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Questions and Answers about Air Travel Arrangements

What about buying airline tickets?

It is our experience that arranging a group flight is often more expensive than if students traveled on their own. Therefore, students are responsible for making all their own travel arrangements and for arriving at the correct location at the correct time to join their Study Abroad program on-site. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for researching travel options, planning creatively, for comparison shopping, and for getting the most from their travel dollars. Cheap fares can be found, but are often bound by restrictions and subject to large fees for date changes and cancellation. Whenever possible, opt for refundable tickets or tickets with reasonable change fees. For greater safety, students may plan to travel together in a group with the other students going to the same site. Each student is required to provide a copy of his/her flight itinerary with departure and arrival times and flight numbers to the oIP for distribution to program directors. Students should check with the individual program director before purchasing an airline tickets. If students purchase an airline ticket without the approval of the program director, students understand that James Madison University will not be held liable for the price of the ticket or any fees associated with changing the ticket, should the program be cancelled for any reason.

As stated in the admissions materials and student handbook, students are strongly encouraged to purchase trip cancellation insurance. Trip cancellation insurance provides monetary support for non-refundable expenses and service charges imposed by airlines and travel agents, including baggage loss or delay.

Internet Travel Resources  

When do I need to arrive?

The date that the program begins is the date that students are required to be on-site. In some cases, the program director will make plans for a bus to meet the students at the airport. Arrangements for meeting your program director and other participants vary: you may receive instructions to meet at a particular airport terminal or you may receive directions to your host family, hotel, or dorm by bus or taxi. Usually a group meeting is scheduled on the arrival day; pay careful attention to instructions and calendars distributed during orientation. As a back-up plan in case you miss your incoming flight or if it's delayed or cancelled so that you are unable to meet up with the group, be sure to carry specific directions to your residence or hotel in writing with the complete address and telephone number, and possibly a map and directions printed in the native language.

When is the program over?

The date that the program ends is typically the day following the last night of accommodation at your hotel or residence provided by the program. In most cases, your program director will provide advice on getting to the airport to catch your return flight.

Can I travel on my own before or after the program?

Students are free to plan independent travel before the program begins and after the program ends; however, arriving late or separating from the program before it ends is prohibited and will affect final grades. During independent travel outside the program dates, students are encouraged to maintain frequent and regular communication with family back at home.

Can I have visitors?

Because student participants are expected to attend all scheduled classes, lectures, events, activities, group meals, and excursions, you are encouraged to coordinate visits from friends and family only during designated free time (confirmed with your program director) and afteryour study abroad program has ended. 

The OIP and the program directors are not responsible for accommodating visitors’ travel arrangements or for including them in any program activities.

Restrictions for carry-on items

The Transportation Safety Administration maintains bans on liquids, gels, and aerosols in carry-on bags. Please read through the following link from the U.S. State Department for the latest restrictions:  What to Pack

Tips for travellers

The oIP recommends the following links:

Tips for Traveling Abroad