Expectations While Abroad
It is common for Fellows to experience homesickness during key stages of the program, for many this may be a first experience away from home. It is important to note that the first few days of international travel can be challenging as Fellows adjust to a new schedule and cultural immersion. Please know that the Program group leaders are there to support the Fellows throughout this process of adjustment.
Many Program Fellows have dietary preferences, such as vegetarianism and veganism, unrelated to a medical condition. Sticking to a specific diet abroad can be a challenge, depending on the program location. In general, one should remember that it is the responsibility of the Fellow to adapt to the culture they are in and to be prepared to remain flexible in many ways, including in relation to dietary preferences.
In many instances -- when with the group, on excursions, or when eating on one's own -- Fellows find it is possible to follow a specific diet.
Culture and Policy
It is important for Fellows to be aware of cultural norms around language, attire, and
behavior. Pay attention to your packing list, which will indicate, for example, particular countries where short shorts might be offensive to local people. For safety’s sake, Fellows should also be aware of where they are expected to be at any given time.
An integral part of the Program is the international experiential learning Program in the host country.
Acceptance into the Program includes being away from home for a short period of time and agreeing that during this time you will abstain from any tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs. The use of these substances may result in dismissal from the program, and it will be the responsibility of dismissed Fellows and their families to arrange for the return home.
Challenging programs, the camaraderie of fellow Fellows, and the guidance and support of group leaders give Program Fellows a rewarding experience and lifelong memories. It is important to remember, however, that there are many policies intended to protect the safety and well-being of the Fellows, leaders, partner office personnel, the environment, and the host culture during each Program session. When a Fellow is not able to follow established guidelines, leaders have an obligation to intervene on behalf of the organization, group, or individuals. Certain behaviors will be managed in the field, while other conduct will require a response that extends beyond what is possible in the field.
Expectations of Fellows in conjunction with Program policies:
- All Fellows will be inclusive and respectful of other Fellows, group leaders, partners and hosts.
- Everyone will participate actively, stay on track with scheduled programming, and work within the schedule of the group.
- It is Program policy to strongly discourage any exclusive relationship, romantic or fraternal.
- Other expectations and/or policies will be given by the direction of the leaders prior to or at the start of each program.
Leaders may respond to behavioral incidents in the following way(s):
- Report to The Program and/or the Fellow’s parent(s)/guardians
- Written behavioral contract with Fellow
- Suspension of activities or privileges
- Dismissal of Fellow from the program (Logistical and financial arrangements for changes in travel are the responsibility of the Fellow and their family/guardians.)
Examples of behaviors that will require intervention by The Program include:
- Compromising the physical or emotional safety of another individual or group
- Endangering oneself or others through blatant disregard of established guidelines and policies
- Illegal acts, including the possession and/or use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco
- Repeatedly disobeying specific behavioral expectations
- Signs of severe depression or other disorders that may be injurious without intervention of trained counselors or psychiatric help
- Exclusive relationships that draw undue attention to or away from others
- Undisclosed medical/mental health conditions and/or medications