INTS 201: INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
Host Country Resource Book Assignment: Fall 2009
To better prepare you for your international experience in your host country, your major
assignment in INTS 201 is to compile a substantial Host Country Resource Book. The project is
worth 50% of your final grade and should reflect a semester‟s work. Therefore, it is imperative
that you work on/add to the book 2-3 hours every week. As you progress through your degree
plan and take other courses, especially those that are relevant to your emphasis and geographic
areas, you should add to this resource book as you acquire new material. A well-prepared
Resource Book will not only enhance your international experience, it should provide a
foundation for your senior thesis.
Much of the material you will gather is readily available in a variety of useful resource books.
Two of the most useful are:
The CIA Factbook (yes, that CIA) at https://www.cia.gov/redirects/factbookredirect.html.
The World Fact Book is another useful source that will link you to virtually all of the topics
covered below: http://www.bartleby.com/151/.
You may photocopy, scan, or download on-line material for your resource book; highlight key
points (judiciously). Each week you should peruse/read newspapers (e.g., New York Times, Wall
Street Journal, International Herald Tribune); magazines (e.g., Newsweek, Time, US News and
World Report, especially The Economist—) and scholarly journals (e.g., International Studies
Quarterly). Many of these are available “on line;” the library, the Bush School and the INTS
Office have many of these sources. Photocopy or clip useful articles (do NOT clip articles from
sources you do not own). Also, a file-box with photocopies of relevant articles for most countries
is kept in the classroom; check it regularly for additions.
To encourage you to work regularly on your Resource Book, you will be responsible for showing
me your “work in progress” at least twice during the semester (Week 5, Week 10). Failure to
present an acceptable work-in-progress will diminish your argument that you have earned an „A‟
on the project. On selected Friday afternoons (TBA), there will be Resource Book Work Parties
(w/refreshments) in the INTS Office.
If you haven‟t done so already, select a country.
Remember: your host country must enable you to immerse yourself in the language you are
mastering; thus the selection of country will be dictated by your language. You may not select a
country in which English is a primary language (e.g., India), nor an international experience in
which classes are taught in English and where you‟ll live exclusively with English speaking
students (e.g., A&M‟s Study Center in Italy). Also, you may not select a country in which you
If you have not selected a country yet, don’t want to select one at this time, or feel unable to select
a country now: either choose a country that you might seriously consider or focus on the
geographic area that has a host country that corresponds with your language. I will help you
design a resource book that accommodates your needs.
You should commit to a country/geographic area by the first weekend of the semester and begin
gathering the most readily accessible material.
There are examples of outstanding resource books and disks in the INTS Office.
You may—and are encouraged to—add useful material that may not be listed here, especially as
concepts arise during your readings of the texts and class discussion. „A‟ books will show
evidence of extra effort and creativity. [An „A‟ instructor will no doubt think of more items that
should be included and will announce them in class.] The Resource Book should be divided
(using clearly marked divisions with tabs) into the following 8 (I-VIII) sections and contain
most—though not necessarily all—of the material described here. Organize the material in a way
that makes most sense to you and your needs; there is not one “right way” to organize the book.
The organization should be consistent throughout the book and it should be easy to access a
Books may be done in one of three ways:
1. Hard copy in a binder.
2. CD-Rom on a disk.
3. Power Point presentation.
As you compile your resource book, concentrate esp. on the emphasis area you have chosen; i.e.,
if your area is Commerce/Business, your book should contain more information than that of
someone whose emphasis is Politics/Diplomacy. However, do complete all sections outlines
Collect newspaper, magazine, and journal articles to support your research into the country; place
them in the most appropriate sections. You should find at least 3 newspaper and magazine articles
a week, and at least that many on-line articles of interest/relevance. „A‟ students will want to do
more. Be sure to include source, date, and page number of paper/magazine articles. You should
include (photocopied or downloaded) no less than three scholarly journal essays that focus on
your emphasis area (e.g., business). Highlight key points and be sure to include a full
bibliographic citation for each. Reminder: check the file box in the classroom regularly.
Videos/DVDs are another excellent resource: the A&M library has numerous videos/DVDs that
can be checked out and viewed in the EDMS. You will find histories of your country, specific
works on each of the emphasis and geographic areas, examinations of religions (there are some
excellent videos on Islam), culture, culture shock, current issues, doing business in foreign
countries, etc. I have a notebook in the office containing video/DVD titles, arranged by subject
area. I add to it regularly. You are welcome to use the notebook, or ask me and I‟ll show you the
easiest ways to find videos. If you view a video/DVD: write a paragraph that summarizes key
points (or use bullet points); include the title, production company (e.g., Films for the
Humanities, ABC News, etc.), year, and running time. The most useful way to do this is print the
information from LibCat, which contains all relevant information; you can make notes on the
back of the printout that will serve as your summary paragraph. An „A‟ student should include
several videos/DVDs in the resource book.
Also: INTS has a video library and a TV with a built-in DVD player in the INTS Student Loung.
You may check out a video and watch it in the lounge. A list of INTS videos, with content
description, is available in the INTS office and it is posted on the INTS web site.
At the beginning of each of the 8 sections (I-VIII) include a one-page summary of your findings.
This can be done with a short introduction in which you state what you consider to be the major
issues in the section, followed by a series of bullets with specific points. At the end of the
semester you can use these summary sheets to construct your final 5-minute presentation and the
outline that will accompany it. (This is a real world experience: such one-page summaries are
typical in the business/diplomatic world: a “leader” is given a one page “white paper” her/his
staff has prepared as a “quick study” prior to departure, a meeting, conference, etc.)
The Contents of the Book: Parts I-VIII.
I. Country Profile
See the statistical tables at the end of each of the geographic sections in International Studies:
An Interdisciplinary Approach (IS); much of this information can be located there. It‟s also
readily available on line in the Fact Book and at the end of each issue of The Economist.
Location/map/flag with bordering countries clearly identified: use materials in Ch. 3 of
IS as a guide:
o How historically “accurate” is this map? Who defined the boundaries?
See esp. discussion of maps and territories in Ch. 3 (p. 68) of IS.
o Note any historical or current friction, disputes, etc. with neighboring
countries (e.g., India and Pakistan/Kashmir/Nepal; Israel and Palestine).
o Identify specific regions and their characteristics within the country.
o In what time zone(s) is the country located? What is the difference
between the country and your home town and/or College Station?
o Discuss the symbolism of the country‟s flag and how it reflects the
national character and aspirations.
o What is the current population (w/breakdown of gender, age, and other
relevant classifications)? The projected population by 2050?
o Identify, discuss major indigenous peoples (e.g., the Han in China, the
Maya in Mexico)
o Is there friction between (or among) indigenous peoples and others
within the country (e.g., Indians in Chiapas, Mexico)?
o What is the average life expectancy of the citizens? How does this
compare with other countries?
o Is this a “young” or “old” country (age wise)? Is gentrification a problem
(e.g., the prospects of Social Security failing because of gentrification in
o Discuss birth rates: does the country have a system for population control
(e.g., China‟s one child/one family policy)? Will a rapidly expanding
population or a decrease in population create major problems in the
future? E.g., China‟s and South Korea‟s low birth rates suggest future
problems for sustaining the work force.
o What is/are the dominant language(s) of the country (e.g., Mandarin and
Cantonese in China)?
o What other languages are significant (e.g. Catalonian in Spain)?
o Are there indigenous languages still in use (e.g., Nahual in Mexico)
o Are there significant regional dialects (India has 18 major languages and
about 260 dialects!). To what extent do multiple languages/dialects affect
the country‟s unity, communications, etc?
o How many immigrants are currently in the country? How many enter
each year? Where are the majority of the immigrants from? Why are they
immigrating to the country?
o Is immigration considered a major problem in the country? What are the
problems? What, if anything, is being done to remedy the problems? Or,
has immigration had mostly a positive effect on the country?
o Is emigration considered a problem for the country? Why are people
leaving? Is the country suffering a “brain drain” as well-educated people
leave the country? Conversely, is it profiting from an influx of well-
educated people from other countries?
Resources (see also Economy/Commerce and Environmental Issues below: you need
not cover this material twice)
o Identify the major natural resources (water, oil, coal, timber, agricultural,
o Identify the primary products, esp. those used for exports.
o What are the major scenic/tourist attractions (mountains, coasts,
waterways, etc)? How do these contribute to tourism, the economy, etc?
o Identify the national educational and literacy levels: how does the
country compare to major industrialized countries?
o Briefly describe the pre-university educational system (K-12). Is there
universal education? Public and private schools? What is the overall
quality of education, esp. compared to other countries?
o What are the most serious educational issues confronting the country (if
any) and what is being done to remedy them?
o Identify the major universities in the country, noting esp. those at which
you would like to study. Include informational material for at least 3
universities at which you might study (The Study Abroad Office can
Health and Social Services
o What health and social services (private vs. public?) are available to the
o What is the quality if health care in the country?
o Are foreigners able to use health care in the country? Cost?
o Investigate pharmacies: are pharmacists able to dispense prescription
o Are there major health threats of which you should be aware? Will you need
special immunizations to enter the country?
Safety and Well-being Issues
o Are there safety issues such as internal terrorism, external terrorism, thieves
(esp. pickpockets), mob violence, etc. of which you should be aware (keep in
mind that danger may exist in most places, both in the USA and abroad)?
o Have there been incidents of violence (bombings in the London subway, the
Madrid train station, etc.) in the recent past?
o What is the general level of security in the country? What steps are being
taken to insure the safety of visitors?
o Know esp. drug laws and sentencing for drug offences (e.g., life in prison or
possibly death for possession of narcotics in several SE Asian countries).
o Is/are there particular contraband(s) that are outlawed (e.g., guns and
ammunition in Mexico, where carrying a single bullet is a crime)?
o How are foreigners treated if incarcerated? What are jail and prisons like?
Right to attorney? Trial? Extradition policies?
Personal Contact with Natives from Your Host Country
o Find, meet, and interview some natives from your host country (students,
faculty, spouses, others). Summarize their comments. Use them to help you
find answers to many of the questions raised here, esp. re customs,
communication, food, culture, etc. There are two excellent student
organizations on campus that can help: Aggie Ambassadors and International
Student Mentoring Association (ISMA): you‟ll be paired with a foreign
student and mentor him/her and serve as a conversation partner. Most
foreign students at A&M have an organization in which their native students
can meet (e.g., the Indian Students Association). Check with the Student
Organizations Office in the MSC.
Also: discuss the foreign students‟ perceptions of Americans and the
USA. (See the handout from My Freshman Year.)
II. History and Context: Use concepts in Chap. 2 of SI as a guide:
Include a brief history of the country: highlight key moments (founding;
colonial rule, independence, international conflict and civil wars). You may
want to include a timeline similar to those at the end of Chapters 6-10 in SI;
focus on the most significant aspects of a country‟s history.
Has the history of the country been revised? Why? (E.g., Japan‟s recent
admission of sex slavery in WWII, Argentina‟s “Dirty War,”etc.)
Identify any periods in which the country was a colony of another country
(e.g., Peru was a Spanish colony, South Africa was a British and Dutch
colony, Morocco was a French colony) and the positive ands esp. negative
influences colonization had on the country (esp. language, political systems,
Did the country colonize other countries? Include commentary on its
influence as a colonial power.
Identify and briefly profile the most significant historical figures in the
country‟s history (e.g. Garibaldi in Italy, Bolivar in much of Latin America;
Mao in China; Mandela in So. Africa)
Include a bibliography of the 3-5 most important book-length histories of the
country and its region. Examine them: which do you find esp. useful? An „A‟
student should probably read one of these books.
III. Political System(s): Use concepts in Ch. 1 of IS as a guide.
Identify/describe the current government/political system (parliamentary,
non-democractic, authoritarian, etc.) by which the country is organized and
o Note any previous systems, esp. monarchies, dictatorships, etc.
o Note previous rulers of importance and/or notoriety (e.g. Franco in
Spain, Peron in Argentina, Mao in China)
o Identify and briefly profile the current ruler (president, monarch,
dictator, etc.). To what extent is s/he admired, disliked, trusted,
distrusted, etc. by the populace?
o Identify and briefly profile the current major political parties (if any);
note especially a party that has fallen from power (e.g., PRI in
Mexico) or parties that are on the rise and their current status.
Discuss any friction/hostility between the parties (e.g., Shi‟a and
Sunnis in Iraq) that create unusually serious problems for the
o When was the last national election and what were its results? What
changes, if any, did the election bring about? (E.g., Sarkozy‟s recent
election in France and the change from a very liberal to a much more
o If an election is imminent, what are the major issues? How might
they affect US relations?
o Identify and profile the country‟s status in such international
organizations as the UN, EU, NATO, OAS, ASEAN, etc.
o Is the country under the strong influence of another
country/countries, or does it have a strong influence on other
countries? (e.g., Russia-Iran, Cuba-Venezuela).
o Are there internal dissident/terrorists groups within the country (e.g.
Basque separatists in Spain, FARQ in Columbia)? To what extent are
they a major problem and threat to safety?
o If possible, identify the structure of the local government in the city
where you may reside; what are the major local issues?
o To what degree is corruption and mob/cartel influence a fact of life
in the national and/or local government? (See the essay in Global
Issues (#21) on graft and corruption in Russia.)`
IV. Economy and Commerce: Use concept in Chap. 4 of SI.
o Define the current state of the country‟s economy, including GDP per
capita, % of growth, average income, debt/surplus, etc. Is the country
considered Third World, developing, or industrialized?
o What is the common currency of your host country (Euro, peso, yuan,
yen, etc.) What is its current value vs. the dollar? Track the changes in
the currency vs. the dollar: once a week note the change (use a graph). In
general, how healthy is the country‟s currency? If it is weak, what
remedies are taken to strengthen the currency.
Fun exercise: Choose 8-10 items (gallon of gas, loaf of
bread, bottle of beer, cup of coffee, one-way bus fare, a
movie ticket, toothpaste, etc.) and compare the cost of
purchasing them in the USA and the host country. It‟s a
good indicator of how (in)expensive a country is. The
Economist does this with its “Big Mac” index.
o Define the country‟s market system: capitalist? free trade? state
controlled? To what extent is the country‟s economy and commerce
based on Neoliberalism or some variant of Marxism (or a combination of
the two)? What are the strengths/weaknesses of its market system?
o What are the country‟s tax policies, noting esp. the current tax rate(s)?
Distinguish between national/individual taxes and international/business
taxes? Is it possible for a visitor (such as yourself) to reclaim taxes such
as the Value Added Tax (VAT) in many European countries? Can YOU
be taxed if you are paid for an internship or work in some other capacity
while abroad? Are there means for recovering that tax?
o What are the trade policies of the country? Tariffs? Embargos? Note any
particular laws pertaining to commerce (esp. those with a Commerce
emphasis). To what extent do such policies and laws affect relations with
trading partners, esp. the USA?
o What are the major industries (incl. agriculture, tourism), esp. in terms of
the country‟s exports? How healthy are these industries?
o Who are the country‟s major trading partners for exports and imports?
What is the country‟s overall balance of trade? With what country or
countries is there an esp. glaring imbalance of trade?
o Has the country undergone a major change in its market system (e.g.,
China‟s move from a strictly state-controlled system to a more liberal,
free-market system)? To what degree has this change been successful?
o Has the country recently undergone major economic turmoil? Currency
devaluations? Recessions? Depressions? Japan is an important test case.
o Are graft, corruption and bribery an integral part of the commerce in the
country (the Chinese call this guan xi, or “the backdoor;” Marlboro
cigarettes are the preferred bribe for small matters)?
o Comment especially on income disparities between the very rich and the
very poor: what are the implications of this disparity?
V. Communication, the Media, and IT. Use concepts from Chap. 5 of IS and the
Do’s and Taboos text.
Major media: What are the major media outlets: newspapers (Le Monde in
France), magazines (Stern in Germany), television (Al Jazeera), radio (Radio
Japan). To what degree are these state owned (e.g., the BBC) or state
o What print publications are available in our library? As you get more
proficient at your language, read these regularly, especially “on
line.” (You are expected to use source material from international
publications in your senior thesis).
o To what degree are the media censored? Mouthpieces for the
government? Which media outlets are conservative, liberal,
o How advanced is the host country in terms of IT and how has IT
affected the country‟s economy, status in the world market, etc.?
o What percentage of the population owns a computer or has computer
access? Internet capabilities? How has the presence (or lack) of
computers and the internet affected the growth of the country within
the world community?
o Are internet cafes and similar outlets readily available? How
expensive are they? (You‟ll want to know this as you plan your
o Cell phones: investigate the availability, reliability, and cost of cell
phone/text messaging in the host country. Investigate US companies
that offer international plans.
o Investigate international phone cards: are these cheaper than cell
phones for international communication?
o How do you use telephones, esp. pay phones, in the host country?
(This can be tricky and very frustrating.) Accessibility? Reliability?
Cost? Are phone cards necessary?
Interpersonal and Business Communication
o Refer to the Do’s and Taboos and Culture Shock and draw up a list
of important communication and protocol points that are specific to
your host country. Be esp. aware of the “don‟ts.” Pay special
attention to initial greetings (bows, handshakes, or?) and forms of
address, esp. family names.
o Note especially particular communication/protocols for doing
business (incl. gift-giving).
o Discuss gestures, noting particular gestures and hand signals that are
important to the country. Emphasize gestures that may be esp. rude,
offensive, or obscene.
VI. Environmental Issues:
Use the concepts in Chap. 2 of IS. Also, review material under “Resources” in the country‟s
Profile (Pt. 1):
o To what extent are the country‟s most valuable resources threatened by
global warming, overuse of land and resources, draught, etc? (E.g., The loss
of rain forests in Brazil, over-irrigation in Central Asia, strip mining, etc.)
How sustainable/renewable are the resources in the country?
o Discuss in particular “water” and its effect on the country. Are there water
shortages now and/or projected shortages? What is being done to address the
o Is hunger/starvation prevalent? Why? What is being done to combat hunger?
o Does the country use/promote/develop genetically engineered food? To what
extent is this a political, ethical, commercial issue?
o What are the country‟s primary energy sources (oil, coal, solar, nuclear,
hydro-electric, etc.) and what changes are being made (or should be made) to
provide energy that is environmentally safe, efficient, and cost effective?
o Compile statistics for air quality, green house gas emissions, waste, etc. How
does the country compare to other countries?
o What are the major modes of transportation in the country and what effect
are they having on the environment?
o What are the major environmental concerns of the country and what is being
done to address them? How do these problems affect the USA and other
o To what extent is the country going “green?” Is the country committed to the
Kyoto Treaty and similar attempts to improve environmental conditions?
VII. Cultural Issues Use the concepts in Chap. 5 of IS
o What is/are the dominant religion(s) in the country? By percentage?
o Is there a state religion? Is there religious intolerance or forbidden religions?
o Profile any major religions in the country with which you are unfamiliar (e.g.
Hindu, Buddhist, Islam, etc.): what are its major beliefs, tenets, etc.?
o To what extent is the country‟s religion an influence on the culture (including
o Are other religions growing in popularity/acceptance in the country?
o To what extent is/are religion(s) a source of conflict/tension in the country?
o To what extent do visitors to the country need to be aware of/sensitive to the
dominant religion (e.g., Saudi Arabia‟s strict codes of dress and behavior for
o What are the major religious holidays/holy days in the country? Dates?
Literature and the Arts
o Does the country have a major myth/epic (e.g., Le Cid in Spain, the
Mabharata in India, Journey to the West in China, the Popul Vuh in Mexico)
and to what extent does this work help define the character of the country?
o Who are the major literary artists (novelists, poets, playwrights) and what are
their most notable works? Is there a “national novel”(e.g., Don Quixote in
Spain) or “play” (e.g., The Cherry Orchard in Russia)? An „A‟ student
would read one of these.
o Are there significant national art forms (esp. performance) associated with
the country (e.g., Kabuki Theatre in Japan, Chinese opera, Flamenco in
Spain)? How do these mirror the national character? Where might (should!)
you see these forms in your host country (e.g., Teatro Zarzuela in Madrid, La
Scala opera house in Milan, the Kabuki-za in Tokyo)?
o Who are the countries major composers (e.g., Mozart, Verdi, De Falla) and
which are their major works? Where is an ideal place to hear their works
while in the country (Mozart in Saltzburg, Puccini in Lucca)?
o What is the country‟s national anthem (which can probably be downloaded
on the web)? Is there a history behind the national anthem (India‟s anthem
was composed by its greatest literary artist, R. Tagore)?
o Who are the country‟s major artists and sculptors, and where are their works
o Identify major art museums in the country, noting esp. notable works (e.g.,
Picasso‟s Guernica at the Museo Sophie in Madrid, Michaelangelo‟s David
at the Academia in Florence).
Popular Culture and National Pastimes
o Who are the country‟s major pop artists in music? What are popular musical
styles, dances, etc. (E.g. the Tango in Argentina)?
o Who are the country‟s major film makers/directors (if any)? What are their major
films? (E.g. Almovidar in Spain, Fellini in Italy, Kurosawa in Japan). What are
the country‟s 3-4 most important films? See some, „A‟ students. Who are the
major film stars?
o What are the most popular television shows (incl. American “imports‟)? How do
they reflect the national character? (Baywatch was huge in Muslim Iran!)
o What are the country‟s major pastimes, including sports events? Where is the
ideal place to observe/participate in these (the famous Plaza de Toros in Sevilla,
the soccer stadium in Turin, Italy)? Investigate the cost and availability of a ticket
and other incidentals. Familiarize yourself with the rules of the national game. Be
sure to learn the most important teams and their colors, esp. in soccer-crazy
countries (this could prevent injuries!) To what extent are these pastimes a
reflection of the national character?
o Identify/describe major festivals in the country (incl. dates and location). Which
are “must see”? E.g., Carnivale in Venice or Viareggio, Sevilla‟s April Festival,
Spring Festival (New Year) in China, Dia de los Muertos in Mexico. The Culture
Shock books are very good sources of information re festivals and national
Food and Drink (Culture Shock books cover this very well)
o What are some of the major foods associated with the country? Regional dishes?
Discuss food as a reflection of national character. Are specific dishes associated with
holidays and other national events. If possible, sample foods with which you are
o When/what do people customarily eat breakfast, lunch, dinner? Are there other times
set aside for tea breaks or? Is there a particular order in which food is served (in Italy
salads are usually served after the main course)? You may want to provide some
sample menus to illustrate.
o Are there particular “delicacies” that may take some getting used to (hamsters in
South America, monkey brains in parts of China)? Why are these an integral part of
o Are their distinctive national drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic? (E.g. grappa
in Italy, ouzo in Greece, mo tai in China). What role does drinking play in the social
and cultural life of the country? How do the natives look upon public drunkenness
(it‟s frowned upon in Italy)? What is the common “toast” in the country (e.g., “Gun
bei” in China, “Prosit” in Germany)? Are there particular drinking songs?
o In general, what role does food and drink play in the culture of the country? To what
degree is a meal—esp. a „banquet‟—a ritual as much as an eating event? Note esp.
business meals and the protocols expected.
o Investigate typical clothing worn by men, women: casual, business attire, formal, etc.
o Do people dress for the season, esp. colors (dark in autumn, winter; color in spring
o For safety reasons (terrorists, pickpockets, thieves), it is advisable to „blend‟ with the
locals, esp. in transportation areas, public squares, etc. What would “typical local
dress” consist of in the region where you‟ll likely spend most of your time?
o Are there particular clothing taboos of which you should be aware? (E.g., women
may not enter the Vatican in bare shoulders or in sleeveless/ low cut tops; men may
not enter a mosque in shorts)
VIII. Satisfying the International Experience Requirement in the Host
Identify and profile at least 3 Study Abroad options, requirements,
Identify and profile at least 2 possible internships, including the US
State Department (work at embassies, consulates, etc.)
Identify and profile at least 2-3 volunteer possibilities (World Health
Organization, church affiliated, Amigos de las Americas, UN, etc.)
In every case, talk to students who have used these options. Summarize their comments,
recommendations, “avoid!” etc. INTS can put you in contact with students who have successfully
completed any of these options.
Rank your first 3 choices for satisfying the type of international experience that most appeals to
you; briefly explain your ranking. E.g., if you plan to study at another university, which
universities and which of our affiliate organizations most appeal to you? If you want an
internship, describe the ideal internship for you. If you plan to do volunteer/service work, which
organization appears most intriguing/satisfying? Tailor this section to your particular goals, but
be sure to consider/discuss several options.
Establish a budget, keeping in mind that prices will surely increase. You should probably add
5-10% a year between now and the semester you plan to go abroad. Your budget should include:
Fees to A&M
Tuition, fees, etc. to the affiliate organization: does this include housing, meals,
some transportation, outings & field trips, etc.? If not, add these items as a
Additional food, drink, and sustenance.
Transportation: to/from host country, in-country, additional travel (see below:
you may want to combine the information in these two sections).
Travel insurance (medical, med-evac/life flight, lost baggage, bail and legal fees,
cancellations, etc.). It is imperative that you have good travel insurance.
Cell phones, internet fees, mail, and other communication charges. Investigate
several options. Be sure to investigate the cost of shipping packages home.
Recreation, entertainment, and other discretionary expenses (concerts, theatre,
clubs, drinks (seriously: it has been my experience that students spend more on
drinks and cell phones than they anticipated)
Day-to-day expenses: toiletries, haircuts, supplies, minor medical.
Souvenirs (incl. clothing, shoes, as well as smaller items)
Miscellaneous and contingency: add at least 10% to your budget (exclusive of
pre-paid fees, tuition, etc.) for contingency…and 5-10% for inflation.
Practical Matters: Getting There, Getting Around, etc.
From campus, where is your host country‟s nearest embassy or (most likely)
consulate? Get the consul‟s name, address, phone, e-mail, web-site.
Where is the US Embassy in your host country located? Consulates? Get
names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mails, etc.
Does the host country require that you have a visa (travel, study, or work)?
What is the usual length of visa (e.g., 90 days) and can it be renewed? Cost?
Get a copy or the visa and fill it out (some visas are challenge, many require
a lot of patience and leg work to be accepted).
Customs regulations: what can you/cannot bring into/take out of the country?
Fees and fines? Be sure to familiarize yourself with US Customs regulations.
Have you got a passport and is it up-to-date? If not, get a passport ASAP
(they‟re good for 10 years). You now need a passport (or the new “passport
card) for neighboring countries, cruise ships, international air travel, etc.
Investigate the International Student ID (which offers big discounts at
museums, theatres, etc.)
Research the cost of round trip air fare to your country. Look at current high
and low season rates. These will change (probably they‟ll become more
expensive) but look at the range of choices. Find at least 3 rates and sources
other than Expedia or Travelocity (but do check those, too).
o Will you need additional transportation from your arrival city (train,
bus, ships/ferries?). Investigate these.
o What are the weight limit/checked baggage and carry-on policies?
How expensive are over-weight bags (you‟ll be shocked!)?
Investigate in-country travel options: rail passes, rail-bus passes, etc.
Investigate in-city travel options, esp. bus and metro/subway passes. Are
there multiple-use transportation packages available in your host city and
others you are likely to visit? E.g., in Paris you can buy “ten packs” of
Accommodations: investigate housing, hotels, and esp. hostels. Price a range
It may be useful to include a street map of the city in which you plan to
Resource Books Progress Checks:
Previous INTS 201 students requested that a “progress check” be added to the calendar to
encourage them to work steadily throughout the semester instead of scrambling at the end
(and busiest time) of the semester.
There will be TWO progress checks during the semsester:
Week 5 (Sept. 28-Oct. 2)
Week 10 (Nov. 2-Nov. 6))
Bring your book to class or the INTS office. You must show evidence of consistent work and
progress. -50 pts from the final grade on the Resource Book if you do not have your book
checked; -25 if the book doesn‟t show effort and progress. If you miss both checks, you can
receive no grade higher than a „C‟ on your Resource Book (which is 50% of your final
To help you prepare your book, there will be at least two voluntary workshops in the INTS
office. You can photocopy material, look through material available in the office, get
suggestions, etc. INTS will have light refreshments.
The first workshop is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 25; 2-4:40 pm.
Also: the class SI, Laura “Lauu” Mantilla, is available to help you with your book. Her book
on Chile was very good, so he knows how to approach this task.
THE RESOURCE BOOK IS DUE:
Tuesday, December 8, at 11:10am. (Last scheduled class day)
Note: On Dec. 8 each INTS 201 “country” will examine each of its members‟
Resource Books and select the book that is most clearly an “A” book. This will give
you extra time to revise/add to your book if you realize it is not quite the masterpiece
you thought it was.