Updated 5/7/2024


Scholars traveling during Robertson Summer have access to many resources, and it can be confusing! Scholars should carry with them the following that are explained below:

  • Permission for Emergency Treatment
  • CHUBB medical insurance card
  • ISOS card for international travel



Scholars were invited over email to complete Community Summer, Domestic, and/or International participation agreement forms.  We encourage Scholars to keep a copy of the Permission for Emergency Treatment form and share with those named as emergency contacts.


MEDICAL INSURANCE 2024  (new policy began 5/1/24--the same as previous version of this policy)
ALL scholars traveling domestically and internationally have access to this policy.

  1. Print the Chubb medical insurance one-pager and ID card and carry it with you! Take a photo of it!  Have this info at all times!
  2. Understand what is and is not covered by reading the full policy.  The "exclusions" start on page 14 of the first section--including injuries from scuba diving, skydiving, and water skiing
  3. Review and understand the Chubb medical policy  for domestic travel
  4. Review and understand the Chubb medical policy for international travel



All Exploration and Launch Scholars traveling internationally:

  1. Review the following to determine if your intended destination is safe
    a. Duke’s International Travel Policy
    b. Duke's Restricted Regions List
    If your proposed destination appears on either of these lists, notify Vicki right away.
  2. Research health/medical issues for intended destinations using the CDC Website
  3. Check Entry/Exit Requirements for destinations on the State Department website
  4. Register your international trip here
  5. When you register with Duke as directed, you will have access to Duke International SOS resources:
    1. Read the ISOS Overview
    2. Print and carry the ISOS Card
    3. Read this about emergency response
    4. Create a report of the places you're going by going here and clicking "create customized report."  It's incredible.

Recommended for All Exploration and Launch Scholars traveling internationally

  1. Check out the State Department Site for Student Travelers
  2. Enroll in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
  3. Register with the US Embassy at your destination
  4. Develop a communication plan to keep people informed of your whereabouts
  5. Keep The Program in the loop as much as you want




Here are some options for finding for mental health care during your Robertson Summer.

  • If you are already a client with Counseling and Psychological Services at Duke or UNC  or an external provider:
    • Reach out to your provider for information on services in your summer location or about continuing care via Zoom, phone, or other.
  • If you are interested in receiving mental health services but do not have a mental health provider at this time:
    • Reach out to your insurance provider by calling the number on the back of your card or through your company’s online portal. Ask for referrals to providers in your summer location.
    • Email Lia Gilmore (liadainn.gilmore@duke.edu), CAPS Referral Coordinator at Duke (using your Duke University email and DUID) for information about providers at your Community Summer Site.
    • Check out Psychologytoday.com or wellness.com to search for mental health providers by location, insurance, and approach.

Below are some nontraditional options that some Scholars have found helpful.

  • BetterHelp: This app matches you with a licensed counselor for a long-term or short-term counseling relationship over the Internet. You can write in messages and receive answers, and schedule a phone call or video session.
  • Talkspace: Another app that matches you with a licensed counselor to reach out to 1-2 times a day, with the ability to add a video chat.
  • 7Cups: The free version of this app connects you to caring listeners (who aren’t professionals) for emotional support. A paid version with professionals is also available.


RESOURCES FOR BUDGET PREPARATION: Exploration and Launch Summer 2024

General guidelines: Where do you want to go, how will you get there, what will you do there, where will you stay?   Write down all the costs you expect to incur.  If your projected costs exceed the funds you have available, propose them anyway so we can see what you expect your project to truly cost.  (However, we will not increase the funds you receive from the Program.)  Do your research--don't hope that something costs a certain amount just because that's what you can spend on it.  Scholars frequently face costs they hadn't expected or are higher than they expected.  Rental cars are a good example of the latter.

In general, be judicious and responsible.  Just because you can apply for $6300 doesn't mean that we will approve that amount for a short experience.  Add notes to the budget worksheet about your line items, such as why you may prefer an AirBNB over a hotel or hostel,  or ubers over public transportation.  Creating a workable budget is hard and will hone many of our leadership skills.

Allowable expenses:

  • Food in US $125/week
  • Mileage in US $.67/mile (This includes gas and wear and tear on a vehicle)
  • Airline tickets, campground fees, required immunizations, visa fees
  • Rent and other required related expenses (e.g., utilities) while doing a fundable activity
  • Relevant materials and supplies like art supplies, books
  • Program fees (e.g., Projects Abroad, cooking course)

We won't cover:

  • Purchases of equipment that can be rented (e.g., video cameras, camping equipment)
  • Compensating others (e.g., research participants), although in some cases you may need to hire professional services, such as a guide or translator.  Talk to Vicki.
  • Clothes or shoes

Here are some budget resources--a worksheet and three samples. Summer Budget Worksheet 2024   sample1     sample2   sample 3

Budget Your Trip
Legal Nomads - Budgeting
Move Hub - Living Costs
Nerd Wallet - Cost of Living Calculator
Expatistan - Cost of Living Index
Lonely Planet – Destination Guides
Lonely Planet – Exchange/Travel Tips
Washington DC living expenses




END OF SUMMER 2023: Update, Reflect, Evaluate

At the end of every Robertson Summer,  Scholars update, reflect, and evaluate.  These steps help each Scholar come to a deeper understanding of the experience, provide critically important information to the Program about the leadership journeys of Scholars, and furthers our shared community of learning.  Complete all steps by August 15, 2023.

What did we learn from the Summer 2022 surveys?  110 Robertsons participated in a Summer in 2022.  The 71 who completed an End of Summer Survey shared helpful feedback.  We hope these early findings are interesting!


Update Summers info in Robertson Connect by 8/15/2022. Follow these instructions


  • Community Summer: shared over Slack--completed 7/23/23
  • Exploration/Launch/Transition Summer: shared over email. Instructions for Reflections and Deliverables are here.   This and this might be helpful.


End of Summer Surveys were shared over email. Links are below.