Williams Resources Related to International Break Out Trips
- Please ensure that you have a valid passport. For some destinations, the expiration date must be at least 6 months beyond the return date of your trip, so to be safe, a passport expiring any sooner than 6 months past your return date should be renewed.
- Students who do not yet have a passport will need to proceed in applying for one immediately upon enrollment in an international trip (typical processing times are at least 4-6 weeks), or may need to pay for expedited processing once they are within 4 weeks of departure. Full details are available at http://travel.state.gov/.
- Contact Donna Denelli-Hess ([email protected] or 413-597-3013) at the Williams Health Center. She is the travel medicine advisor, and will consult with you to provide information about the CDC’s recommendations (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel) for vaccines and other medications that may be needed for your destination. Some of the vaccines require multiple injections or should be completed several weeks prior to departure in order to be effective. It will also help expedite the process if your participants complete this form prior to meeting with Donna: http://health.williams.edu/files/2010/04/TRAVEL1.pdf.
- If your health insurance is through Williams College, you will be covered during your trip, but contact Deborah Flynn ([email protected]), Director of Medical Services, to provide the dates and destination of your trip.
- If you are insured through your parents’ health insurance, they should check to make sure you will be covered while you’re abroad. Some policies require a special policy rider or additional coverage to be added in order to provide you with coverage while traveling internationally.
- International Williams students should contact the Dean’s Office to ensure they have all necessary documentation for international travel in order to avoid any issues when departing or returning to the U.S., or departing the country being visited during Spring Break.
- Williams students are required to carry this card while traveling internationally on a college-sponsored trip, and there is no fee for the card.
- Additional details can be found on the International SOS website, as well as in the Study Away Survival Guide and Off-Campus Winter Study Information.
- International SOS Information for Students & Parents (PDF)
- You may also want to apply for the optional ISIC, which includes some basic types of trip coverage and gives you access to many student discounts while traveling.
- In addition to these discounts, the ISIC serves as an effective means of proof of student status, since many tourist spots will not honor regular US college IDs.
- Tips, Dos & Don’ts, Books, Articles & Videos complied by Hayley Elszasz ’16
Safety & Other Tips
- Please make sure you have a photocopy of your passport, printouts of your flight itineraries, and any prescriptions or medical notices you might need to document what you’re bringing or replace critical medications if you lose them. Do not put important paperwork, prescription medication or other critical supplies in your checked bags in case your luggage is lost or delayed.
- Do not take any unnecessary valuables, be smart about what you carry on your person while you’re out and about, and make sure you have a secure location to lock up your original passport, extra cash, electronics, medications and other valuables that you don’t necessarily need with you all the time.
- Remember to call the issuing bank for any credit/debit cards you plan to use while away to indicate where you’ll be traveling and avoid potentially having your cards frozen. Even if traveling domestically, some banks will temporarily freeze your card to protect you from potential fraudulent use once they see a series of transactions taking place away from your usual area.
- You may also want to contact your cell phone providers to confirm functionality of your phones, or add the necessary voice, text or mobile data plans to cover your anticipated usage in your destination country.
General Resources for International Travel
- Traveler’s Checklist
- STEP – The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is worthwhile to sign up for in order to get travel notices, warnings and other information based on the countries you enter on your itinerary. This also helps to alert the U.S. embassies in these countries to your presence in case of emergency.
External Opportunities & Resources for Alternative Spring Break Trips
Action Without Borders is an organization that seeks to connect people who want to serve with opportunities for action and collaboration. Indicate your areas of interests, and this non-profit will connect you with many potential opportunities in that field.
American University also has some additional trip planning resources.
Break Away has a site bank of hundreds of non-profit organizations who want to connect with volunteers.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that helps Americans improve the lives of their fellow citizens through service. Check out their Tips for College Students Who Want to Volunteer.
Habitat for Humanity‘s Collegiate Challenge puts students to work during spring break to help eliminate poverty housing.
I to I helps college students volunteer abroad and work with communities on local projects. Opportunities include teaching English, coaching sports or working on construction projects.
United Way hosts students to spend spring break in Biloxi, MS in the United Way National Alternative Spring Break experience program.
Volunteer Match helps students seeking an alternative spring break experience connect with organizations right in their own backyards with a ZIP code search.
Volunteer.gov is America’s Natural and Cultural Resources Volunteer Portal, an alliance of governmental partners dedicated to serving the volunteer community by populating this site with volunteer positions and events for citizens interested in volunteer service benefiting our nation’s resources.