Hi Ann Marie!
Thanks for sharing your questions via the Yak Board as I’m sure other students and families have similar questions. Please see answers below in bold.
- Do we have to do anything to activate/obtain the SOS insurance? Nope, we enroll all current participants directly with ISOS. Coverage starts with international travel.
- I know you indicate that you are experienced in dealing with emergencies and disasters, but what specifically happens in the event of an emergency? This is a longer answer to which I’ll refer you to the Parent Support Kit pg. 20-23 which discusses emergency and non-emergency communication. If you have more specific questions, please feel free to be in touch with our offices to speak further about emergency response and communication.
- Could you please provide some more specifics regarding home stay gifts, i.e. what and how many for each home stay? If we bring a t-shirt, for example, do we just bring one for the house? Giving your family a small token of appreciation is an optional but very nice gesture, and one that can be a welcome icebreaker on the first day, or a meaningful farewell gift. Some ideas that work well for gifts: photos of yourself and/or postcards from home where you can write a personal message on the back; key chains, hats, picture books, etc. which represent your hometown. If you have a skill, such as knitting or drawing, then something you’ve personally made is a great idea too. It’s also a great idea to bring printed PHOTOS of people important to you. This is a great ice-breaker with families, and it’s nice to share with your group. To be culturally appropriate, be sure to print photos as opposed to uploading them on an electronic device, and make sure dress is appropriate in the photos. Overall, we recommend keeping gifts small and personalized; the more connected a gift is to you and your home, the better. The Indonesia course will likely have 3 separate homestay families throughout the semester.
- Will they be keeping their passports on them at all times on trip? Instructors hold on to all passports.
- Should they bring a Cipro or other antibiotic prescription with them, if possible. This is not necessary, but many students do come with a prescription antibiotic such as cipro or azithromycin. We also have access to pharmacies that carry these types of meds, but some families prefer to send their own medications from their personal physician.
- If she brings her own mini medical kit, what are do you recommend be in it? We carry a large medical kit that is very well stocked for the gamut of minor to more serious issues. For this reason, we recommend any personal medical kit be quite minimal and only contain things that a student knows they often need (for example, if a student regularly takes Advil for knee pain, may want to bring a personal supply). Vitamins, emergen-C (or electrolyte packets), and probiotics can be helpful to have on hand.
- What size should the waterproof bag be that they bring? Just large enough to fit a few personal items like a camera, extra shirt, and hat. You can likely get away with a few sturdy large freezer bags as well (a cheaper option!)
Hope these answers help!
–Aaron Slosberg (Director of Student Programming)