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Overseas Seminars

Program Summary

Introduction

Overseas Seminars are an exciting and rewarding way for short-term study abroad with Stanford University. Taught and led by Stanford faculty, these three week Overseas Seminars are specifically designed to integrate course content and program location. Each seminar is limited to 12-15 students. For a current list of our seminar offerings, please see the chart of seminars.

 

Course Credit & Grading

Overseas Seminars are two unit classes that are part of Summer Quarter. Grading basis for Overseas Seminars is either mandatory satisfactory/no credit (S/NC) or mandatory letter grade as determined by each faculty member leading the seminar.

 

Eligibility & Application

All Stanford undergraduates in good academic standing with 45 credits by the end of Spring Quarter prior to the seminar with the exception of students who have gone on Overseas Seminars before are eligible to participate. Seniors or Co-Terms are eligible as long as they do not have their undergraduate degrees conferred before the end of Summer Quarter.  Students who have gone on an overseas seminar before are not eligible to apply.  International students should check with the Bechtel International Center whether or not their status will allow them to be enrolled for a course over the summer.

 
The application deadline for Summer 2013 Overseas Seminars is October 21, 2012. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee. Additionally, some faculty may conduct interviews as part of the selection process. Students will be notified of the selection results on November 16, 2012. All acccepted and waitlisted students must confirm their stuats to the Overseas Seminar by the confirmation deadline of December 9, 2012.


To determine an applicant’s qualifications, standing at the University, and readiness to participate in a program, the following offices may be consulted: 1) Residential Education, 2) Office of Accessible Education, 3) Undergraduate Advising and Research, 4) Office of Judicial Affairs, and 5) Vaden Health Center/Counseling and Psychological Services (Note that Vaden will not share confidential health information with the program, but may identify a concern with an applicant’s readiness to participate, to be further addressed with the applicant).


BOSP reserves the right to revoke admission at any point prior to the seminar should there be any changes to student’s qualifications, standing at the University, and readiness to participate in the program. BOSP will notify the student should there be any concerns, if the student is no longer eligible to participate in the Overseas Seminar.

To start your application, please visit the application page.

 

Cost & Travel

Participating students pay a seminar fee of $600 that covers lodging and meals during the seminar, as well as any activities that is part of the class itself.  The seminar fee does not cover international round-trip airfare to and from the overseas seminar location. Students are responsible for arranging and paying for this round-trip transportation on their own, including getting themselves to the specific seminar location from their home airport upon arrival and from the seminar location back to their home airport for their departure. Additionally, students are responsible for costs for visa, pre-departure immunization costs, course materials, health insurance and all other incidental expenses. Some financial assistance may be available for students with demonstrated financial need. If you are eligible for a seminar fee waiver based on the assessment conducted by the Financial Aid Office, you will be contacted and informed by BOSP on November 28, 2012. Please contact the Financial Aid Office with any questions related to financial aid assistance.

Estimated Round-Trip Airfare from SFO to the seminar location as of 10/01/2012: (subject to change)


Austria (Vienna) - $1,330
Brazil (Rio) - $1,200
Costa Rica (San Jose) - $630
India (arrive New Delhi, depart Bombay/Mumbai) - $1,400
Israel (Tel Aviv) - $1,800
Madagascar (Antananarivo) - $3,100
Palau (Koror) - $2,050
Wales (Cardiff) - $1,600

 

Participation Requirements

Seminar participants must adhere to the BOSP participation requirements set forth in the Bing Overseas Studies Program (“BOSP”) Participation and Assumption of Risk, Release of Claims, Indemnification and Hold Harmless Agreement (“BOSP Agreement”). During Winter Quarter, BOSP conducts a mandatory online pre-departure orientation module for all seminar participants. In addition, faculty leaders conduct at least one mandatory orientation session during Winter Quarter and another mandatory orientation during Spring Quarter. Additionally, some faculty leaders may offer a required pre-seminar course and/or additional meetings during Winter and/or Spring Quarter to better prepare students both academically and culturally. Furthermore, some seminars require that students be able to do some hiking in remote locations or swim and snorkel competently for prolonged periods of time. Before you start your application, review the prerequisite(s) and living and traveling conditions for each seminar carefully by visiting the current seminar page.

 

All students are required to meet all prerequisites, attend all mandatory orientations and turn in all required materials by the designated deadlines in order to remain eligible to participate in a seminar. Failure to turn in required materials by the designated deadlines, attend the mandatory orientation session and complete mandatory orientation activities will result in your removal from the program. This will enable us to better prepare students for studying abroad, and will ensure fairness to students on the waitlist who have completed all of these items. All seminar participants are required to attend the entire seminar, from the scheduled arrival date/time through the scheduled departure date/time. Late arrival and/or early departure is not permitted under any circumstance.

 

Health & Safety

Students on international programs should be aware that attitudes toward medical conditions, disabilities, and psychological conditions vary by culture and under the laws of the host countries. These differences impact the level of treatment and accommodation available abroad. Students should give serious consideration to their health and personal circumstances when accepting a place in a program and should consult with their physicians.


Students should understand that the conditions in certain seminar locations can present difficulties and challenges not encountered here at Stanford University.  Students should be prepared for a varying level of lodging, lack of amenities, new climate, new foods, limited food choices, and having less privacy and personal space than they are used to at the home campus. Dietary selections may be limited, so students with severe restrictions should carefully evaluate their ability to participate comfortably. Additionally, some seminars are moderately strenuous requiring that students be able to hike in remote locations or swim and snorkel competently for prolonged periods of time. Some locations may not be accessible. Students who have concerns about the specific living and traveling conditions should consult with the Bing Overseas Studies Program before submitting their application.


Students must be aware that certain immunizations are required to protect their health in overseas locations. Students must review the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for complete information on health conditions and vaccinations of a specific seminar location at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm. Students must also consult the on-campus Vaden Health Center Travel Clinic (http://vaden.stanford.edu/travel/). Students are expected to make an appointment with the on-campus Vaden Health Center Travel Clinic as soon as they are accepted to the program at (650) 498-2336 ext. 1 to discuss any health concerns, pre-departure immunizations, and any personal prescriptions before going abroad.
Students must review the U.S. State Department’s consular information website for complete information on safe and security in a specific seminar location at:  http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis_pa_tw_1168.html.

 

As with any foreign travel, emphasis will be placed on staying away from questionable situations, avoiding injury, and preventing infectious disease. Students will be expected to travel in groups, avoid travel at night, and stay with the group unless prior approval is obtained. While overseas, students are advised to be alert to their surroundings, and be particularly aware of any health and safety advisories for the areas in which they will be visiting. Additional issues of personal health and safety and precautions will be discussed in detail during the mandatory pre-seminar preparation and upon arriving in country.

 

Program Modification and Cancellation

Stanford reserves the right to make alterations to this published website description or cancel the seminar program before or during its operation for any reason, including natural disasters, emergencies, low enrollment, or unavailability of facilities or personnel or in compliance with the University’s travel policies at http://www.stanford.edu/dept/provost/news/travel.html. The specific seminar dates, facilities and activities are subject to change depending on available resources at the time and other important considerations that may arise for a successful implementation of the seminar.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply to more than one seminar?
No, you may only apply to one seminar at a time. Once you participate in an Overseas Seminar, you are no longer eligible to apply to another Overseas Seminar. You are welcome to apply to as many BOSP quarter-length programs as you like, and you should contact BOSP to learn more about these opportunities.
Can I do a seminar and RA training or Sophomore College?
Yes, but only if you participate in a seminar that does not conflict with the dates of RA training or Sophomore College. Those seminars that run on the August-September model would make you ineligible to be an RA or to attend Sophomore College or any other programs that have a similar calendar.
I am scheduled to graduate in June before the seminar. Can I still participate?
Yes, but you must postpone official graduation until after the seminar has ended (usually Summer Quarter conferral). No exceptions will be made. You may walk through Commencement with the permission of your major department(s). International students should check with the Bechtel International Center to determine whether or not their status will allow them to postpone graduation to be enrolled for a course over the summer. For questions, contact BOSP at bospapply@lists.stanford.edu.
Can I attend as a co-term?
It depends. If you are co-term in Summer Quarter, but your undergraduate degree has not yet been conferred, you are eligible to participate in the Overseas Seminar. If your undergraduate degree has been conferred, you are not eligible to participate. For questions, contact BOSP at bospapply@lists.stanford.edu.
When will I know if I am conditionally admitted?
You will be notified of the application results via email on November 16, 2012. The application deadline for Summer 2013 Overseas Seminars is October 21, 2012. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee. Additionally, some faculty may conduct interviews as part of the selection process. Students will be notified of the selection results on November 16, 2012. To determine an applicant's qualifications, standing at the University, and readiness to participate in a program, the following offices may be consulted: 1) Residential Education, 2) Office of Accessible Education, 3) Undergraduate Advising and Research, 4) Office of Judicial Affairs, and 5) Vaden Health Center/Counseling and Psychological Services (Note that Vaden will not share confidential health information with the program, but may identify a concern with an applicant's readiness to participate, to be further addressed with the applicant). BOSP reserves the right to revoke admission at any point prior to the seminar should there be any changes to student's qualifications, standing at the University, and readiness to participate in the program. BOSP will notify the student should there be any concerns, if the student is no longer eligible to participate in the Overseas Seminar.
I am on the waitlist. What are my chances of getting in, and how long should I wait?
If you are currently waitlisted for any BOSP program (Quarter-length, Consortium or Seminar), know that we will ONLY accept students from the waitlist who have turned in all of their required materials, and who have attended the mandatory orientation meeting regardless of where you might be ranked on the waitlist. Students who fail to do this will be administratively withdrawn from the waitlist. This will enable us to better prepare students for studying abroad, and will ensure fairness to other students on the waitlist who have completed all of these items. Students on the waitlist who have completed all of the necessary items above will be accepted into the program as soon as space becomes available, even on very short notice up until it becomes no longer possible to admit you to the program. Please understand that it is impossible for BOSP to predict whether you will be accepted into the program, although in the past due to the limited number of spaces the waitlists have generally moved slow. You may remain on the waitlist for as long as you wish. Students on the waitlist will be notified by email once the waitlist has been closed. Also be aware that the drop deadline for accepted students is February 15, 2013, so sometimes spaces become available right after this date.
What kind of credit do I get for the Overseas Seminar?
You will receive 2 units after successfully complete the seminar. This will be part of Summer Quarter.
When will I meet the other seminar participants?
You will meet other seminar participants during the orientation meetings in Winter Quarter and Spring Quarter.
What if my passport expires, or if I don't have one?
All seminar participants must have a passport that is valid at least six (6) months from the expected date of departure from the host country. If you don't have a passport, apply for one immediately. Some seminar locations require that you apply for an entry visa before the beginning of the seminar. This can take up to several months, and you need your valid passport to initiate any visa process.
Do I need a visa?
Students may need entry visas for the countries in which the seminars take place. Check out the specific seminar website to find out the visa requirements. You will receive more information on how to apply for a visa during the orientation quarter.
Who will book my flight?
Students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to the seminar location, and for paying their round-trip airfare. Firm arrival and departure dates will be announced during the orientation quarter.
What if I need to arrive later or leave early?
All participants are required to arrive to the seminar location on the scheduled arrival date/time and cannot depart earlier than the departure date/time. Student accommodation is arranged from the evening of the arrival date until the night prior to the departure date. Students who wish to arrive earlier at the seminar location or to stay beyond the duration of the seminar are responsible for making their own accommodation arrangements at their own expense. Late arrival and/or early departure is not permitted under any circumstance.
Will I have free time or weekends off during the seminar?
Allocation and amount of personal time varies from seminar to seminar. Overseas Seminars are first and foremost designed as a short-term educational experience overseas. They are not travel holidays and the schedule will be busy. The allocation of any personal time off is solely at the discretion of the faculty leader based on the seminar structure as well as the safety and security considerations of the specific location.
Do I need health insurance?
You must be covered by health insurance that is valid worldwide for the entire duration of your seminar. Exact requirements are spelled out in the BOSP Participation Agreement. Further information will also be given during orientation.
Do I need to get immunizations?
You must review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm) for complete information on health conditions and vaccinations at specific seminar location. Apart from required shots, some immunizations may be recommended as a health precaution. You should also consult the on-campus Vaden Health Center Travel Clinic (http://vaden.stanford.edu/travel/) well in advance of your departure to discuss any health concern, pre-departure immunizations and any personal prescriptions before going abroad. Some inoculations may require a series of shots or take weeks to become effective.
Can I go on a quarter length Overseas Studies in the spring and go on seminar OR go on a seminar and a quarter length Overseas Studies in the fall?
Yes, you can participate in both, if you get accepted to both and if you are able to obtain your visas on time. You must pay attention to the end date of the first program and the arrival date of the second program as they may be very close. Just like seminars, quarter length programs have strict arrival and departure dates. You must also check the visa requirements of your destinations to ensure that you are able to obtain your visa in a timely manner to participate in both programs.