Getting Started



Notary Public

Medical Checkup

Medications Abroad

Health Insurance

Other Insurance

Travel to Program Site

Proof of Onward Journey

Academic Advising


Fee Payments

Onsite Program Costs

Tax Documentation

Financial Aid

Managing Your Money


IU Library Services

IUB Campus Housing

Housing Sublets

Absentee Voting

International Student Identity Card

Cell Phones

Full-time Student Status

Course Restrictions

Dropping a Class

Withdrawal from the Program

Credits and Grades

Senior Residency Requirement


Academic Integrity

Personal Conduct

Athletic Scholarship Compliance


Legal Responsibilities

Health and Safety Abroad

Personal Safety

Travel Safety

Personal Adjustment

Cultural Differences

Culture Shock

Re-entry: Reverse Culture Shock

Medical Benefits

Eligible Expenses

Expenses Not Covered

Medical Evacuation

Bedside Visit


Reimbursement of Expenses

A. Responsibilities of IU Education Abroad

B. Responsibilities of Participants

C. Recommendations to Parents/Guardians/Families



Risk for Travelers


Getting Started: Study Abroad Handbook


This handbook contains general information pertinent to students on all semester and academic year Indiana University Education Abroad programs. Throughout the booklet, reference is made to information specific to either IU-administered programs or IU co-sponsored programs. To fully benefit from the information presented, you should understand the difference between these designations.

IU-administered programs are those in which IU selects and orients students, and arranges housing, classes, and staffing abroad.

Co-sponsored programs include CIEE, CIS Abroad, CYA, DIS, IES Abroad, Jerusalem, Adelaide, Canberra, Perth, Sydney and Wollongong. IU selects and orients students, but a program provider or host institution arranges housing, classes and administration abroad.

If in doubt as to whether your program is IU-administered or co-sponsored, consult the IU Education Abroad website.

Pre-Departure Checklist

Preparing for Departure


Apply for a passport IMMEDIATELY. Many participants will need to have passports in hand several months in advance of travel in order to secure required visa or residency permits. Pick up an application at the post office at 520 South Walnut Street in Bloomington, at a county clerk’s office, or download it here. You will be instructed to submit the completed application with one recent photo, a certified copy of your birth certificate, another ID with photo and a signature (such as your driver’s license), and $145. Routine processing times vary, but can take up to 4 months at peak times. It will be valid for 10 years. If your program requires a visa, you may wish to choose expedited processing of your passport for an additional fee, as well as express mail service.

Savvy Traveler Tips

Scan a copy of your passport page and save it in your email so you can have easy access to it, should you need it, while you are traveling.

You can check the status of your passport application online. Sign your passport as soon as you receive it. Make two photocopies of the passport page that has your name on it. Leave one copy with your family when you go abroad and take the other with you. The copy will make it much easier for you to replace your passport if it should be lost or stolen.


A visa is an authorization, usually a stamp in your passport, which permits you to travel into or reside in another country for a stated period of time. The visa is issued by the country’s consulate in the United States. Preparing and filing an application can be complicated, costly and time-consuming.

Student visas are required for almost all semester and academic year programs, and some summer programs. If your program requires a visa, you will receive visa application instructions and supporting documentation. You should review these materials as soon as you receive them and proceed as advised immediately.

The application process for some visas will require that applicants obtain supporting materials from other agencies, possibly including translated and/or notarized copies of official documents such as birth certificates, background checks, high school diplomas and official transcripts, and may require submission well in advance of travel dates. Some applications must be submitted in person which may require additional cost/travel to Consulates in Chicago, Detroit or elsewhere.

If you plan to leave the U.S. well in advance of the time the program begins, contact IU Education Abroad or your program provider as early as possible. Early processing of visa applications may be complicated or, in some situations, not possible at all. Consulates process visa applications according to the start date of the study abroad program and not according to personal travel plans.

"Going abroad offers a greater variety of opportunities than staying on campus. You are a student and a part of a completely different culture than that of Indiana University."

student advice

Visas are granted at the discretion of the consulate and may be denied for ANY reason including inadequate documentation, pending legal action, past criminal history, etc.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you are responsible for contacting the embassy of the country where you will study to determine its entry and visa requirements for citizens of your country. You are also responsible for arranging to remain in compliance with U.S. immigration regulations regarding an extended stay abroad and re-entry into this country.

International students must consult with the Office of International Services before studying abroad. If you plan to study abroad on a semester or academic year program, you will need to complete an "In-Absentia" e-form through the Atlas system so that the Office of International Services is aware of your study abroad plans.

Students on all programs will receive assistance at the program site in arranging official student or nonresident status.

IU has negotiated discounted fees for expediting services for passports and visas; see information on the special CIBT visas webpage.

Notary Public

Some paperwork related to visa and residence permit applications may require a Notary Public to affirm identity. See additional information on notaries public and locations.

Medical Checkup

You are strongly encouraged to schedule a medical exam at the Student Health Center (812-855-4011) or with your family physician. A dental exam is also strongly recommended.

Appointments for exams or vaccinations at the Student Health Center are generally scheduled 2-3 weeks out, so plan accordingly.

For information on necessary or suggested vaccinations for travel abroad, consult your family physician or the Student Health Center’s Travel Clinic (812-855-7688). The Health Center receives up-to-date communiques from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Given the highly transmissible coronavirus that caused the worldwide pandemic in 2020-21, the vaccine for COVID-19 is highly recommended at this time.

Living abroad can create stress. If you are currently under medical care, talk openly to your counselor, health provider, or IU Education Abroad about the support you might need abroad.

The Medical History form is important for your health and safety. It will help the staff onsite get assistance for you in case of accident or illness. Language barriers and incomplete medical records can delay treatment. For your own safety and benefit, provide full information about medications you take regularly, drug allergies, and chronic or recurring conditions, including eating disorders.

Medications Abroad

If you currently take medications, talk to your physician or nurse practitioner about arrangements for continuing the medications abroad.

Any medications carried overseas should be left in their original containers and be clearly labeled. Prescription medications CANNOT be mailed abroad. You should also carry a letter from your physician describing the medical condition and any prescription medications, including generic names of prescription drugs. Be prepared for the possibility of having to see a physician abroad in order to authorize continued treatment during your time overseas.

Health Insurance

Most IU Education Abroad students on IU-administered programs are covered by a group medical insurance policy whose cost is included in program fees. (Some programs include more comprehensive health insurance which is also factored into your program fees.) Program Fee Sheets provide confirmation of insurance enrollment or options. The policy is valid worldwide, except in the United States, during the program period. A description of the policy and its benefits is included in an appendix of this handbook.

Students on co-sponsored programs will receive explicit instructions about policies regarding insurance coverage.

Generally, should you require medical treatment, you must pay for services when they are rendered and then file for reimbursement from the U.S. insurance carrier. Send receipts from your physician and pharmacist together with the claim form that is available on the GeoBlue.

Discuss with your current insurance agent the advisability of maintaining your current health insurance as well. If circumstances force you to withdraw from the program and return to the U.S., you should have adequate medical coverage available here. Also, you may need to maintain continuing coverage with your own company to retain benefits for any pre-existing conditions.

Current IU international students who wish to withdraw from the IUB mandatory health insurance plan must file a waiver request with the IU Office of International Services.

Other Insurance

You may also want to consider purchasing supplemental insurance to reimburse you for theft or loss of personal items (personal property insurance), lost expenses due to travel cancellations (travelers insurance), including plans that allow you to Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR), or enrollment in a travel assistance plan (assistance to help you replace lost or stolen travel documents, to locate medical assistance while traveling, etc.).

Some students may already be covered for these expenses by their parents' or guardians' current insurance plans. Additional plans, specifically designed for overseas travelers, are available through some program providers, travel agencies, frequent flyer programs and even credit card companies.

If you plan to travel after your program ends, you may need to purchase supplemental medical insurance to cover the additional time you stay abroad.

Travel to Program Site

You are responsible for making arrangements to arrive in the host city on your program’s official arrival day. Travel agencies and Internet discount travel sites can be excellent resources. IU Education Abroad or your program provider will provide precise instructions about arrival dates and where to go when you arrive.

helpful info

Once you have arrived at your program site, be sure to contact family and friends in the United States. They will be anxious to know you arrived safely. Contact them on a regular basis throughout your time abroad. If you plan to call or Skype, establish a mutually convenient time and day.

Travel agents or airlines may offer a flexible return ticket, meaning you can change the date of your return, although this may incur an additional charge. Check with your company to see what the charges are.

You may also want to consider the purchase of trip cancellation insurance (see info in previous section). This must be purchased at the same time or within a brief time after the purchase of the airline ticket.

If you arrive early, you are responsible for arranging your own accommodations until the program begins. Program staff will only be able to assist you on site if you have an emergency.

Proof of Onward Journey

Before boarding your flight to depart the U.S. and/or upon entering your host country you will be expected to show proof of return transportation to the U.S. or onward travel to a third country (a round-trip ticket, even if the return date has not been finalized, or written confirmation of travel reservations). Failure to produce some confirmation of arranged departure may result in your having to purchase a return ticket on the spot, which could be very expensive.

Academic Advising

As soon as possible, it is essential that you take the following steps:

All departments and schools reserve the right to determine how much and what type of credit students receive for study abroad. That is why it is important for you to discuss your proposed course of study with your departmental advisor and obtain permission to receive credit in your major for the coursework you expect to take abroad.

When you return to IU, expect to submit documentation of your coursework abroad to your major and/or minor departments before they approve credit toward your degree requirements. Based on the information you bring back, they will also determine what level of credit you are entitled to receive. If you have questions about this process while you are abroad, consult IU Education Abroad.

In all cases, it is essential that you bring back from your time abroad all available academic materials from each course (syllabuses, bibliographies, notes, papers, assignments, exams, etc.).


IU Registration

If you are an IU Bloomington student, IU Education Abroad will authorize you to register in a special OVST course number designated for your program. You will receive instructions from IU Education Abroad about enrolling in the specific section for your semester(s) abroad. You cannot register for the program if your Bursar record shows any principal balance (however small) from a preceding semester or if there are any holds on your student account. Inability or failure to register may jeopardize your place on the program.

Students from other campuses and institutions will be registered administratively by the staff of IU Education Abroad.

The administrative course number is unique, only for students on your program and the fee associated with the class number is a flat fee. After the conclusion of the program, IU course titles will be added to your record for the exact number of credits you actually earned for specific courses abroad. (Please note: The administrative course number (OVST...) will remain on your record to account for the period you were abroad but the administrative credit hours associated with it will not be factored into your completed credits.)

You may not withdraw from a program at any time or change your registration status online without first contacting IU Education Abroad for approval and, when relevant, your co-sponsoring organization.

Host Institution Registration

You will meet onsite with program staff to enroll in courses. Follow the guidelines at the host institution for course selection and registration and adhere as closely as possible to the tentative schedule you set up with your IU advisors.

Before making any major changes in the tentative schedule, you should check the alternate courses with IU Education Abroad. Failure to do so may result in your taking inappropriate courses or not maintaining the minimum courseload required by IU.

IU Registration for Post-Program Semester

IUB Registration materials will be available online with the Registrar's Office or One.IU.

Follow the same procedures to register for summer school. Note, however, that final exams at many program sites do not conclude until at least mid-June, which makes attendance at IU’s summer school difficult for students on those programs.

Students from other campuses: Contact your campus directly for information on registration in absentia.

Fee Payments

Follow instructions on the Fee Sheet provided in your acceptance notification.

Indiana University Refund Policy

Nonrefundable prepayment(s): The prepayments paid for any IU program will NOT be refunded under any circumstances.

IU-Administered Programs

IU Co-sponsored Programs: The non-refundable prepayment and IU Services Fee are NOT refundable under any circumstances. Each co-sponsoring agency sets its own refund policies regarding fees due to them. A refund of any co-sponsored program fees billed by Indiana University will be subject to the refund policy of the sponsoring agency. Please see program fee sheets for details.

Onsite Program Costs

The Fee Sheet available on our website and provided upon acceptance provides estimates of the money you will need abroad for rent, meals, personal expenses, textbooks, etc. The figures are based on reports of students recently abroad and reflect the differences in their spending habits.

Tax Documentation

IU and other U.S. institutions of higher education will issue 1098-T forms to verify qualified educational expenses. We recommend that you consult with your tax advisor for the appropriate tax treatment.

Financial Aid

Since March 10 is the annual application deadline for federal financial assistance, students who have not yet applied should contact the Financial Aid office on their home campus immediately. Most IU financial aid may be applied to IU-administered or co-sponsored programs.

Most financial aid, including scholarships, will not be affected by your having studied abroad as long as you continue to meet the eligibility and standards required by the funding source. If you have questions about how study abroad will impact your funding upon your return, please contact the office at IU responsible for your scholarship. Students with financial aid and/or scholarships should contact IU Education Abroad to see how the aid may be applied to study abroad program costs.

Administered Programs

Most types of financial aid may be applied to IU-administered programs (except work-study and music performance-based scholarships).

Co-Sponsored Programs

Most IU financial aid may be applied to programs co-sponsored by IU (CIEE, CIS, IES, DIS, etc.) except performance scholarships, guaranteed tuition certificates, Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships, fee remissions and some private or named scholarships.

Students should verify the transferability of specific scholarships with their home campus financial aid office.

IUB Students

For IU students who have already applied for financial assistance, IU Education Abroad will automatically send specific program budgets to the IUB financial aid office.

Non-IUB Students

In order for a student to use loans, scholarships or grants awarded by or through a non-IUB campus for an IU Education Abroad program, a consortium agreement must be initiated by the financial aid office on the home campus. This written agreement ascertains critical information about the program (dates, costs, fees, enrollment verification, etc.) so that you can continue to receive financial aid from your home campus. If you are from another campus and have been accepted to an IU program, you should make an appointment as soon as possible with your campus’ financial aid officer to ensure timely processing of this consortium agreement. Delays in finalizing this agreement will result in delays getting access to your loan, grant, and scholarship money. Having it sent directly to IU Education Abroad ( will ensure that it is processed by the IUB Office of Student Financial Assistance before being returned to your campus’ financial aid officer.

IU Education Abroad Scholarships

Scholarships from IU Education Abroad are awarded primarily on the basis of financial need, but academic merit is also an important consideration. The awards are processed by the IUB Office of Student Financial Assistance and will appear as part of your financial aid package on your Bursar account.

All applicants to all eligible programs will automatically be considered for these scholarships. No separate scholarship application is required.

Applying Aid to Program Fees

Any IUB grants, scholarships, and loans that are transferable to the program will be reflected as credits on the invoices you receive from the IUB Bursar. Arrange to have the refunds directly deposited into your checking account where the funds can be accessed abroad via ATM. If direct deposit is not an option for you, have the check mailed to a person in the U.S. who will deposit it for you. IUB students should use One.IU to update your campus address with your permanent address.

If you are from another IU campus, transferable grants, scholarships and loans from other campuses will be refunded to you; it is your responsibility to use the funds to pay the IUB Bursar for program costs.

Financial aid refunds are disbursed according to the type of aid. Federal aid refunds will not be released until APPROXIMATELY 10 days prior to the program’s start date or IU’s semester start date, whichever is later.

Institutional aid refunds are released approximately the first week the IU term begins. IU institutional aid refunds will be disbursed from the Bursar at the beginning of the Summer I session, regardless of the summer session for which you are enrolled.

Financial Aid for Post-Program Semester/Year

Each year, in late December or early January, financial aid applications (FAFSA) are available for the following academic year. Submit them by the March 10 priority deadline. A renewal FAFSA is available online. If you do not already have one, you can request a PIN online, but it will be mailed to your home address.

Graduating seniors with Perkins loans

Graduating seniors with Perkins Loans (not Stafford Loans) must contact the Student Loan Administration (1-800-458-8756) for instructions regarding loan repayment schedules and methods. Perkins Loans repayments begin six months after the end of your last semester at IU, not six months after your official graduation date. The repayment schedule will not recognize the fact that you were still in classes abroad later than the end of the IU semester. The repayment clock starts ticking in the last month of the IU semester (May or December).

Managing Your Money

Manage your money through a combination of the following:

  1. Cirrus or Plus debit card and a 4-digit PIN permit you to withdraw money directly from your U.S. checking account. This option is fast, convenient, and offers the best rate of exchange. Use your card at least once before you leave the U.S., and find out your bank’s overseas ATM fees as well as limits on withdrawals. ATMs are plentiful throughout most areas of the world, but students going to non-traditional study abroad destinations should check a reliable guidebook for more information.
  2. Major credit card and a 4-digit PIN permit a cash advance on your credit card. This is a fast and simple option, but it involves a fee, and interest is charged. VISA, MasterCard and American Express are widely recognized throughout the world, but some regions favor one over the others. Check an up-to-date guidebook to find out which card is most recognized in your host country. If possible, obtain a card with a chip, which is more widely accepted in some places, especially Europe. You may want to investigate whether special services for travelers are available through your credit card of choice.
  3. If planning to use ATM, debit or credit cards, be sure to check with your bank(s) to confirm that you can do so in the country or countries in which you will be traveling. (Some banks have blocked or put limits on transactions in Spain, Latin America and Asia due to increased incidents of fraud.) Inform them that you will be using your card(s) abroad so that they are not suspicious of the foreign transactions.

Bank checks, personal checks, or scholarship checks should be avoided. They must be sent by registered or insured mail and can take two to four weeks to clear before you have access to the cash. Instead have the sums deposited in your U.S. bank account and withdraw the funds with a debit card.

Be prepared in case of loss or theft of financial resources. Keep important information such as check serial numbers and credit card phone numbers separate from original documents.


You must be able to use DUO abroad. IU Education Abroad recommends you get a free token from the Wells Library to have a back-up options for CAS authentication when Internet connections are not available. A registered phone or tablet can continue to receive push notifications while abroad, but only when connected to the Internet. Students also could use the code-generator within the DUO app if Internet is available. Learn more about using DUO abroad at the UITS Knowledge Base

IU's SSL VPN service offers web-based access to IU's virtual private network, which provides authentication and encryption when you use an off-campus network to connect to IU email, library and UITS services. If the VPN is not currently installed on your laptop, see the instructions on the IU Knowledge base

IU Library Services

Online IU Library resources, including the IU catalog, library instruction pages and journal indexes with full-text articles, are available to all IU students via the library website.

IUB Campus Housing

To cancel campus housing for your period abroad, (a) complete the online cancellation request process via One.IU, and (b) submit a copy of your IU Education Abroad email notification to Residential Programs and Services (in person at 801 N. Eagleson, Bloomington, IN 47405 or via email to

You can find a copy of your email notification in the iAbroad portal. From the homepage of our website select Continue Application in the top right corner.

Students who plan to study abroad should contact RPS as soon as possible regarding the impact of study abroad on their housing contract. Note that some housing units, such as Union Street and Willkie, have breakage fees as outlined in the housing contract.

Housing Sublets

IU Classifieds on One.IU has a section for Roommates & Sublets in Bloomington.

Absentee Voting

The Federal Voter Assistance Program website includes links to online applications for the Federal Post Card Application as well as the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, a backup ballot available if a citizen outside the United States does not receive the regular absentee ballot from their state after having made a timely application. Since absentee voting regulations vary by state, it’s best to consult the instructions on the website or contact the Voting Assistance Officer at local embassies and consulates for specific questions.

International Student Identity Card

You can often get student discounts while studying abroad or traveling (e.g. hostel accommodations, museum entrances, theater tickets) with your own IU student identification card or a student identification card issued by your local host institution. Other international ID cards such as ISIC and iNext will also garner discounts and other benefits. Depending on your program, one of these might be included in your study abroad fee, but if not, you may get one of these cards on your own.

The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) can provide discounts on international and local transportation, accommodations, and admissions to museums, theaters, historical sites, etc. For more information see the ISIC website.

The iNext card can make you eligible for travel, accommodation, entertainment, and cultural discounts worldwide. Cards are available to all full-time students and include both health and travel insurance coverage — accident, sickness, hospital, transport, repatriation, baggage, and document replacement benefits.

Cell Phones

Most students ue one of these three strategies for cell phone service abroad:

  • Use their own phone but get a local SIM card (with a local phone number).
  • Use their own phone and get an international plan from their U.S. cell phone provider.
  • Get a local phone (and local number).
  • Many U.S. cell phones can accommodate a SIM card that you would purchase for a country aborad. You should contact your cell phone service provider to inquire if that would be an option, altough it may be more costly than purchasing a pay-as-you-go cell phone abroad. Education abroad program providers very often provide detailed information about cell phone options.

    Connection, maintenance and surcharge fees often apply to cell phones being used internationally - even to countries within the same world area - and the charge for minutes can vary significantly from provider to provider and vary based on the registration location of the SIM card. Check these details carefully before locking into a costly service plan.

    Florence, Italy

    Academic Policies

    While abroad, you must adhere to most of the same IU academic policies and regulations that you are subject to on your home campus. Bulletins can also be found online.

    You should know the basic policies of your school and your own degree requirements. You must also follow these academic regulations specific to IU Education Abroad programs.

    Full-time Student Status

    Only full-time students may participate in an IU education abroad program. Full-time status abroad is defined as follows:

    If you drop below the minimum course load required by IU you will receive a grade of "F" for the credits you are missing.

    Check your notes from advising day or program web flyer for additional information.

    Course Restrictions

    Where a program site has a wide variety of course options, you should be able to take a variety of courses in the humanities and social sciences, and in some locations, a limited number of science courses. However, some areas of study are restricted, particularly to students with majors outside those disciplines:

    School-specific Credit

    Special arrangements must be made ahead of time for IU credit from the Kelley School of Business, the School of Public Health, the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the School of Education, the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture and Design, the Media School or the Jacobs School of Music while abroad.

    Foreign Languages

    You may not begin a new language abroad, unless it is a requirement of the program, but you may continue the study of a language other than that of the host country if you have a major or minor in that area. You must also clear the credit with the IU language department, which may require a test for placement in IU classes when you return. Check your notes from advising day or program web flyer for more information.


    You may receive honors credit only if you have already been accepted into the honors program in your department and if your advisor has previously approved your tentative schedule. The honors advisor and/or committee may require specific information before approving the credit. Do not plan on doing an honors thesis or research as part of your overseas credits.

    Independent Study and Individualized Readings

    Students are not permitted to include IU or onsite independent study courses as part of their minimum course load abroad. Onsite independent study courses may be arranged with permission from the home campus, but only in addition to the minimum course enrollment requirement.

    IU Education Abroad strongly discourages students from taking online or correspondence courses during their stay abroad. Such courses cannot form part of the term’s minimum course load.

    Dropping a Class

    Reasonable deadlines for dropping courses are established at each program site based on the host country's academic calendar.

    Withdrawal from the Program

    No student should withdraw from a program without first consulting IU Edcuation Abroad ( and the co-sponsoring organization or administrator of your program.

    If you do decide to withdraw from a program, it is your responsibility to send a formal statement to IU Education Abroad (, outlining the reason for your withdrawal, stating the last day that you attended classes, and explaining whatever arrangements you have made with the onsite administration for finalizing your participation. If you are abroad through a co-sponsoring agency, it is your responsibility to inform that agency of your decision.

    Based on your reasons and the date of your withdrawal, IU Education Abroad will consult the onsite staff and/or the co-sponsoring agency before determining whether you are a candidate for a W on your record or F for each course in which you were enrolled. Do not cancel or change your registration. Await instructions from IU Education Abroad regarding your registration situation. Should you remain in the host city, you will not have the privilege of program services and staff support.

    IU Education Abroad will notify the Office of Student Financial Assistance of your withdrawal. Please note that students who withdraw after a program begins should expect to repay any financial assistance awarded for the program.

    Credits and Grades

    At the conclusion of the program, the program's administrators will report host institution course titles and grades (with compatible equivalents in the IU system if they have been pre-approved) to IU Education Abroad for review and approval. IU Education Abroad will forward your record to the Bloomington Registrar for entry onto your transcript. One.IU will show your overseas course grades a few weeks after they have been submitted to the Registrar, but you should not expect grades for at least two to three months after the end of the program.

    The “NR” (not reported) designation means your grades will be recorded at the end of the period abroad. The designation “NY” will appear on your transcript once your grades have been recorded with the original program title, but it will not affect your credits or GPA. IU Education Abroad course/program title, with the indication of NY, will remain on your IU transcript.

    All program credits and grades are direct Indiana University credit, not transfer credit. Consequently, grades are included in your cumulative GPA and, for most purposes, credits are treated as if they were taken in residence at IU.


    Students are generally not permitted to take courses pass/fail.

    A very small number of IU programs have procedures in place to allow limited exceptions. The policies for these are included in the IU program handbooks. P/F is limited to one course per semester, not including any pre-session courses, required language courses or courses used to complete degree requirements. P/F policies for student's individual IU school still apply. Students must declare a course P/F by each program's published deadline and never after receiving a final grade.


    Students should not expect to use Extended-X for courses taken abroad since the content cannot be exactly replicated on the Bloomington campus. If a student takes a course with an articulated equivalency that is offered on the Bloomington campus, they should consult their academic advisor about Extended-X policies.

    Grade Inquiries/Petitions

    After departure from a program site abroad, should students have questions about how a final grade was achieved they may submit an inquiry. Inquiries should be directed either to the co-sponsoring agency or IU Education Abroad.

    The co-sponsoring agency, host university and/or IU Education Abroad will seek feedback from the faculty member of record and verify that grading procedures that are considered the norm for that particular institution, country and/or program were followed.

    IU Education Abroad recognizes the professors as the primary authorities in matters of grading. IU Education Abroad will NOT adjust grades; only corrections for calculation or recording errors will result in a grade change.

    Should students believe that there has been professorial academic-based misconduct with regard to grading and evaluation, they should file a formal petition. Evidence about such misconduct must be provided to support such petitions, not hearsay, subjective impressions, or remarks of a personal nature. Dissatisfaction with a grade, based on the student perspective of their own performance, will not constitute acceptable grounds for an appeal.

    Inquiry/Petition Process
    Appealing the Outcome of a Petition

    Residency Requirement

    All students on Education Abroad programs are registered at IU-Bloomington. However, credits earned by students who reach senior standing (usually 86 credits) on Education Abroad programs satisfy the residency requirement on their home campus (e.g., IUB, IUI, IUSB, etc.). This policy facilitates study abroad for students unable to go abroad until their fourth year of college.

    When a transfer student to IU decides to go abroad after only one or two semesters on an IU campus, the student's school reserves the right to re-evaluate the student's "residency" credits from abroad so that the transfer student will have enough on-campus credit to justify a degree from that school.

    Students from an IU campus other than Bloomington are registered administratively as special non-degree students on the IUB campus for their time abroad, but they earn credits toward the home campus degree. Consequently, if a student wishes to pursue an IU-Bloomington degree after the study abroad program, the student will have to fulfill the residency requirement on the Bloomington campus before qualifying for the degree. The student may have to satisfy the major department's residency requirement in Bloomington as well.

    Likewise, if an IUB student who spends a year abroad wishes to complete their studies on another IU campus, he or she will have to determine the impact on the residency requirement with the degree-granting campus.


    Students are expected to complete all course work before they leave the study abroad site. They are not permitted a grade of Incomplete in order to complete an assignment after their return to the U.S. (An exception is made for short-term field school programs in which the analysis of field research is completed by an established deadline shortly after return to the U.S.)

    If students do not complete course work prior to departure from the program site, they will receive an F for that course.

    If a student has completed all course work abroad, but no grade is reported due to an oversight or delay by the host country faculty or the program administrators, IU Education Abroad temporarily enters an Incomplete until the correct letter grade is determined.

    In circumstances beyond a student's control (e.g., closure of the program) IU Education Abroad is permitted to award a permanent Incomplete (one that does not become an F at the end of a year).

    Academic Integrity

    All students must respect and abide by the academic regulations of IU, any co-sponsoring agency and the local host institution(s). Any acts of academic misconduct, including cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, interference, violation of course rules, or facilitating academic dishonesty, will be adjudicated by local academic officials and then be referred to the judicial process on the student’s home campus.

    Personal Conduct

    All students must respect and abide by the laws and customs of the host country, the IU Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct and any rules and regulations for student conduct made or adopted by IU, its employees, agents, consortium partners, and partner institutions abroad, from the published official program arrival date through the official program completion date, including but not limited to host institution rules and regulations for student conduct designed to safeguard health, well-being, and safety.

    Athletic Scholarship Compliance

    Student athletes must notify the athletics advisor of plans to study abroad as there are a number of compliance issues to consider. If your post-program transcript will need to be processed quickly in order to be eligible for competition, you must notify your program provider at the start of the term abroad and notify IU Education Abroad that you need rush processing after the program.


    If you plan to graduate at the end of the term abroad, file an application for graduation prior to leaving your home campus. For most programs your grades will not arrive in time for you to be included on the graduation list for the same semester. Notify IU Education Abroad and the program office abroad at the time your program begins that you intend to graduate at the end of the term. Check with the Office of IU Education Abroad after your return to confirm that your courses and grades are in order. Students are responsible for requesting rush processing for their transcript, though IU Education Abroad cannot guarantee that grades will be submitted in time for graduation.

    Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    Legal & Safety Issues

    Legal Responsibilities

    By your signature on the Agreement and Release form, you have agreed: 1) to respect the laws and customs of the host country, the Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct and all other reasonable standards of conduct promulgated by IU, its agents and consortium partners, and 2) to participate fully in the academic program by attending classes, remaining at the host institution for the full length of the program and completing examinations. You have acknowledged that if the program staff, with the concurrence of the Associate Vice President of Education Abroad, determines that your conduct is detrimental to the best interests of the program or of Indiana University, your participation in the program may be terminated.

    The host institution has primary responsibility for discipline in connection with violations of its regulations. Although host institution officials may consult with Indiana University concerning student misconduct, final disposition rests with the host institution and in extreme cases may also become a matter of concern to the host government. For example, student demonstrations that start out on a peaceful basis can rapidly escalate into confrontations with the police.

    In criminal matters (which may be defined differently outside the U.S.) neither IU nor U.S. consular officials can intercede effectively on your behalf. In some countries the burden of proof rests with the defense and not with the prosecution.

    Working Overseas

    Do not count on earning any significant portion of your expenses by working while you are overseas. In most countries, student status does not grant the legal authorization to work, although you may find temporary employment (paid “off the books”) babysitting, waiting tables, or teaching English.

    Illegal Drugs

    Avoid illegal drugs. Drugs can impair your judgment in situations that require increased awareness. In addition, penalties abroad can be very severe if you violate local drug laws. Remember that you will not be eligible for U.S. legal protection, and you will be held to the laws of the country where you are living.

    Photography Abroad

    Foreign laws and customs governing what is permissible to photograph can vary vastly from U.S. norms.

    Individuals to be photographed might have religious or animist/indigenous beliefs that photographs steal the soul (particularly of children) or disrespect the spiritual world; gender roles may make photography difficult, precluding women from being photographed; and security apparatus (police and military) generally do not want to be photographed. Some people simply want to be paid for being photographed.

    Behavior that might be deemed inappropriate includes: lewd or lascivious acts, kissing, drinking alcohol, and immodest skin exposure. Edifices that might be deemed sensitive might include: government buildings, voting centers and processes, embassies, military facilities and vehicles (including airplanes), religious structures, and palaces. Scenery might include: war zones, sacred grounds, archeological sites, and tribal artifacts.

    The use of the "selfie stick" is banned in many locations, including museums and art galleries, particularly in Europe.

    Villagers in rural areas are sometimes suspicious of strangers, especially if they are not prone to seeing many people from outside their own community or country. They may be particularly suspicious of close contact with children, including taking their pictures or giving them gifts.

    Guidance: In tourist destinations, including museums or galleries, and near diplomatic buildings signs will often be posted if photography is not allowed. These signs generally have a traditional camera, or increasingly an image of a cell phone, with a red circle and single diagonal line. However, in other cases, there is no signage or it is unclear. A similar sign may restrict flash photography or videography. When traveling overseas, it is always a good idea to ask an individual directly if he or she is agreeable to being photographed or to ask the authorities if photography is permitted in the area.

    Health and Safety Abroad

    Indiana University will work to protect your health and safety overseas, but you must take responsibility for the results of your decisions, choices and behavior. Before the program, read carefully and consider the information given to you by IU Education Abroad regarding your health and any special needs; and together with your family, review the Education Abroad safety and responsibility guidelines (Appendix B). Also review the checklist of Health/Safety/Security items for you to prepare and consider for your study abroad experience.

    You are encouraged to consult the State Department Country Information Pages and Travel Advisories page, preparation advice from, as well as the Centers for Disease Control website. While IU can provide information about health and safety issues, we cannot eliminate all risks from a study abroad environment or ensure that U.S. standards of due process will be applied in legal proceedings outside this country. Please be especially alert to the following aspects of living abroad, which may not at first appear to you as safety or health issues.

    You may want to download special health and safety resource apps such as those recommended by the CDC.

    You should also remain aware and informed about any specific health-related risks developing in the locations where you live and travel.


    One of the best ways to protect yourself abroad is to avoid excessive drinking. Although alcohol may be more accessible at your program site than in the U.S., if you drink alcohol at all, do so in moderation. Not only may inebriation be culturally offensive, but more importantly, it can impair your judgment in critical moments when you most need to be alert (e.g., in a taxi, finding your way home late at night, socializing with strangers, etc.).

    Hazardous Activities

    Students abroad sometimes participate in new activities in which they are not well-practiced or proficient. Be cautious if you are attempting any activity that has an element of danger or risk, particularly if you are far from assistance. These activities can include but are not limited to rock climbing, cliff jumping, snorkeling, bungee jumping, skydiving and skiing.

    Many insurance companies will not cover accidents that occur during engagement in sports or activities deemed to be dangerous, including those listed above. For more information about insurance exclusions, participants on IU-administered programs should see Appendix A. Participants on co-sponsored programs should contact their co-sponsoring agency. Extra insurance or special riders can often be purchased.

    Fire Safety Abroad

    Increased precautions should be taken when living and travelling abroad. You cannot expect that every building you enter will have the same basic fire safety in place as is common in the United States.

    Water Safety Abroad

    You cannot always have confidence that American standards of oversight and public safety precautions are in place in locations abroad. Areas of potential danger may not be marked; lifeguards may not be trained. Exercise extreme caution.

    Emotional Health

    Almost every student experiences challenges while abroad. These might involve the common symptoms of culture shock, food allergies/sensitivities, anxiety, emotional distress, depression, sadness, exhaustion, feeling excluded/social isolation or frustrating group dynamics.

    Any medication that you take for a mental health condition should be continued during your time abroad since an interruption in medication can produce serious consequences.

    If you struggle with an eating disorder, share your burden with someone before you become seriously weakened.

    Be proactive in incorporating self-care into your routine while abroad. Identify the activities that are important to your well-being and engage in them on a regular basis. Key elements often include healthy eating, physical activity, relaxation, and self-pampering.

    You are likely to experience some form of culture shock during your time abroad, but this should not be confused with a real emotional crisis. If you feel withdrawn or detached and cannot cope with your environment, ask the program staff onsite for guidance and/or a recommendation for a skilled health care provider.

    IU offers TimelyCare, free round-the-clock virtual health and well-being services.

    With only one exception, these free services can be accessed from abroad.

    We urge students to sign up for TimelyCare as soon as possible, ensuring they can access these resources if and when they need them. Follow these steps:

    1.    Download the TimelyCare app (iOS or Android) or visit
    2.    Sign in using your IU credentials – IU email address and password
    3.    Create a profile and answer a few intake questions

    Public Disturbances

    Keep a low profile during public demonstrations and political events abroad. At such times, avoid places that attract Americans and dress to fit in with the local culture. Be wary about unattended packages or backpacks in public places like subways, trains, and buses and report such unclaimed objects to a local authority.

    In particular, you are advised to stay away from locations where there are any reports of violence.

    In the event of public disturbances abroad—including violent demonstrations, terrorist acts and natural disasters—get in touch with your program staff to report on your own situation and to find out how the event may impact you as well as others around you. Also contact your friends and family, if possible, since they may hear about the disturbances on the news and will be concerned for your safety.

    Sexual Harassment

    Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct or behavior of a sexual nature including: sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can include dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. These are all acts of violence and power that use sex as a weapon.

    If you feel you may be the victim of sexual harassment, consult the program administration immediately. They will be best suited to offer support, advice and assistance. They can also help you sort out the difference between unacceptable harassment and culturally acceptable behavior which is nonetheless uncomfortable for you.

    You may want to file a report at the local police station with the assistance of the program administrator onsite.

    Many Indiana University resources are available online: see here

    Instances of sexual misconduct abroad that are reported to IU Education Abroad are then reported, as required by law, to Indiana University’s Office of Institutional Equity.

    Confidential Victim Advocates (CVA) in the Office of Sexual Violence Prevention and Victim Advocacy work confidentially with students who have experienced sexual misconduct to connect them with available resources on and off campus, to assist in obtaining interim measures, to assist them in the applicable conduct process, and to address their academic and other university related concerns. Email: Tel: 812-856-2469.

    Dating and Sexual Behavior

    A survey on dating and sexual behavior while abroad was conducted of IU study abroad returnees. Although each person will make individual choices regarding relationship(s) while abroad, knowing the experiences of some of your peers might provide some useful insights.

    In terms of whom students date, they report dating more host nationals than program participants, and men seem to be involved in a greater number of relationships than women. Students also reported that sexual norms differed from the United States. It is important to understand the norms of the country where you will be studying. You can learn about these through various sources: books, guidebooks to some extent, discussions with host nationals and observing the behavior of others. Many students reported that their relationships abroad gave them access to a greater understanding of the culture in which they lived. Others reported that by not engaging in serious relationships they were able to gain more since they could focus on other activities. Consider all these issues if you plan on being involved in a relationship, sexual or otherwise, while studying abroad.

    The survey also indicates that the patterns students form while at IU in terms of (a) being sexually active or not, and (b) using methods of pregnancy prevention and STD protection, largely carry over when they study abroad. If you anticipate being sexually active while abroad, consider bringing a supply of the pregnancy and STD prevention protection you currently use.

    Using dating apps can provide connections to like-minded locals or fellow travelers. As in the U.S., there are risks associated with sharing information and with meeting strangers in unfamiliar locations. If you choose to use dating apps, please think about your personal safety. Use caution when posting in online apps and make plans to meet new people in well-vetted public places. The RAINN network offers online dating and dating app safety tips here.

    Personal Safety

    When traveling abroad American visitors are generally safe and are not singled out or targeted based on their nationality, but rather for looking like a tourist. Americans tend not to experience crime in any large numbers. This does not mean that American students abroad are immune from crime. Most of the crimes committed against American tourists and visitors fall in the category of petty theft, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching.

    General advice for safeguarding valuables is as follows:

    Recently the U.S. Department of State has reported an increase in drug-spiking crimes. Motives include theft or robbery, kidnapping, extortion, sexual assaults, and even amusement. There are reportedly over 60 different drugs recognized as “spiking” agents. Many of them are cheap and readily available. These drugs, for the most part, are odorless, tasteless, and colorless, and most will leave the body within 72 hours of ingestion.

    The following steps can help to avoid becoming a victim of a spiked drink by drugs and/or alcohol:

    Travel Safety

    Air travel

    Security measures at airport facilities and on aircrafts will require that you take additional precautions when flying. You should be prepared to comply with multiple document checks, baggage searches, and inquiries. Be patient — these steps are being taken for your protection.

    Car Travel

    Everyday traffic accidents are the main cause of injury to students traveling abroad. The road-safety standards and risks for Western Europe are similar to those in the U.S., but the more adventuresome a destination you choose, the more primitive the roads, automobiles, trucks, buses, emergency medical resources, safety equipment, and licensing standards inevitably become. In developing countries you may be exposed to narrow, winding roads with no guardrails on hairpin turns, poorly maintained vehicles, and dangerously overcrowded buses. Even in developed countries drivers may be more aggressive than in the U.S., and speeding and passing may be more common.

    The Association for Safe International Road Travel offers statistics, tips, and articles about road safety around the world.

    Pedestrian Travel
    Hotel or Hostel Stays
    Telephone, Laptop & Other Technology Security

    Do not leave electronic devices unattended. Do not transport them in your checked baggage. Shield passwords from view. Avoid wireless networks if you can; they are not secure. In most countries, you can have no expectation of privacy in Internet cafes, hotels, airplanes or public spaces. All information you send electronically can be intercepted, especially wireless communications.

    Sanitize your electronic devices prior to travel and ensure no sensitive contact, research, or personal data is on them. IU students can download free software including anti-virus software and privacy protection programs such as Identity Finder from University Information Technology Services IUware site to provide security and prevent identity theft.

    You must be able to use DUO abroad. IU Education Abroad recommends you get a free token from the Wells Library to have a back-up options for CAS authentication when Internet connections are not available. A registered phone or tablet can continue to receive push notifications while abroad, but only when connected to the Internet. Students also could use the code-generator within the DUO app if Internet is available. Learn more about using DUO abroad at the UITS Knowledgebase

    Cyber criminals from numerous countries buy and sell stolen financial information including credit card data and login credentials (usernames and passwords). Regularly change your passwords and check devices for malware.

    Review advice from IU UITS on the Global Traveler IT Checklist

    Copenhagen, Denmark

    Adjustment & Cultural Differences

    Personal Adjustment

    Part of your success abroad will depend on how well you have prepared the logistics covered earlier in this handbook, but even more depends on how you prepare yourself for cultural adjustments and personal growth abroad.

    American Identity

    Before you can understand another culture, you should understand your own. What does it mean to be American? What characteristics, values and attitudes define American culture? What generalizations can you make about American attitudes towards education, gender, family, money, politics, race, relationships, religion, success, time, work? How do American values affect your attitudes toward others, your friendship patterns, your work habits, the way you spend your time and money? How do Americans measure success in life? What role does tradition play in our culture? A clear understanding of what is characteristically American (and its many variations) will give you a better chance of appreciating similarities and differences in another culture.

    How flexible are you? Once you have identified your American values, patterns and habits, think about the strategies that will help you adjust to different ways of dating, dressing, eating, shopping, banking, relating to professors and studying.

    Learn about the U.S.

    Every student abroad is inevitably put in the position of having to explain (or even defend) the home country’s political or economic system or its stance on global issues. If you begin now to keep abreast of the U.S. role in global activities, you will be more articulate when you are questioned about U.S. policies and reactions to world issues. In addition, students often report that they wish they had brushed up on such basics as how a bill becomes a law in the U.S. or the composition of the European Union before going abroad.

    Remember, however, that you probably don’t want to get into a hostile debate with questioners or automatically defend everything that is American. What are some strategies for deflecting potentially hostile questions so that they lead to conversations in which everybody listens and everyone learns?

    Learn about the host country

    Learn as much as possible about the country to which you are traveling, since understanding the culture will facilitate your adjustment to living there. How do you plan to inform yourself about the host country before arrival? Taking courses is one method, but you can also independently explore histories, periodicals, novels, travel books, blogs and podcasts that inform you about the differences in daily life you will encounter overseas.

    Your expectations

    Take a personal inventory of your expectations. What do you hope to get out of the experience overseas? Do you have any hidden or unspoken expectations? Identify your goals—linguistic, academic, career. How are you going to achieve them? How will you track your personal growth during this experience? Outlining your goals now and then keeping a journal abroad will help you map both your inner and outer journeys. Indeed, daily writing, which attempts to interpret the cross-cultural meanings of your experiences, may be your most powerful learning tool.

    Your appearance

    Carefully consider how you will dress. American students often comment that their clothing gives them away instantly as foreigners and can make them more vulnerable to derogatory remarks and as potential targets for petty thefts. While you shouldn’t expect to buy a new wardrobe while abroad, you may want to plan to wear items of your own clothing that fit in better with the local culture. You’ll discover that shorts, halters and revealing tops are mainly worn near seaside towns, rarely in urban centers except by tourists. You’ll also discover that casual lounging clothes─including T-shirts with humorous logos, hoodies and pajama pants that are very common on college campuses in the United States─are not worn in big cities abroad or at urban universities. And before you don what many cultures might interpret as revealing clothing (i.e. low-rise jeans, exposed midriffs, plunging necklines, exposed underwear), observe what native citizens who are your age in that country are wearing. You may also discover that flip flops and sneakers are not necessarily the norm for footwear outside of the U.S., at least not for all occasions. Part of the acculturation process is trying to blend in so that you minimize your role as an outsider. Be prepared to be as flexible about your clothing as you are about other aspects of your behavior.

    Cultural Differences

    You will adjust in many small ways over a long period of time to the new culture, even though the familiar term “Culture Shock” leads you to expect a jolting and immediate clash of values.

    While there are many differences between the U.S. and your host country to which you will have to adjust, the following are particularly significant. You can access additional information on our website.

    Gender Roles

    All students abroad will discover that growing up in the U.S. has prepared them for different roles in society than the ones their contemporaries in other countries expect. Many events in recent decades have heightened U.S. awareness of gender stereotypes, sexism, and the limitations of traditional male-female roles. However, it may not be well-received to suggest to your host country friends that U.S. patterns are appropriate for their culture. Instead, look at gender difference in the host culture from its historical and sociological perspective. Since you will be viewed according to the gender expectations of the host culture, you may feel uncomfortable at times. This is particularly true for female students who may find themselves the targets of unwanted attention. Learning as much as you can about your host culture will help you interpret the actions of local residents and avoid situations in which you feel unsafe or harassed. See Appendix B, Section B (Responsibilities of Participants) for more information on staying safe while you're abroad.

    Sexual Orientation

    Just as traditional gender roles have been questioned in the U.S., we also have had extensive dialogue regarding sexual orientation. It should come as no surprise that distinct cultures approach the question of sexual orientation differently. A bibliography of international LGBTQ issues is available on the Rainbow SIG website. Feel free to approach IU Education Abroad staff here and the program staff abroad with questions regarding the situation in your host country.

    Different Abilities

    The passage of legislation such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act has spurred schools in the U.S. to accommodate students with varying abilities. Other countries are not bound by U.S. legislation, of course, and physical facilities and academic resources vary significantly from one overseas site to another.

    IU Education Abroad endeavors to provide reasonable accommodation for students with documented disability conditions (e.g., physical, learning, etc.), but only if you disclose your needs to us well before the program begins. If you are currently receiving disability-related accommodations at IU or anticipate needing them at your program site, send IU Education Abroad documentation that confirms the disability, information about the accommodation currently provided, and details about accommodation required abroad. IU Education Abroad will then be in a position to work with you, Accessible Educational Services, and other relevant offices to seek appropriate responses for your needs.


    Few countries have the religious diversity and pluralism that you find in the U.S. and few have such a strong tradition of separation of church and state. As a result, you may be struck by the number of public holidays that are based on a religious calendar and the extent of public prayer and public religious ceremonies. You will have to probe to understand the relationship between the external, ritual manifestations of religion and individual beliefs or the role of religion as a political element or an active social force.

    If you wish to be affiliated with a religious community abroad, check with your local place of worship for contacts or discuss your interests with program staff overseas. Former students may also be able to advise you regarding your options. Some resource information is available on our website.


    U.S. citizens often identify strongly with their family’s cultural and ethnic heritage and refer to themselves as Asian-American, Italian-American, African-American, or Hispanic-American. In other countries such ethnic differences are often overlooked, and U.S. students report that for the first time they have been identified (and have identified themselves) as simply “American.” Students may find that physical features that distinguish them from the host population may result in stares, comments, or sometimes overt prejudice. Consult the program administration regarding these matters, particularly if there are certain areas to avoid and steps to take to minimize negative interactions.

    Culture Shock

    “Culture shock” is the term used to describe the disorientation that every student experiences to some degree when spending an extended period in a new culture. The common symptoms include homesickness, boredom, withdrawing from the culture by spending excessive amounts of time alone or with other Americans, excessive sleeping, compulsive eating, irritability, stereotyping of or hostility toward host country nationals, weepiness or even some psychosomatic illnesses. Although you will inevitably experience some degree of culture shock, you certainly won’t have all these symptoms. If you recognize what is happening, keep busy, and ask friends and the program office staff for help when you need it, culture shock will not last long.

    During your period abroad, you may experience several normal stages of cultural adaptation. These include:

    1. Initial euphoria. When you first arrive in the new culture, everything seems wonderful and exciting, and you are struck with how similar people around the world can be.
    2. Irritation and hostility. Your focus changes from the similarities between cultures to the differences, and the differences become irritating and frustrating. Small problems loom as major catastrophes.
    3. Gradual adjustment. The crisis of adjustment passes. The new culture seems more familiar and you move more confidently in it. You make friends. You learn to interpret some of the subtle cultural clues and cues.
    4. Adaptation and biculturalism. You are able to function in two cultures with confidence. You are so well adapted to the new culture that returning to the U.S. will provoke a “reverse culture shock.”

    There are several ways you can minimize the impact of culture shock:

    Re-entry: Reverse Culture Shock

    Once you have adapted to life abroad, coming home will require readjustment to U.S. culture. You will have to integrate what you have learned abroad into your U.S. life. You will cope with re-entry at various levels:

    Family: You may be expected to fit back into your family but find it difficult to communicate effectively because they have not shared your international experiences. They may have difficulty adjusting to your new independence and changed values.
    Strategies: Try to share your experience with your family (photos, stories, etc.) and let them know how much you appreciate the chance they have given you to grow in new ways by studying and traveling overseas.
    Friends: You and your friends may no longer be as close. Be sensitive about discussing your experience with them. You may also miss the new friends you made abroad.
    Strategies: Ask and listen to what your friends experienced while you were away. Ask them to bring you up to date on local events. Try to do new things together to get the relationship on a new footing. Maintain contact with friends you met on your program.
    School: You are likely to look at your home campus in a new light, and you may miss being part of a close-knit group of American students.
    Strategies: Talk over your academic experience with your advisor, especially if you are considering new career goals. Make contacts with international students on your campus through the International Center. Contact the IU Education Abroad office and volunteer to talk to students who plan to study abroad. Seek out other students on campus who have studied overseas. Investigate the possibility of living in an international dormitory or take part in activities for international students.
    Country: Aspects of the U.S. may no longer be entirely to your liking and you may have the sense that you no longer fit in. You will probably evaluate ideas and events in the context of the broader cultural perspective you acquired abroad.
    Strategies: Recognize that we all tend to look past the shortcomings of our home culture when we are away and to criticize it on the basis of changed perceptions when we return. Seek out others on your campus who are interested in international and intercultural matters. Keep up your interest through newspapers, literature, music, friends, etc.
    Self: You have become accustomed to a level of activity and anticipation that your home and campus probably cannot match. It is natural to feel a little restless or a bit depressed for a while after your return.
    Strategies: Recuperate from the physical journey. Think over the ways you have changed: Which of those do you like? What did you learn about yourself? How have your family and friends reacted to the new you? Keep a journal or blog so you can see your thoughts evolve. Talk with other returning students.

    If you are having difficulty readjusting to the U.S., your home or IU community, please feel free to contact your Education Abroad Advisor or IU Education Abroad. Information for returning students can be found at

    Publication on Cultural Learning

    Maximizing Study Abroad: A Students’ Guide to Strategies for Language and Culture Learning and Use, Second Edition By R. Michael Paige, Andrew Cohen, Barbara Kappler, Julie C. Chi, & James P. Lassegard. August 2006, 259 pp. $12.00 + shipping

    This book is aimed specifically at students who want to make the most of their study abroad experience. Its user-friendly design will help you identify and use a wide variety of language and culture learning strategies. It begins with three inventories designed to help you be more aware of how you currently learn language and culture. It will provide you with tools and creative activities that you can use to enhance your favored learning strategies and try out unfamiliar ones. You can use the guide as you prepare for study abroad, during the experience, and once you return.

    Students who would like a copy for their own use should contact:

    The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition
    University of Minnesota
    619 Heller Hall, 271, 9th Avenue South
    Minneapolis, MN 55455
    612-626-8600, 612-624-7514 (fax)

    Wilkacocha, Peru

    Appendix A:
    Health Insurance Summary of Benefits

    Participants in IU-administered education abroad programs are enrolled in a group health insurance plan administered by GeoBlue. The primary accident and sickness policy is underwritten by 4 Ever Life International Limited. Coverage within the U.S. (if you return briefly for a holiday, vacation, or family crisis) is limited to $5,000, but when you are abroad during the period of the program, the policy provides coverage for up to $250,000 for accident or illness anywhere worldwide. Generally, you pay the physician or hospital at the time of treatment and then file a claim for reimbursement directly with GeoBlue.

    Medical Benefits

    The policy will pay 100% of the Eligible Medical Expenses (limited to the Reasonable Expenses) incurred within 52 weeks from the date of an accident or the commencement of a sickness, up to a maximum limit of $250,000 per accident or sickness.

    Eligible Expenses

    1. Physician office visits.
    2. Hospital charges, which include charges for all general nursing services, are limited to Reasonable Expenses for semi-private accommodations. Intensive Care Facility charges are limited to Reasonable Expenses.
    3. Laboratory, diagnostic and x-ray examinations.
    4. Outpatient prescription drugs, 100% of actual charge up to a maximum of $25,000 per coverage year, limited to a 31 day supply for initial fill or refill.
    5. Rental or purchase of durable medical equipment, whichever is less.
    6. Professional ambulance service to nearest hospital.
    7. Outpatient treatment of nervous or mental disorders, drug or alcohol abuse to reasonable expense.
    8. Reasonable expenses incurred for treatment of specified therapies, including acupuncture and physiotherapy up to 20 visits per coverage year on an out-patient basis.
    9. Expenses incurred for treatment of injuries sustained as a result of covered motor vehicle accident, benefits paid up to a maximum of $25,000.
    10. Repairs to sound natural teeth required due to an injury, up to $500 per coverage year.
    11. This is a simplified summary of policy coverage. For a complete description of all benefits and exclusions, contact GeoBlue.

    Medical Evacuation

    The Company will pay, as a result, of a covered injury or sickness, and upon the written certification of the attending physician, for air evacuation of the insured, including physician or nurse accompaniment, up to $250,000. Evacuation may be to their natural country or to a hospital elsewhere. Any expenses in respect to Medical Evacuation require prior approval by GeoBlue. Call one of the two numbers listed below.

    Bedside Visit

    If it is determined that a Covered Member is expected to require hospitalization in excess of 3 days at the location to which a Covered Member is to be evacuated, an economy round-trip airfare will be provided to the place of hospitalization for an individual chosen by the Covered Member. If it is determined that a Covered Member is expected to require hospitalization, due to an Injury or sickness for more than 3 days or are in critical condition, GeoBlue will pay up to the maximum benefit of $3,000 for the cost of one economy round-trip air fare ticket and the hotel accommodations in the location of the Covered Member’s hospital confinement for one person designated by the Covered Member. Payment for meals, ground transportation and other incidentals are the responsibility of the family member or friend. With respect to any one trip, this benefit is payable only once for that trip, regardless of the number of Covered Persons on that trip. The determination of whether the Covered Member will be hospitalized for more than 3 days or is in critical condition shall be made by the GeoBlue after consultation with the attending physician. No more than one (1) visit may be made during any Period of Coverage. No benefits are payable unless the trip is approved in advance by the GeoBlue.


    In event of the death of the covered person, the Company will pay for those expenses as may reasonably be incurred up to $50,000 in connection with the preparation and transportation of the body to the person’s place of residence in their home country. This benefit does not include the transportation of anyone accompanying the body, visitation or funeral expenses. Any expenses in respect to repatriation require prior approval by GeoBlue.

    For prior approval of and assistance with medical evacuation or repatriation, contact GeoBlue at one of the numbers below.

    From within the U.S.: 1-800-257-4823

    Outside the U.S.: 1-610-254-8771 (collect)


    Reimbursement of Expenses

    The quickest and most convenient way to file a claim is through the GeoBlue app or through the Member Hub on Claim forms are also available on the Member Hub and can be submitted via fax, email or postal mail to the address below:

    Attn: Claims Department
    P.O. Box 1748
    Southeastern, PA 19399-1748 USA
    Fax: 610-482-9623

    Tangiers, Morocco

    Appendix B
    Indiana University
    Safety & Responsibility Guidelines

    These guidelines are based on those recommended by the Interorganizational Task Force on Safety and Responsibility in Study Abroad, as approved by Indiana University’s Overseas Study Advisory Council (May 2002).

    Because the health and safety of its study abroad participants are primary concerns at Indiana University, these guidelines have been developed to provide useful practical guidance to institutional representatives, student participants, and their parents/ guardians/families. No set of guidelines can guarantee the health and safety needs of each individual involved in a study abroad program, but the following address issues of general concern and the responsibilities of all parties. It is not possible to account for all the inevitable variations in actual cases, so those involved must also rely upon their experience and thoughtful judgment while considering the unique circumstances of each situation.

    A. Responsibilities of IU Education Abroad

    IU Education Abroad has university-wide responsibility for all Indiana University study abroad programs, though that responsibility may be shared with other campuses (e.g., the Office of International Affairs at IUI and the Office of International Programs at IU South Bend) or professional schools (e.g., Kelley School of Business, O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Maurer School of Law, etc.). In the case of co-sponsored programs, this responsibility is delegated to other institutional providers (e.g., CIEE, IES, DIS, etc.), with IU Education Abroad in a consultative role.

    IU study abroad programs are those which have been approved by the university-wide Overseas Study Advisory Council (OSAC), as required by Presidential directive. Study abroad initiatives which attempt to proceed without the approval of OSAC have no official status as IU programs and cannot advertise themselves as such. Independent initiatives risk being cancelled, and credit for their participants denied upon review.

    The following responsibilities of IU Education Abroad apply only to approved IU programs abroad:

    1. Conduct regular assessments of health and safety conditions for IU programs, including program-sponsored accommodation, events, excursions and other activities, prior to program. Monitor possible changes in country conditions.
    2. Provide information about changes and advise participants and their parents/guardians/families as needed. Develop and maintain emergency preparedness and crisis response plans.
    3. Provide guidelines for program directors and staff with respect to managing emergencies abroad.
    4. Provide orientation meetings and materials to participants prior to departure for the program and onsite, which include appropriate information on health, legal, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in the host country. In addition to dealing with health and safety issues, the orientation should address potential health and safety risks, and appropriate emergency response measures. Ask students to share this information with their parents/guardians/families so they can make informed decisions concerning preparation, participation, and behavior while on the program.
    5. Consider health and safety issues in evaluating the appropriateness of an individual’s participation in a study abroad program.
    6. In the participant screening process, consider factors such as disciplinary history that may impact on the safety of the individual or the group.
    7. Provide students with information on the role of and assistance provided by the onsite resident director or program coordinator.
    8. Discuss with students, following their selection but prior to their participation in a study abroad program, individual health and disciplinary history issues that may impact on the safety of the individual or the group.
    9. Provide health insurance (including emergency evacuation and repatriation) to participants or assure that participants receive information about how to obtain such coverage.
    10. Direct onsite program staff to provide information for participants and their parents/guardians/families regarding available medical and support services, and to help participants obtain the services they may need.
    11. Hire vendors and contractors (e.g. travel and tour agents) that have provided reputable services in the country in which the program takes place. Advise such vendors and contractors of the program sponsor’s expectations with respect to their role in the health and safety of participants.
    12. Communicate applicable codes of conduct and the consequences of noncompliance to participants. Take appropriate action when participants are in violation.
    13. In cases of serious health problems, injury, or other significant health and safety circumstances, maintain good communication among all program sponsors.
    14. When informed about an emergency situation abroad in a city or country where IU students are located, work to confirm the safety of IU students. Depending upon the type of program, such communications might be directed to partner institutions/organizations, to IU program faculty/staff traveling with students, or to individual students.
    15. Provide these guidelines to participants and their parents/guardians/families regarding when and where the responsibility of IU Education Abroad ends, and the aspects of participants’ overseas experiences that are beyond the control of IU Education Abroad. In particular, IU Education Abroad generally:
      1. Cannot guarantee or ensure the safety of participants or eliminate all risks from the study abroad environments.
      2. Cannot monitor or control all of the daily personal decisions, choices, and activities of individual participants.
      3. Cannot prevent participants from engaging in illegal, dangerous or unwise activities.
      4. Cannot ensure that U.S. standards of due process apply in overseas legal proceedings or provide or pay for legal representation for participants.
      5. Cannot ensure that home-country cultural values and norms will apply in the host country.
      6. Cannot fully replicate home campus support services at overseas locations.
      7. Cannot assume responsibility for the actions of persons not employed or otherwise engaged by IU Education Abroad, for events that are not part of the program, or that are beyond the control of IU Education Abroad and its subcontractors, or for situations that may arise due to the failure of a participant to disclose pertinent information.

    B. Responsibilities of Participants

    In Study Abroad, as in other settings, participants can have a major impact on their own health and safety abroad through the decisions they make before and during the program and by their day-to-day choices and behaviors.

    Participants should:

    Recommendations to Parents/Guardians/Families

    In Study Abroad as in other settings, parents, guardians, and families can play an important role in the health and safety of participants by helping them make decisions and by influencing their behavior overseas.

    When appropriate, parents/guardians/families should:

    Cherry Blossoms between shines in Kyoto

    Appendix C:
    HIV/AIDS & Traveler's Health


    AIDS is a serious disease, first recognized as a distinct syndrome in 1981. AIDS represents the late clinical stage of infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which progressively damages the immune system. Without an effective immune system, life-threatening infections and other noninfectious conditions related to failing immunity (such as certain cancers) eventually develop.


    HIV infection occurs worldwide. As of June 2017, an estimated 36.7 million people were living with HIV infection. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected part of the world (25.5 million cases or 69% of all people living with HIV infection), and the Eastern Europe and central Asia region has experienced the largest increases in new HIV infections (60% increase from 2010 to 2016). Although the reported adult HIV prevalence in many regions of the world is low, certain populations are disproportionately affected, such as sex workers, people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, transgender people, and prisoners. Sex workers are particularly vulnerable; the prevalence among sex workers is 12 times as high as in the general population.

    Risk for Travelers

    The risk of HIV infection for international travelers is generally low. Travelers’ risk of HIV exposure and infection is determined less by geographic destination and more by the behaviors in which they engage while traveling, such as unprotected sex and injection drug use. Travelers who might undergo scheduled or emergency medical procedures should be aware that HIV can be transmitted by unsafe nonsterile medical injection practices (reusing needles, syringes, or single-dose medication vials). This problem may be greater in low-income countries where the blood supply as well as organs and tissues used for transplantation may not be screened properly for HIV.


    Travelers can reduce their risk of HIV infection in multiple ways. They can avoid sexual encounters with people whose HIV status is unknown, and use condoms consistently and correctly with all partners who are HIV infected or whose HIV status is unknown. They should also not inject drugs or share needles, and avoid exposure to blood or blood products and nonsterile invasive medical equipment. Travelers who do inject drugs should only use sterile, single-use syringes and needles that are safely disposed after every injection.

    This information was obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travelers Health Yellow Book.

    Table of Contents

    Preparing for Departure
    Academic Policies
    Legal & Safety Issues
    Adjustment & Cultural Differences