Passport and Visa

If your passport is not current, you must renew it as soon as possible. The next step in preparing for your participation is securing your visa for travel to the United States, which must be completed at the U.S. Embassy in your country. To secure a visa you must have a sample flight itinerary, which our travel agent will prepare for you once you have filled out the online survey. We will send you a visa support letter as soon as this step is completed. In the meantime, we suggest you consult the U.S. Embassy to familiarize yourself with the process for securing a visa to the U.S.

Health and Travel Insurance

The Institute will not provide health and travel insurance. We expect delegates to have their own coverage prior to arrival. Please let us know of any concerns you may have in this regard.

While traveling, we recommend that you have a large card with the following information inside your luggage (in case your luggage gets lost):

Mount Holyoke College
President’s Office
50 College Street
South Hadley, MA 01075
Attn: Kate Wasserman


While you are here, you will be assigned both single and shared room accommodations at the colleges, and bathroom facilities will be shared. Should you have any special requests regarding your housing, please let us know on the online form. Please note that you will be staying at three different colleges, so you will be packing and unpacking frequently.


All meals will be provided during the Institute. The online form asks about special dietary needs you may have. We will make every effort to meet your needs.

Packing for the Institute

The dress code recommended for the Institute is casual, or business casual, but we encourage you to also bring your national dress for some occasions. The weather in Massachusetts at this time of the year is generally pleasant, ranging from 16–21 degrees Celsius (60–70 degrees Fahrenheit). However, classroom temperatures can vary, and we recommend that you bring a sweater, shawl or light jacket to class. There are washing machines and dryers in the residence halls for your use.

You should bring any toiletries and/or medications that you are concerned you will be unable to purchase in the U.S. Other items you might want to bring include:

  • swimsuit, if you plan to use the college pool
  • exercise clothes and sneakers for walking or gym exercise
  • business dress, or formal outfits, for events with state dignitaries, etc.
  • raincoat, umbrella

The campuses are equipped with standard USA 120V/60Hz outlets. If you need a converter, please be sure to bring it with you. While phones are not easily accessible on campus, Skype or Google Talk may be used to communicate overseas. If you do not already have an account with Skype or Google Talk, we suggest setting one up with your family prior to the institute.

Expenses and Expectations

As previously noted, the Institute will cover all expenses to, from and during the Institute. We only ask that you pay for your own visa. If you wish to purchase souvenirs or comforts while here, that is also at a personal expense, although we will provide transportation to a shopping center so you can shop while in the U.S. It may be helpful to carry a small amount of cash, in U.S. dollars if possible, and a credit card or traveler’s checks.

Be aware that the program for the Institute will be rigorous, but we will include breaks and social time throughout the day and in the evening.

Emergency Information

During the Institute, if anyone should need to reach you in an emergency, they should contact:

Mount Holyoke College
President’s Office
50 College Street
South Hadley, MA 01075
+1 413-538-2881
Attention: Karen Remmler