Summer Abroad Terms, Conditions & Policies

Program Snapshot

  • Experience an amazing 5-week study abroad trip to Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Cost: $5,400 - includes airfare, accommodations, meals, excursions and more!
  • Scholarship support offered.
  • Dates: June 27, 2017 to July 31, 2017 – dates subject to change +/- 2 days.
  • Notable excursions: Maasai Mara National Reserve, Mt. Kenya, Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha.


The CHI Summer Abroad program is open to all Sonoma County high school students with an interest in studying abroad who have completed at least one year of high school by the start of the program and have at least a 2.0 GPA. You are also required to obtain all necessary travel documentation (i.e., passport, visa, vaccination record, etc).

Note: Seniors who will be graduating by the start of the program ARE ELIGIBLE.

Applications are reviewed by the CHI Summer Abroad Selection Committee to verify completeness and eligibility. CHI reserves the right to void the admission of any student who is found not to meet the above requirements after being admitted.

Application Process


Be sure that you have gathered all of the following before you begin:

  • Basic biographical and contact information
  • Emergency contact information
  • Parents’ most recent federal tax return or other financial need supporting documents (only if applying for a financial need-based scholarship)
  • High school transcript (if applying for a merit-based scholarship)
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Agreement to terms and review of program policies


  • 300-500 word essay. (Essay should focus on why you would like to participate in CHI Summer Abroad and include details about what you hope to get out of your experience.)
  • Letter of recommendation from a school official (teacher, counselor, principal, etc.) (Can be emailed separately).


  • Copy of your parents’ most recent tax return (2015, or 2016 if already filed) (Can be emailed separately); or
  • Copy of your parents’ pay stubs for the past two months (Can be emailed separately).
  • A clear explanation of why you deserve a scholarship.


  • A $250 deposit (payable by credit or debit card only) is required at the time of application and will be applied toward the program fee. The $250 deposit will be waived if you are applying for a financial need-based scholarship. The deposit will be refunded if you are not accepted in the program.

Completed applications are due no later than January 27, 2017. All applications are reviewed by the CHI Summer Abroad Selection Committee in the order received. The selection committee will then narrow the application pool and invite finalists to attend an interview if need be. All applicants wishing to continue in the application process MUST attend the interview if requested by the selection committee (If interviews are requested, interviews will take place between February 6, 2017 and February 10, 2017). All applicants will be notified of their admission status by email no later than February 13, 2017.


If we have more eligible applicants than there is room in the program, a waitlist of all eligible applicants will be created in the order in which applications are received. Waitlist order is under CHI’s sole discretion. If placed on a waitlist, you will be notified via email and must reply as to whether you wish to:

  • Remain on the waitlist – no further action required (if, ultimately, there is no room in the program for you, your $250 deposit will be refunded).
  • Withdraw from the waitlist – in which case your $250 deposit will be refunded.

If an opening occurs in the program, the first student on the waitlist will be notified by email. If you receive an offer for a place in the program, you will have 24 hours to accept it. If you do not respond within 24 hours, you will be placed at the bottom of the waitlist and the next applicant on the list will be offered the spot instead. CHI reserves sole discretion to manage program waitlists.

Admission and Confirmation

Admitted students will receive a welcome packet including detailed program information no later than Tuesday, February 14, 2017. The packet will contain important documents that need to be signed and returned to CHI, including a Student Agreement, a Waiver of Liability, and supplemental forms.

These forms must be signed and returned to CHI by 5 p.m., Monday, February 20, 2017. If you choose not to participate in the program, you must submit a Request to Withdraw Form by 5 p.m., Monday, February 20, 2017 or program expenses will be incurred and your $250 deposit will not be refunded.

Incomplete or missing confirmation or withdrawal forms do not qualify as an official cancellation from CHI Summer Abroad. Without a cancellation, your $250 deposit will not be refunded.

Program Preparation

Admitted students are required to attend the program orientation and may be asked to attend other preparatory workshops conducted by CHI Summer Abroad staff. If you are unable to attend for any reason, it is your responsibility to notify program staff to ensure that you receive the information and materials covered during the orientation and workshops.

A valid passport is required to travel abroad. If you don’t have a passport, you can pick up an application form at a U.S. Post Office. Passport applications normally take at least six weeks to be processed, so apply early. If you already have a passport, be sure its expiration date falls at least six months beyond the end of the program. If it does not, renew the passport as soon as possible. For more information about the issuance of passports, visit

An entry visa is also required. Visa requirements can be obtained from the Kenyan embassy in Washington, D.C., or its website. Better, apply for your visa online at

It is your responsibility to prepare all necessary travel documents (i.e., passport, visa, vaccination record, etc.). CHI is not responsible for ensuring that you have the appropriate visa or other documentation. However, CHI Summer Abroad staff will provide further information regarding Kenya entry visas in your welcome packet.


Students are required to use the program housing arranged by CHI. Students may not arrange for their own housing or choose independent housing.

For all shared accommodations, program participants will be assigned rooms randomly on a same-sex basis. Due to the complexity of program logistics, we are unable to accommodate roommate requests. However, if there is a dispute between roommates or other extenuating circumstances, CHI Summer Abroad staff will do everything possible to address and resolve the issue.

Students must follow all housing rules and regulations. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the program.


For the 2017 CHI Summer Abroad Program, the fee for non-scholarship recipients is $5,400. The following items are included in the program fee:

  • Roundtrip airfare – to and from San Francisco International Airport and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi
  • Student housing
  • Three meals a day
  • On-site lectures and project participation
  • Excursions and other field trips
  • Medical and other insurance
  • 24/7 program support

Please note that the following items are excluded from the program fee:

  • Personal expenses (souvenirs, toiletries, etc.)
  • Additional meals outside of the provided meals
  • Passport and visa fees

For more information about included expenses, please contact program staff.


Once you are registered in the CHI Summer Abroad Program, you will be responsible for making timely payments. Your $250 deposit will be applied to the total cost. The payment schedule is as follows:

  • $250 non-refundable deposit upon completion of the application
  • First payment due by 5 p.m., Tuesday, February 28, 2017
  • Second payment due by 5 p.m., Friday, March 31, 2017
  • Third payment due by 5 p.m., Friday, April 28, 2017
  • Last payment: balance due by 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 31, 2017

All payments must be made via credit or debit card only. Once you are accepted in the program, you will be given access to the CH Summer Abroad participant webpage where you will find useful information, view important documents, and make program fee payments. Please do not make a payment through CHI’s donation page.

Dismissal from Program

Failure to uphold requirements set by the CHI Summer Abroad Student Agreement and by program staff may result in immediate dismissal from the program. In the event that a participant is dismissed, he/she will be responsible for all program-related expenses as well as travel home.

Withdrawal, Cancellation & Refund

To withdraw from the CHI Summer Abroad Program, you must submit a Request to Withdraw Form. Writing an email or talking to a CHI staff member is NOT considered an official request. Please be sure to indicate the reason you are withdrawing and review the refund policy carefully for details on cancellation/withdrawal deadlines.

The refund policy is as follows:

The $250 deposit is nonrefundable, except under the following circumstances:

  • You are not selected by the CHI Selection Committee because you do not meet the selection criteria (no refund will be issued if you did not complete the application by failing to submit all required documents and/or did not attend any required meeting).
  • The program is cancelled by CHI.
  • You are placed on the waitlist and notify CHI of your intention to withdraw your application from the waitlist process.
  • You are placed on the waitlist and an opening in the program does not occur.

Program Fee 

Once you have confirmed a spot in the program by submitting your confirmation documents, you will be assessed a program fee. You can receive a refund of the program fee, minus the $250 deposit, if you cancel by the confirmation deadline of by 5 p.m., Monday, February 20, 2017. If you cancel after this deadline and have not made any payment, you will still owe the program fee.

Refund Appeals

We understand that situations may occur that prevent you from attending or completing the CHI Summer Abroad program. If you need to drop or withdraw from your program after the 5 p.m., Monday, February 20, 2017 deadline, there are procedures in place for requesting an appeal to the refund policy.

Please note that summer 2017 refund appeals will not be accepted after August 31, 2017.

All refund appeals require a signed letter of explanation, supporting documentation and a completed Request to Withdraw Form. You should state, as concisely and clearly as possible, the reason for this appeal. The appeal letter is limited to one page, and it must be written and signed by the student’s parents if the student is under 18. The letter should also include your current email and postal address so that we can notify you of the decision on the appeal. All appeals will be carefully reviewed and considered by the CHI Board of Directors.

We honor the confidentiality of all supporting documentation.

Please note that the appeal decision is final. Therefore, it is essential to disclose all information, reasons for appeal, and all supporting documentation regarding your case in the initial appeal letter. Subsequent appeal letters providing new information, different reasons for appeal, or new supporting documentation are not eligible for review.

Required documentation for the most common appeals:


For a medical problem, we require verification of the severity of the condition (i.e., how the condition affects your ability to travel abroad, or if already in country when you withdrew, how the condition affected your ability to remain in country), not a detailed description of the condition itself. We require a letter, typed on official letterhead, from the physician or other personal health care provider. The letter must be signed and delivered/mailed in a sealed envelope. Emails or unsigned letters on plain stationery are not acceptable.

Death in the Family

We require a copy of death certificate (or verification of death from the hospital or attending physician), and the deceased's relation to the student.

You can mail to your appeal with all supporting documents to:

Children’s Humanitarian International
RE: CHI Summer Abroad Refund Appeal
P.O. Box 1735
Sebastopol, CA 95473-1735

Program Cancellation

CHI reserves the right to cancel the CHI Summer Abroad program for any reason. In the unlikely event that the program is canceled, you will be notified, and a full refund of the program fee, including the $250 deposit, will be issued.

CHI is not responsible for any personal expenses incurred.

Health Insurance

When participating in CHI Summer Abroad all students will be covered 24 hours a day, for a wide variety of accidents and illnesses. This coverage is provided at no additional cost to participants. However, you must register for the insurance in order to be covered. You will receive registration instructions in your confirmation packet. This coverage includes:

  • Emergency Medical Evacuation
  • Security Extraction
  • Accident/Sickness/Medical
  • Other Travel Assistance Services

To view the complete Travel Benefits Summary please contact CHI for a copy.


Health and Wellness

Staying healthy while abroad enables you to make the most of your time there. CHI strongly encourages all students to speak with their primary care physician and mental health care providers about traveling to determine what you need to assure your physical and mental wellbeing while abroad.


Some countries may require certain vaccination or health clearances for visa or entry purposes. Participation in the program is contingent upon your obtaining the required visa. Failure to obtain a visa based on a failure to obtain necessary vaccinations is not a basis for a refund of program-related fees. The Center for Disease Control details vaccination requirements and other traveler's health information.

Web and Smartphones

CHI Summer Abroad participants will have access to computers and internet for classroom work and assignments only. It is CHI's Policy that all smartphones and devices be left at home. If a student does bring a smart phone or other device, it will be confiscated and returned to the participant after returning to the United States. Failure to surrender a smart phone or other device is a policy violation and the participant can be subject to expulsion from the program.

Further Information

Program and country information may not be immediately posted online. It is important that you actively research and ask appropriate questions to get the answers that you need. Essential information can be obtained from the following sources:

  • Welcome orientation
  • Welcome packet
  • Pre-departure packet
  • CHI Summer Abroad staff
  • Program Director
  • Books on your destination country
  • U.S. Department of State, Center for Disease Control, and Kenyan Embassy websites
  • Additional information on Kenya can be found in the CIA World Factbook