For Parents of Students Interested in Study Abroad
The Office of Study Abroad works with Pitzer students who are interested in pursuing a semester, or year of study abroad, either on one of Pitzer’s own programs or exchange opportunities and with guest students from other schools who wish to participate on a Pitzer program. Pitzer students interested in one of the two summer programs offered by Pitzer, other summer programs and other non-academic opportunities such as work abroad are encouraged to consult a Study Abroad adviser in the Office of Study Abroad for guidance and additional information. The office also issues the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). Any student may purchase the ISIC or the Youth Travel card, which provides evacuation insurance, limited medical and accident coverage while traveling as well as discounts on airfare, museum entrance fees, etc.
Planning and Academic Preparation for Study Abroad
Preparation for study abroad is something that begins in a student’s first year. All Pitzer students attend a session in their first year seminar about study abroad and what the college expects both in terms of their preparation and the types of programs the college approves. Students from other schools must follow the procedures at their home college or university to be eligible for participation on a Pitzer program.
Students are required to identify at least one course they have taken to provide background for the destination where they will be studying. Some programs have language requirements and students must complete the requisite amount of language study prior to going abroad.
Advising and Application Process
For Pitzer students, the advising and application process typically begins in the fall of the sophomore year. Students are required to attend a study abroad information session where the study abroad program options are introduced and policies and procedures are explained. These sessions are offered from mid September to early November, although students are encouraged to attend a session early in the semester, to allow sufficient time to research programs.
After completing this session, students make an appointment with a study abroad adviser to discuss their particular academic interests and receive information about appropriate programs and the Pitzer College Study Abroad application form. There are two important deadlines for students to note. The Monday before Thanksgiving is the deadline for the Pitzer College Study Abroad application form where students indicate their first and alternate program choices and the semester they plan to participate. Students will be sent any supplementary application forms required for the chosen program(s). Supplementary application forms are due on the first Monday in February.
Guests from other colleges and universities in the US must meet the internal deadlines at their home school and submit the Pitzer program application forms by the March 15 deadline for participation on fall or full year programs, or by October 15 for spring semester programs.
Students need to observe the deadlines for the submission of each of the forms in order to remain eligible for participation in their study abroad programs.
Orientation for Study Abroad
All students in the Southern California region will attend orientation on campus in preparation for studying abroad the following semester. Orientation is a two part process involving a workshop on intercultural learning so students can make the best use of their time abroad and a session about the specific program as well as logistical details of preparing to go abroad. Students are given the option of completing the intercultural learning workshop on campus or on-line. If you would like to learn a bit more about the cultural learning that is covered in orientation, we recommend you to visit the Website What's Up with Culture at http://www2.pacific.edu/sis/culture/.
The program specific orientations typically take place in November for spring programs and in April for fall programs. Students from colleges in other parts of the country who participate on Pitzer programs will have an orientation by telephone. At the orientation session on campus, students are provided with a Pre-Departure Orientation Handbook that outlines details about Pitzer’s policies for the study abroad experience. Parents and friends may also have questions about study abroad policies and procedures so a handbook is posted on our website for reference.
The handbook contains detailed information about the travel allowance, billing procedures, pre-registration while abroad, medical insurance, and health and safety issues, among other matters. We welcome you to call our office with questions or concerns, but hope this handbook will be useful to you as your student prepares for next semester.
Contacting the Office of Study Abroad
The office is open Monday through Friday throughout the year with the exception of national holidays and between December 24 and January 2 each year. All contact information for the office is available on the Contact Us page.
For emergencies during business hours in California, call the office at 909 621.8104. For emergencies that happen after hours, contact Campus Safety at 909.621.8170. Campus Safety will locate an Office of Study Abroad staff member.
Make sure your student provides us with contact information while abroad. Send all mailing address, phone number and email address information to firstname.lastname@example.org.