japan is 100V with half the country at 50Hz and the other at 60Hz. Plugs can be different in each country. If you take electrical items with you, you will need adapter plugs, and may need a voltage converter. Ask your Student Advisor or other returned students for advice. Plan to use a battery-powered alarm clock and to buy small appliances in-country. For all electronic equipment labeled 110/240 voltage, you only need to use a plug adapter. Most laptops will charge at both voltages, but please check the label on the plug.
Email Address BOSP will use your @stanford.edu email address unless you tell us otherwise.
Email Lists BOSP uses an email list to communicate with program participants as a group (e.g. Moscow1122@lists.stanford.edu). All accepted and waitlisted students to any given program are on this email list, as well as BOSP and center staff and the student advisors. You are not allowed to un-subscribe yourself from this list, since this is our vehicle to get important information to you.
In addition to the BOSP office-maintained list, the student advisors set up a voluntary chat list (e.g. BerlinChat1126@lists) to which you can subscribe or unsubscribe at your choosing. The chat list typically is a student-only list and allows for conversations about traveling together, sharing storage space, cell phone exchange etc. You can continue to use this chat list during and even after your program.
Evaluations At the end of your program you will be asked to evaluate many aspects of it. We do read each evaluation, so please be open, honest, clear and succinct when giving qualitative comments.
Extending Stay Yes! If you think ahead, and if you want to stay for another quarter, it is often possible extend your stay overseas! Refer to the BOSP Participation Agreement for deadlines and email your request to extend to email@example.com.
Extracurricular Activities … are available at all program locations. Speak to your student advisors to find out about playing sports on local university teams, joining clubs and groups, etc.
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Faculty in Residence Each center has a faculty member in residence that changes each quarter. This is a Stanford professor who teaches at your center for one quarter or more. In addition to their courses, Stanford faculty contributes to the overall intellectual life of the center, offering students an opportunity to interact with faculty on a more personal level.
Financial Aid Your financial aid continues uninterrupted while studying on an BOSP program. The Financial Aid Office will automatically re-evaluate your package for the quarter(s) you spend abroad. For more details see http://bosp.stanford.edu/orientation/finance.html
Food see Meals
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Glasses and contact lenses Take an extra pair and a copy of your prescription; lost or broken glasses or contacts can be difficult and/or expensive to replace. Take an adequate supply of cleaning solutions for contact lenses.
Grades See http://bosp.stanford.edu/orientation/reg_records.html
Graduating seniors It is absolutely possible to study abroad as a graduating senior. For more information, please go to: http://bosp.stanford.edu/orientation/reg_records.html
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Health insurance Your health insurance must cover medical treatment worldwide, medical evacuation and repatriation of remains. In signing your BOSP Participation Agreement, you agreed to carry this coverage. You may be asked to provide documented proof of it to your center or a consulate if you need to get a student visa.
Health planning and risks Make an appointment with the on-campus Travel Clinic (http://vaden.stanford.edu/travel/) or your personal doctor to plan for your time abroad. Plan to have this appointment at least six to eight weeks before you leave. You may choose to have immunizations that take several weeks to be effective.
Housing during program Overseas Studies provides you with housing from the arrival date to the last day in residence.
Housing on the Stanford campus See http://bosp.stanford.edu/orientation/housing.html
-- I --
Immunizations Medical authorities recommend that everyone have an up-to-date tetanus shot. BOSP also recommends that students check the Center for Disease Control website (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/ ) for recommendations on appropriate vaccinations and boosters for your program location. If you would like to use the Vaden Travel Clinic, please remember to take your immunization record with you to the appointment.
International student identity card (ISIC) An ISIC gives you access to reduced airfares on major airlines, domestic and international discounts on transportation, accommodations, international phone calls, car rentals, museum admissions and provides you basic accident, illness and medical emergency evacuation insurance while outside the U.S., if you purchase your card in the United States. You may purchase an ISIC on campus at the Overseas Resource Center in the Bechtel International Center. The card costs about $24. Find more information at www.isic.org.
International students All participating non-U.S. citizens who are studying at Stanford on a J-1 or F-1 status, need to request a “travel signature” on their DS-2019 or I-20 from Bechtel International Center before departure. You will be permitted to re-enter the U.S. on the same student status only if you get this signature before you leave. After July, 2003, all international students must have SEVIS approved documentation in hand when returning to the USA.
Internet All centers have Internet access in the computer clusters. If you bring your laptop and ethernet cord, you will be able to connect to the center’s network. Note that many centers will be closed at night, and may be closed over the weekend. Ask your student advisors about the situation at your destination. Please assume that you do not have internet access at your homestay, if applicable. In many locations, commercial internet cafes are readily available at your own cost.
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Laptops see Computers
Late arrival You have to arrive at the center location on the indicated arrival date. If an important reason requires you to arrive after this date, you must contact the director of your center and ask permission to arrive late.
Local laws and safety issues You are responsible for obeying all of the laws of the country you are in, regardless of whether you are traveling there or are a resident. U.S. law does not apply to you abroad. Penalties are often much heavier than in the United States. Stanford University and BOSP cannot intervene if you are arrested or prosecuted for violation of local laws, including laws on drug possession/use, currency exchange and disturbances of the peace. What may seem to you to be a harmless, fun prank may have serious consequences. Do not assume that, as an American or as a student, you will be treated leniently. The opposite is often the case. Do not count on the American consulate or embassy to assist you except in a superficial advisory capacity. In some places, public political demonstrations are not uncommon. If you choose to participate in a demonstration, be aware that some of your hosts may not appreciate that you, as a foreign visitor, are publicly opposing their political or social system. Your behavior abroad is your responsibility, not Stanford University’s, and you should think seriously about the consequences before acting.
Luggage Remember that you will have to carry whatever you take, so take only a minimum amount of clothing, personal items, etc. Extra or overweight luggage may incur excess baggage charges by airlines or may be hard to manage on public transportation. Be sure to label all bags with name tags inside and out. Talk to student advisors about their recommendations.
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Mail If you currently rent a P.O. Box, we recommend that you continue rental while you are overseas and have mail forwarded to another U.S. address. This forwarding request (“change of address”) can now be easily requested online at www.usps.com. Ask a friend or relative to look through your mail to determine what needs to be sent on to you. Do not have mail automatically forwarded to your overseas address or to the center.
Mailing address Before you leave, be sure to change your mailing address in Axess. Either delete your local mailing address or change your local mailing address to be the same as your secondary (home or permanent) mailing address, so that official University mail will be sent directly to your secondary address. If you would like your University mail sent elsewhere, please enter the address to which it should be sent. Do not use the address for your program or your homestay address (where applicable) in Axess. Establish a future address that will be effective shortly before the quarter that you plan to return to campus. We recommend that you establish your P.O. Box (if you have one) as your future address.
Meals Meals will either be provided in the homestay, covered by a food allowance, or some combination thereof. Overseas centers do not have food service.
Money You need access to cash and a credit card overseas. There are a variety of ways to access your money, listed below. Please check with the student advisors about the best situation at your destination. It is your responsibility to have funds available to cover your personal expenses. Always inform your bank as to where you are going to be, as to avoid having your account frozen due to foreign purchases!
• ATM cards Many foreign banks accept ATM cards. Contact your bank to find out ATM locations in the country you will be visiting and to get an international PIN (4-digit). Leave checking account deposit slips with whoever is replenishing your account.
All students going to Moscow must have a U.S. bank account with an ATM card and international PIN number.
• Cash You may want to carry about $100 of local currency with you from the United States, if possible, as you may not have a chance to exchange money right away when you arrive.
• Credit cards Credit cards, along with traveler’s checks, are often the best way to make purchases abroad. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted. With a credit card, you may also be able to find a bank or local office that will cash your checks or give you a cash advance against your account. Check with your credit card company before you leave to find out exactly what services it offers overseas. Be sure you have a customer service number that can be used internationally, should your card be lost or stolen. If you use credit cards, make sure that someone at the address to which the monthly statements are sent will be paying the bills.
• Personal checks In general, U.S. personal checks are not an accepted form of payment overseas.
• Traveler’s checks are a safe and convenient way to carry cash overseas. Most major traveler’s checks can be exchanged in local currency around the world and can be replaced if lost or stolen.
• Bank accounts Checking accounts are regularly set up for students in Oxford, Paris and Berlin. Check with the student advisors and center administrator for your location for additional details on your program location.
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Office Hours Every week the SAs from each program will hold one office hour somewhere on campus to be available to answer any of your questions about studying abroad. Keep an eye on your email box for notification of where the office hour will be each week.
Online Orientation Form All accepted and waitlisted students must submit an online orientation form in the BOSP application system. This is the vehicle by which students inform the center about housing preferences and course interests. It should be filled out accurately and submitted by the deadline. Failure to do so may result in withdrawal from the program.
Orientation sessions (pre-departure) All accepted and waitlisted students are expected to attend all orientation meetings. For more information, please go to: http://bosp.stanford.edu/orientation/requirements.html
Orientation (upon arrival at center) Upon your arrival at the program location, the staff will welcome you and hold an orientation session. Please check the arrival date for your center on the program calendar in this folder or on the website.
Overseas Studies Fee The university will charge you an overseas fee, which will appear on your university bill. This fee is equal to regular room and 19-meal board, based on charges applied for similar services on the Stanford campus. For more information, go to:
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Parents and Student Privacy It is a guiding principle at Stanford that students are able to manage their own affairs, including decisions and responsibilities around academic, financial and personal issues. BOSP complies with the university policy of affording students privacy, which means that we communicate directly with you, the students, and cannot discuss details about your overseas experience with your parents.
Passport You must have a passport to travel abroad. Your passport must be signed and valid for at least six (6) months after your last day overseas. If your passport expires before that date, it should be renewed. If you do not have a passport, apply for one immediately. U.S. citizens can obtain and renew passports at any U.S. post office. Find instructions at: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html. Make a photocopy of your passport and leave it at home with family or friends.
Passport Photos BOSP requires you to turn in either digital or physical passport size photographs of yourself before you go abroad. The photos will be used for various purposes at your center (picture boards, ID cards, host families et.al.). The number of photos required for each center varies and is indicated on the list of required materials (http://bosp.stanford.edu/orientation/orient_req_mat.html). If physical photos are requested, please submit official passport photos (photo paper, head shot, neutral background). Write your name and the name of your center location on the back of each photo. On campus, passport pictures can be taken at the Overseas Resource Center in Bechtel (725-0881).
Note: You may need additional passport photos for a visa application or to obtain an ISIC.
Personal expenses Personal expenses are your responsibility. They include your round trip airfare, books, related course materials and photocopies. They may also include extra clothing, cultural activities, photography, laundry, dry cleaning, personal travel and phone charges. These costs will vary from student to student, because they depend on a series of individual decisions. To get an estimate of cost of living at your center location, talk to your student advisors.
Petitions Be sure to honor all University deadlines.
Phones It is highly recommended, and in some programs mandatory, that all students have working cell phones while they are on the program. In most cases, these cell phones are purchased in-country and operate on a pre-paid plan. Talk to the student advisors for your location for more detailed information.
It is not advised to bring your U.S. cell phone with you abroad for regular daily use during your program. Though certain US phones do work abroad, it is often quite expensive to make calls.
Most students choose to use Skype or other digital service to call home, as it is very inexpensive or even, in some cases, free. If you are interested in an international calling card, check with major U.S. long distance carriers about international calling cards, which you can use to call back home. Make sure that they have an access number in the country to which you are traveling.
P.O. Box see Mail
Prescription medication A student going abroad with a preexisting medical problem should carry a letter from the attending physician, describing the medical condition and any prescription medications, including the generic names of prescribed drugs. Any medications being carried overseas should be left in their original containers and be clearly labeled. It is recommended that students check with the foreign embassy of the country they are visiting to make sure any required medications are not considered to be illegal narcotics. (A listing of foreign embassies and consulates in the U.S. is available on the Department of State’s website at http://www.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/dpl/32122.htm. Foreign embassy and consulate contact information can also be found on the Country Specific Information for each country.)
Note: It is often extremely difficult, if not impossible, to have prescription medications mailed to you from the United States while you are abroad. Fill all prescriptions for the entire trip before departure.
Probation Students on probation while overseas should ensure that minimum progress requirements are met as outlined in the Stanford Bulletin.
Provisional registration Students who have provisional registration or suspension status are ineligible to participate in a BOSP program.
-- Q --
Questions If you have any questions about the pre-departure orientation process, please contact the Orientation Coordinator at the BOSP office (firstname.lastname@example.org or 650.736.2038) or your student advisors.
-- R --
Rail passes You can get information about rail passes from travel agencies, guide books or on the internet.
Readers see Books and Readers
- S --
Safety Please read the separate web section Health and Safety.
Schengen Agreement An agreement between 25 European countries that standardizes visa requirements and eliminates border control between them. As a U.S. citizen, you may continuously travel within the Schengen countries for 90 out of 180 days. Most quarter-long programs are between 75-85 days, leaving few additional days for travel. For more information regarding the Schengen countries, please go here:
Shipping Shipping luggage to your location before your arrival is not recommended. If you have a special circumstance that necessitates shipping your luggage, please be in contact with the local center staff.
Stipend see Meals
Student Advisors (SAs) SAs have recently studied on the programs and have just returned to the Farm. They are an excellent resource for all your questions about life at your program location and they will play an important role in your pre-departure orientation this quarter. You are welcome to contact the SAs via their email [location]email@example.com and will meet them at your first orientation session. Make sure you know who they are!
Student Guide The SAs will put together a student guide for you with lots of practical advice and insider information about your destination. Make sure you receive your copy during the second half of the quarter!
Study lists Make sure to file your study list well before the deadline!
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Time Schedule During course registration there will be no scheduled times for any courses. You will find out during center orientation what time classes are scheduled for. The centers try to arrange for classes not to take place at the same time, so that you can expect to be able to take any combination of offered classes.
Travel for pleasure A good time to do more extensive traveling is after the quarter has ended. The best sources for more information about traveling before or after your program are your student advisors. And keep in mind that your travel days might be limited by the amount of days you are allowed to be in that country or group of countries. While at the center, please keep your questions about leisure travel to the center staff to a minimum. They are not your personal travel agents.
-- U --
UAR Advisor Each program has a UAR advisor dedicated to helping those students with adding a minor, applying for research grants, submitting paperwork, and other academic issues. You will meet the UAR advisor for your program before you leave to go abroad, and they will be available to you before, during, and after your program.
University Bill See University Bill and Financial Aid
U.S. Customs If you plan to take expensive items purchased in the U.S., such as a laptop computer or a camera that is less than 1 year old, you may want to take a proof of purchase with you. Upon your return to the U.S., you can then easily demonstrate to U.S. Customs that you are not importing an item from overseas.
-- V --
Vaden Health Center We strongly encourage you to make an appointment with their Travel Clinic to make sure that you have all of the appropriate vaccinations. Please bring your immunization records with you!
Visas Some countries require foreign citizens to get an entry permission (“visa”) before entering their territory. A visa usually comes in form of a stamp or sticker that is applied to a blank page in your passport. A visa must be obtained BEFORE entering the country in question. There are different types of visas for different purposes of stay in the visa-issuing country (tourist, student, work etc.). Whether you need to get a visa before going to your overseas studies program depends on your destination and your nationality.
All students going to Kyoto, Moscow, Beijing and Australia will need to get a visa before departure.
Some students going to all remaining programs might also have to get a visa.
It is the responsibility of the student to find out if they will need a visa, and what documents they will need to secure that visa.
Visiting Faculty see Faculty in Residence
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Waitlist If you are currently waitlisted, we still want you to actively participate in the entire pre-departure orientation process. It is aimed at waitlisted students just as much as it is at accepted students. All orientation requirements apply to waitlisted students, because if and when a space becomes available for you, we want you to be just as prepared as everyone else!
Waitlisted students are accepted on a rolling basis and notified by email when a space becomes available. Spaces open up when accepted students drop from the program. Due to the dependence on the plans of accepted students, we cannot guarantee to offer you a space. However, we will continue to accept students off the waitlist as late as logistically possible.
If you do not wish to remain on the waitlist, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we can remove you from the list.
Website The Bing Overseas Studies Program website is located at http://bosp.stanford.edu. Check it out!
Withdrawing from program If you need to withdraw from your upcoming BOSP program, send an email to email@example.com. Include your name, SUID and center and quarter from which you are withdrawing. Please refer to the BOSP Participation Agreement for withdrawal deadlines.
Working abroad With a few exceptions, foreign countries do not allow visiting American students to take up paid employment. Check with the director of your center about the rules in the country in which you are studying.
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