In this section, you can review GEO’s policies for student behavior, program cancellation/deferral, mobile phones, and visa/passport. Please review and understand these policies before participating in a GEO program. 

View and understand the cancellation and deferral policy for your program and when it goes into effect. 
Bring a working mobile phone, make copies of your passport, and check the visa policy and requirements for your host country. 

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Student Behavior Policy

GEO participants are expected to represent both GEO and the US in a positive way. Among other things, this includes respecting your host country’s culture, abiding by their rules and laws, and following any policies established by GEO, the University of Oregon, and your host institution or program provider. All policies and guidelines put in place are meant to foster a safe, respectful academic environment for all students. Being a guest in another country is a privilege, and failure to adhere to these guidelines could result in consequences ranging from a warning to an expulsion from the program. 

Students participating in programs through GEO are expected to: exhibit sensitivity to the host culture, respect and observe local rules and laws, and demonstrate a high regard for the intellectual and cultural experience they are engaged in. The Student Behavior Agreement includes policies based on such expectations and the assertion that students are both adults and ambassadors of the University of Oregon and USA abroad. As students and adults, GEO participants are expected to abide by this Agreement and are subject to the same laws and regulations of the host country and any other laws applicable to the student's immigration status in the host country.

While all University of Oregon students are subject to the University’s Student Conduct Code, GEO participants must also abide by the policies and regulations of their enrolling and home institutions. University of Oregon students must follow the University of Oregon Student Conduct Code for the duration of a GEO administered or GEO sponsored program. If the University of Oregon decides to pursue sanctions against a student through university student conduct procedures, the student waives any deadlines regarding the initiation of disciplinary procedures under the Student Conduct Code so the University may choose to delay action until you return to the US.  


Students with pending conduct matters must receive GEO approval before they are accepted to their program. Students who receive university sanctions due to conduct after acceptance may have their program acceptance withdrawn. GEO students who are participating in a program sponsored by GEO but administered by a program provider must also follow the policies and regulations set by the provider.

As an academic organization, GEO strives to maintain a positive and respectful environment for all members, advocating respect and consideration towards all students, staff, faculty, members of host institutions and citizens in general. You are privileged to be a guest in another country and responsible for maintaining a positive attitude and demonstrating respect towards both yourself and others.   

GEO holds you responsible for knowing and abiding by this Agreement; it exists to facilitate a positive educational environment and ensure a safe, developmental and rewarding experience abroad. Choosing to ignore this Agreement or say that you were unaware of its stipulations is not an acceptable excuse for a breach. GEO students who are participating in a program involving a local university or organization are subject to the rules of conduct, academic procedures, academic honor codes and student disciplinary procedures of the respective university or organization as well as this Agreement. In some instances, a local university or organization may decide to implement sanctions or removal from a program independently of GEO. GEO leaves such actions to the discretion of the institution or organization.  

Student Responsibilities

Those who choose to engage in unacceptable conduct and violate this Agreement are subject to appropriate review and sanctions, up to and including removal from the program. Information regarding students who violate GEO policies may be provided to the students' home schools.  The home institution may elect to impose additional sanctions. If a student is found responsible for misconduct, and/or dismissed from the program, it will be at the student’s own personal expense and the student will receive no refund of the program fee or any other associated costs. The students may not receive academic credits in this circumstance.  

Students studying abroad remain subject to the University of Oregon’s Student Conduct Code.

The following are prohibited throughout the student's participation in a GEO administered or sponsored program:

  • Any material or substantial behavioral disruption to the GEO program.  
  • Violence against others. This includes striking or doing any other physical harm to another, threatening to do so, or producing a reasonable fear of physical harm in another.  
  • Sexual assault. This is defined as when a student subjects another person to sexual contact without having first obtained explicit consent or when they know or should have known the person was incapable of consent by reason of mental disorder, mental incapacitation, intoxication, or physical helplessness. This also includes definitions established by local laws and student’s home institution conduct code.  
  • Verbal abuse of faculty, staff, students, home stay families, host community members, or representatives from GEO partner organizations.  
  • Disruption or obstruction of classes offered by the program or local universities, or of other program activities.  
  • Damage to GEO property, property of host universities or partner organizations, residence halls, property of hosts or host families, apartments, facilities used by GEO or GEO sponsored programs, or the property of fellow students.  
  • Possession or use of firearms or other dangerous weapons.  
  • Possession or use of fireworks, incendiary devices, dangerous explosives or other dangerous instrumentalities or substances.  
  • Theft.  
  • Unauthorized entry into or use of program facilities, equipment, or technology or host university/partners' facilities, equipment, or technology. Use of GEO or GEO partner organizations’ technology for any unlawful or impermissible purpose.  
  • Violations of residential guidelines or rules, including specific and reasonable requests from a homestay family.  
  • Criminal behavior or violation of local laws.  
  • Failure to follow the program established guidelines, local attendance policies, directives, timetables and reasonable instructions of the program staff or faculty members.  
  • Failure to attend required classes, events and excursions, unless otherwise noted on a syllabus or excused.  
  • Obtaining unauthorized access to, viewing of, copying or distributing confidential information.  
  • Falsification, forgery, or alteration of documents.  
  • Harassment of any person, not limited to members of the GEO community. Harassment is defined as any conduct that either in form or operation unreasonably discriminates among individuals on the basis of age, disability, national origin, race, marital status, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation, and that is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it interferes with work or academic performance because it has created an intimidating, hostile, or degrading working or academic environment. Sexual harassment is a type of gender discrimination which is defined as any sexual advance, any request for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such advances, requests, or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic experience; or such conduct is unwelcome and sufficiently severe or pervasive that it interferes with work or academic performance.  
  • Stalking of any person.  
  • Failure to obey drug and alcohol-related laws at the program site.  
  • Abuse of alcohol or controlled substances, even when lawfully possessed.  
  • Participation in activity that recklessly or intentionally endangers the safety of self or others.
  • Unreasonably limiting the freedom of movement of others.  

Review Procedures during GEO Programs

GEO staff, in consultation with the program Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee, will inquire into the circumstances surrounding an incident. If it is determined that further action is appropriate, the student(s) involved will participate in the following review procedures.  

  • Students will be notified in email of the incident by the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee and of the time and place to meet to discuss it. The meeting may be in person, or at the election of GEO staff, the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee, by telephone.  
  • Students may be accompanied by a third party if they choose, but must notify GEO of the identity of the third party prior to the meeting.
  • At the meeting, student(s) will be informed of information reported about the incident.  
  • At the meeting, students may present any relevant information, including written statements from witnesses. GEO staff, the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee will determine relevance.  
  • If the student admits to the behavior, the incident will be discussed and appropriate sanctions will be determined and communicated to the student either verbally, through a written warning, or a letter of dismissal. See below under Sanctions.  
  • If the student denies involvement in the incident, the discussion will focus on the available information. GEO staff, the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee will determine whether the student breached this Agreement based on available information. GEO staff, the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee has a reasonable time in which to render a final decision in each case. Students will be notified as soon as possible after a decision has been reached. Sanctions for breach of this Agreement are in effect as soon as a decision has been rendered.  
  • If a student fails to accept receipt of written notice, misses meetings or otherwise fails to participate in these procedures, GEO staff, the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee may find that the student has engaged in the alleged breach and impose sanctions based on the information at hand.

Interim Suspension

In cases where GEO staff, the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee reasonably believes that there is potential for further harm to self or others, the Site Director (or designee) may immediately remove any student from their residence or the program until GEO staff, the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee speaks with the student. If after speaking with the student, GEO staff, the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee reasonably believes that there is potential for further harm to self or others, the interim suspension may be continued until the student has been notified of the decision rendered at the conclusion of the review process set forth above.  

Sanctions and Appeals

GEO has a legitimate interest in affording students an educational environment conducive to learning while studying abroad. All sanctions are designed to be educational, with student growth in mind. Sanctions can take a variety of forms and can be issued in combination, depending on the violation in question.


  • Verbal Warning with email follow up: A verbal notice is given to the student that the violation/incident is unacceptable, and that the student may face further sanctions for additional violations. The student receives an email confirming the verbal warning was issued. GEO staff is informed via email of the verbal warning being issued to the student. GEO may, in its discretion, proceed directly to a written warning or dismissal in certain cases.  
  • Written Warning: A written notice is given to the student that the incident is deemed to be in violation of the GEO Student Behavior Agreement. A copy of the warning letter will be sent to GEO Oregon and the student's home campus if not a University of Oregon student. Additional sanctions (see below) may apply, including removal from the program if further violations occur. This letter may be issued if a student incurs repeated minor violations/incidents, and/or more severe single violations/incidents. GEO may, in its discretion, proceed directly to dismissal in certain cases.  
  • Dismissal from the Program: Dismissal may be applied in the case of repeated offenses of any severity, failure to complete required sanctions stipulated in the written warning, and/or single incidents of high severity meriting immediate dismissal. A written notice will be issued informing the student that their status as a program participant has been terminated. A copy of the dismissal notice will be sent to GEO Oregon and the student's home campus. All GEO-affiliated institutions and individuals in the host country will be notified that the student's affiliation with GEO is terminated. No refunds will be granted of any GEO fees and students are responsible for the cost of their return home.   

Additional sanctions applied as a condition for continuing in the program may include, but are not limited, to:  

  • Restitution/Fine: This involves charges to be paid for damages, theft, penalty, or any other expenses related to the violation.  
  • Formal Apology: This involves the requirement to present a written apology to program staff or instructors, students, and/or community members (host families, host institutions, neighbors, etc.) affected by the conduct.  
  • Community Education or Service: This involves students being required to perform an educational task or to provide service to a group as assigned for a limited period of time. These efforts will generally relate to the violation in question.  
  • Required Assessment and/or Participation in Drug, Alcohol, or Other Professional Counseling: This involves requiring the student to be assessed by a qualified professional and/or attend a specified number of sessions with a specific individual or treatment program for professional drug, alcohol, or mental health counseling.  
  • Loss of Privileges: This means that a student's privileges to use facilities or to participate in activities or events will be withdrawn permanently or for a period of time.  
  • Housing Change or Termination: This means that a student may be required to leave their housing and move to alternate housing or obtain housing accommodations independently. No refunds will be provided. Depending on the situation, housing termination may be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.  


If a Letter of Dismissal has been imposed, a student may request an appeal. All requests for an appeal hearing will be directed to the GEO Executive Director. A request for an appeal must be submitted by the student within 24 hours of the student being notified of a decision. The student may give the appeal request to the Site Director, Faculty Leader or designee who will send the appeal to the Executive Director. The student may also submit the appeal directly to the Executive Director. All sanctions remain in effect until any appeals have been considered and responded to in writing. The Executive Director (or designee) will first determine whether the appeal will be heard. If the appeal is heard, the Executive Director (or designee) will review the record and consult with site staff and others regarding pertinent information. An appeal is not a rehearing of the case. The Executive Director may modify the decision or sanction or direct the “decision-maker” to take further appropriate action. 

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Cancellation Policy

  • The GEO Cancellation and Deferral Policy is effective from the time a student agrees to pay their non-refundable deposit or electronically signs the program commitment form, regardless of acceptance status. 
  • For UO students participating in a provider program (CIEE, DIS, IE3, etc.), the GEO Cancellation and Deferral Policy is effective from the time a student has been nominated by the UO to the program provider or host institution, regardless of application or acceptance status. Providers may also have their own unique cancellation policies that students should review prior to making a decision. 
  • Every GEO program has an individual cancellation policy outlined. See specific dates and details in the Student Budget posted on each program page
  • If one of the deadlines in the Student Budget posted on the program page of the GEO website falls on a weekend or holiday, GEO will accept written notifications received on the following business day. 
  • A student can defer their application for up to twelve months from the term in which their original program was scheduled to start, and upon approval by the GEO Program Coordinator. Beyond twelve months, a student must cancel their application and re-apply. The student will be responsible for payment of any unrecoverable costs. In some cases, a student may be able to apply their non-refundable application fee and deposit to a future GEO program upon GEO approval. 

Cancellation/Deferral Policy and Penalty 

This cancellation and deferral policy applies to all cancellations and deferrals regardless of the reason for cancellation or deferral, including but not limited to inability to secure proper legal status (i.e. passport, visa, etc.) in the host country of the participating program. 

If the program fee has not been received by GEO at the time of cancellation or deferral, the penalty amount will be billed by GEO. GEO fees include the GEO program fee, the UO Study Abroad fee (UO students only), and/or any other fees that are billed by GEO. 

Some US partner institutions have a direct billing arrangement with GEO and pay fees on behalf of their students. GEO refunds will be sent to the billed party: if GEO bills the institution, the refund is sent to the institution; if GEO bills the student, the refund is sent to the student at the permanent address listed on the initial application unless otherwise requested. Students who are unsure about the billing arrangements of their home institution should check with their home institution’s study abroad office. 

GEO and the program provider or the host institution reserve the right to cancel a program due to low enrollment, natural disaster, public health emergency, political unrest, terrorism, acts of war or any other reasons beyond GEO's control. If a program is cancelled prior to the start date for any of these reasons, GEO will refund all payments received by GEO including the application fee, program deposit, and program fee. GEO assumes no further financial responsibility and is not responsible for airfare, visa fees, or any other fees related to the program that may have been paid. GEO strongly recommends that students purchase travel cancellation/interruption insurance. 

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Travel Policy

Mobile Phone

  • GEO requires that you arrive with a working mobile phone that can make both local and international calls. Throughout the program, you must always carry your mobile phone, and it must be turned on, charged, and the voicemail set to accept messages. 
  • You can choose to purchase an international plan, dual-country SIM card, e-SIM, local SIM card or a local Pay-as-you-go phone. Costs associated with the mobile phone, including any rental fees and calling plan purchases are not included in the GEO program fee, and are your responsibility. 
  • Should you purchase a local phone or change your number later (for instance, by acquiring a local SIM card), update your contact information with your on-site program leader and with GEO by emailing your program coordinator. 


  • Be sure to make a few copies of your passport before you depart. Leave one copy at home, carry one copy in a safe location separate from your actual passport, and keep a digital/scanned copy of your passport on your phone. 
  • If your passport is lost or stolen while you are abroad, you will need to contact the nearest US embassy or consulate for assistance.  
  • Dual Citizens should expect to travel with their US passport, regardless of whether they have citizenship in their host country, due to local regulations and contractual agreements with UO. Failure to use a US passport may terminate your enrollment. 


  • Some programs require that students apply for a student visa (or residence permit). A visa is a stamp or seal placed in a passport by a foreign government, allowing someone to stay in the host country for a specific time. It is critical that students align their travel plans with this period of time, as overstaying a visa can have serious legal consequences. 
  • The granting of a visa is completely at the discretion of the consulate or embassy, as a branch of the government they are representing. Therefore, be sure to follow all visa application instructions carefully, and ensure that you are always pleasant, polite, and patient when dealing with consular officers, whether via email, on the phone, or in person. 
  • Please consult your program advisor if you have questions or concerns about attaining a visa for your program. 

Non-US citizens: Visa requirements for non-US citizens may be very different than those for US citizens. Please speak with your GEO advisor and contact the consulate for visa requirements for your program’s host country. International students should also meet with an international student advisor to complete any needed paperwork or process to maintain their US visa status. Non-US citizens who are US permanent residents or have another immigrant visa status may also need to consult with an immigration attorney. You will also need to make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months past the end date of your program. 

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