Participants can travel independently, with host families or local friends, or with program colleagues and/or alumni. Independent/leisure travel is permitted as long as participants fulfill the requirements of their programs or specific grants, and notify the Resident Director prior to purchasing tickets or reserving hotel rooms. The American Councils Resident Director can advise on making travel arrangements, but does not arrange or finance participants’ trips if they are not part of the academic program. Travel within the host country is enriching and usually inexpensive, but not always safe. American Councils requires that you register with STEP and receive approval prior to finalizing travel plans. 

Please note that if you are planning to stay anywhere outside of the host city overnight, you need to inform the resident director at least a week before departure, and fill out the travel request form to report your plans in advance. Only travel deemed safe by the U.S. State Department can be approved.