Medieval Bioarchaeology Program - Poland
July 7-25, 2014, Bezlawki, NE Poland
Health and Safety
Student Health, Physical Requirements, and Safety
This program may at times be physically challenging. While in Poland, you will be required to excavate, sift dirt, stand/stoop/kneel for many hours daily in different weather conditions. The weather can alternate between 55 and 80+ degrees F in the summer and rainstorms may occur.
You will also be expected to be awake and ready for the field typically around sunrise. The field activities take place in a rural environment outdoors with the associated flora and fauna (note possible allergens, bees, occasional spiders, etc.). You will not be allowed to leave the site (to go to town for example) without first obtaining permission from the HSU course instructors or TAs and without signing out.
To participate, you should be in good health, and should have a medical examination prior to departure to Poland. You can find information on recommended vaccinations and health precautions at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/poland.htm .
Students are responsible for obtaining all immunizations required by the US Public Health Service for Poland as well as the student's medical condition and history. All students will be required to have international medical, accident, and evacuation insurance and must sign the HSU Insurance Agreement and Release prior to leaving for Poland.
Students are required to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program with the State Department prior to leaving for Poland: http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/tips/registration/registration_4789.html .
In-Country Medical Facilities
The Bezławki site has first aid kits that may be used for participants on the program. The facility also has telephone access to contact local medical personnel and a regional hospital, if needed. The regional hospital is five miles away in Ketryzn. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that you make sure you have enough prescription medication to last your trip and to keep your medicine in its original prescription bottles.
Inherent to any study or research abroad program is the stress to student participants caused by unfamiliar surroundings, “culture shock” and the intensity of the program. If one student does not act responsibly, is easily distracted, falls behind in their assignments, or is not culturally sensitive, the entire program is negatively affected. Thus, in order to enhance the overall operation of any HSU study and research abroad program, as well as each student’s experience, all participating students should be mature, self-motivated, academically competent and ready to accept the challenges of international study.
The program staff may send home any individual whose conduct, in the opinion of the program staff, is detrimental to the program or to the other students. This includes uncooperative or disruptive behavior, alcohol abuse, illegal drug use, and failure to perform satisfactory academic work. Fees will not be refunded if a student is asked to leave the program early. The avoidance of any illegal drug use, drug purchase, or drug sales cannot be stressed enough. Polish officials inflict severe penalties on foreigners breaking domestic laws, especially illegal drug use. Students are cautioned that a foreign passport and ignorance of local laws will not protect them nor is it likely that anyone from the program or the U. S. Embassy/U. S. Government (or other embassies) be able to provide assistance if they are arrested or convicted for drug use or other crimes.
The field activities take place in a rural farmland environment. Students should not venture off site without an accompanying staff member.
The local area typically does not see a large amount of American tourists. Students must be respectful of local customs at all times. Not all locals will be able to speak English so an English to Polish dictionary is advised.
International Travel Information and Preparation
Visa and Travel Requirements
United States citizens are required to obtain passports for entry into Poland. Students are to obtain passports independently and to provide the course instructors will photocopies of their passports no later than April 30, 2014. Students who are not US citizens are responsible to obtain all necessary documents and permission to allow them to participate in the Poland portion of the course. The most authoritative and up-to-date information on Poland entry and exit requirements, including visa information, may be obtained from the consular section of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, 2224 Wyoming Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 234-3800, or the Polish consulates in Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York.
The following information was obtained from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, at www.travel.state.gov:
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS: You may enter Poland for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa according to the Schengen Agreement, to which Poland is a party and which allows for free travel between Schengen countries. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. You must have sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen fact sheet. Although European Union regulations require that non-European Union visitors obtain a stamp in their passport upon initial entry into a Schengen country, many borders are not staffed with officers to carry out this function. If you wish to ensure that your entry is properly documented, you may need to request a stamp at an official point of entry. Under local law, travelers without a stamp in their passport may be questioned and asked to document the length of their stay in Schengen countries at the time of departure or at any point during their visit, and could face possible fines or other repercussions if unable to do so. You should carry proof of sufficient medical insurance in case of an accident or hospitalization while in Poland. Medicare does not cover health costs incurred while abroad. For more information, please see the Medical Information for Americans Abroad website. You should also carry travel insurance to protect you in case your travel arranger or travel supplier becomes insolvent.
Independent Travel Policy
Students who wish to travel independently after the program ends will do so independently. During the course, students will not be allowed to travel independently outside of Poland. Those who choose to leave the course before it is complete will be required to sign the ‘Release Early from Program’ documents provided by the Study Abroad Office.