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What to Consider When Planning an International Project
Why are these considerations important?
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To ensure your application is comprehensive and that the project is possible and ethical
To ensure that the project you are planning is a meaningful, appropriate, safe experience
To ensure that you reflect on and can articulate your motivation for pursuing the project, choosing
the project site, and preparing your project and travel plans.
NOTE: If your project is accepted, you will be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure meeting, as
well as submit additional risk and liability forms.
“Is my project _____ ?”
Feasible
 Do you actually need to travel to the site to complete your project?
 Will you have access to the people/sites/organizations/transit/materials/resources you will need
when you need it?
 Is your project legal and in keeping with cultural and social norms?
 Do you need to apply for IRB approval and have you begun that process?
Safe
 Have you taken the time to learn about your destination? Are you aware of the political situations,
environmental risks, weather, crime, cultural differences, differences in laws, transportation,
holidays, etc.?
 Do you speak/read/write the language well enough to be able to navigate the destination and
complete the project?
 Are you aware of the specific safety and security situation of your destination?
Ethical
 Do you understand the local issues and culture well enough to have a sense of the immediate
impact your presence/project will have?
 Have you thought about what the long-term impact of your presence/project will be?
Beneficial
 Have you thought about how this particular experience will benefit you?
 Have you thought about how this particular experience will benefit your professional development
and goals?
 Have you thought about how this particular experience will benefit you in terms of your
international connections, cultural competency, and sense of appropriate and ethical behavior?
 How will your project benefit the group/community/organization?
“Have you spoken with _____ ?”
Your faculty mentor
 Is he/she on board with your topic and project plan? Have you asked for advice on how to execute
your project? Does he/she have connections at your destination?
 What is your plan for keeping in touch? How and when will you communicate?
Your parents/guardians/family
 Are they aware of your itinerary and how to contact you at your destination?
 Do they understand why you are going, and why this opportunity is important?
A local organization or other in-country host/sponsor/contact
 Are they aware of your skills, abilities, and knowledge? Do they have realistic expectations for you
and your project?
 How can they be helpful to you? How might you be helpful to them?
“Do you have a plan for _____ ?”
Travel
 Do you have a passport and is it up-to-date?
 Do you have the necessary visa or other entry/registration/identification documents?
 Do you know where you’re going to live, and how to get around?
Funding
 Have you budgeted for your trip? Have you budgeted for the duration of your trip? How will you
cover all of your travel costs? Clark funding may not cover all of your expenses; recall that Clark
funding is paid at two different time points.
 Have you considered the [stability of the] exchange rate as you construct your budget?
 Have you checked to make sure you can access your money/use your bank or credit cards abroad?
 What will you do in the event of a lost wallet/mugging/emergency expense?
Communication
 Can you use your cell phone abroad? Do you need to upgrade your plan? Will you have to purchase
a new phone at your destination?
 Will you take your laptop or tablet? Will you be able to access WiFi or an internet café regularly?
 With whom, how, and when will you check in?
Emergency
 Do you know where the nearest hospital/clinic/medical center is? Do you know who can treat you?
 Do you know where the nearest U.S. embassy is?
Health
 Does your health insurance cover you while abroad? If not, have you looked into purchasing
alternate coverage?
 Do you need immunizations in order to travel to your destination?
 If you are on any medications, do you know if you can bring that medication into the country?
 Do you have any other medical or health-related issues or concerns that could impact your ability to
complete your project?
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