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Program Evaluation

At the end of the program, all participants complete a program evaluation. Please log on to your Studio Abroad account immediately following the program to complete this evaluation. Course instructors will not review student evaluations until after grades have been submitted.  The information you provide will be crucial in helping the academic units and the Education Abroad Office (EAO) make program improvements and will provide valuable information to students participating in future study abroad programs.

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Grades

Overseas students are granted the grading options and are subject to all grading policies as on-campus students. Unless a student makes a written request for an optional grading policy (i.e. S/U grading, course audit) and receives instructor approval for same, they will be registered for their courses on a standard letter-grade basis.

Students who are enrolled for direct USF credit will have their grades posted to their USF record by the close of the term, regardless of the final date of their program.

Students who are receiving transfer credit for any of their course work may experience a notable delay in the appearance of and receipt of these courses and credits on their USF record.  Please note that many overseas institutes do not issue the EAO documentation of this course work until after the close of USF deadlines, resulting in this delay.  Students who are studying overseas during their final semester prior to graduation should contact the EAO, the USF faculty director or the host institution to see whether official transcripts could be expedited.  The University cannot give credit without a transcript from the foreign institution.

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Customs Information

The government requires you to pay duty on goods purchased abroad and brought into the United States. You should know and understand these requirements before leaving, so there are no problems when you return. You must declare expensive and/or foreign goods you will take with you before leaving the United States so that you are not charged duty on them when you return. If you are taking imported articles such as cameras, binoculars, watches, laptops, etc., register these foreign-made articles with Customs (before leaving the U.S.) to avoid extra duty charges upon re-entry.

Your exemption is $800 (retail value) on articles acquired abroad, if:

  • Articles are for personal use or gifts.
  • Articles accompany you.
  • You have been out of the country at least 48 hours (Mexico and U.S. Virgin Islands are exempt from the 48-hour limitation).
  • You have not claimed the exemption within the preceding 30 days.
  • Articles are not prohibited or restricted.

Upon your return, group purchases together and keep receipts ready for Customs inspection.  Should you bring back foreign pharmaceuticals, have the prescriptions ready to present.

You must declare, at the price paid, everything acquired abroad, including gifts given to you and articles worn or used.  If you fail to declare or understate the value, penalties may be severe. You cannot bring meat, fruits, vegetables and Cuban cigars into the United States.

Check U.S. Customs and Border Protection for more customs information.

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Post-Travel Health Recommendations

There are a few health issues you need to consider when returning from travel abroad:

  • If you become ill within 12 months after traveling, make a medical appointment and inform your physician of the countries you visited while abroad.
  • If you have been taking anti-malarial medication, continue doing so for the prescribed length of time after you return home.
  • Schedule an appointment with a health care provider for a sexually transmitted disease check if you were sexually active while abroad.
  • Remember that your study abroad accident and sickness insurance covers you only while you are abroad, so make sure you have adequate coverage in the United States.

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Culture Shock Revisited

As difficult as it is to adapt to an entirely new culture, it can be just as challenging to come back home after being away for any period of time.  It is best to know what you might encounter in order to prepare for this adjustment period.

Expect to experience some measure of reverse culture shock. Reverse or re-entry shock can be defined as the unexpected confrontation with the familiar (R. Michael Paige). Remember that the world at home hasn't stopped while you were gone. Upon your return home, you may find you aren't the only one who has changed during your absence. Everyone and everything else will have changed too!  Remember to take time to readjust slowly.

You'll notice that you may think differently about the United States. You'll spend time reflecting on the differences between the U.S. and your former host country, just as you did when you left. Friends and family may be interested in stories or photos for a while, but "really don't understand." It may be difficult to express your feelings in words.  Remember that many people may have difficulty relating to what you are saying because it hasn't been part of their experience.

Avoid experiencing anxiety about getting a job when your return home. Your study abroad experience can open employment doors for you, so be creative while abroad, ask for interviews by e-mail and promote the self-reliance and maturity your have gained through your experience. 

*Please visit the Education Abroad website at http://educationabroad.global.usf.edu/?go=PreDeparture for important links to different resources that may be utilized.

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