Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing in order to participate in summer programs. While abroad, students are subject to the local laws in their host country, which vary widely worldwide. Any illegal or unacceptable behavior may result in BC disciplinary action upon return to campus. The OGE and on-site staff also reserve the right to dismiss students from the program if necessary.

Summer Abroad Handbook

Summer 2022


Pre-Departure Overview


In order to make the most of their experience, students are expected to:

  • Educate themselves about and fully immerse themselves into their host country’s culture
  • Serve as exemplary BC and US ambassadors by taking full responsibility for their personal conduct and academic performance
  • Learn and obey local laws and customs
  • Maximize personal safety by taking reasonable precautions, safeguarding belongings, and keeping emergency contact information on hand
  •  Disclose any existing physical or psychological conditions to their OGE advisor to ensure a safe and healthy experience abroad
  • Consider host country culture, attitudes, and laws regarding personal relationships, sexuality, race, religion, and gender
  • Carefully review all program materials and respond to communications from the OGE, on-site staff, and faculty leader in a timely manner

To study abroad, your passport must be valid for at least six months after your US return date. Visa requirements and processes vary by country and length of stay. The OGE will provide general information for each program, but students are responsible for securing their own visas when required by the host country.

Non-US citizens may have different requirements, and these students are responsible for reviewing and complying with their host country's visa regulations. The OGE will provide an official letter verifying student participation in a summer program if required in order to secure a visa.

If you have a physical or psychological condition that requires ongoing treatment, it is strongly recommended that you notify the OGE prior to departure and consult your physician or counselor to ensure that you have the resources and support you may need while abroad.

Students are strongly encouraged to have medical and dental exams prior to departure and to verify that all vaccinations are current. Certain countries may also require or recommend additional vaccinations prior to departure. For further information on recommended vaccines for your specific country, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.  

The OGE registers all summer program participants for international health insurance with GeoBlue for the duration of their time abroad. For more information, please visit the GeoBlue resource page.

Attitudes, customs, laws, facilities, and social practices relating to various populations may be different than in the US. Some countries are very progressive, while others are far more conservative. To prepare for cultural differences, students are encouraged to research their host country and speak with others who have traveled there. Students will be subject to their host country’s laws, even if these may be considered discriminatory. Do not hesitate to contact your OGE advisor if you have any questions or concerns. All matters will be kept confidential.

Attendance at a general pre-departure orientation session (in April) as well as a program-specific meeting is mandatory for all students.

All students are expected to review the OGE Summer Handbook prior to departure for detailed information on travel preparations and resources/expectations while abroad. 


Boston College partners with Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) to provide health and emergency services to Boston College students while traveling and living outside the United States.


BC Safe App

BC Safe is the official mobile safety app for Boston College. The app provides many safety features and other helpful resources for Boston College travelers. BC will also use this app to allow BC students, faculty and staff to Check In in the case of an emergency situation while traveling.

Download BC Safe

Smart Traveler

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Register now


WellTrack is a secure and anyonymous way for users to assess their personal well-being and quickly gain access to resources tailored to help them make progress in changing thoughts and behaviors that are not working for them.

Download WellTrack

Did you know?

Students should be mindful of the different cultures they will encounter. To be mindful, pay careful attention to local laws, customs and attitudes.