Foreign living conditions vary widely from those in the United States, and students should be prepared to adapt. Cars, varied diets, private rooms, private telephones, and ample supplies of hot water are considered luxuries in some foreign locales. Computer facilities and access to e-mail may be limited or not available. The use of public transportation or walking may be essential for getting around. To make the most of living abroad, students should be considerate, outgoing, flexible, and sensitive to cultural differences.
Pomona College students are subject to the same standards of conduct and academic regulations while abroad as stipulated in the Pomona College Student Handbook. Students are also subject to regulations set by the host institution or study abroad program, as well as the host country. These standards may be significantly different from those of Pomona and the United States. Most programs provide guidelines in pre-departure manuals and on-site orientation sessions. When in doubt about local practices, ask the program staff.
The resident director, program, or host institution may, at their discretion, impose disciplinary measures or dismissal if a student’s behavior is found to be damaging to the student, other participants, or the operation of the program. In the case of dismissal, decisions on credits, grades, and finances will be made by the OSA in consultation with the program abroad. Dismissed students are responsible for all unrecoverable program costs.
Ideally, the OSA seeks to integrate Pomona students into the host country’s culture when making living arrangements abroad; however, the locale determines to a great extent what is available and the options vary widely among program sites. Housing for students abroad generally falls into three categories: rooms in private homes, student or university housing, and apartments shared with other program students. Each situation offers its own advantages and disadvantages.
Living with host country nationals provides exposure to the country’s customs, culture, and daily life. Students living in a private home may be treated as a family member or as a boarder, depending on the host’s expectations for providing a room. Before moving into a home, students should discuss their expectations, as well as the use of appliances, telephones, facilities, meal hours and kitchen privileges, curfew, and other household rules and restrictions with the host family.
Student or University Housing
When university housing is available, Pomona students are encouraged to live with local roommates or flatmates whenever possible in order to deepen their engagement with local students. In some locations, separate housing is provided for international students, which can be a great opportunity to meet students from all over the world.
Apartments with Other Program Students
Sharing an apartment with other program students is the only option available in some large cities such as Athens. Students in this situation may miss some of the opportunities for cultural exchange other options provide, but usually enjoy greater personal freedom.