Cell Phones, Smart Phones? Leave them behind, please
Over the past couple of semesters, Global LAB has received a lot of inquiries regarding the use of cell/smart phones on the program. So, we are updating our Pre-Program FAQ (in the student manual) to address these concerns. We thought we would post it on the blog to make sure that you see and are familiar with it.
Can I bring a cell/smart phone on the program?
As Global LAB's semester programs emphasize cultural immersion, possession of personal cell phones or smart phones (e.g. iPhones) is strongly discouraged. Personal cell/smart phones are conducive to distraction, detraction, and divisiveness: they distract from the cultural immersion experience by a perpetual connectivity to friends/family back home; they detract from appreciating the immediacy of the moment and hinder understanding/interaction with cultures lacking these technologies; and they can create divisiveness between students who possess them and those who do not, negatively affecting group dynamics. In addition, near-constant contact with family/friends often has the unintended consequence of stirring significant home-sickness which can compound into a desire to leave the program early - detrimental to fulfilling your experience and maintaining the group's cohesion.
All of Global LAB's Program Leaders and Local Coordinators carry cell phones with them 24/7, so your group can, if necessary, be in touch with the USA at any time in the event of an emergency.