Each year, NSF organizes a 2-3 day pre-departure orientation event that is designed to provide students with an introduction to the society, language, and research environment of the host location. Among other activities that occur during the orientation, students participate in a meet and greet session, attend a number of presentations, receive tips on how to successfully  live and conduct research abroad, and are provided  with information pertaining to their stipend, travel procedures, health and safety.

How do I make my airline reservation?

If you will be traveling from outside the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area to the orientation (via air or train), your ticket must be issued through NSF’s Travel Management Center, SATO Travel. SATO will issue tickets electronically. You can make your travel arrangements by telephone at 1-800-817-5257. Students must identify themselves to SATO by referring to the TX number corresponding to their location (TX # is sent via e-mail). You will not have to pay for the ticket. NSF will be billed directly.

How do I make my hotel reservation?

Instructions on where and when to call will be sent to you via e-mail. You must secure a hotel room and incur expenses for attending the orientation on your personal credit card. Please note that you will receive reimbursement through a travel allowance at the time of the EAPSI award.

When do I receive reimbursement for expenses incurred during orientation?

Each student will receive an Orientation Travel Allowance at the time of the EAPSI award. The travel allowance will be sufficient to cover  lodging costs, meals, and miscellaneous expenses. EAPSI awards are expected to be made by early May.

Do I have to attend the orientation?

Participants’ attendance during the EAPSI program in its entirety is MANDATORY, including the pre-departure orientation. If you are not able to attend, please notify us immediately.

Who do I approach with questions?

The orientation is the place at which you should ask questions and bring to our attention any concerns you have about your upcoming EAPSI experience. It may be helpful for you to compile a list of questions and concerns before arriving. You may approach and ask questions to any NSF EAPSI staff.

What do I bring with me to the event?

You will be given a packet of materials upon registration at the orientation. Please plan, though, to bring your own notepad and writing utensils.

Is it okay to drive my personal vehicle to the orientation?

Please contact Ms. Narcrisha Norman (nnorman@nsf.gov) to request authorization to drive your personal vehicle to the orientation. The decision will be made on a case-by-case basis.

If I am authorized to drive my personal vehicle to the orientation, can I claim tolls and mileage?

Yes, tolls will be approved along with the round-trip mileage (provided the total mileage reimbursement does not exceed government contract airfare). You will be provided a mileage reimbursement form at the orientation to record your round-trip mileage upon completion of your travel.

Can the EAPSI stipend be deposited directly to my bank account?

Yes, students can have their stipends and their orientation travel allowance deposited directly to their personal bank accounts.

Is there a dress code?

The dress code for EAPSI participants is casua