Travel Day and Arrivals

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High School Gap Year

What happens on travel day and when your participant arrives in their host country?

On the day your participant travels to their program location, there are a few important things to remember:

  1. Participants should bring a fully charged cell phone or money for a pay phone in case they need help before they leave their home country.
  2. Participants should bring the contact numbers that we will send to participants and emergency contacts in a final email 2-3 days prior to departure
  3. Participants will need to go through customs when they arrive in their host country.  They will come to the customs area as they walk out of the terminal. Officials will ask to see their passport and, for some countries, documents like visas.  They may also ask your participant questions about their trip or ask to look in their bags. Please remind your participant of this process and remind them this is their first chance to be an ambassador.  
  4. If your participant’s flight arrives during the arrival window, our staff will meet them at the airport (except in Paris, where their host family will meet them).  If your participant has alternate plans, please be sure to coordinate their arrival by emailing
  5. Please remind your participant that sometimes, unexpected things happen during travel.  Bags get lost, flights get cancelled, and travelers need to be flexible. If something goes wrong during your participant’s individual travel, please remind them to:
  • Make sure they stay safe.  They should stay in busy, public areas as they resolve the situation and make sure to keep an eye on their bags.  They should not make any alternate travel plans without talking to CIEE first.  They should follow directions from uniformed airline representatives and police.
  • Gather information.  Remind your participant to take a moment to assess where they are and what is happening. Your participant should look at airport monitors and ask airline representatives for information about what is going on.
  • CALL CIEE SUPPORT.  You are welcome to make this call, but it is usually most efficient if participants call Support directly. They will help your participant plan next steps and communicate the plan to our staff on the ground.  Be sure to check and make sure your participant has programmed CIEE Support into their cell phone - +1 866-583-0322 or +1 207-443-4292.
  • Be sure your participant notifies CIEE Support of any changes to their flight or travel plans. Once your participant is with our staff, we will take care of everything.