- Where do I obtain an itinerary for a trip?
You can get an itinerary, release forms, etc. from Dr. Collins,
Director of International Programs, Philip Weltner Library, 2nd Floor, office phone
- Who can go on these trips?
Anyone affiliated with Oglethorpe University community, students,
faculty, staff, and relatives. First priority is given to OU
students earning credit for the trip. Family members and friends
can also enroll for these trips, with the assumption that they are
going for an educational experience, and not necessarily to obtain
- Can I earn academic credit for these trips?
Yes, each trip will be assigned a number of credits by the
Academic Program Committee. You will know how much credit each
trip is worth by the first mandatory pre-trip meeting, and then
you will be awarded these credits after the trip and upon
completion of your paper or projects related to the trip during
the following semester.
Each trip will have an itinerary, a syllabus, reports, etc. and
the student must fulfill the requirements set by the professor
leading the trip. Your transcript will indicate that this was a
study abroad experience under a special topics course, or as a
fulfillment of a core curriculum course.
- What are the dates for these trips?
Usually, the trips will be planned for the spring, summer, and
winter breaks. Typical examples are an Italy trip during the
spring break, or a Greece or Spain trip during the May break, or
an Art and culture trip or London Theatre and Shakespeare trip in
June and July. The exact dates will vary, so it is important to
check each itinerary and enroll early.
- How will I hear about these trips?
You will hear about these trips in a variety of ways. OUSA
(Oglethorpe University Students Abroad) maintains a website which
gives descriptions and deadlines for the trips, the Director of International Programs will give presentations at orientations and in
selected classrooms, and a series of announcements will be made
via bulletin boards, e-mails, and the campus newspaper.
- Can I use financial aid to help pay for the trip?
If you qualify, you may be able to use financial aid to help
defray the cost of the trips. Please see your financial aid
advisor for details.
- Will I need a passport?
Yes, and if you have not applied for one, do so now, or come
by Dr. Collins’ office in the Philip Weltner Library on the 2nd floor, to obtain
information on how to apply.
- Will I need to know the language of the countries in which
we will travel?
No, you will have both professors and couriers who can
converse in the languages, but if you do speak a language other
than English, this is the perfect opportunity for you to practice,
and if you do not, you will be given introductions to
conversational language you may wish to use on the trips.
English is a quite common language in most of the countries OUSA
groups will visit, so you will have no problem communicating.
- Will I attend any pre-trip meetings?
Yes, and these are vitally important. The pre-trip meetings
are mandatory, and often take place on a Saturday morning at
Oglethorpe, since many students and non-students have too many
variations in schedules to attend during the week. You will be
notified well ahead of time about the meetings.
These meetings will cover topics like: packing, airport security,
rooming, food, cultural customs to expect, tipping, medications to
bring, what not to bring, academic expectations, tickets, and a
thousand other smaller items to make the trip one both
problem-free and memorable.
There are at least three meetings before each trip.
- Will I have a roommate on these trips?
Yes, one you select, and only two per room on each trip. If
you desire a single room, you will incur extra cost of course to
the agency managing the trip, so you need to let the Director of International Programs know what you wish to do long before the trip
All students and non-students must stay in the same hotel, and no
one will be allowed to stay with friends or families inside the
country visited during the trip.
- Will I miss any of my normal semester classes while on the
Usually not, although there may be instances when you may miss
the first day of class on some of the trips due to flight
schedules. Should this occur, all professors will be notified
about your absence.
- Will family and relatives know where I am at all times, in
case of emergencies?
Yes, the Director of International Programs publishes all the hotels,
the telephone numbers, and a contact for your family and friends,
and this info is given to you to photocopy.
In addition, the Director of International Programs carries a
globally-networked cell phone for emergency calls, and the courier
also carries a published number for necessary contacts. Some of
the group members carry laptops, and these of course can be used
at internet cafes and sites in the host countries for contact with
family in the US.
- What do I pack, and what do I leave behind?
People tend to over-pack, so we will give you some great
advice on what to pack, the kinds of clothing you will need, and
what not to bring. Our advice is based on many trips and what
works, so attending the meetings will be essential. You are always
responsible for your own luggage while traveling.
- What kind of camera do I bring?
Any 35mm will do; digital cameras are the best for these
trips, since you can download from museums or sites with a laptop
and have immediate communication with family and friends. We will
show you how to pack cameras, and how and when and where to buy
film in other countries.
- How, and when, do I get the plane tickets?
Tickets are sent to the Director of International Programs, Dr. Collins.
At one of the mandatory meetings, tickets will be distributed, and
it will be your responsible to take care of them, and of course to
present them at the airline terminal. Depending upon what the
group decides, sometimes the tickets are kept and given to you
when you arrive at the airport, to insure no one loses a ticket
before arriving at the airport.
- Will we fly reputable airlines?
Of course, usually Delta, British Airways, Air France, etc in
- What if I do not like my roommate?
Please inform your courier and the Director of International Programs
about any changes in rooming on the trip. If you pay for a double
room, you must stay in a double room throughout, but we can switch
roommates if requested.
- What about the food?
The food is always excellent—you will pay through your total
package price for two meals a day; lunches are at your expense,
but lunches in nearly all of our tours are relatively inexpensive.
Some excursions also automatically include lunches, and these you
do not pay for.
Special accommodations can be made for anyone who needs a
vegetarian or kosher menu, so tell us early about your needs.
Wine and other beverages at dinner in most countries will be an
- Can I explore on my own?
Yes, of course, and the itineraries give you the days or times in
which you can explore on your own. However, since you will be
taking this trip for credit, you must always attend the lectures,
be at the sites, go to the museums, etc.
Plenty of time for rest, walking, or shopping will be available.
We will provide all the info on the best theatres, clubs, shows,
etc, you will need for the evenings, but remember to go in groups
or in pairs, never alone. You must be up and ready, usually by
7am, on our long excursion days, or otherwise you will be left in
the hotel, and will miss what you paid to see. The bus-driver
leaves on time, and rarely waits for sleepy stragglers.
If you miss a trip to a museum, etc., you will of course be
responsible to your professor for the absence and the missed
You will never be left if we are moving from city to city of
course—we will come and get you out of your room, but understand
that this kind of behavior delays the bus schedule, affects our
planned arrivals, and is considered highly discourteous by most
couriers. So, please, set your alarms, and be on time.
- What are some extra costs I may incur on these trips?
Your total trip cost is all inclusive of airfare, all ground
transportation, hotels, food, museum passes, tickets, etc. Now,
you will need to budget for the following:
Tips, snacks, film, shopping, lunches, drinks, postcards, etc.
Everyone has of course different budgets, but it is best to bring
at least 500. 00 to 1, 000.00 dollars spending money in case of
emergencies. Borrowing from fellow students can often lead to hurt
feelings and mistrust.
- What about the kinds of credit cards or checks to bring?
Most countries, unless we notify you in meetings, usually
accept major credit cards. Now, understand that if you purchase an
item with a credit card in another country, you will be charged a
little extra for the transaction. Always ask for and get the
Savvy travelers rarely use travelers’ checks anymore. It is much
easier to use credit cards or ATM check cards, and ATMS are
plentiful now in Europe; if we go on a trip outside of Europe, we
will give you info on the best monetary methods to use.
The best and easiest method is to use your ATM card, keep
receipts, and carry this one card everywhere.
At the meetings, we will also tell you about the Euro or the
currency in any country in which we travel, and how to get the
best exchange rate, etc.
If you lose your wallet or money, or card, please inform the
courier and your professor, and we will help where we can, so do
not let the loss of such damage your trip. Please inform us of any
loss, and we will help you take the necessary steps to get
emergency funding through your bank.
- What if I get lost on the trip?
This can, and does, happen—on crowded streets, you look up,
turn, and then, no one from the group in sight. At the meetings,
we will give you the hotels numbers and the cell phone numbers of
the Director of International Programs and the courier so that all you have
to do is get to a phone and we will come find you, or give you
walking directions to us.
Otherwise, enjoy being lost, and carry the hotel card in your
pocket to give to a taxi driver.
Never worry—we will find you.
- What books will I need to bring?
Books are heavy, and cumbersome in travel, so bring only some
photocopies of materials you wish to discuss or learn. The
professor may have other stipulations though about what to bring.
You can examine the texts once you are back and often the group
leaders will bring a text for everyone to use share and use, and
places that text with the hotel personnel for you to check out if
- Will there be a curfew?
No, you are adults and will be treated as such. Late night
walking alone in cities should never be considered; walk in groups
and take taxis or buses if need be. Just remember, the bus leaves
early quite often the next day, so be on time for breakfast.
- What if I get sick on the trip?
This can and does happen. First, let us know, and don’t just
disappear into your hotel room. Second, we will take you to a
hospital if hospital care is needed, but understand you will have
to pay on the spot for most medical treatments in most countries.
Also, be sure to check with your medical insurance coverage here
in the US before departure to find out if you are covered abroad.
In the meetings before the trips, we will also give you some info
on temporary and inexpensive medical policies and that cover you
while on the trip.
Please consult with your doctor before you go on any of these
trips about any specific medical conditions you may have.
- Can I go out with any one I meet in a country on these
This is highly inadvisable and the reasons for not doing so
are based in sound judgment. First, remember, you may or may not
know the customs or the expected behaviors in personal or social
relationships in certain countries, and no matter how well-read
you are, you may still not know all of the nuances in any given
It is best not to engage in any behavior that could compromise
you, the university, or the country you represent. Think twice
before gong out on dates with anyone you do not know—good advice
- Under what circumstances could I be sent back home?
This has never happened, mainly because Oglethorpe students
are motivated, mature, and capable of adjusting to different
cultures and customs.
The only time the courier and the agency or the professor may
insist on your returning early would occur when you have
flagrantly violated the guidelines of the trip, endangered others,
or broken laws within that country.
This has never happened, and if you know the guidelines—and we
will discuss them and you will sign a statement indicating you
will abide by them—then the trip will be both illuminating for
everyone and trouble-free.
Remember, these trips are not to be construed as vacations or
time-off; rather, you are paying for an unparalleled learning
experience. Yes, you will have fun, and yes, you will also be
doing some serious exploration of the culture.
Most importantly, students must abide by the same standards of
conduct as expected of them while on Oglethorpe campus.
- How will I know what to do when I get back to campus?
Your accompanying professor will provide you a syllabus,
course requirements for the trip, and expected outcomes: a visual
project, a journal, and/or research papers are typical examples of
what may be required.
When you return, you will work independently on what you
experienced, meet occasionally with your professor, turn in the
work by the announced deadline, and receive the credit and the
grade for that course on your transcript, marked as a course you
took while studying and traveling abroad.
- Will such trips help me in the job market?
Most assuredly—such trips offer you introductions to
international travel and experience, global awareness, and
important insights one can only get while actually seeing the art,
the buildings, the historical landmarks, and visiting economic and
governmental institutions which shape the modern world.
Many companies examine resumes for any international experiences
or study abroad experiences, and see them as indicative of someone
who is flexible, capable of adjusting to new situations, and aware
of global cultures.
- Will I have fun, and learn?
Absolutely. And we have many testimonies you can read about
our trips from former students. These trips are life-changing,
exciting and fulfilling.
Going alone would cost you much more, but going with a group you
know and with friends you love only enhances the experience.
Call or email
Oglethorpe University Students
Abroad at 404.504.3452 and embrace the world.