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Cell Phones, Smart Phones? Leave Them Behind, Please

Global LAB often receives inquiries regarding the use of cell/smart phones on our programs. Here are our thoughts on cell/smart phones...

Can I bring a cell/smart phone on the program?

As Global LAB's 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.