WISE Abroad Study Abroad and Internship Policies and Procedures POLICIES AND PROCEDURES The policies and procedures as outlined below pertain to Fall and Spring semester programs, and Summer programs and replace any other published policies related to these terms. This section includes General WISE ABROAD policies, Academic Policies, Program Fees and Payment Policies. I. GENERAL POLICIES 1. Admission WISE ABROAD works with internship supervisors, academic institutions abroad and home institutions to coordinate processing of applications. When nominating students, home academic institutions together with WISE Abroad have the responsibility to evaluate the applicant’s credentials carefully and to determine his/her suitability for the selected programs. Endorsement of an individual applicant constitutes an assurance that the student meets the minimum admission standards for a program, that the student is prepared linguistically, academically, and socially to succeed and enjoy benefits from the program, and that it is appropriate for the student's academic and careers objectives. Selection for most programs is generally done on a rolling basis by WISE ABROAD staff. WISE ABROAD does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, marital status, national and ethnic origin, or disability. 2. Late Arrival to a Program Students are expected to be present from the first day of the program orientation. In extremely rare situations, there may be acceptable reasons for a student to arrive late. Permission for such arrangements can only be granted by WISE ABROAD staff and only upon receipt of a written request from the appropriate officer at the student's home institution. 3. Early Departure, Withdrawal, or Program Cancellation Students are required to stay at the program location until the final date of the program as announced in the program materials. Students are expected to complete the academic program including all examinations and submission of papers before departing the site. Interns are required to work in their respective jobs as stated in the program materials. There are exceptional circumstances that may force a student to leave a program early or withdraw from a program, for instance, a serious accident or illness, a severe psychological problem, or a family problem. In the case of a student who, due to emergency circumstances, is forced to depart early or is unable to complete an aspect of the requirements for one or more courses, WISE ABROAD will report an Incomplete (INC) to the home institution (this applies also to students who are getting credit for their internships). If the circumstances warrant, WISE ABROAD will make every effort to secure documentation that may be used by the US institution to grant partial or full credit for the participant, or to allow the student to complete work at home. If an emergency situation forces the cancellation of a study abroad program prior to the end of a session, WISE ABROAD will make every effort to secure alternative arrangements for students to complete their academic work, but cannot guarantee that credit will be obtained. 4. Exceptions During the semester, any student who feels there is a justification to request an exception to any WISE ABROAD policy should address the request in writing to the Country Director. Individual instructors or internship supervisors are not authorized to grant exceptions to academic policies. A Country Director may recommend that an exception be granted, in which case WISE Abroad staff, in consultation with the student’s home institution, makes the decision. 5. Housing and Internship Placements WISE Abroad shall endeavor to find internship placements that relate to the student’s career or academic interests, but cannot guarantee an exact match to the student’s preferences. In the event that a participant chooses to request a change of internship placement or housing placement after the program begins, and has reasonable and sufficient cause for such request, the student must submit a written request to the WISE Abroad country director of host country. Once the country director has reviewed the request with the participant and participant’s internship supervisors or housing hosts, and has found sufficient reason to approve the request, the country director shall strive to find an alternative internship placement or housing placement within a reasonable timeframe not to exceed two weeks after the request. 6. Airline Ticket Changes Students are responsible for paying fees resulting from changes they make to inbound or outbound dates on any airline tickets purchased by WISE Abroad. 7. Drugs and Alcohol Violations Penalties for drug violations in many host countries are often harsher than in the United States. Use of illegal drugs may result in expulsion from the study program, as well as possible criminal prosecution. Remember that students traveling abroad are subject to the laws of the country they are visiting – their own country’s laws do not protect them. The U.S. and other governments can only seek to ensure that their citizens are not discriminated against, that is, that they receive the same treatment, as do citizens of the country in which they are arrested who are charged with the same offense. 8. Alcohol Policy Students are subject to the laws of the host country and any policies and regulations of the host university. Alcohol abuse by students is viewed by WISE ABROAD as a serious violation of the terms of participation and will be treated accordingly. There are degrees of abuse as follows: Consumption of alcohol that causes a student to miss class or internship experience or be unable to participate fully in a classroom activity is considered alcohol abuse. At first instance, a warning letter will be issued. If there is a second instance, the student’s home institution and parents will be notified, and counseling may be required. Repeated instances may result in suspension or expulsion from the program or a recommendation of reduced or no credit. Consumption of alcoholic beverages that results in loud, disruptive, or offensive behavior according to U.S. or local norms, is more serious. Any infraction will result in a warning letter and notification of home school and parents. A second instance may result in immediate expulsion from the program at the discretion of the Country Director. Consumption of alcoholic beverages which results in any of the following is the most serious degree of alcohol abuse: Loss of consciousness or vomiting Destruction of property or abusive behavior Endangerment of self or of others Admission to a hospital or emergency room Treatment for alcohol poisoning Incarceration Any instance of these circumstances or other circumstances of equivalent severity may result in immediate expulsion from the program at the discretion of the Country Director. 9. Dismissal from the Program Participants are expected to comply with regulations established by their home universities and the host institution or internship host company or organization. Country Directors or host institutions/internship host abroad may establish additional requirements that are essential to the students' achievement of their educational and career objectives or to continuing good relations with the host institution or community. Host institution/company/organization staff may dismiss from the program any student who does not comply with the relevant regulations and requirements. The Country Director warns participants if they are not acting in compliance with program regulations. Participants are expected to take responsibility for changing their behavior or risk early dismissal and consequent loss of time, money, and academic credit. WISE ABROAD does not grant program fee refunds to students who are dismissed from their programs. II. ACADEMIC POLICIES Program participants are governed by three sets of policies: Policies set by the WISE ABROAD Staff for all WISE ABROAD programs. Policies set by the host institution/company/organization Policies set by the student's home institution. The U.S. academic institution is the institution that nominates the student to WISE ABROAD and grants credit. This is usually the student's home institution. In the case of conflict among these three sets of policies, the more stringent policy shall apply in every case, except where otherwise stated in the materials that follow. WISE ABROAD provides a written statement of WISE ABROAD policies prior to the beginning of the program. It is the sole responsibility of the student to become familiar with these policies and with any more demanding policies that may be imposed by his/her academic institution/company/organization. It is also the sole responsibility of the student to obtain complete information concerning how academic work completed overseas is assessed by the institution at which the student is a degree candidate and how credit is counted towards the student's degree program. 1. Student Academic Orientation The home institution should provide an orientation covering relevant academic matters prior to the student’s departure. It is the sole responsibility of the student to be familiar with the information and policies covered in this orientation. A WISE ABROAD academic/internship orientation takes place at the program site in conjunction with host institution/Country Director. All students are required to attend WISE ABROAD orientation sessions. 2. Course Loads, Credits, Equivalencies, and Grades Students on WISE ABROAD programs are required (exceptions may be granted on case-by-case basis) to take a full course load as offered by each program (usually the equivalent of 12 to 15 U.S. semester-hour credits in the Fall or Spring or 6 credits summer sessions). WISE ABROAD evaluates course offerings at host institutions that report the workload of courses on a basis other than the U.S. semester-hour system on a case-by-case basis. Final authority for the published credit equivalency rests with WISE ABROAD staff. Final authority for awarding of credit to an individual student rests with the appropriate authority at the student's academic institution. In general, a block of fifteen 50-minute sessions is equivalent to one semester hour of credit. Some courses may include activities such as conversation hours, applied arts sessions, visits to museums, which, although academic in nature, do not entail additional outside work. In these cases, no more than one half of the contact time is counted. The student with his/her academic institution must negotiate credit for internship activities and independent study projects. Grades are awarded for student performance using a U.S. system of letter grades, a host-country system of letters, numbers, and/or descriptors, or a combination of these methods. WISE ABROAD provides a suggested U.S. letter grade. Determination of the final grade based on the documentation provided by WISE ABROAD is at the discretion of the student's academic institution. The student's academic institution may or may not post grades earned overseas to the student's transcript, and the home institution may or may not include overseas grades in the grade point average. 3. Academic Records Upon completion of the program, host institution staff sends final grade reports along with other supporting documentation from the host institution (when available) to the WISE ABROAD U.S. office. WISE ABROAD will forward these to the student’s academic institution. These documents include the student's name, date of birth, term of attendance, and lists each course studied, the language of instruction, hours of instruction, suggested U.S. grade equivalency, and recommended semester hours of credit. U.S. academic institutions normally receive final grades from WISE ABROAD approximately eight to ten weeks after the program ending date. WISE ABROAD academic records for student participants are not released when participants have outstanding financial obligations to the WISE ABROAD U.S. office or to the program site. Requests for transcripts reflecting credit earned must be made to the home academic institution. 4. Attendance Class/internship attendance is required throughout the program. Students may not arrive late to, or leave early from, the academic/internship program unless there has been an emergency. If an emergency occurs and the participant must leave the program early, the student's home institution must then submit a written request to the WISE ABROAD U.S. office. Students may be excused from class/internship only with the permission of the Country Director. Students who miss class/internship for medical reasons must inform the Country Director or direct supervisors. Students who do not attend all classes/internship regularly will receive a written warning from the Country Director. Continued absence may lead to dismissal from the program. Students are not permitted to travel away from the program site while classes are in session or during internship program work days. Weekend travel is permitted. 5. Pass/Fail and Audit Pass/fail registrations are not permitted in WISE ABROAD study abroad courses that are offered for graded credit. With the approval of the Country Director, a student who carries a full course of study for credit may audit additional courses. A student is not allowed to change from Audit to Credit status, or vice-versa, after the end of the Drop/Add period. 6. Drop/Add Period In general, students are permitted to make changes in their course selection during the first two weeks of a term. Drop/Add periods may vary from program to program depending on the policies of the host academic institution. In most cases the drop/add period will end no later than the third full week of regular classes. No changes are permitted in registration (other than those to correct clerical errors) after the end of the Drop/Add period. After the end of the Drop/Add period, no course may be deleted from a student's academic record. 7. Incompletes In some instances, there may be valid reasons (e.g., accident, illness, personal, or family problem) why a student may not complete all assignments for a particular course and therefore may be awarded an Incomplete (INC). An Incomplete on the student’s academic record documentation is accompanied by an attachment providing full information about what is required from the student in order to complete the course (e.g., paper, exam, etc.) and the date by which this must be accomplished. This date will be no more than one semester after the end of the course in question. Once the assigned date has passed, an Incomplete that has not been satisfied automatically reverts to an "F" and cannot be changed. 8. Withdrawal from a Study Abroad Course If a student is granted permission by the Country Director to withdraw from a course after the end of the Drop/Add period but before the withdrawal deadline, a grade of "W" is entered on the WISE ABROAD academic record documentation. If after the withdrawal deadline a student stops attending a course, fails to take the final examination, or fails to turn in required work, a grade of "F" is reported. The withdrawal deadline may vary from program to program but will not be later than the mid-point of the term as determined by the Country Director. 9. Academic Honesty WISE ABROAD subscribes to standard U.S. norms requiring that students exhibit the highest standards regarding academic honesty. All participants must adhere to academic honesty guidelines set by their home academic institutions. 10. Appeals During the semester, any student appeal related to WISE ABROAD academic policies should be addressed to the Country Director. Any appeal of a policy or decision taken by the student's home institution must be addressed directly to authorities at the U.S. institution. An appeal arising after the conclusion of the program should be addressed to staff in the WISE ABROAD U.S. office who will coordinate appeals processes with the U.S. academic institution. If a student believes the grade reported for a specific course is either an error or unfair, the student must provide an inquiry or appeal to WISE ABROAD U.S. staff. Participants have six months from when grades are forwarded to their sending institution to file an appeal. III. PROGRAM FEES AND PAYMENT POLICIES 1. Program Fees WISE ABROAD publishes program fees on its website www.wiseabroad.org. 2. Confirmation of Participation WISE ABROAD applies an administrative fee, as part of the program payment, from each student intending to participate on a WISE ABROAD program. This administration fee is not an additional fee but is part of the published program fee and is paid in order to confirm a place in the program. 3. Payment of WISE ABROAD Program Fees Participants are billed after acceptance to a WISE ABROAD program. Participants are confirmed once WISE ABROAD reviews the student’s application documentation and confirms the participant’s acceptance over email. Once WISE ABROAD has confirmed a participant’s acceptance into a program, the WISE ABROAD Withdrawal policy applies. WISE ABROAD has agreements with most institutions regarding billing procedures for their students. In some cases, institutions ask WISE ABROAD to bill students directly and, in others, WISE ABROAD bills the institution or sends the student invoice to the institution to be distributed to the student. In the absence of an existing arrangement with a school or where the participant does not have a home academic institution, WISE ABROAD bills the participant directly. In this case, bills are sent in the student’s email address or the permanent address indicated on the application form. 4. Due Dates, Late Fees, and Interest The program fee must be paid in full no later than 45 days prior to the departure date or by the due date listed on the invoice (whichever is later). Program fees are billed for by term. 5. Exclusion from Participation Any participant who fails to either pay in full by the due date on the invoice may be subject to exclusion from participation at the discretion of WISE ABROAD. 6. Late Fees and Interest Any participant who fails to either pay in full 45 days prior to departure or by the due date on the invoice will be charged a $175 late fee Grades will not be transmitted for any student for whom an unpaid balance remains. Returned checks and declined credit card payments will be considered as failure to make the payment, and a $70 fee will charged for returned checks or credit payments. 7. Withdrawal or Refund Policy Please note that in most circumstances the $70 application fee and the $800 program administration fee are non-refundable. Summer, Fall and Spring Semester Programs Withdrawal before the program starting date: If written notification of withdrawal of participation is received by WISE ABROAD more than 30 days prior to the program starting date, all fees minus the $70 application fee and the $800 non-refundable administration fee will be refunded. If written notification of withdrawal is received by WISE ABROAD less than 30 days prior to the program starting date, 50% of the program fees less the $800 non-refundable administrative fee will be refunded. The $70 application fee is non-refundable. Withdrawal on or after the program starting date: If written notification of withdrawal is received by WISE ABROAD on or after the program starting date, the following refund policy for partial attendance applies. Please note that the $70 application fee and the $800 administration fee are non-refundable and refunds are calculated on the program fee less the administration fee and cost of airline ticket: Withdrawal on or up to 10 days after the program start – 20% refund Withdrawal at any time after (and including) day 10 – no refund Program Cancellation WISE ABROAD reserves the right to cancel a WISE ABROAD program due to insufficient enrollment or Country Director is unable to find an internship for a student or other factors beyond its control. In case of program cancellation, participants are provided with alternative program options or are given the option to defer participation to another term. Alternative options are subject to the approval of the student’s home institution. If the student does not opt for an alternative program, WISE ABROAD refunds the $70 application fee, the $800 non-refundable administrative fee, and all additional fees paid. Notes: 1. In the case of a refund, the refund is automatically sent to the billed party except in some circumstances involving financial aid. (If WISE ABROAD bills the institution, the refund is sent to the institution; if WISE ABROAD bills the participant, the refund is sent to the participant at the permanent address listed on the initial application, unless the participant notifies WISE ABROAD otherwise.) 2. Cancellations are effective only upon the date written notification is received by WISE ABROAD. Students must also notify their home institution directly if they plan to cancel, withdraw, or defer. Questions regarding the home institution policies should be directed to the home institution, not to WISE ABROAD. Home institutions’ payment policies are separate from WISE ABROAD’s payment policies, and students will be held to both sets of policies. 3. The $70 application fee and $800 administration fee are non-refundable. 4. The program starting date is the date of the first day of orientation. 5. In the case where a student confirms participation 30 days or less before the program start date, full payment must be made upon receipt of invoice. 6. WISE ABROAD withholds final grades when participants have outstanding financial obligations to WISE ABROAD or the program site. Direct all questions regarding participant accounts to firstname.lastname@example.org.