Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of FAQs. Please select one from the list below to read more.

Middle & High School Program for Grades 6-12 (Residential)
  1. Can students request a roommate?

    Yes! Students can request to room with a specific person (same age group, same gender). The requests must be mutual. The residential staff will do its best to honor such requests. However, there is no guarantee that the students' request will be fulfilled.

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  2. Does my child have to stay overnight?

    At many of our campuses, SIG provides a day student option for families who live in the surrounding area. In addition, SIG has several day programs for younger students ages 6-12.

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  3. Are the dormitories co-ed?

    Students are assigned to same grade, same gender groups that live in a dormitory under the supervision of a counselor. A Residential Life Dean and Housemaster are also part of the overall house residential supervision team. Co-ed dorms are separated by halls/wings or floors.

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  4. Who does the laundry during the session?

    Students do their own laundry. They may use the laundry facilities located on campus in the dormitories. Staff will assist with any laundry instruction that may be necessary. The cost of doing laundry varies by campus.

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  5. Are students able to move about campus or go off campus alone?

    No, students are always under the supervision of SIG staff and may not go off campus without supervision. Older students, ages 15-17, are, at specific times, provided the opportunity to travel in groups around the campus. This privilege is at the determination of the SIG staff.

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  6. Will my child be in class with students of different ages?

    Yes. SIG's academic courses are offered to students of the same grade grouping. However, the cultural and recreational classes are usually open to all students. Class grouping can accommodate varying ability levels.

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  7. Will students always be chaperoned on SIG off-campus trips?

    Definitely. Students always will be chaperoned when going off campus on SIG-sponsored trips, as well as when they are on campus (see question and answer #5).

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  8. Can my child change a course after the program begins?

    Yes, as long as space is available to accommodate the request. Courses may be changed through the second day of the session, and after a student has attended both courses on the first day, with the approval of the Academic Dean and the student’s parents. 

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  9. Are reports reflecting student performance provided?

    Yes! An individual performance report for each course taken will be available on the student's login site a few weeks after the close of the program. Students’ performance reports can be mailed to schools, but only after SIG receives a written request from parents.

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  10. Are special dietary meals provided?

    Yes! Special meals can be provided during the session. Parents must advise the Residential Life Dean at the session site of the student’s special dietary needs.

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  11. Is email available on campus?

    Email is available at the sites. However, availability is limited to specific areas depending on the session’s host facility.

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  12. Are students required to have any special equipment or devices for their courses?

    Students enrolled in SIG middle and high school programs are expected to bring a laptop device for academic courses for optimal course engagement. Use of technology devices in courses are actively monitored by instructional staff to complement learning opportunities. 

    Course descriptions will list specific technology requirements. At this time, laptop devices are required for enrollment in the following courses: Creative Engineering and Robotics (grades 6-8) and AI Robotics: Machine Learning and Programming (grades 9-12). More information on technology specifications for these technology courses are available in the course descriptions. 

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  13. How is instruction provided during the course period and will there be breaks?

    SIG course periods provide a robust academic experience that offer students a variety of instructional learning opportunities. These experiences range from collaborative work groups, group and independent investigations, experiments, interactive explorations, research, performance tasks, and so much more to develop personal passions, divergent/convergent thinking, and creative production. Course instructors will include necessary breaks based on the flow of the course to provide an optimal learning experience based on the instructional needs and age-level considerations for the grade band.

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Middle & High School Program for Grades 6-12 (Commuter/Day Only)
  1. What is the SIG Day option?

    The Day option enables students to attend a SIG program a residential location without the need for them to reside on campus. There are two types of Day options available – Day only and Day + Evenings and Saturdays.

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  2. Are the Commuter/Day options available at all residential campuses?

    The Day options are available at all campuses.

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  3. What are the benefits of attending SIG as a Day student?

    The Day option is perfect for students living near a SIG residential campus who are looking for an academic enrichment experience during the summer, but for one reason or another aren't ready, or are unable, to enroll in an overnight program. Many of our Day students are engaged in other summer activities in the evenings and on weekends; some just aren't ready to live away from home for three weeks or don’t want the residential experience.

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  4. What are the differences between the Day only and Day + Evenings and Saturdays options?

    Day students partake in the academic day and the recreational period after classes, Monday through Friday. They arrive on campus at 8:30 am and depart at 6:00 pm. Day + Evenings and Saturdays students participate in all activities Monday through Friday; they arrive at 8:30 am and depart after all evening activities are over at 9:15 pm. They also partake in Saturday activities, arriving on campus at 8:30 am and departing at either 6:00 pm or 9:45 pm. Please note: Some campus schedules may vary slightly.

    *Day students may participate in the final performance and the closing ceremony if accompanied by a parent/guardian.
    **Day + Evenings and Saturdays students may participate in the closing ceremony if accompanied by a parent/guardian.
    ***May vary depending on campus.

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  5. What are the rules/regulations and limitations of the Day program?

    Day students must adhere to the rules and regulations of the SIG program. Please see the 2022 Student Handbook for more information.

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  6. Are the Day schedules flexible?

    Unfortunately, no. Due to the meal and activity schedules for other students and staff, Day students must adhere to the drop off and pick up times. Times may differ by campus.

    Day Option:

    Monday – Friday

    Drop Off: 8:30 am

    Pick Up: 6:00 pm

    Day + Evenings and Saturdays:

    Monday – Friday

    Drop Off: 8:30 am

    Pick Up: 9:30 pm

    Saturdays

    Drop Off: 8:30 am

    Pick Up: 9:15 pm**


    ** On Saturday evenings Day + Evenings and Saturdays students may be picked up at 5:30 pm or 9:15 pm

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  7. Can a Day student convert to a Day + Evenings and Saturdays student after the program has started?

    Yes! Day students can convert to Day + Evenings and Saturdays status at any time during the first two weeks of the program. The conversion must be for the remainder of the program with the minimum being one week (7 days). The cost to convert from Day to Day + Evenings and Saturdays status varies by campus and must be paid in full at the time of conversion.

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  8. Can a Day student convert to Residential status after the program has started?

    Day and Day + Evenings and Saturdays students have the option of converting to Residential status as long as there is dorm space available. The conversion must be for the remainder of the session with the minimum being one week (7 days). All conversion fees must be paid in full at the time of status change. The fee calculation to convert from Day to Residential status is as follows: The Residential program fee minus the original Day program fee divided by 20 days times the number of days for conversion.

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  9. How are Day students supervised?

    Each group of 10-15 students will be assigned a counselor who will be the person checking them in and out each day, ensuring they receive the information normally disseminated in house meetings, serve as their immediate supervisor, and be the person they would reach out to for assistance. Day students will be integrated into counselor groups.

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  10. How do Day parents contact SIG Staff and Instructors on site?

    Day parents will be provided onsite contact info for the SIG offices at registration. The Residential Life Dean is the designated point person for day student/parent issues and will provide office hours when families may contact the Dean to discuss issues regarding their students. Day parents must call the SIG campus office to schedule phone or in-person appointments.

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  11. What are the charges incurred for late pick-ups?

    We understand that there may be occasional delays to pick up your child. However, to ensure continuous supervision of your child, we have instituted a strict penalty payment policy. Students who have not been picked up by 6:00 pm will be charged $1.00 per minute thereafter ($10.00 minimum). For example: if you arrive at 6:20 pm, we would bill you for $20.00. Please phone our on-site office if you foresee being late to pick up your child.

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  12. We live near the campus and my child will be arriving and/or departing alone each day? What are the procedures for this?

    If you will not be accompanying your child to the program each day and dropping off/picking up at the designated campus location, your child will be required to sign in and out at the SIG campus office each day. Written permission for these arrangements must be made in advance.

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  13. Are students required to have any special equipment or devices for their courses?

    Students enrolled in SIG middle and high school programs are expected to bring a laptop device for academic courses for optimal course engagement. Use of technology devices in courses are actively monitored by instructional staff to complement learning opportunities. 

    Course descriptions will list specific technology requirements. At this time, laptop devices are required for enrollment in the following courses: Creative Engineering and Robotics (grades 6-8) and AI Robotics: Machine Learning and Programming (grades 9-12). More information on technology specifications for these technology courses are available in the course descriptions. 

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  14. How is instruction provided during the course period and will there be breaks?

    SIG course periods provide a robust academic experience that offer students a variety of instructional learning opportunities. These experiences range from collaborative work groups, group and independent investigations, experiments, interactive explorations, research, performance tasks, and so much more to develop personal passions, divergent/convergent thinking, and creative production. Course instructors will include necessary breaks based on the flow of the course to provide an optimal learning experience based on the instructional needs and age-level considerations for the grade band.

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Elementary Program for Grades K-5
  1. How many courses can my child take as a half day student?

    Your child will take one course. They have the option to come to the program in the mornings or afternoons.

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  2. How many courses can my child take as a full day student?

    Your child will take two courses in total.

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  3. Is lunch provided on campus?

    Yes, lunch is provided at all Elementary programs and is included in the program fee for all students.

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  4. Will my child be in class with students of different ages?

    Yes. SIG's academic courses are offered to students of the same age grouping. Class grouping can accommodate varying ability levels.

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  5. Can my child change a course after the program begins?

    Yes! Courses may be changed through the second day of the session as long as space is available, and after a student has attended both courses on the first day (or attend the one course for half day students), with the approval of the Academic Leader on campus and the student’s parents.

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  6. Are reports reflecting student performance provided?

    Yes! An individual performance report for each course is available on the MySIGPortal a few weeks after the session. Students’ performance reviews can be mailed to schools, but only after SIG receives a written request from parents.

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  7. Are special dietary meals provided?

    Yes! Special meals can be provided during the session. Parents will complete dietary information forms as part of the pre-campus arrival forms. Parents should also advise the Director at the session site of the student’s special dietary needs to ensure the parent, student, and counselors are aware of the needs and accommodations. 

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  8. How can I contact my child during the program?

    The best way to contact your child is to call the office number or email the office staff during the program duration. Students are not allowed to use their cell phones during class time for personal communications.

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  9. Are students required to have any special equipment or devices for their courses?

    Course descriptions will list specific technology requirements. However, we have outlined specific technology needs at this time below:

    Grades K-2: Students enrolled in the Kindergarten-2nd grade band level are not expected to bring a laptop device to the program, except for the course Coding Wizards.  A laptop device is required for enrollment in Coding Wizards (grades K-2). More information on technology specifications is available in the course description. 

    Grades 3-5: Students enrolled in the 3rd-5th grade band level are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop device for academic course work to complement the learning opportunities provided in the classroom. Use of technology devices in courses are actively monitored by instructional staff to complement learning opportunities.  A laptop device is required for enrollment in Programming and Robotics (grades 3-5). More information on technology specifications is available in the course description. 

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  10. How is instruction provided during the course period and will there be breaks?

    SIG course periods provide a robust academic experience that offer students a variety of instructional learning opportunities. These experiences range from collaborative work groups, group and independent investigations, experiments, interactive explorations, research, performance tasks, and so much more to develop personal passions, divergent/convergent thinking, and creative production. Course instructors will include necessary breaks based on the flow of the course to provide an optimal learning experience based on the instructional needs and age-level considerations for the grade band.

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Campus Transportation & Greeter Services
  1. What is the difference between Transportation Service and Unaccompanied Minor Transportation Service?

    Transportation Service is for students who are not registered with an airline as an unaccompanied minor.
    Upon arrival, students will meet the SIG Greeter at baggage claim for domestic flights or in the international arrival area for international flights. Students are then supervised by a staff member and transported to campus at the designated shuttle time.
    On departure from the SIG program, students will be transported to the airport and directed by the SIG Greeters to the correct terminal and check in area for their flights.

    Unaccompanied Minor Transportation Service is only for students who are registered with an airline as an unaccompanied minor.
    Upon arrival, the student will be transferred from the supervision of the airline attendants to the SIG Greeter, who will be waiting at the flight’s arrival gate. The Greeter will then supervise and escort the student to the SIG shuttle at the designated departure time.
    Upon departure from the SIG program, the student will be transported to the airport by the SIG shuttle and be met by his/her SIG Greeter at the shuttle drop off location. He/She will help students check in. If the airline rules allow, the greeter will take the student through security to the gate and will stay with the student until he/she is boarded on the flight.

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  2. How will my child recognize a SIG Greeter?

    One week before the start of the program, you will receive an email confirming your meet and greet service. Your confirmation will include the location of pick-up, the Greeter’s name, and a cell phone number. Also, all SIG staff assigned to airports to assist students will be wearing a SIG polo and will be carrying a sign that reads SIG.

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  3. What time and where are these services offered?

    Please refer to the pdf below for transportation service times and locations.

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  4. What if my child's flight arrives or departs outside of the SIG given time window for transportation services?

    You are responsible for arranging your student’s own transportation.
    Students must not arrive on campus before 1:00 PM on the first day of the program (see dates above) and must depart from campus before 12:00 PM on the last day of the program (see dates above).

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  5. Is there a fee for SIG’s shuttle services?

    Yes. Please see below:
    Transportation Service – $150 each way
    Unaccompanied Minor Transportation Service – $300 each way
    These fees will be added to your invoice after you have signed up for this service and your flight details have been reviewed.

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  6. How do I sign up for these services?

    Log on to your MySIGPortal at www.giftedstudy.org with your ID number and password and fill out the "My Travel Plan" section. You may call SIG at 866-303-4744 or email travel@giftedstudy.org if you have any questions. Any flight changes must be directly communicated to SIG three weeks prior to the start of the program.

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  7. When do I sign up for these services?

    You may sign up for these services after acceptance into a SIG program. Students must sign up for Transportation Service and Unaccompanied Minor Transportation Service at least one month before the program start. Requests made after the one month window cannot be accommodated.

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  8. How do I know if my child must travel as an unaccompanied minor?

    When making your flight reservations for the student, please ask the airline agent about the airline's unaccompanied minor policy. In many cases, any child traveling alone under the age of 13 is considered an unaccompanied minor. If your student is an unaccompanied minor and is using SIG transportation services, he/she must use the Unaccompanied Minor Transportation Service.

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  9. Who are the SIG Greeters?

    SIG Greeters are generally professional travel services agents who have agreed to meet the students and ensure their safe arrival and departure. All members of the staff undergo a background check, including a DMV check for drivers.

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  10. How do I make payment for these services?

    You may log into your MySIGPortal at www.giftedstudy.org with your ID and password or call us at 866-303-4744. Full payment must be remitted before the start of the program.

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  11. Will I know where the student should meet the shuttle and/or who the Greeter is?

    Yes. SIG will send you an email at least one week prior to the start of the program; it will provide you with the location of the pickup, the Greeter’s name, and a cell phone number. We will also provide the contact information for a SIG staff member on call at the airport.
    If the student is an unaccompanied minor, we will provide you with any additional information regarding airline policies with respect to Greeter services. It is your responsibility to communicate unaccompanied minor Greeter information to the airline. Failure to communicate the unaccompanied minor Greeter information to the airline will cause problems with student pickup at the airport.

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  12. Can the student sign up for departure transportation on campus?

    No. All reservations for the transportation service and unaccompanied minor service must be arranged with SIG by the student's parent/guardian in advance. The safety and well-being of our students is our highest priority.

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International Students
  1. How many international students attend SIG? What countries are these students from?

    SIG is pleased to host students from all over the globe each year. In 2019, 533 students from 47 countries attended SIG sessions. Our participants come from Brazil, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Russia, Taiwan and many other countries.

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  2. Where should I look for more information about the SIG session I am attending?

    SIG has an informative student log-in section on our website (MySigPortal). You may sign in at any time (after you apply) to view important messages and information.

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  3. Are there on-campus accommodations if I would like to arrive before the program begins or leave after the program ends?

    No, SIG is unable to procure dorm space for participants beyond the dates of our sessions. Additionally, our staff is preparing for all of the students’ arrivals and are not available for supervision before the program begins. If you are traveling a long distance, we recommend you arrive in the area the day before to acclimate yourself. However, you will have to make arrangements for off-campus accommodations. We are not staffed to supervise students arriving on campus before 1:00 pm on registration day.

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  4. When should I plan to arrive at/depart from the campus?

    Registration begins at 1:00 pm and lasts until 4:00 pm on the first day of the program. Late arrival students are welcome on that day until 11:00 pm at the SIG campus office. If you are unable to arrive on campus between these times, please contact us to discuss other acceptable arrangements. On the last day of the program, students are required to be off campus by noon.

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  5. Does SIG provide flight arrangements?

    No, SIG does not provide flight arrangements for students. However, we do offer shuttle transportation to and from the airports closest to the campuses (for an additional fee). (See #6)

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  6. Is there transportation from the airport to the campus?

    Pre-arranged campus transportation is provided to/from airports that have been selected as the most convenient to our campuses. On the first day of the program, shuttles will pick up students from the airports at 12 pm and 5 pm and take them to their campus. You can access this information through the MySIGPortal in the My Travel Plan section. See the Transportation FAQs for more information.

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  7. My child will be traveling alone. Are there special arrangements I need to make?

    Children traveling alone may be considered an unaccompanied minor (UM) by the airline. Please check with your airline regarding their policies when booking flights for the student. It is imperative you make the arrangements with the airline per their specific policies and that you inform SIG to avoid any travel delays.

    In most cases, you will be charged a fee by the airline for their unaccompanied minor services and will need to provide them with the contact name and address of the adult dropping the child off at the departure airport and picking them up from the arrival airport.
    We offer a pre-arranged Greeter Service for students traveling as unaccompanied minors or who are not accustomed to traveling alone. Please see the Transportation FAQs above for more information.

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  8. What type of visa is required to attend SIG?

    In most cases, a regular tourist or visitor (B-2) is all that is required.
    https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/visit/visitor.html
    Pleasure, Tourism, Medical Treatment - Visitor Visas (B-2) - As examples, if the purpose of your planned travel is recreational in nature, including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature, and participation by amateurs, who will receive no remuneration, in musical, sports and similar events or contests, then a visitor visa (B-2) would be the appropriate type of visa for your travel.
    If you are going to the U.S. primarily for tourism, but want to take a short course of study which is recreational or vocational, and of less than 18 hours per week, you may do so on a visitor visa. If your course of study is 18 hours or more a week, you will need a student visa. Each SIG course meets for 90 minutes per day or the equivalent of only 6 hours a week.

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  9. Why isn't a student visa required?

    SIG is considered an independent short-term academic enrichment program. Our students do not receive educational credits, and SIG is not directly affiliated with any of the colleges and universities that host our programs. Therefore, most countries will provide a tourist visa as they would for students attending a camp in the USA.
    F-1, or Student Visa: The visa for people who want to study at an accredited U.S. college or university, or to study English at a university or language institute – SIG is not a school or university.
    J-1, or Exchange Visitor Visa: The visa issued to people who will be participating in an educational or cultural exchange program. – SIG is not an exchange program.
    M-1, or Student Visa: The visa for those enrolled in nonacademic or vocational programs. – SIG is an academic enrichment program.

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  10. What should I bring to my embassy when applying for a visa?

    You will need to contact your embassy directly for a list of identification items you will need to submit with your application. Directly upon your acceptance into the SIG program, you can download your acceptance letter and via invitation letter from our MySIGPortal to present to the consulate.

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  11. What is the International Student Fee?

    The international student fee is a surcharge by SIG for the additional expenses incurred for the facilitation of processing your application, the inclusion of mandatory health insurance, and linens (see #16).

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  12. What items should I bring with me to the program?

    Though you are welcome to bring your own bedding and towels to the program, sheets and pillows are provided for you through the international student fee. Some of the SIG campuses also provide towels (i.e. UC Berkeley, UCLA). However, for most of the programs you will need to bring these items. Some students bring sleeping bags to use for their stay.

    You should bring enough clothes for at least a week, spending money for books, laundry and basic school supplies (i.e. pens, notebooks, etc.). In most cases $150 -$200 is sufficient. All campuses have ATM machines.

    A full list of items to bring can be found in the Student Handbook which is posted on the MySIGPortal.

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  13. Will my roommate be from a different country?

    In most cases, yes. SIG encourages cultural diversity throughout the student population. However, if you and a friend (who is in the same grade and of the same gender) request to be roommates. The requests must be mutual. The residential staff will do its best to honor such requests. However, there is no guarantee that the students' request will be fulfilled.

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  14. Is there a vegetarian meal option?

    Yes, all SIG campuses provide vegetarian options in their dining halls.

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  15. Do I need travel insurance?

    SIG is pleased to provide optional travel insurance coverage for international students. Please refer to the Insurance information for further details.

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  16. Are students able to move about campus or go off campus alone?

    No, students are always under the supervision of SIG staff and may not go off campus without supervision. Older students, ages 15-17, are, at specific times, provided the opportunity to travel in groups around the campus. This privilege is at the determination of the SIG staff.

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  17. What are your rules about smoking and drinking on campus?

    In the United States, students under the age of 18 are not allowed to smoke, nor are they allowed to drink alcohol before the age of 21. It is against SIG policy for any student to smoke any substance, use chewing tobacco, take any illegal drugs, or drink alcohol while attending the program. There are strict consequences for this behavior, including immediate dismissal from the program. We are aware that international students may have a different experience in their countries, but it is imperative that all students understand that these US laws are strictly enforced on and off campus.

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