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Target Language

the language a student is learning or intends to learn

Teaching Abroad

A volunteer (or largely volunteer) placement abroad as a teacher or teacher’s assistant. Varieties of teaching abroad programs include student teaching (in partial fulfillment of a teaching certificate); teaching English as a second or foreign language; and professional teaching in a K-12 or university environment. Some programs combine the volunteering with structured learning. Most volunteering is unpaid, though some programs provide a living stipend.

Thematic Program

(or Theme Program) – A study abroad program focused on a particular subject (for example, the European Union, environmental studies, or gender and development).

Tolerance for Ambiguity

The willingness in an unfamiliar and unscripted situation to take the time to try to understand what is occurring and/or appropriate. Those with a low tolerance for ambiguity seek information primarily to support their own beliefs. Those with a high tolerance for ambiguity seek objective information from all participants primarily to gain an understanding of the whole situation and to perceive and predict accurately the behavior of others.

Travel Advisory

Term generally used for what the U.S. State Department officially calls Travel Information, which provides assessments of the health and safety risks for U.S. citizens traveling to all other countries. The State Department issues three types of travel information: Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country-Specific Information. Several other countries (for example, Australia, Canada, France, Switzerland, and the UK) also provide travel advisories for their citizens who travel abroad.

Travel Alert

(formerly known as Public Announcement) – Official term used by the U.S. State Department for a bulletin outlining a temporary risk to U.S. citizens traveling abroad. It is typically used for information regarding potential threats due to terrorism, civil unrest (such as political demonstrations), or natural calamities such as hurricanes or earthquakes. Travel Alerts may be issued for a city, a country, a world region, or worldwide. See also Travel Warning and Consular Information Sheet.

Travel Seminar

(preferable to the roughly synonymous Study Tour or Study Travel Program) – A program in which students travel to many different cities or countries and receive instruction in each location, often regarding a designated, unifying topic. Examples include shipboard education programs or European cultural studies tours. This is a distinct program type and differs from field trips or excursions within other program types/subtypes.

Travel Warning

Official term used by the U.S. State Department for an announcement that warns U.S. citizens against travel to a specific country or region because of health, safety, or security conditions in that area. It is the strongest of the three types of travel information issued by the State Department. Note that Travel Warnings come in different degrees of severity, though these are not designated quantitatively, but by language that calls, for example, for all U.S. citizens to defer nonessential travel, or for the voluntary or mandatory evacuation of some or all U.S. staff members (and/or their families) of the U.S. Embassy and consulates situated in the country U.S. citizens may not be able to get support services from the U.S. if they do travel to a location that has a travel warning in effect.