Information for Accepted Students
Program details: Please refer to the 2014 Program Handbook for lots of program information and details including full cost information, a full program calendar, excursion descriptions and much more!
Classes: View the Course Descriptions at the bottom of this FORSPRO webpage. Make sure you have spoken with an advisor at your home campus Spanish department if you are planning to fulfill Spanish major or minor requirements or language requirements. If you want to use one of the courses to fulfill a requirement in another department, you must get approval from that department. For BU students, contact the Office of International Programs if you are seeking Gen Ed approval for one of the courses on the program.
Students may add and drop courses during the first day of the program.
Financial Planning and Financial Aid: Make sure you understand the complete program costs! If you plan to use financial aid to cover program costs, speak with a financial aid advisor right away to gain a sense of whether you aid will cover program costs, and if so, how much you or your family will still need to contribute. To finalize your aid for the summer, you will need to take your program acceptance letter and cost sheet to the financial aid office. Mary Burns, the Assistant Director for Administration in the Office of International Programs will contact you via email with your Financial Verification form, which you will need to have signed by anyone assisting you with program costs and payments. Mary Burns will also send you your invoice and exact payment instructions.
Pre-Departure Orientation is in Two Parts:
PART I IS AN ONLINE VIDEO: Available here, the video has a runtime of 30 minutes.
PART II: It will take place towards the end of April (Pizza and soda will be provided). You will receive an email with location and date details.
Both Parts are MANDATORY!: For non-Binghamton students, attending Part II of the orientation is strongly suggested. If you can plan to come to Binghamton, you will be able to meet your fellow participants, and the faculty director. You will receive a list of participants including home campus so that you can coordinate rides if there are other students from your campus participating in the program. If you can’t come, then you will have your Part II of the orientation by phone or online (which isn’t nearly as much fun!).
Last summer there were very mixed reviews of the Optional Excursions. Some students loved them and some students were not satisfied with them. Because of that, we would like to provide you all with a complete picture of the Optional Excursions. If you are considering any of the excursions, please read the following CAREFULLY.
- The excursions are bus trips, so on any excursion, you will spend time on a bus. Some excursions have a lot of time on a bus.
- The excursions involve some time spent with a professional guide. This might be on the bus with the guide pointing out sights as you roll past, or in a museum, or walking around a particular city or other tourist site.
- The excursions will also involve some free time during which you can explore on your own or with friends.
- Meals are NOT included on excursions (except for breakfast on the overnight excursions), so you will have additional expenses on excursion days.
- Large groups go on the excursions so there are often delays boarding buses etc.--it's difficult to coordinate movement of big groups (trust me!). So any excursion involves some waiting time.
- Not all entrance fees are covered within the excursion price. For some excursions, you may have additional costs for certain activities.
You can view detailed descriptions and itineraries of all the excursions HERE .
What You Should Consider When Choosing or Not Choosing Excursions:
- Excursions happen on free days. Review the program calendar in the program handbook. I recommend leaving yourself some free days without any plans--you may realize something you want to do or see after arriving in Spain. In Madrid, the days when you have classes will be busy!
- How do you like to travel? Do you hate buses? Do you get car sick?
- Do you like listening to a guided tour or are you the person who reads the guidebook or just people-watches or tunes out?
- Do you like moving around with a large group? Is it going to drive you nuts to be waiting for others and standing/walking in a big crowd?
- Most Important: How independent are you, do you have prior travel experience, and what is your Spanish level? These three questions basically get at your comfort level. If you are comfortable traveling on your own or with friends, you can do most of the excursions on your own, and might even save money. However, then you'll have to make all the arrangements yourself (often in Spanish) and deal with any unexpected issues. If that sounds fine, then great, the excursions may not be for you. If that sounds like a headache or makes you nervous, then the excursions may be just right for you.
How to Pay for Optional Excursions:
- You can view the amounts for any selected excursions along the right hand column of your FORSPRO statement.
- You must pay FORSPRO directly for the total amount.
- Mail a check or money order made payable to "FORSPRO" to Forspro, 3192 Via Abitare Way, Miami, Florida 33133.
- All excursion payments must be made by May 1.
- If you are using financial aid to support program costs, you still must pay for the excursions by May 1 and then reimburse yourself once your aid arrives in late May or early June.
- Students can join and pay for excursions that are not full after arrival in Spain.
Basically there are two main parts to the packets:
- The top half of the packet is crucial information and paperwork you must return to our office by May 1.
- The bottom half of the packet is useful information about health, safety, and the country of Spain. This part also includes a predeparture guide with lots of helpful stuff including information about cell phones abroad, accessing money abroad, and lots more. Save and read when you have free time (maybe after the semester!). More information on health and safety can be found here.
Once you receive your packet, start on the paperwork as soon as possible. The paperwork
is not hard, but it is tedious. A couple pieces may require the signature of a parent
or guardian if you are under 21. You will also need your passport for one of the
pieces, and you'll need a check or a money order for the health insurance form. HEADS UP: depending on how you answer questions on your health form, you may or may
not need a signature from a doctor. If you will need a signature, plan ahead and make
an appointment to see your doctor right away! For BU students, note that Health Services
on campus will not do physicals. There is also one optional form: the application for an International Student ID card
(ISIC). The ISIC card gets you discounts on travel and tourist activities. To apply
for it, you'll need an official passport photo (not a copy--you'll have to go somewhere
like CVS or Walmart to have one taken) and it costs $25 in check or money order.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO GET IT--IT'S UP TO YOU. To find out more, go to www.myisic.com. In my experience, the card is worth it if you plan to do lots of traveling and exploring
on your own, but not very good if you are joining the excursions and aren’t planning
to do additional travel.
Paperwork is due May 1.
- You should have already, or will receive an invoice for your program fee from Ms. Mary Burns. Please refer to that invoice for your amount due and the exact due date for the program fee payment.
- Tuition will be paid to Binghamton University (for BU students) or to your home campus (for other SUNY students). Other SUNY students, make sure you have checked in with your own study abroad office about how this will work!
- Excursion Payments are due May 1: NO EXCEPTIONS. You must pay FORSPRO directly for any optional excursions.