Frequently Asked Questions


What is the "Reading the Globe" essay competition?
As part of TAMIU’s “Reading the Globe” experience, students will have the opportunity to compete for a paid educational adventure to a place to be determined during winter or spring break.  Students will visit historical sites, enjoy educational lectures by local instructors, and may participate in service-learning activities.  

What are the essay requirements?
Please read the guidelines found in the Essay Guidelines Tab

Is there a minimum GPA required to be eligible to enter the essay competition? 
There is not a minimum GPA; however, if you are failing a class at the time we select students, you will not be eligible.

Do I have to purchase a VISA to enter the county we're traveling to? How much is it?
Some countries require visas; others do not. It will depend on where we are traveling. The cost can vary from $50.00-200.00. You will be responsible for the cost of the visa. 

Will I have to pay for my own passport if I don't have one?
Yes, you are responsible for the cost of your passport and, if necessary, your visa. Please visit the Study Abroad page to learn about their services and application process. 

Why is there a limit on students selected?
Because the university funds the cost of the trip and the resources are limited. 

Are there any vaccines I'm required to have before the trip?
Unless there are vaccines required for entry into the country, such as yellow fever, you and your doctor may determine which are needed. 

If I am taking UNIV online, can I still write the essay?

Yes, as long as you are a first-time freshman and have not previously taken UNIV 1101.

What if I’m only 17? Does that mean I am excluded from writing the essay and going on the trip?

You will not be able to participate in the trip your freshman year; however, you may read the book and write the essay as a sophomore (even though you will not be taking UNIV 1101).

Are Texas Academy student and Early College High School students eligible to participate in the program?
Texas Academy students are eligible to compete for RTG study abroad trip during the semester in which they are enrolled in UNIV 1101. If selected as winners of the competition, students must be 18 years of age, in order to go on the RTG trip that semester. If students are not 18 years of age at the time they are enrolled in UNIV 1101, they may take the RTG trip when they turn 18, receiving the same scholarship as the other RTG students selected for travel in future semesters. However, students are responsible for reading the currently selected common read for the RGT travel opportunity for the year they plan to partake in the RTG trip.

ECHS students are ineligible to participate in the RTG essay competition. However, UNIV 1101 faculty will recommend a few students to join the common read author at the luncheon held the day of the author’s visit.

What do you recommend for long flights?
Any medication you might need, comfortable clothing, compression socks, entertainment, etc.

What is the bare minimum cash needed for meals?

We recommend $300.00. 

What happens if I go on the trip and then transfer my sophomore year?

You are still eligible for the trip; however, if you transfer your sophomore year, you must reimburse the University the full cost of the trip. Since TAMIU has invested heavily in the students' educational experience abroad, participating in the Freshman Fall Convocation the following year is mandatory as well as representing TAMIU at any events that request their presence. Sometimes RTG students are still fund-raising during their sophomore year for the cause their group decided to support. Basically, it is an expectation that these students should give back to the University through service.

What about taking laptops or other electronic equipment? What can be taken?

The University prepares students for study abroad travel by providing information regarding what electronic equipment can or should be taken abroad. This is part of the training that all students have to participate in before departure.

How many chaperones will there be?

There are typically a minimum of two TAMIU chaperones plus local guides.

How are emergencies handled?

Local emergencies due to student health issues are handled by the TAMIU personnel and the local representatives who best know how to secure medical assistance. This can range from a visit to a clinic to hospitalization.

TAMIU staff work with TAMIU health insurance representatives to resolve any access issues that may arise. Emergencies that are due to external forces, such as weather or political unrest, are handled by staying in close touch with the local TAMIU Risk Management Office and the Texas A&M System Offices that guide us on procedures.

Fortunately, neither of these two scenarios have unfolded on our trips.

How can I support the "Reading the Globe" program?  
Donate to this international experience by clicking HERE

If you have additional questions, please contact University College at university.college@tamiu.edu or call (956)326-2134.