For Pitzer Students Currently Abroad

  • Communication

    In the event of an emergency while abroad, the best plan is to contact your local program director or other support staff. They are in the best position to assist you with the problem or crisis and will contact your family and the Office of Study Abroad and International Programs as needed.

    If you must reach Office of Study Abroad and International Programs staff in an emergency during business hours call our office in Claremont, California at 909.621.8104. For emergencies after hours, contact Campus Safety at 909.607.2000 or 909.621.8170 and the Campus Safety staff will locate a Study Abroad and International Programs staff member.

    For non-urgent matters, you may email directly to a specific staff member; however, it is always a good idea to also copy the message to [email protected]. Messages sent to this address are copied to several people in the office and can be easily directed to the person who can best handle your request. Members of the Office of Study Abroad and International Programs staff may be out of the office due to work-related travel, illness or vacation, so using the office email address will prevent your message from going unread while an individual staff member is out of the office.

    Keep your contact information current (including physical and mailing addresses and mobile number if appropriate) while abroad so that we may reach you promptly in the event of an emergency at home or abroad. Most communication is via email so be sure to check your official school email account before, during and after study abroad. Upload your study abroad contact information updates to your study abroad portal or email [email protected].

  • Health and Safety Reminders

    You obtained the recommended immunizations for your program before your departure, but that does not end your responsibility for your health and safety abroad. Pay attention to the health and safety instructions provided by the study abroad or international programs staff during your orientation abroad and the guidelines in the Orientation Handbook provided by the Office of Study Abroad and International Programs. You must be more alert to issues of safety while abroad because you are in an unfamiliar culture and behaviors that are relatively safe in your home community in the US can take on increased risk while abroad since you may not understand their implications in your new culture.

    You may be of legal drinking age in the host culture and a glass of wine at a meal with your host family may be appropriate; however, you cannot be alert to your own safety if your judgment is impaired by alcohol. Illegal drug use risks severe punishment and prison in most countries. Unprotected sex is a gamble that puts your life and future health in jeopardy. While you are abroad, you are advised to avoid excessive alcohol and any illegal drugs and to refrain from sexual relationships. Not only are these behaviors often culturally inappropriate and/or illegal, they put your health and safety at risk and are choices over which you have control.

  • Registration for Study Abroad Courses

    Students on exchanges and all non-Pitzer programs that offer a choice of classes will upload their Course Information Abroad form to their study abroad portal during the registration period. Ensure that you are taking a full load of courses while you are abroad and courses that will transfer back to Pitzer for credit. This form should be submitted while there is still time to add/drop classes and make sure you are taking an appropriate course load.

  • Social Responsibility Requirement While Abroad

    You are encouraged to seek out volunteer opportunities while abroad as a way of engaging more deeply with your host community. Volunteering often exposes you to a broader range of people from the host culture than you may meet on a university campus – with a broader range of ages, socio-economic status, ethnicity, or religions. Having regular contact with a diverse group of people from the host culture helps to provide other viewpoints and insights about the culture as well as increasing your opportunity to form friendships with local people.

    Some volunteer activities can be used to fulfill the social responsibility requirement for graduation. In order to fulfill this requirement abroad, you will need to have the supervisor from your project sign the Pitzer form that states the dates of your volunteer project, the total number of hours that you volunteered and a brief description of your duties in the volunteer project. In programs with an independent study project, you may be involved in an internship that can be counted towards the social responsibility requirement. In other programs, the volunteer work may be an extracurricular activity. For both of these projects, you will need the form described above to fulfill the requirement. In the following specific cases of Pitzer in Ecuador, Pitzer in Italy and the Pitzer Summer Health Program in Costa Rica, the volunteer work is a defined part of the core course and a passing grade on your transcript for that course is usually sufficient for receiving credit towards the social responsibility requirement.

  • Senior Thesis Research While Abroad

    Some students want to develop research projects done abroad into the topic of their senior thesis. If you have become excited about a particular topic while abroad, contact your faculty adviser about information to gather while you are overseas that will enhance your senior thesis.

  • Pre-Registration from Abroad for Classes When You Return

    Pre-registration for Pitzer students will be done on-line while you are abroad. Around November 15 and April 15, classes for the next semester will be available online. The Office of the Registrar has instructions on how to register and the link to the new class schedule. Please note that you can send your course selections by email any time after courses are available on-line. The Registrar’s Office staff will hold on to your email and register you at the same time you would have registered on campus. If you send your pre-registration information after the dates of pre-registration, the registrar will register you upon receipt of your email but be advised that some courses may be full. If you need a particular course for graduation, you are advised to pre-register as early as possible. If an important course is already full, you can fine tune your schedule once you return to campus and appeal to the professor for entry into the class.

  • Planning for Your Return Home and Saying Goodbye

    Be sure to allow time to say a proper goodbye to the important people you befriended while abroad. You have spent a semester learning how to participate appropriately in your host culture and there may be customs and rituals expected in saying good bye that you don’t want to overlook and risk appearing rude to people who have become important to you.

    In the last hectic days of your semester you will be finishing up coursework, packing, buying souvenirs and trying to squeeze in all the things you meant to do while you were abroad. It is important to schedule time to say goodbye to your host family or roommates, your program staff, your teachers, and internship supervisors and especially the people you became close to in your time overseas. Be sure to gather phone numbers, email addresses and postal addresses so you can stay in touch after you leave.

    If you read the What’s up with Culture website, especially Module 2.1, “Preparing to Come Home before you return to the US,” you will ensure a better sense of closure for your experience abroad: