Frequently Asked Questions
While many questions you have will be specifically addressed in materials that we send you after we receive your application and deposit, this FAQ may be helpful as you consider whether or not a Global LAB program is right for you.
1. Can you please describe the application process, deadlines, and when I will know about participating on this program?
After we receive your preliminary application, Global LAB will review it and contact your references. Admission is on a rolling basis and we generally inform you of our preliminary decision within two to three weeks of receiving your application. Official admission is contingent on your physician's approval.
A $500 program deposit is due upon receipt of the preliminary application. The remainder of tuition is due before July 1st for the fall semester and before December 1st for the spring semester. For summer programs, the remainder of tuition is due 60 days before the program start date.
2. What will I need to pack? What about health concerns?
Global LAB will send out all relevant instructions to help prepare you for a learning adventure of a lifetime. This information pack will include clothing and equipment suggestions; diet, hygiene, and medical advice to ensure that you stay healthy; and a diverse collection of reading materials--from guidebooks to contemporary poetry--to make sure that you are well prepared to get the most possible out of the program.
3. What kind of insurance do I need?
As a Global LAB program participant, you are automatically covered by our emergency medical health care insurance policy. You will receive complete details upon your acceptance. In addition to this medical insurance coverage, we recommend that participants consider purchasing travel insurance to protect against financial loss in the case of personal emergency, or other unforeseen events requiring last minute program cancellation.
4. Can I use my own travel agent and meet the group overseas?
We strongly encourage all participants to travel as a group from the United States. We use an outstanding travel agent who secures unbeatable group rates. After we receive your application, we'll send detailed information about travel.
5. What kind of travel documents do I need?
You must have a passport for international travel that is valid for six months after your intended date of departure. You will also need visa(s) for many of the countries we will visit, but we will send you information on how to obtain that.
6. Does the trip's itinerary ever change in the course of the program?
We do everything possible to stick to the promised itinerary. Sometimes changes are required for group health or safety. In these cases, we create alternate, comparable itineraries.
7. How easy will it be for me to be in communication with family or friends back home?
Fortunately for all travelers, there are still some remote places where phones and email access are hard to come by. We love spending time in those rare spots and hope you will too. However, with the exception of certain program treks, most days will be spent in the vicinity of relatively modern telecommunications. In addition, Global LAB's US offices maintain regular contact with groups in the field and can provide friends and family information on participants' whereabouts if necessary.
7a. Can I bring a cell/smart phone on Global LAB Semester Programs? How about an iPod or similar device?
As Global LAB's semester programs emphasize cultural immersion, possession of personal cell phones or smart phones (e.g. iPhones) is strongly discouraged. Our experience has shown that personal cell/smart phones are often lead to distraction, detraction, and divisiveness: they distract from the cultural immersion experience by a perpetual connectivity to friends/family back home; they detract from appreciating the immediacy of the moment and hinder understanding/interaction with cultures lacking these technologies; and they can create divisiveness between students who possess them and those who do not, negatively affecting group dynamics. In addition, near-constant contact with family/friends often can have the unintended consequence of stirring significant home-sickness, detrimental to fulfilling your experience and maintaining the group's cohesion.
All Global LAB destinations will have periodic access to phone and Internet communications during the course of the semester, and these times will afford students an opportunity to check personal email, make personal phone calls, etc. Global LAB leaders carry cell phones in the field for use in the event of emergencies or other urgent needs to communicate directly with your family. If you believe you have an exceptional personal need to possess a personal cell/smart phone on your semester program, please discuss this with your Global LAB Program Leader in advance of departure.
As with cell/smart phones, iPods have the capacity to detract from the cultural immersion and human interaction experience by "tuning out"; however, we realize that there will be suitable times during the semester for such downtime (i.e. long flights and bus/train rides, at night when you're alone). As long as you are disciplined and respectful in its use, iPods can be packed. On the other hand, if you feel that it will be a constant companion, we strongly encourage you to leave yours at home.
If you have questions on appropriate usage during the course of the semester, please consult with your Global LAB Program Leader.
8. What if I get really sick or injured and need to come home early?
We don't expect you will, but nonetheless, Global LAB program directors are trained to handle medical emergencies and are supported by an organization-wide focus on risk managment and safety. Should any medical issues require an early departure, we will expedite your return trip and coordinate all logistics. Global LAB is not responsible for any costs associated with unplanned departures, whether for medical, emotional, or other reasons. Make sure you check your health insurance to verify that it covers you when outside the US; if not, you should purchase additional travel insurance.
9. How physically strenuous is this program going to be?
You will want to get the most out of your time and we cannot stress enough the importance of being in relatively good physical condition. You don't need to train for a marathon, but we pack the days pretty full and you will not regret having plenty of stamina. We do ask for a health form signed by your doctor prior to departure.
10. What Is Global LAB's cancellation and refund policy?
Unless the participant has purchased travel insurance, any costs incurred due to cancellation fees on air tickets, hotel reservations or other pre-paid expenses will be deducted. Then, the refund will be calculated as follows:
If Global LAB does not accept a student's application, the full deposit will be refunded less a $25 processing fee.
50% of the program deposit is refundable up to 90 days before departure. If a participant withdraws his/her application within 90 days of departure, the deposit is not refundable. The $500 deposit is fully credited toward program tuition.
50% of the tuition balance is refundable up to 30 days prior departure. If cancellation occurs within 30 days of departure, 20% of tuition is refundable.
11. Would it be possible to speak with some recent alumni about their experiences?
Absolutely. In fact, we strongly encourage all applicants to speak with a few alumni to make sure the experience feels like a good fit for you. Global LAB semesters are physically and emotionally intense and it is in your best interest to make sure you have as clear an understanding as possible about the challenges you will face before applying. Contact us at any time for a list of recent alumni and alumni parents who would be happy to speak with you or your parents.
12. How can I reach you if I have other questions?
For general questions, look around our web site. You can also call our office at 1.800.984.4522 or email email@example.com. We are always happy to hear from you and will do our best to answer any specific concerns or questions you may have about participating in one of Global LAB's programs.