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In this section, please find tips on how you can help yourself and your student prepare for the study abroad experience.
How to help your student prepare
- Talk to your student about how he or she is feeling about studying abroad, especially as the departure date nears. Anxious? Excited? Scared? A combination of feelings? Acknowledge your own feelings and talk it out with them.
- Help your student make sure all documents and fees have been submitted
What documents should my student bring with them? *****Parents should also keep a file of all this information and the students' credit and debit card numbers (with PIN), passport number, and overseas phone number*****
- Passport and VISA
- Proof from a doctor of any prescriptions
- Look at the State Department Office of Overseas Citizens for futher information https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/emergencies.html
- If your student has a pre-existing medical condition the requires medication, he or she should carry a letter from the doctor who prescribed the medication that describes the medical condition and the generic names of the medication
- Numbers for the Study Abroad Office at your students' home institution, the University of South Carolina Study Abroad Office, and the American Center for Archaeology in Mycenae (ACAM)
- A list of doctors who treat your student at home, with their phone numbers
- The number of the Citizen Assitance Office at your nearest Greek Consulate
- A duplicate passport kit with 2 passport photos, an official COPY of their birth certificate, and photocopies of the current photo, signature, and VISA pages of their passport
- A copy of the invitation letter from the American Center for Archaeology at Mycenae as proof that your student is studying at a legitimate institution
Safety and Security
- Know that students will be kept informed of all local issues
- Discuss with your student the importance of keeping his or her passport, phone, and credit and/or debit cards on his or her person at all times - do not leave them unattended, especially in public places
- Make sure your student understands the importance of walking with a buddy or in a group; advise your student to stay alert and not to draw attention to himself or herself to avoid being the victim of theft
- Encourage your student to put all emergency numbers (for the ACAM Center, the USC Study Abroad Office, the Study Abroad Office at the home institution, US Embassy in Greece, doctor, and police) in the phone as soon as he or she get a Greek phone or SIM card. The student should share the Greek number with you and the staff at the Center
- Students should learn (or have written down) a list of key phrases such as: "Yes", "No", "Please", "Thank you", "Hello", "Do you speak English?", "I need help", "Please call the police", and "Please call the American Embassy"
- Advise your student to not participate in protests
- Research local laws and customs
- Be sure your student enrolls in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). It is a free service run by the US Department of State that will provide safety information and alerts about Greece and allow to U.S. Embassy, family, and friends to get in touch with your student in case of emergency https://step.state.gov/
- Students should work with on-site staff to get a Greek prepaid phone or a new SIM card. The monthly fees are usually cheap
- Check with your phone provider to see if your students' phone can be unlocked. If it's unlocked, it's possible to get a SIM card.
What if my student contacts me with a problem?
- Listen, provide comfort, and encourage your student to talk to the Site Director
Can I mail packages?
- Occasional care packages are okay
- Do not send electronics or medication
- Make sure your student either has enough medication to last for the duration of his or her study abroad experience or is aware of where and how to get refills in Greece
- If you have to send something, mark the package "Contains personal items" or "Contains previously used personal items" and write that the value of the items is '0'. This may help the package clear customs faster.
- Mail the items to the American Center for Archaeology at Mycenae, not your students' apartment
How will my student access money?
- Dicsuss your familiy's protocol for your student accessing money for everyday expenses and emergency situations
- Be aware that personal checks and US money orders cannot be cashed
- Make sure the bank is aware that your student will be abroad (and for how long) and ensure that their credit and debit cards can work in Greece (as well as any extra charges that may occur)
- Work with your student to create a budget for personal expenses
What if my student has medication?
- Check the Greek Embassy website and the Embassy website of whichever country your student has a layover in to make sure the medications are allowed in the country.
- Leave medications in their original containers and label them
What is the contact information for the American Center for Archaeology at Mycenae and the Univeristy of South Carolina Study Abroad Office, and the US Embassy and Consulate in Greece?
- ACAM in Greece: Melathron, Mycenae Foundation, Mycenae PO Box 122, Argolida 21200, Greece Phone number: (+ 30) 27510-76704
- University of South Carolina Study Abroad Office: 1705 College St, Close-Hipp Building, Suite 453, Columbia, SC 29208 Phone number: (+1) 803-777-7557
- The US Embassy and Consulate in Greece: During regular business hours (Greek time) 8:30 am - 5:00 pm: (+30) 210-720-2414 After hours: (+30) 210-720-2490 https://gr.usembassy.gov/
******Remember that there is a time difference! Greece is 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.*****
Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Greece has NOT been affected by the Coronavirus (so far, only 8 light cases have been reported in a population of 11 million people; there are no reported deaths). The Greek State is taking all necessary precautions and measures to control and contain the coronavirus. We will be primarily working outdoors in relatively high temperatures (non-conducive environment for the contagious virus) or in a classroom with minimal contact with crowded areas.
The State Department Travel Advisory lists Greece under normal Level 1 (Exercise Normal Precautions):
USC policy on coronavirus, here.