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The following are Policies and Requirements that explain the conditions of student participation in DukeEngage. They are not meant to, nor do they, alter the DukeEngage Participation Agreement (2024) students sign as a condition of participating in DukeEngage. In some areas, this web page contains Policies that are referenced in the Participation Agreement. As described in the Participation Agreement, DukeEngage can delay or terminate a student’s ability to participate if they fail to adhere to the Participation Agreement or to the following Policies and Requirements.



Students are eligible to participate in DukeEngage beginning the summer following their first year. Seniors are not eligible to participate unless they will be enrolled for at least a semester when they return. There is no cumulative GPA required for students wishing to participate in DukeEngage, however, students must meet continuation requirements and be free of academic or disciplinary sanctions.

A student who is on academic or disciplinary probation or who does not meet academic continuation requirements will not be permitted to participate in DukeEngage, regardless of the student’s acceptance into the program. DukeEngage will conduct a review of each student’s academic and disciplinary record to determine eligibility to participate.

A student placed on academic or disciplinary probation while participating in DukeEngage is not permitted to continue and must leave the program. Academic or disciplinary probation will be considered an involuntary withdrawal and may require the repayment of funds to DukeEngage. See Withdrawal or Termination Policy for responsibility-to-pay requirements.

As set forth in the DukeEngage Participation Agreement, DukeEngage programs are designed as a full-time commitment of 56-59 sequential days. Students must be present for and participate fully in all elements of their program as set out in the program description.

As a participant in DukeEngage, each student is a representative of Duke University and the United States and should conduct themselves in a manner that reflects favorably on all.

Duke Community Standard (“the Standard”)Duke students remain subject to the behavioral requirements set forth in the Duke Community Standard while participating in DukeEngage. Duke may terminate a student’s participation if Duke determines, in its sole discretion, that: a) the student has violated the Standard, b) continued student participation in DukeEngage poses a risk to the health, safety or welfare of the student or others, or c) continued student participation will materially disrupt the student’s program. In such an event, the student agrees to leave the program. See Withdrawal or Termination Policy for responsibility-to-pay responsibilities.

Compliance with Laws: While participating in DukeEngage, students must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. If a student’s DukeEngage program takes place outside of the United States, the student is required to comply with all laws and regulations of the host country and city, including those regarding submitting required travel documents to Duke to obtain visa support and laws with respect to the purchase, possession or consumption of alcohol or illicit drugs. If Duke determines that a student has violated a law while participating in DukeEngage, Duke will terminate the student’s participation in the program.

Late Arrivals/Early Departures: DukeEngage programs have established start and end dates. Students may not arrange to arrive after the program’s official start date or leave before the program’s official end date.

As a condition of being permitted to participate in DukeEngage, participants must complete all pre-departure requirements established by DukeEngage by any applicable deadlines, including without limit, the following:

All Participants Must:

  • Complete all mandatory pre-departure components, including submitting registration documentation, site-specific orientation sessions, pre-program surveys, and Fortin Foundation Academy workshops during the spring semester.
  • Provide a photocopy of a social security card if a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, or of an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) issuance letter if not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. DukeEngage will assist accepted international students in applying for an ITIN if support is needed.
  • If managing ongoing or chronic physical health and psychological conditions, schedule an appointment with a personal medical care provider to discuss management of those issues during DukeEngage.
  • Obtain adequate quantities of all prescribed medications from a pharmacy and take prescriptions as directed.
  • Complete Duke University Minor Training and a Duke University-sponsored criminal background check (if required).
  • Duke has a reasonable accommodations process through which a student can request disability accommodations. Information about the process may be found at DukeEngage encourages all students to discuss with a DukeEngage staff member, as early as possible, any potential concerns or modifications student may need to request. Contact to discuss further.

Additional Requirements for International Program Participants

  • Provide a color copy of a valid passport with an expiration date of at least six (6) months following the end date of the program, and with at least two blank pages, by the assigned deadline.
  • Work with Duke’s Global Administrative and Travel Support Office to submit necessary visa paperwork (for countries requiring visas only).
  • Complete a Student Health Travel Clinic medical information survey and schedule and attend a pre-departure medical appointment and any follow-up appointments necessary for receiving vaccines and prescriptions.
  • Confirm appropriate insurance coverage through the Duke University Student Medical Insurance Plan or other medical insurance.



Passports: As a valid passport is a prerequisite for applying to international programs, DukeEngage does not pay for passport services. Students traveling abroad should have a valid passport by the the time of acceptance into the program. The expiration date of the passport must be at least six months after the date on which the student’s DukeEngage program concludes, and the passport must contain at least two blank pages (not including amendment pages).

Visas: A Duke visa expeditor will assist students traveling internationally who must apply for travel documentation. DukeEngage will cover the cost of the visa, provided the student submits all necessary documents by the assigned deadlines.

DukeEngage funds all program-related expenses, including without limit, expenses for:

  • Pre-departure visits to the Duke Student Health Travel Clinic (as well as required vaccines and recommended prescription medications)
  • Visa acquisition through the Duke visa expeditor
  • Transportation to and from the program location
  • Lodging, meals, and transportation during DukeEngage
  • All DukeEngage-sponsored activities
  • Airport meals and one checked bag
  • Contingency funds to cover unexpected expenses, such as a meal during a flight delay

DukeEngage does not cover expenses for the following:

  • Ground transportation to the originating airport
  • Obtaining or updating a passport
  • Privately purchased travel insurance
  • Personal medical expenses and hygiene items
  • Personal activity that falls outside the DukeEngage program description

Travel to and From the Program Site:


DukeEngage travel policies and procedures are designed to ensure quality service and safe travel for students.

Travel vendor: WTS

Duke has selected WTS to book airline tickets and provide in-transit traveler assistance services for all DukeEngage students. 

Program policies for air travel

All students are responsible for transportation arrangements and associated costs to and from their designated travel hub (i.e., airport, train station, ferry hub). Students living within 100 miles of their DukeEngage program site are also responsible for their own travel.

WTS will purchase all tickets to and from the transportation hub on behalf of DukeEngage students living outside the 100-mile radius of their DukeEngage program. Students may not book their own travel and are required to use their DukeEngage-issued tickets. DukeEngage will not reimburse the cost of tickets booked through other travel agencies or online.

All DukeEngage travel accommodations are for the lowest and safest fare class available at the time of booking. Tickets will not be issued for first-, business-, or premium-class travel. A ticket, once issued, is a legal contract between the traveler and the issuing carrier. Travelers must complete all travel segments on an issued ticket. Should a traveler not complete all ticketed segments as contracted, they become personally liable for any fees and debit memos assessed by the issuing carrier. DukeEngage and Duke University have no liability whatsoever for such penalties on travelers who elect to complete only part of an itinerary. DukeEngage assumes responsibility for the payment of ticket change fees only when the change is necessary to ensure efficient and safe operation of a DukeEngage program.

All tickets are issued for simple round-trip travel only, except in the case of students doing contiguous Bass Connections or GEO (study abroad) programs. Travel itineraries are selected solely on the availability of the most economical rates using normally traveled routes, provided a route does not significantly compromise the effectiveness, purpose, or safety of a student’s travel. Brand name recognition, rewards programs, wait time between connections, requests to coordinate itineraries with other travelers, etc., play no role in the ticketing process unless reviewed by the program director and approved by the associate director of DukeEngage.

DukeEngage adjusts in advance the stipend for students traveling on carriers that charge baggage fees assuming one bag per traveler. The calculation of the baggage allowance is based on one bag that conforms to the carrier’s size and weight limits per traveler. DukeEngage does not reimburse students for additional checked bags, for overweight luggage, or for curbside gratuities.

  • Note: At present, several airlines permit international passengers to carry one checked bag at no cost. The piece may not weigh more than 50 pounds and must measure 62 inches or less (length + width + height), or surcharges will apply. Airline baggage fees cannot be prepaid; they are collected by the airline at check-in with payment in cash or by credit card.

DukeEngage assumes responsibility for non-personal travel costs starting and ending at the originating travel hub. Ground transportation to and from the originating hub is the responsibility of the student and will not be reimbursed by DukeEngage.

DukeEngage adjusts in advance the stipend checks of participants for the cost of meals while in transit. DukeEngage does not separately reimburse students for the purchase of food while in transit.

Because of the need to ticket a large group of travelers in a short period, DukeEngage does not customize student itineraries without the approval of the program’s director and the associate director of DukeEngage, as to do so would result in unacceptable ticketing delays for other students and unwarranted program costs. Without prior approval, WTS will not honor requests to coordinate travel itineraries beyond arranging for all students in a group program to arrive at and depart from their DukeEngage site on the same days whenever practicable. WTS agents will not be responsible for creating multiple, alternative itineraries. If a student wishes to stay in the area after their program ends, they will be responsible for any change fees.

Students must limit program-related and personal travel to the country of their DukeEngage site during the program. Students may not cross national borders during the DukeEngage experience.

All steps of the ticketing process will occur through email only. Students should regularly check their Duke University ( email account for messages from a WTS travel agent and/or from DukeEngage staff. The travel agent will book tickets according to the DukeEngage Student Travel Policy, the parameters identified by program directors for individual programs, and the itinerary information the student provides. Students must carefully review and approve the itinerary proposed for their travel by email and must confirm the itinerary within 24 hours of receipt. Failure to do so will result in students being held responsible for any booking fees acquired for proposed itineraries that lapse for lack of emailed approval. Additionally, DukeEngage will deduct $50 from a student’s stipend if the student refuses a proposed itinerary that conforms to the DukeEngage Travel Policy. As DukeEngage has instructed WTS not to issue tickets without student and program director approval, failure to approve an itinerary in a timely fashion will also jeopardize the student’s participation in the program.

The student must review the itinerary carefully to confirm the accuracy of the travel dates, the city where they will begin and end their travel, and the spelling of their name. If the student discovers an error, the student must send the correction(s) to the agent and cc their program director. Note: a student’s first and last names must match exactly the spelling as they appear on their passport (if traveling internationally) and/or the government-issued photo identification they plan to present to Transportation Safety Administration staff at the airport. If the name on a student’s photo identification and the name on their airline ticket do not match exactly, boarding will be denied. DukeEngage will not cover the cost of replacing an unused ticket in this circumstance.

Once the student confirms their itinerary and the program director approves it, WTS will issue the student an electronic ticket. It is entirely the student’s responsibility to keep their electronic ticket record safe and accessible and to print out their boarding pass(es) before departure. Once a student’s ticket is issued, they may only change their flight information with the approval of the program director.

Post-ticketing responsibilities for all DukeEngage students

Because airlines frequently make schedule changes to already issued tickets and sometimes cancel flights, it is the student’s responsibility to confirm their itinerary with the airline that issued their ticket 72 hours in advance of departure. DukeEngage will not pay for a replacement ticket should the student miss a flight due to late arrival at the originating outbound or inbound travel hub.

When the student is traveling by air internationally, the student must arrive at the airport three hours in advance of departure. For travel within the United States, the student must arrive at their airport two hours in advance.

The student must present all required government-issued photo identification and travel documents at the time of departure to airport authorities.

Travel health and safety: travel support services, emergency medical care, and emergency contact information

WTS provides 24/7 phone assistance to support all travelers who have received tickets through WTS.

All DukeEngage travelers abroad have access to emergency medical care through the International SOS (ISOS) policy Duke University carries. Consult Duke’s ISOS portal for coverage information and current information/advisories about travel abroad.

ISOS coverage is automatic and does not require registration or payment on the student’s part. Note International SOS insurance covers only evacuation and transportation costs related to medical emergencies. ISOS does not cover medical expenses.

Prior to departure, DukeEngage will provide all students with emergency contact information for their program with detailed information about how to reach Duke staff, WTS, and International SOS, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

DukeEngage will enter the student’s travel itinerary in the Duke University Travel Registry.

On-Site Travel: Program directors will arrange transportation to and from service placement locations and activities that are not within reasonable walking distance. Students may not arrange for their own transportation.

DukeEngage does not endorse or advocate for the use of personal vehicles by students for any travel related to DukeEngage.

DukeEngage will not reimburse students for any costs incurred through the use of a personal vehicle. Duke University’s auto liability insurance does not cover students’ personal vehicles, nor will Duke pay for students’ auto liability insurance or reimburse any deductibles.

National Borders: Students must limit all travel to the country of their DukeEngage program and may not cross national borders unless it is as a part of an official DukeEngage program activity. Any violation of this rule will result in immediate removal from DukeEngage. See Withdrawal or Termination Policy for responsibility-to-pay responsibilities.

Phone: DukeEngage programs will provide a basic local cell phone or SIM card for program-related and emergency communication for students in international programs. Students are responsible for keeping enough credit on the phones to make calls to DukeEngage in case of emergency. Students in U.S.-based programs must have and carry with them at all times a personal cell phone to be used for program-related and emergency communication. All DukeEngage students must keep phones charged and must be reachable by phone at all times.

Laptops and Other Electronic Devices: Students may bring personal laptops or other electronic devices, but DukeEngage is not responsible for and will not reimburse students for the loss, theft, or damage of any personal property, including electronic devices.

Students must take full responsibility for knowing and obeying the laws of the DukeEngage program’s host country regarding alcohol and other drugs. Unless permitted by law, students will not possess, consume, furnish, or distribute any alcoholic beverages. Students further understand that Duke University has a zero-tolerance policy with respect to the possession, use, manufacture, production, sale, exchange, or distribution of illegal drugs and controlled substances and that violations of applicable law or policy may result in immediate dismissal from the program.

Visitors, including without limit parents or guardians, children, friends, and relatives, are not allowed at DukeEngage Program sites and may not participate in any DukeEngage programming.

Loss: Students are solely responsible for the security of all of their funds and possessions. DukeEngage is not responsible for and will not reimburse students for loss of possessions and funds, regardless of the reason for the loss, including without limit, loss of airplane tickets purchased by DukeEngage, the right to travel due to missed flights, the stipend provided by DukeEngage, goods purchased with the stipend, or personal luggage, laptops, phones, or other electronic devices. When necessary for the program, students will be required to replace, at their own expense, any lost funds, tickets, missed flights, or possessions. Students should consider, at their own expense, purchasing travel insurance for all such losses.

Damages: Students are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and condition of all accommodations paid for by DukeEngage, for keeping track of and returning all keys to the accommodations, and for leaving accommodations clean and in good condition at the time of departure. If students fail to do so, they will be financially responsible for cleaning or repairs.

  • If accommodations require cleaning and/or repairs at the time of check-in, students should immediately report this to DukeEngage program leadership. If the students fail to do so, they will have to pay for cleaning and repairs.
  • Students must report all damages that occur, even if they are not the person who caused the damage, during their DukeEngage program. If damages occur to accommodations assigned to particular students, those students will be responsible for all charges unless someone else claims responsibility and agrees to pay the cleaning and/or repair charges.
  • If two or more students occupy shared accommodations paid for by DukeEngage and no student takes responsibility for damage done to the accommodations, DukeEngage will assign an equal share of the cost of cleaning and/or repairs to each student.
  • In cases where a student is responsible for reimbursing the cost of cleaning and/or repairs, the student may either be responsible for paying the manager or the owner of the accommodations upon check-out or for reimbursing DukeEngage. If reimbursement is due to DukeEngage, the student is responsible for remitting payment in full within 30 calendar days of written notification from DukeEngage. Failure to do so will result in a registration block on the student’s University Bursar Account.

Duke University cannot provide any assurance that a DukeEngage program will occur as described. Changes may be required as deemed necessary or advisable by Duke in light of health, safety, or security considerations or programmatic interests of DukeEngage.

If a program is cancelled before it begins due to low enrollment or any other reason, DukeEngage will advise students but makes no guarantee of placement in other DukeEngage programs and has no further liability to students.

Student and parent or guardian each understand, acknowledge, and agree that Duke University may delay, suspend, or terminate a student’s participation in DukeEngage, either prior to departure or during the program, at DukeEngage’s discretion, because:

  • The student has violated the terms of the Participation Agreement or any of the Rules and Requirements set forth in this document.
  • The student’s participation in the program poses or will pose a risk to the health, safety, or welfare of the student or others or will materially disrupt the program for others.

The student and parent or guardian each understand, acknowledge, and agree that if Duke suspends or terminates the student’s right to participate in DukeEngage while student is participating in it, the student must leave the program immediately.


In the event DukeEngage suspends or terminates the student’s right to participate in the program:

  • The student, and/or parent or guardian, must pay the expenses necessary for the student to return to the outbound airport or city of origin.
  • The student, and/or parent or guardian, may owe and be required to pay to Duke the costs incurred by Duke on behalf of the student in connection with the program, or the planning of it, including without limit:
    • Airfare, vaccination and visa costs, and payments to housing providers or other businesses that have provided goods and services
    • Stipend funding
    • Return flights and associated travel expenses
  • DukeEngage participation will not be recorded on the student’s University transcript.

The student shall not be liable for repayment of the cost of their DukeEngage program in the event DukeEngage determines, in its sole discretion, that the student is prevented/delayed from beginning and/or completing the program due to causes beyond the student’s reasonable control and occurring without the student negligence, such as but not limited to natural disaster, war or civil unrest, and breakdowns in commercial transportation. Under these circumstances, the student must refund a pro-rated portion of the stipend and relinquish any unused airline tickets to DukeEngage.