LIU Global negotiates the least expensive multi-site ticketing option at a group rate for CRC students. Students are responsible for arranging their own travel to and from the designated starting and ending points. Once the ticket price is negotiated and flights booked, students will be asked to contact the travel agent directly to pay for the tickets individually. Look for future emails giving more information about the itinerary and ticketing as it becomes available.
AIRLINE TICKET AGENT
All students must have passports that will be valid for at least 3 months beyond the end of the program. Applying for and receiving a US passport will take at least 4-8 weeks. If you have not provided the LIU Global Admissions Office with a photocopy of your passport (opened to the information photo page) please mail, fax or attach as an e-mail attachment as soon as possible!
***Apply for tourist visas for all countries of the CRC itinerary. Do not apply for student visa(s)!!!***
Tourist visas can be obtained via the new Electronic Visa Application System (www.evisa.gov.tr). Applicants obtain their visas electronically after entering required information and making payments by a credit or debit card (Mastercard or Visa). The link to download your e-Visa is given on the final step where you will be informed that your application has been completed successfully. In addition, the same link to download your e- Visa will be emailed to you. Passport control officers at ports of entry can verify your e-Visa on their system. However, you are advised to keep your e-Visa with you either as a soft copy (tablet PC, smart phone, etc.) or as a hard copy in case of any failure on their system. You must have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date you intend to enter Turkey. Depending on your nationality, there may be additional requirements. You will be informed of these requirements after you select your country of travel document and travel dates. You should apply to the Turkey e-visa at least two weeks before CRC departs for Turkey, in case there are any issues that need to be addressed.
Purchasing a visa for travel to India is sometimes the most challenging for CRC students. Therefore, it is important that you begin the process as soon as possible. You will have to physically mail your US Passport to the visa service provider. It can take sometime between three weeks to two months to get the visa. You will NOT be able to enter the India without a visa. You must have received your Indian visa BEFORE CRC departs the US. The state of India has contracted a new visa service provider, Cox and Kings Global Services. From experience, we are well aware that when there is a change of providers there is often a backlog of applications and the process often takes longer. YOU SHOULD APPLY FOR YOUR VISA TODAY!!! Don’t wait until the last minute. The website for applying for an India Visa is: http://www.in.ckgs.us.
There is no visa requirement for US citizen staying in the country for less than 90 days
See the CRC section of the following page for more information here.
PHOTOCOPIES OF DOCUMENTS
Make a pdf-scan and photocopy of your passport (front page and the pages with your visas) and keep it with you, as you travel, in a safe place. You should also photocopy your flight itinerary when you receive it and keep it with your passport copies. In India, as per security regulations, you will not be able to enter the airport without a copy of your flight itinerary. Security will accept a copy of your itinerary on your smart phone or tablet, but it is best to have a paper copy with you. Finally, you should make a list of account numbers of all of your credit cards, ATM cards, etc., and the phone numbers to call if the cards are lost or stolen. Keep one copy of this with your other photocopies. You should also leave one copy of all these documents at home with a relative or trusted friend.
HEALTH & MEDICAL ISSUES
Changes to the CRC travel itinerary may happen due to well-grounded concerns about safety. The safety of students is the program's top priority and, to that end, the Director, traveling Faculty Advisor and local coordinators seek advice on local conditions from local scholars and officials and from US embassies and consulates. The advice of the US State Department is a guiding factor at all times.
If a travel warning is issued, students will be evacuated from the country in due course once it is safe to do so.
- We encourage all students to subscribe to the U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings (DOSTRAVEL) electronic mailing list by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org type in the message body "SUBSCRIBE DOSTRAVEL YOURNAME" (omit the quotation marks and leave subject blank). You can also use the online subscription form at: travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/.
- It is good practice to keep a copy of your passport and entry stamp with you when you travel and in a separate bag from your wallet in case your passport is lost in transit.
For your own safety, students are strongly advised not to travel to countries with State Department Travel Advisories or to areas with high health or safety risks even if such travel is for recreational purposes and/or during semester breaks. LIU Global requires all enrolled students to have certain standard immunizations (listed on the "Health Examination Form" enclosed in the deposited student mailing).
- For other vaccinations for international travel, go to www.cdc.gov and perform a search under the countries we will be visiting to see what inoculations and other prophylaxes are required and/or suggested.
- Consult your doctor, local clinic or health department early, as some series of vaccinations may take weeks. Please discuss the potential side effects of particular malaria prophylaxes with your medical professional. Many students travel with the "International Certificate of Vaccination." This booklet will contain a record of all your vaccinations.
It is recommended that you bring required medications for the duration of the program, as it is difficult to find most North American medications overseas under the same product or name brand.
- Please carry copies of your prescriptions, especially if you are on long-term prescription medication. This helps if you happen to be stopped for a Customs inspection.
- Bring strong sunscreens and DEET-based insect repellents with you. Additionally, tampons can be difficult to find in India so bear that in mind when preparing for your trip.
Drug use threatens not only the health of students, but can easily lead to criminal charges. It also can jeopardize the standing of the entire group, as well as the reputation of our hosts. All three countries in the CRC Program—Turkey, India and Taiwan—do not take lightly to illegal drug use and local authorities enforce severe punishment. If you feel unable to refrain from using illegal drugs during the semester, then please withdraw from the program. Please also refer to the "Five Agreements" for more on the prohibition of drugs on CRC.
Help Available in the United States
The Citizens Emergency Center in the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs provides emergency services relating to the welfare of Americans arrested or detained abroad, searches for Americans missing overseas, transmission of emergency messages for Americans to their next of kin and transfer of private funds to U.S. posts abroad for delivery to destitute Americans. Assistance at the Citizens Emergency Center is available Monday through Friday from 8:15 am to 10:00 pm by calling 1-888-407-4747 (from overseas: 202-501-4444).
Don't run out and buy a huge backpack for CRC. If you have a good rolling suitcase, that may be as good as or better than a backpack. Opinion is split among past CRC students regarding backpacks vs. suitcases. Some people, who started out with backpacks, eventually sent them home and purchased rolling suitcases because they were easier to pack, unpack and handle at the airport. Others swear by their big backpacks. It seems to be a personal preference, but there is no need to spend a lot of money on new luggage for CRC. In addition, make sure that your luggage is in good shape and is sturdy enough to last throughout the entire semester without ripping or breaking. In some locations it is difficult to find replacement luggage that is sturdy (i.e., the zippers usually break).
How much to pack
As for what to pack in your luggage, try this test:
- Can you load up all the things you would like to bring and carry them by yourself around a quarter-mile track?
- Can you carry them up two flights of stairs?
You WILL have to do this—don't make things difficult for yourself, or you will be sorry. We will be packing, unpacking, and moving luggage frequently, so the less you have, the easier it will be to travel. You will have opportunities to purchase items as we travel, so you will want to leave extra space in your suitcase. Most students bring one piece of checked luggage, and another small backpack or personal bag that can be a carry-on for flights and bus rides. Bringing more than this is not suggested. You do not need to bring enough shampoo, toothpaste, soap, etc. for the entire trip, because these are easily obtainable in each country we visit.
The best advice is to bring versatile clothes that you really like to wear because you will wear them over and over and over again.
- Comfortable, sturdy shoes are a must (sport sandals are a CRC favorite). Keep in mind that in many of the countries we visit, shoes are taken off before entering an interior space, and you may take them on and off many times a day. So bring shoes that you can slip on and off easily.
- Bear in mind that in all the countries you will visit, clothing customarily covers more of the body than does the clothing worn by young Americans. Moreover, to be a university student is considered an honor and students tend more formally by American college student standards.
- Both men and women should bring one slightly dressy outfit, as there will likely be some occasions when you will want to dress up, such as thank you luncheons or an evening at a concert. Men will want at least one pair of long pants. One regular and one lightweight pair of cargo pants are a good start.
- Women will need a long skirt and a scarf to cover the head when visiting mosques and temples. In virtually all places of worship, it is appropriate to dress modestly— shoulders covered and at least knee-length pants or skirt. Tank tops and sleeveless shirts may keep you cool in hot weather, but they are not always appropriate. Make sure to carry something that you can throw over your shoulders when necessary. While men will be comfortable in regular pants and collared shirts in each country we visit, women may need to modify their dress according to the customs of each country we visit. One benefit of buying local clothes is that they are more often culturally appropriate and designed for the weather and terrain at the place you are visiting.
As a general rule for packing, bring clothes you can layer and feel comfortable in. Backcountry wear is not necessary. Some students feel silly wearing hiking gear, as in many of the countries we visit people wear casual clothing like jeans/pants and blouses or button-up dress shirts. You may want to bring at least one warm sweater, sweatshirt, or light jacket. You do not need a sleeping bag or sheets for CRC, though some students bring slipcovers or sleep sacs. Bringing a lightweight towel is essential as not every place we stay has towels.
While dress codes vary considerably from country to country, you do not need to pack for them all, but please do consider this when selecting clothing options. Most likely you will buy clothes in each country, which is also a fun shopping experience. Laundry facilities will vary from laundromats to buckets to sinks – expect it all.
Clothing suggestions for Turkey
Turkey is a fashionable country, especially in the major cities where you will be spending most of your time. Most women wear boots, fitted clothing and makeup. When we go to the countryside though, dress is very conservative. Long skirts and long sleeves are suggested. Having a scarf to cover your hair is very important, as you need one to enter mosques.
- Weather - Temperature in autumn (September-October) is very pleasant with highs ranging from upper 70’s to mid 80’s and evening temperatures from upper 50’s to mid 60’s.
Istanbul will be comfortable when we initially arrive, but it will gradually become cooler as winter approaches. You can easily purchase a warm jacket in Turkey.
Clothing suggestions for India
India is the most conservative country we will visit in terms of dress. Women should always dress modestly with their shoulders and legs covered at all times. Short skirts, shorts of any length, or tank tops will never be appropriate. In previous years, female students bought the traditional salwar kameez outfits in the first week of the India program and wore them throughout our stay there. You can buy these outfits premade or have them tailored for about USD$5-10. Women will feel more comfortable and attract less attention if they wear traditional Indian clothing.
- Weather - We will arrive in India toward the end of the monsoon season in the Delhi and Varanasi area. Daytime temperatures will be in the upper 80’s to low 90’s, while nighttime temperatures will be generally in the 70’s.
Clothing suggestions for Taiwan.
Taipei is a fashion savvy city in Taiwan. The youth are usually sharply dressed in trendy attire. You will most likely feel out of place wearing hiking gear in the city. You will need to have your shoulders covered and wear either long pants or a long skirt to cover your legs when entering temples.
- Weather - Taipei humid subtropical climate. Average Daytime temperatures will range from 70’s, while average nighttime temperatures will be in the 60’s. The average humidity is about 75% during November and December.
COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS
A laptop computer is indispensable. It is not necessary to bring a printer. Most students choose to save their work to portable devices and print at local print shops or libraries. In the majority of cases, assignments can simply be emailed to your faculty advisor, and printing is not necessary.
- For the purposes of backing up your work and portability, USB storage devices
(flash/pen/thumb drives/portable hard drive) are recommended.
- All students should bring International Adapter plug set, so that you can connect your electronic devices.
- You may need a power converter/transformer for some electronic devices like your computer. Check with the computer manufacturer, as most laptops nowadays are equipped with a power converter, in which case only the plug adapter is needed. For other appliances (e.g., battery chargers, hair dryers), both converters and adapters may be necessary. A helpful website on electrical requirements and accessories is www.traveloasis.com. The use of a surge protector is recommended whenever possible, as the electrical current in countries traveled to on CRC is much less stable than in the United States and can cause damage to electronics, especially in India.
MAIL AND COMMUNICATION
Since the CRC program involves so much travel, it is impossible to guarantee that students will receive mail sent from the U.S. Email communication and/or blogging are the preferred modes of communication for most CRC students.
Receiving packages may be problematic as dutiable items vary from country to country. If you must ship a package to one of the countries that CRC will visit, you should not to send massive quantities of any one item. Also, it is advisable not to send any electronic equipment through the mail, as it is dutiable and additional charges that must be paid to receive the package.
It is possible to mail items home from every country CRC visits, so if you find that you packed too much or have bought too much you will be able to mail some of it home. Airlines impose strict limits on the permitted weight of luggage, and students are individually responsible to pay the penalties for excess luggage.
ATM cards are the best way to get money everywhere we go. Make sure that the card is on either the PLUS or Cirrus network (you can tell by looking at the symbols on the back of the card). However, there will be times when your ATM card will not work due to network issues or withdrawal limits place by the local bank from whose ATM you may be withdrawing money. Bring some back up money in the form of cash or travelers' checks (probably not more than a few hundred dollars) and/or a credit card. The amount of money spent by former students has varied greatly. Each student will receive a food stipend to cover basic meal costs. You will need extra spending money to cover food beyond basic meals, nights out, transportation (buses or taxis to use during your free time), and buying clothing or souvenirs along the way. Students are also responsible for all expenses during recess periods.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT IDENTITY CARD & PASSPORT PHOTOS
This card can be used for discounts on travel, museums, and lodging worldwide, and provides a limited amount of health insurance (but can NOT be used to waive the program's health insurance requirement). It is recommended, but not necessary. STA travel at www.sta.com issues these cards. In addition, bring 6-10 passport size photos. The group has used them on several occasions in the past when encountered with unexpected bureaucracy.
Over the course of CRC, students reside at a mix of dorm-style university accommodations and modest hotels "close to the action," which makes it easy for students to explore on their own in free time. These residential facilities also offer opportunities to get to know people from the host countries and begin seeing the world through their eyes. However, students should be ready for anything. Past CRC groups have stayed at camps, slept on hard surfaces, and encountered the cold bucket shower and other rustic experiences on field trips.
The food is just as much an adventure as anything we encounter during the semester. Take some time to think about what dietary compromises you are willing to make in order to engage your hosts and their religious and cultural heritage better. For most meals, you will be free to explore the culinary delights of all the places we will visit. It can be hard for vegetarians and for picky eaters, especially when you don't know what might be lurking in your food.
- India is quite easy for vegetarians. Restaurants designate whether they are veg or nonveg. Paneer is easily avoidable for vegans and that is the only cheese we've seen in India.
- Great fruit is available in almost every country we visit.
Sadly, not all food is safe to eat. This has been a general experience for CRC students, especially in India. The following general rules should help to minimize (but not necessarily prevent) gastro-intentional issues:
- Never drink water that is not filtered or bottled. If you are not sure if the water is filtered, don’t drink it. Bottled/canned sodas and juices are always safe.
- Avoid eating from street food carts!! This rule is especially important in India but should be followed in general in all countries.
Other advice from CRC alumni
- You can't have too many pairs of underwear.
- Don't pack for the entire time of travel. There are plenty of places to pick up clothes. Your bags will be lighter and it is more fun to find things locally. No need to bring 4 months of shampoo, deodorant, etc. unless you are very particular about the brand you use.
- If you start CRC with a bag full to the brim, it is hard to pick up anything along the way. Accumulation of stuff is inevitable.
- White clothes won't stay very white.
- Not many people wear shorts in Asia.
- Portable Music Player is recommended. Bring your favorite music, rechargeable batteries and a battery charger.
- Bring a Nalgene or other brand camping bottle.
- Small items from your home state (magnets, pins, etc.) make good gifts for hosts along the trip.
- Ziploc type bags are a great cheap way to keep things waterproof and organized.
- Do not bring any item of value, sentimental or monetary, that can be lost, stolen or damaged. On the other hand bring items that you cannot do without (specific toiletries/cosmetics) as they may not be available.
- Bring a light-weight micro-fiber towel.
- Be ready to experience anything.
- Be open; have an open heart and open mind.
- Come without expectations or be ready to be disappointed or surprised.
- CRC is not always easy, and actually quite challenging. Be ready to be challenged.
- Some of the biggest challenges you will learn to overcome are yourself, your biases, traveler's diarrhea and packing for an entire year (anticipate sending things home). Be ready to be adaptable, see things from new perspectives and experience other learning techniques.
- Have fun and enjoy the ride.