International Education and Global Engagement

Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are questions frequently asked by program participants. If you have questions that are not on this list, please feel free to e-mail

1. Can I have packages sent to me during the program, such as from Amazon and other mail order companies?

Yes, but only while you are staying in Chico. We will provide you with an address upon arrival. Please plan for all mail to arrive at least one week before we depart for Chicago.  Any packages received after the group leaves Chico will be returned to sender.  

2. Do I need to bring formal dress for any occasions?

Please bring business attire for meetings in Sacramento, Chicago, Washington DC, and selected meetings in Chico.  You do not need to bring your national dress unless you would like to.  There are two opportunities where you might wear your national dress: the welcome reception and the farewell dinner in Chico. Any color is acceptable.

3. Do I need to bring a credit card to the U.S.? What happens if I don't have one?

It is not necessary for you to bring a credit card.  Sometimes our visitors want to buy Skype credit, buy a computer, or change their air ticket and need a credit card to do so.  So long as you don't need to perform such transactions, please don't worry about bringing a credit card.  Just know that the California State University, Chico staff are prohibited from lending you their cards by university policy.  

4. Can I bring non-prescription medications (for headaches, stomach pains, etc) through U.S. Customs?

Any non-prescription medicines should be brought in brand new bottles just purchased at the store that are still sealed.  Do not bring any medication that is a home remedy that does not have a label on it.  It is possible that such unlabeled medications would be confiscated and thrown away.

5. What does it mean that "All health costs are covered by the U.S. Department of State insurance except pre-existing conditions?" How expensive are health costs in America?

The health insurance provided will only cover you for things that are new that happen in the U.S. For example, if you come to the U.S. and already have problems with your gallbladder and decide that you want gallbladder surgery, this is a pre-existing condition and you must pay yourself. If you have a history of headaches and want to see the doctor to talk about your headaches, this is a pre-existing condition and you must pay yourself.  If you have a pre-existing condition that you worry will need treatment in the U.S., please let us know now about this condition.  Health care is expensive in the U.S., so we need to discuss any issues you might have.

6. Where can I keep valuable belongings such as my money, passport, laptop, etc.?

There is no safe in your room. However, the rooms are very safe. It is fine to keep your laptop on your desk in your room without locking it away. However, we recommend keeping your money and passport in your suitcase while it is in your room.  We have never had a problem with theft so long as you are careful and don’t leave things lying around.

7. Do I need to bring money to pay for meals while in the U.S.?

Some group meals have been scheduled.  For other meals, we provide you with funds to buy food to cook in your room suite kitchen, to buy food on campus, or to visit one of the many restaurants in downtown Chico.  You will only need extra money for meals if you regularly eat in very expensive restaurants. 

8. Can I see friends or family in the U.S.?

We certainly would like you to take this rare opportunity to see friends or family in the U.S. Since Participants are not allowed the leave the group, we ask that your friends or family come to visit you during one of your free days. Please inform the program staff of any visits before they occur. If you have any visitors during any part of your stay with the program, they are not allowed to stay with you at your apartment or at any of the hotels. We appreciate your understanding of the program requirements.

9. What is a typical day of the Chico Institute?

It will vary day to day, so you will constantly be referring to your schedule (distributed on the first day in Chico) to find out when and where you need to be.  In general, you have breakfast between 7 and 8 before getting yourself to campus.  Morning seminars start at 9 and last until 12.  Lunch is from 12 to 1.  Afternoon seminars and site visits take place from 1 to 5. You will not generally return to your rooms during the day – it is too far with not enough time. There are a few evenings with required group activities, and the schedule also offers optional events for you to engage with the community after your seminars and on weekends.

Study of the U.S. Institutes Logo