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Tropical Behavioral Ecology | Chiriquí, Republic of Panama

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This program gives students both a broad overview of tropical biology in Panama as well as exposure to behavioral and ecological research in a tropical field setting. The tropical ecology course focuses primarily on topics such as plant-insect interactions, frugivory in birds, the effect of tree fall gaps on diversity. Students will be exposed to these topics through guided hikes, field lectures, and readings and will participate in group research projects. Coursework will include research proposals, oral presentations, and scientific reports. Field experiences will occur in a seasonally dry forest, tropical wet forest, and montane tropical forest at three locations in Panama.

Each admitted student for Summer 2019 will receive a $1,235 scholarship supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Program Sessions

Do not purchase airline tickets until advised to do so by International Programs.

Session details are not currently available for this program. For more information, please email IP-Info@fsu.edu.

Program Description

Eligibility

Due to the expectations and intensive filed nature of this program, applicants must be approved by the program leader. Questions about the approval process should be directed to the program leader, Emily DuVal (eduval@bio.fsu.edu). Admitted students will be required to complete ACUC certification at least 1 month prior to the program start date.

Housing

While in Isla Boca Brava, Chiriquí, and other locations, students will be housed in shared accommodations. Overnight guests are not allowed in program housing.

Weather

The weather in your location, just as anywhere, is variable, especially if your program lasts a semester or longer. We encourage you to do your own research about weather patterns, both in your location and those to which you plan to travel independently. You may wish to view historical monthly weather details, provided by sites such as AccuWeather. On their site, you can enter your location in the search field at the top of the page, select ‘Month’ from the tabs across the top, and then scroll back through the months or select a prior month and year from the dropdown options.

Excursions & Group Activities

Plans may change due to unexpected events and/or new opportunities. Cultural immersion and social events planned for this program may include:

  • Welcome dinner
  • 3-4 nights at Los Quetzales EcoLodge in highland cloud forest
  • Exploration of coral reef habitats at the Bolaños and Gamez Islands
  • Bird observation and mist-netting
  • Tour of Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute facilities and forest habitats on Barro Colorado Island
  • Numerous local excursions to dry forest and coastal habitats on Isla Boca Brava
  • Outreach day at Boca Chica primary school
  • Farewell dinner

Program Fees

Include:

  • All registration fees
  • Instructional costs for up to 7 undergraduate credits
  • Welcome orientation and dinner
  • Housing
  • Some meals
  • Course related field trips
  • Program-planned excursions/group activities
  • Full-time academic support
  • 24/7 student support
  • Health insurance
  • Transportation pertaining to the program
  • IP t-shirt
  • Universal travel adapter
  • Luggage tag

Do Not Include:

  • Round-trip international airfare
  • Passport
  • Food (except as noted)
  • Books and supplies
  • Personal travel/activity/spending money
  • University-assessed fees (e.g., per credit hour technology fee)

Courses

International Programs provides Liberal Studies requirement areas in an effort to help students make informed decisions. To reinforce that information, students should confirm all Liberal Studies requirement areas through Liberal Studies Course Search and your major advisor. Although every attempt is made to be accurate and current, the list is fluid and it is the student’s responsibility to confirm the requirements.

If you would like to speak with an International Programs advisor about study abroad programs and courses, visit our office during drop-in advising hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1:00-4:00pm. You can also contact Andrea Inman at ainman@fsu.edu or Mary Melton at mmelton@fsu.edu to make an appointment. FSU Students, make an appointment with Campus Connect.

*/**/***/****/^ Courses followed by these symbols denote cross listing. Students may take one or the other, but not both.

Money Matters

The biggest factor in deciding when and where to study abroad is often the financial aspect. In fact, too many students assume they cannot afford to participate, missing out on an invaluable opportunity because they are not aware of alternative methods of funding. The Financial Assistance Coordinator at International Programs (IP) is dedicated to helping students through the financial aid application process by conducting financial aid workshops on a regular basis in addition to meeting personally with each student needing assistance. Students who have received some form of financial aid throughout their collegiate careers, as well as those completely new to the process, receive expert care every step of the way. We also help concerned parents! Additionally, students are strongly encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office at their home school as early as possible. Finally, Florida State students will find additional helpful information on the FSU Financial Aid website.

Please review Understanding the Financial Aid Process for Students Studying Abroad to explore a range of issues for students who anticipate receiving any type of financial assistance. This is a document created just for FSU IP students and families, with step-by-step guidance for the process.

For information about the 1098-T form, please click here.

Florida Bright Futures

Florida Bright Futures scholarship funds may be used toward a semester abroad. The Bright Futures Academic Scholarship and Medallion Scholarships will be available for all terms. The Academic scholarship will also include a $300 textbook award for fall and spring only.

The Florida Department of Education website contains additional information concerning eligibility, renewal criteria, appeal processes and legislative updates.

Credit Hours Bright Futures Academic
$213.55 Per Credit Hour
Bright Futures Medallion
$160.16 Per Credit Hour
6 $1281.30 $960.96
7 $1494.85 $1121.12
8 $1708.40 $1281.28
9 $1921.95 $1441.44
10 $2135.50 $1601.16
11 $2349.05 $1761.76
12 $2562.60 $1921.92
13 $2776.15 $2082.08
14 $2989.70 $2242.24
15 $3203.25 $2402.40
16 $3416.80 $2562.56
17 $3630.35 $2772.72
18 $3843.90 $2882.88

Quick Links

Florida Prepaid

Students receiving Florida Prepaid tuition, local fees and/or dorm benefits, may defer a portion of their Program Fee against Florida Prepaid funds. Completing and submitting the fee deferment request form will allow IP to bill Florida Prepaid and apply these funds toward the program fee balance. Completion and submission of the fee deferment request form allows this process to occur.

Students may obtain the deferment form by selecting Deferment from the menu above.

To use a Florida Prepaid dorm account during a summer term, the purchaser of the Prepaid account must complete and submit the summer dormitory form directly to: Florida Prepaid, 1804 Hermitage Blvd., Suite 210, Tallahassee, FL 32308. For more information, contact them at 1-800-552-4723.

Note: Eligibility for summer financial aid requires enrollment in at least six credits.

How much is my Florida Prepaid worth if I study abroad?

# of Credits Enrolled FPP Tuition FPP Local Fees* Dorm Rate
1 $115.08 $34.73 $3310.00
2 $230.16 $69.46 Per Term**
3 $345.24 $104.19
4 $460.32 $138.92
5 $575.40 $173.65
6 $690.48 $208.38
7 $805.56 $243.11
8 $920.64 $277.84
9 $1035.72 $312.57
10 $1150.80 $347.30
11 $1265.88 $382.03
12 $1380.96 $416.76
13 $1496.04 $451.49
14 $1611.12 $486.22
15 $1726.20 $520.95
  • * Please note the above tuition and fees are subject to change at any time.
  • ** Contact FPP for authorization instructions to use dorm account during a summer term: 850-309-1660 ext. 4134

Quick Links

International Programs Scholarship Opportunities

As a member of the Generation Study Abroad campaign sponsored by the Institute for International Education, Florida State University is committed to the goal of doubling the number of our study abroad participants by 2020. As part of this commitment, International Programs awards an average of $200,000 in scholarships annually to about 100 students.

Current FSU students who have been admitted to an International Program can apply to IP scholarships through the FS4U portal (link below). Before applying, you should review the list of available scholarship opportunities as well as the application process instructions.

Please note: IP scholarships are not available to in-state/out-of-state students currently on the First Year Abroad (FYA) program or First Semester Abroad (FSA) program or those who are directly enrolled at FSU-Panama. Some scholarships may have additional eligibility criteria in addition to what is listed below. Please reference the Scholarship Application Instructions for complete details.

Scholarship Application Deadlines

Program Start Date Scholarship Application Deadline Scholarship Award Decisions Communicated to Applicants
Spring 2020 September 4, 2019 Prior to September 25, 2019

Scholarships Administered by Other FSU Departments

Other departments at FSU also offer their own study abroad scholarship opportunities. You can review the list of scholarships administered by other FSU departments by following the link below.

Other Scholarship Opportunities

Follow the link below for a general listing of  scholarships that may be available for international study. These scholarships are available to both FSU students and Non-FSU students.

Related Materials

External Links

Study Abroad Loans

Additional Discount Opportunities

Students who have completed 15 or more credit hours on programs administered by the IP office, earning at least a 3.0 average or above in course work at the international location(s), are eligible for discounts for subsequent IP programs. Discounts are $500 for summer sessions or $1,000 for fall or spring semesters. Note: These savings are built into the program fees for First Year Abroad program students.

Florida-Costa Rica Linkage Institute

The Florida-Costa Rica Linkage Institute, known as FLORICA, was created in 1986, authorized by the Florida Legislature in 1987, and formalized by an agreement signed by the State University System of Florida, the Florida Community College System and the Council of Rectors of Costa Rican Universities (CONARE). Since its beginning, FLORICA has been administered for Costa Rica by CONARE and on behalf of the State of Florida by The Florida State University and Valencia College, with co-directors appointed from each institution.

FLORICA has strong credibility both in Florida and Costa Rica as a stimulus and a catalyst. The Institute has interfaced broadly in Costa Rica with public and private institutions and agencies including all the public universities.

Costa Rican citizens who have applied and been accepted in a Florida public university or community college may apply for out-of-state tuition waivers through the Florida-Costa Rica Institute Non-Resident Tuition Exemption Program.

Co-Directors

Florida State University
Stephanie Tillman
Florida State University
282 Champions Way
University Center Building A
Office Suite A5500
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2420
Phone: 850.644.3272
Fax: 850.644.8817
Email: linkage-flcr@fsu.edu

In Partnership with Valencia College
Rocky Blesso
Florida-Costa Rica Linkage Institute
Valencia College
P.O. Box 3028
Orlando, FL 32802
Phone: 407.582.5287
Email: hblesso@valenciacollege.com

Florida-France Linkage Institute

The Florida-France Linkage Institute was created by the Legislature of the State of Florida in 1989. Over the years, the scope of activities and outreach of the Institute have grown considerably; in Florida, in France, and in the départments of the French Caribbean. The Florida-France Linkage Institute is administered by The University of South Florida in partnership with Florida State University and Miami-Dade College. The educational mission of each of these institutions lends an unusual and unique diversity to the joint co-sponsorship of the Florida-France Linkage Institute. The Florida-France Linkage Institute is supported on behalf of France by the office of the French Consulate-General in Miami.

The Florida-France Linkage Institute utilizes the resources of the State University System and the Community College System. The Institute also serves as a clearinghouse for inter-institutional and community networking to bring projects and activities to college and university campuses.

Thus, the Florida-France Linkage Institute places a high priority on its mission to serve as a facilitator for international tourism, trade, economic development, and business for the Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development (OTTED).

For more information about tuition waivers for the Florida-France Linkage Institute and to apply: http://www.usf.edu/world/centers/florida-france/index.aspx

Co-Directors

University of South Florida
Christine Probes
Florida-France Linkage Institute
International Affairs Center
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave., CPR107
Tampa, FL 33620-5550
Phone: (813) 974-3104
Fax: (813) 974-4613
Email: probes@usf.edu

In Partnership with Florida State University
To be announced

In Partnership with Miami-Dade College
To be announced

FSU Fees

Technology Fee (Not Included in Program Fees)

Florida State assesses a technology fee which is NOT included in the International Programs fee. The technology fee rate for 2017-2018 is assessed at $5.25 per credit hour for all students, regardless of location of study.

After registration, the student must pay the applicable technology fee; this fee is paid directly to Florida State University Student Business Services. Failure to pay this fee will result in a late payment charge being assessed to the student by Florida State University Student Business Services. International Programs has no control over the fee or any associated late payment penalty.

Facilities & Equipment Fees (Not Included in Program Fees)

International Programs fees do NOT include Facilities and Equipment Fees, which are assessed each semester for some majors (Medicine, Motion Pictures Arts, Music, Nursing, Fine Arts, Dance, Digital Media Production, etc.) even though you are studying overseas. If you are in one of these colleges/majors, you will be assessed a fee. Details can be found on the Registration Guide, under Fees and Financial Information.

Financial Aid and Financing Study Abroad Workshops

Financial Aid & Financing Study Abroad Workshops will be held at the Askew Student Life Center. See dates and times of workshops below. WALK-INS WELCOME!

  • Tuesday, January 22, 2019
    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM in 101A Student Life Center
  • Thursday, January 24, 2019
    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM in 101A Student Life Center
  • Wednesday, January 30, 2019
    3:00 PM - 4:00 PM in 101A Student Life Center
  • Thursday, February 07, 2019
    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM in 101A Student Life Center
  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019
    2:00 PM - 3:00 PM in 101A Student Life Center
  • Wednesday, February 27, 2019
    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM in 101A Student Life Center
  • Tuesday, March 05, 2019
    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM 101A in Student Life Center
  • Thursday, March 07, 2019
    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM 101A in Student Life Center
  • Wednesday, March 27, 2019
    3:00 PM - 4:00 PM 101A in Student Life Center

Deferment Forms

General Program Fee Liability (Including Withdrawal & Refund Policy)

The policy below applies to Summer 2019, Fall 2019, and Spring 2020 programs. Spring 2019 program participants should refer to the fee liability policy located on the students page here.

APPLICATION FEE (STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS)

All study abroad applicants are required to submit a non-refundable, non-transferrable $100 application fee in order to have their application reviewed by International Programs. Paying the application fee does not guarantee admission to a program.

COMMITMENT FEE

Once admitted to a study abroad program, a nonrefundable $1,500 Commitment Fee is required to confirm your participation in the program. FSU Applicants expecting to receive financial aid including scholarships, grants, and other sources of assistance have the option to submit a legally binding fee deferment form for all or part of the $1,500 commitment fee, with payment of the balance, if any. Non-FSU Students may not defer the Commitment Fee.

Applicants are fee liable for the entire $1,500 commitment fee on the date of receipt of the deferment form, payment of the fee or a combination of both, totaling $1,500.

EARLY COMMITMENT DISCOUNT

Admitted applicants who pay or defer the entire $1,500 commitment fee by the Early Commitment Discount Date will receive a $250 reduction in the overall cost of their program.

COMMITMENT FEE PAYMENT DEADLINE

Admitted applicants who have not paid or deferred the non-refundable $1,500 commitment fee in full by the published commitment fee payment deadline will be canceled from their program and have no further fee liability. Applicants who apply to a program after the regular commitment fee payment deadline has passed must pay or defer the entire commitment fee to be eligible for admittance to a program.

FULL PROGRAM FEE

All admitted applicants must pay or defer the full program fee in accordance with the published full payment date in order to avoid being canceled from the program.

  • Admitted applicants who have submitted a written request to cancel from the program by close of business on the full payment due date will be held liable for the $1,500 commitment fee but not the full program fee.
  • Admitted applicants who have not submitted a written request to cancel from the program as of the close of business on the full payment due date will be cancelled from the program and will retain liability for the commitment fee previously paid or deferred.
  • Fully paid or deferred admitted applicants who have submitted a written request to cancel from the program after close of business on the full payment due date will retain liability for the full program fee.

SUBMITTING CANCELLATIONS AND REFUND / RELEASE FROM FEE LIABILITY REQUESTS

Submit all cancellations and requests for refunds or release from fee liability in writing via email to ip-cancel@fsu.edu. Applicants should include their last name and program code in the subject line of the email.

Alternatively, requests may be submitted in writing to International Programs at the following postal address:

Attention: Refund Committee
Office of FSU International Programs
A5500 University Center
282 Champions Way
P.O. Box 3062420
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2420

REFUNDS / RELEASE OF LIABILITY OF PROGRAM FEES

Refunds of program fees/release of liability for program fees will be granted for cancellation of the program by International Programs. Additionally, refunds of program fees/release of liability for program fees will be granted for cancellations prior to the start of the program under the following circumstances, upon providing appropriate documentation:

  • Involuntary call to active duty
  • Death of the student or a death in the immediate family (parent, legal guardian, spouse, child, or sibling)

PARTIAL REFUNDS / RELEASE OF LIABILITY OF PROGRAM FEES

Partial refunds/partial release of fee liability for program fees may be granted in instances of withdrawal prior to the start of the program under the following circumstances, upon providing appropriate documentation:

  • Illness of the student of such a duration or severity that it precludes overseas travel. The student will be required to submit all relevant medical records for review and evaluation by FSU’s University Health Services. University Health Services will advise International Programs’ refund committee of its recommendation. International Programs’ refund committee will notify the student of the decision.
  • Exceptional unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the student, as approved by the International Programs refund committee.

REFUND AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY POLICY DETAILS

In evaluating requests, the refund committee considers the timeliness of the notification in relation to the event causing the need for withdrawal and timeliness in relation to the start of the program.

  • Refunds or release of liability cannot be granted, under any circumstances, in instances of withdrawal after a program has begun.
  • In no instance is a refund or release of fee liability request considered if it is after the end of the applicable program or semester, even if the cancellation or withdrawal occurred prior to the start of the program.
  • Applicants who apply and are accepted after published due dates remain liable for fees in accordance with the published dates.

Spring 2019 General Program Fee Liability (Including Withdrawal & Refund Policy)

Application Fee

The $100 application fee is nonrefundable.

Confirmation Deposit

The $1500 confirmation deposit is refundable until the close of business on the deposit’s due date. If an applicant has paid the deposit or been granted a deferred payment plan for the deposit and has not withdrawn from a program as of the close of business on the deposit due date, the applicant becomes fully liable for the confirmation deposit. Students whose offer of admission to Florida State University is rescinded after the confirmation deposit is paid or deferred (in accordance with the due date) will not be able to participate but remain fee liable for the confirmation deposit.

Full Program Fee

Program applicants who have demonstrated their intent to participate in the program by payment or by deferral of the confirmation deposit and who have not withdrawn from the program as of the full payment due date become fully liable for the full program fee as of the close of business on the full payment due date.

Refunds of Program Fees

Refunds of program fees WILL BE granted in instances of withdrawal prior to the start of the program under the following circumstances:

  1. Cancellation of program by International Programs
  2. Involuntary call to active duty
  3. Death of the student or death in the immediate family (parent, legal guardian, spouse, child, or sibling)

Refunds of program fees will not be granted where a student becomes ineligible to participate in a program for failure to meet or maintain admission requirements.

Partial Refunds of Program Fees

Partial refunds of program fees MAY BE granted in instances of withdrawal prior to the start of the program under the following circumstances:

  1. Illness of the student of such duration or severity that it precludes overseas travel. The student will be required to submit all relevant medical records for review and evaluation by Florida State's University Health Services. University Health Services will advise International Programs’ refund committee of its recommendation. International Programs’ refund committee will notify the student of the decision.
  2. Exceptional circumstances that could not have been foreseen and were beyond the control of the student, as approved by the International Programs’ refund committee.
    • Timely notification in relation to the event that caused the need for withdrawal will be considered in evaluating refund requests. In no instance will a request be considered if it is made after the end of the semester for which the refund is requested.
    • Refunds cannot be granted, under any circumstances, in instances of withdrawal after a program has begun.
    • Applicants who apply and are accepted after the published due dates remain liable for fees in accordance with the published due dates.
  3. Rescission of admission by the Florida State University Office of Admission for failure to meet the conditions of one’s admission. Students whose admission offer to Florida State University is rescinded after the confirmation deposit is paid or deferred (in accordance with the due date) remain fee liable for the confirmation deposit

Submitting Withdrawals, Requests for Refunds, and Release from Fee Liability

All withdrawals, requests for refunds, and requests for release from fee liability must be submitted in writing via email to International Programs. Applicants should include their last name and program code in the subject line of the email.

Alternatively, requests can be submitted in writing to International Programs at the following postal address:

Attention: Refund Committee
Office of FSU International Programs
A5500 University Center
282 Champions Way
P.O. Box 3062420
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2420

Visa Information

Republic of Panama

A visa is required for US Citizens going to Panama City, Republic of Panama for the following programs: Fall, Spring, Summer Programs over 90 days, First Year Abroad and Interns participating for over 90 days.

All Panama Participants:

  • Non-US Citizens: It is the responsibility of the non-US Citizen to check with their local consulate to see if a visa is required in order to study abroad in Panama. If a visa is required, the application will be handled in the same manner for non-US citizens as for US citizens. If you are a non-US citizen, please contact us at IP-Visas@fsu.edu.
  • Under 18 Years of Age: Additional visa documentation will be required for participants under the age of 18. Please contact International Programs at IP-Visas@fsu.edu if you are under 18.
  • Passport Validity: A passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the end of the program is required. The passport must also contain at least 2 empty visa pages. The last three pages of the passport do not count as visa pages.

Panama Participants requiring a visa: International Programs provides support and guidance for the visa application process. Panama participants will not be required to hand in their passport before the program since the application for a visa is completed after arrival in Panama. Even though the visa is applied for in country, visa documents are required to be turned in to International Programs prior to the start of the program.

Full visa requirements and instructions will be provided in a "Visa Packet". All visa packets will be emailed to the students. Please take note of the following important visa requirements:

  • Police Background Check and Apostille Certification: A notarized criminal background check will be required with Apostille Certification. Apostille requirements differ from state to state. More information will be provided in the Visa Packet.

Important Dates & Documents

Summer 2020
Applications Open*September 04, 2019$ 100.00
Early Commitment Discount**December 04, 2019
Scholarship Applications DueDecember 04, 2019
Commitment Fee DueJanuary 15, 2020$ 1500.00
Full Payment DueFebruary 12, 2020

* Early application is advisable as program enrollment is limited and acceptances are offered on a rolling basis.

** All admitted applicants must pay the non-refundable commitment fee by the due date to reserve a spot on the program. If you are ready to commit early, you can earn a $250 discount off your program fee by paying the commitment fee by the Early Commitment Discount Date.

Documents

Health & Safety

For sixty years, Florida State University's International Programs has been committed to providing a rewarding academic and cultural experience that enriches the lives of our students. Our highest priority is and always has been the welfare and security of our students.

Program directors maintain contact with our Tallahassee office, local authorities, and United States officials, both at home and abroad. Each program holds meetings with students in which safety procedures and precautions are detailed and regularly re-emphasized. Each program has an Emergency Plan which includes details about local health care facilities, meeting points and procedures, and contingency plans and funds should it ever become necessary to evacuate our students.

Students are reminded to inform International Programs of the details of their independent travel details via our online travel form, heed US State Department travel advisories, and take relevant emergency and US Embassy/Consulate contact information with them.

Students venture abroad to experience other cultures, and to gain a deeper appreciation of their role as American citizens in the world. FSU International Programs is fully committed to helping students realize these aspirations in a safe and secure learning environment.

Insurance

Travel Insurance Information

FSU International Programs encourages program participants to consider purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance comes in many forms and can protect you in case you need to change your travel plans due to unforeseen circumstances. The coverage ranges from help with lost baggage to delay in flight plans to trip cancellation.

Travel insurance that covers fees associated with changing your airfare plans is especially helpful for those attending programs that require entry or student visas. Immigration approval can take months with regulations changing often that can cause the need to delay or cancel flight plans. Often airfare arrangements are non-refundable or cannot be changed without fee penalties. Certain types of trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you the cost of your airfare or penalty fees. Travel Insurance must cover failure to obtain visa.

You may wish to begin researching travel insurance and trip cancellation policies by using the Travel Insurance Review website. Their Travel Insurance 101: The Complete Guide to Travel Insurance section is particularly helpful for those just beginning their research. They also have a section that allows you to compare different policies.

Travel Resources

University Policies & Resources

Clery Act

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the Florida State University study center safety guides include institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The report also contains statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off campus buildings or property owned or controlled by The Florida State University; and on public property within or immediately adjacent and accessible from the campus. A paper copy is available upon request to FSU International Programs at A5500 University Center, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2420, or by contacting FSU International Programs at (850) 644-3272 or (800) 374-8581.

Copies are also available from the study center administrative offices or you may download from the links below: