FAQ’s

General


 

Do I need to be a business major to join Global Business Brigades?
No, Global Business Brigades welcomes and encourages members from all of the colleges to apply. Global Business Brigades is not exclusive to the College of Business as the skills necessary and developed from the brigades are not solely pertinent to business students.

Do I need to speak Spanish to join?
No, you will not need to know Spanish as we will have translators with us during the brigade. However, knowing how to speak Spanish is an added bonus for you as you will be able to directly communicate with community members.

Is there paperwork involved for this trip?
Yes, the brigades offered by Global Business Brigades qualifies as a study abroad experience. As such, you will have to fill out study abroad forms through the Study Abroad Office. We will also provide you with comprehensive instructions on how to register with our parent organization, Global Brigades, as they help us coordinate the trip. All of the forms are electronic and should not cumulatively take more than 30 minutes to complete.

If I join Global Business Brigades, do I have to go on a brigade?
Yes, those accepted into Global Business Brigades are expected to go on a brigade in the coming winter or spring. When you are accepted into GBB, you are committing to one of the trips.

What are the benefits of joining Global Business Brigades – UIUC Chapter?
Outside of the benefits from the trip experience as highlighted in About Us, Global Business Brigades is an active Registered Student Organization (RSO) on campus. As such, we are involved in the College of Business and provide a professional business experience, host fundraisers, and have social events.

 

Financial Commitment


 

How much do these trips cost?
A single Global Business Brigades trip will cost no more than $1800. We have a payment schedule that allows students to pay for the trip overtime before the actual trip.

What is included in the trip costs?
The flight, transportation from the receiving airport to the communities, meals in community, and housing while in community are covered by the <$1800. Brigadiers are expected to independently make their way to O’Hare airport.

Are there any dues to the Global Business Brigades?
Yes, there is a one-time due of $15 to our chapter. This payment is separate from the $1800, and goes towards your GBB t-shirt.

Are there any fundraising opportunities?
Yes, we provide fundraising opportunities for brigadiers to raise money towards their trip. These opportunities are coordinated and facilitated by our Fundraising Chair.

Are there any scholarships that can subsidize the cost of the trip?
Yes, since the brigades qualify as a study abroad experience, brigadiers can apply for study abroad scholarships. In particular we encourage brigadiers to apply for the I-for-I scholarship*. Furthermore, if you are a student in the College of Business, you will automatically be reimbursed $250 at the end of the academic year.
*Please be aware of scholarship application deadlines which are September 15th for Fall 2016. We are aware that our interview process occurs after the scholarship deadline. As such we (and Illinois Study Abroad Office) advises that you apply for any scholarship you think you may need. Applying for a scholarship before acceptance into the program is allowed by both the Study Abroad Office and GBB. However, it will not impact your application status.

 

Health


 

What medications will I need for this trip?
Brigadiers are recommended to get vaccinated for Yellow Fever, Typhoid, and Hepatitis A (3-4 doses). Malaria pills are also highly recommended.
*Please consults your medical history to see if you have already received any of these vaccinations.
**Please do NOT wait until the last minute to get these vaccinations. Some require multiple doses or are required to be administered at minimum several weeks before departure.

Where can I get these medications?
The McKinley Health Center provides these vaccinations at very reasonable rates. In order to get them you must first set-up a travel consult appointment. You can do this by phone, through their website, or in person. Despite what their website indicates, they are not walk-in. You can also get these medications from your physician, at the local health department, or Walgreens.

How expensive are these medications?                                                                                    The cost for the medication varies depending on where they are administered. That being said, McKinley Health Center offers the lowest priced options for all of the medications.

I recently got one of these vaccinations. Do I need another one?
According to the Center for Disease Control, a Yellow Fever vaccine lasts 10 years. The Hepatitis A vaccine lasts 14-20 years in children and 25 years in adults. The Typhoid vaccination lasts for two years. Please follow the links for more thorough information provided by the Center for Disease Control.

 

Safety


 

Will I be alerted once my child arrives in their designated country?
Yes, you will be emailed once the brigadiers land in their designated. When registering for the brigade through Global Brigades, the brigadier will be asked to provide emergency contact information and email addresses for an update to be sent once the brigadier lands at the airport.

Will there be any supervision for my child during this trip?
Yes, there will be two University of Illinois faculty members accompanying the brigadiers on their trip. In addition, the students will be lead through the community by Global Brigades technicians, translators, and security a guard.

Will I be able to communicate with my child/family once the brigadiers arrive in their designated country?
This question has a multi-layered answer.
You will not be able to directly communicate with your child unless you independently get an international cell plan. However, the faculty advisor will have a satellite phone to be used in case of emergencies.

Will there be internet access during the brigade?
No, there will most likely not be internet access.

What if there is a medical emergency in the designated country?
Brigadiers will have medical insurance will in their designated country. We get insurance from Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). This insurance plan is specifically designed for the University of Illinois and is approved by the Study Abroad Office for study abroad experiences. This insurance costs $23 and is charged to your student account.

 

Travel


 

Do I need a passport?
Yes, you will need an updated passport with the expiration date being at least six months after the trip ends. This is a requirement for all study abroad experiences at the University of Illinois. This may mean that you will need to renew your passport.

Do I need to get a visa to enter these countries?
If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need a visa. For international or foreign exchange students, your green card should serve as your visa. You can always check with us for specific countries.

How are we getting to Honduras/Panama?
The brigadiers along with their faculty advisors (2) will be flying out of O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. The brigadiers are expected to be at the airport 3 hours before departure and should make travel accommodations to be so.

Where in Honduras/Panama are we going?
The exact community that Brigadiers will be traveling to will not be known until at least 2 months prior to departure. Our parent organization, Global Brigades, sends us to communities based on what is needed there.

Will the faculty advisers be the only authority figure on the trip for the brigadiers?
No, when the brigadiers get to their designated communities, they will be accompanied by translators and a member from Global Business Brigades parent organization Global Brigades.

What if I lose my luggage in transit?
The travel insurance covers lost luggage. CISI will try and locate your luggage and deliver it to you. If they are unable to find it, you will be reimbursed for your lost luggage.
What if there is an emergency or I get separated from the group?
This scenario is highly unlikely as the brigadiers will have a strict itinerary. Furthermore, this has never occurred before. Both brigadiers and parents will be given an emergency contact number that connects directly to the University of Illinois Police Department. All students studying abroad for every duration can utilize this number in case of an emergency.