FAQ’s

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    $35 USD to Confirm – Final Payment at Arrival !

    Flexible payment options – Credit cards accepted

    Paris 4 wks $1595 / Qtr $2895 USD

    Madrid 4 wks $1995 / Qtr $2795

    Why pay more ? Join us !

    CHOOSE A QUESTION / SUBJECT

    1. WHY GO WITH CSA?
    2. HOW DO I REGISTER?
    3. DOES CSA HAVE A CATALOG?
    4. BEST WAY TO COMMUNICATE WITH CSA?
    5. HOW EARLY SHOULD I REGISTER?
    6. WHEN SHOULD I PLAN TO ARRIVE AND DEPART?
    7. ARE STUDENTS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD?
    8. IS MEDICAL INSURANCE REQUIRED?
    9. CAN I EARN ACADEMIC (COLLEGE) CREDIT?
    10. WHY IS GPA NOT REQUIRED? (GRADE POINT AVERAGE)
    11. HOW CREDIBLE IS CSA?
    12. WHAT IF I HAVE A PROBLEM OVER THERE?
    13. DOES CSA PROVIDE REFERENCES?
    14. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT WHEN I REGISTER WITH CSA?
    15. FACTS AND MYTHS ABOUT STUDY ABROAD
    16. IS CSA ON FACEBOOK OR TWITTER?
    17. EXCHANGE RATES
    18. SAFETY CONCERNS
    19. CSA BANK INFO
    20. EUROPEAN CREDIT TRANSFER SYSTEM (ECTS)
    21. PROGRAM DATES
    22. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

    1) WHY GO WITH CSA?

     

    Since 1990, participants have selected CSA for the following reasons:

    • Low cost, non-profit programs, EZ register and pay, quick docs, and flexibility.
    • Save $$$ – Join CSA, and avoid the overpriced packaged programs offered by others.
    • Programs – Held at Universities, Colleges, and Institutes worldwide. Non-profit programs.
    • Year-Around – Specific dates given upon request, and in confirmation docs.
    • Discounts – additional discounts given on several programs total cost – save $$$.
    • EZ Payment – Credit card, check, money order, direct deposit, or wire transfer.
    • Quick confirmation documents (admission docs) are sent after payment is received.
    • Communicate directly with CSA partner staff at school site prior to arrival.
    • Open To All – College students (& high school) and adults worldwide. Diversity welcomed.
    • No GPA Required – Grade point not needed for most programs – but some do (varies).
    • Balance Payment – Flexible options: pay CSA by due date, or upon arrival check-in.
    • Social activities at school that enable students to meet each other quickly.
    • Programs are high quality (accredited) – academic excellence – earn credit.
    • Safety concerns are taken seriously: location, facility, and among local staff.
    • Cancellation refunds easily available for balance payments paid to CSA in U.S. dollars.
    • Transcript (certificate) issued by each program upon completion.
    • Easy, auto registration – confirmation system online. Documents sent quickly.
    • Counseling support prior to…and during program dates.
    • Financial Aid assistance – process Consortium Agreements.
    • Visa document assistance – confirmation documents.
    • Join fellow students upon arrival check-in (on site).
    • Communicate with fellow students by email or via Facebook prior to the start date.
    • Airport pick-up available for several locations.
    • Parents (Guardians) are welcome to travel with (or join) son / daughter.
    • CSA has over 20 years of international education experience.
    • Credibility – Since 1990 (over 25 yrs). UBI #602 292 407. Member of orgs.
    • Member of – D&B Credibility Review, Seattle Chamber, NAFSA, and a good rating with the BBB.
    • Overall, CSA offers a better value at non-profit prices – Join us!

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    2) HOW DO I REGISTER?

    The details for the registration process is outlined on our Register page.

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    3) DOES CSA HAVE A CATALOG?

    We used to print a catalog with all the program information, but now our website serves as the “online” catalog. Available 24 hours per day, to review and print all program information and recent updates, our online catalog is much more convenient and more easily updated than a printed version. E-mail is also the most preferred mode of communication with CSA counselors, for we can quickly respond to your questions and concerns. Overall, we will continue to send program confirmations and materials by regular postal mail, as well as communicate by e-mail, so please check your e-mail account frequently. With over 20 years of study abroad experience, CSA staff are committed to assist you in a courteous and professional manner.

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    4) BEST WAY TO CONTACT CSA?

    Please contact us by email. You can also use the “Contact Us” form in the main menu. CSA will respond as quickly as possible….in the order received. Thank you for your understanding. E-mail is the quickest and most efficient way to communicate with CSA counselors. E-mail allows staff to respond promptly to the many questions we receive about the various programs, and helps keep us from playing “phone-tag”. E-mail also provides us with written documentation that we need to verify information and any changes. Thus, please check your e-mail account frequently. Allow extra time during our peak season of April thru August.

    You can also telephone us at: 206-583-8191. Our 2nd number is: 206-291-0560 (USA). CSA counselors are often very busy processing registrations or answering numerous questions via e-mail. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause you, and we encourage you to send your questions and concerns by e-mail. Thank you for your interest in CSA!

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    China Activity

    5) HOW EARLY SHOULD I REGISTER?

    Early registration advised, especially when you are staying a Semester or full year, for you will need a Visa. The Consulates of Spain, France and Italy are taking extra time to obtain Visa’s due to new security measures…….so give yourself extra time and apply as soon as you receive your confirmations.

    In general, we ask that you try to follow these guidelines:

    • a) Monthly and Weekly Programs, please register at least 4 – 6 weeks prior to the starting date. Earlier is preferred, especially for China, Vietnam, and Russia where you will need a Visa.
    • b) Summer Programs, register at least 2 – 3 months prior to the starting date. Earlier is preferred to avoid the “summer rush”.
    • c) Semester / Quarter / Academic Year, register at least 2 – 3 months prior to the starting date. Earlier is preferred, especially if you will need a Visa.
    • d) China, Vietnam, Russia, please register 2 – 3 months in advance for the Summer dates, and at least 3 months prior for the Semester, Quarter and academic year terms. Earlier is much preferred, for you will need a Visa on these programs. Allow 45 – 60 days to obtain a Visa when you apply at the nearest Consulate.

    * NOTE: CSA has an open door, rolling admission policy for all programs…..until filled. If you register close to the starting date, please contact CSA. Space may be available! Call or e-mail if you want to register at the last minute!!

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    6) WHEN SHOULD I ARRIVE AND DEPART?

    Please review the program description, for some programs vary. But in general, plan on arriving the day before the starting date and depart on the day after the program ends. CSA will also mention these dates in your receipt letters.

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    student group

    7) ARE STUDENTS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD?

    Yes, students from all over the world participate in these programs. Therefore, it becomes a true “international” studies program. CSA students join other students upon arrival and soon are making friends and socializing with students from several countries. CSA students are not alone, and the on-site Director is there to assist them during the entire period. Programs are open to all students, adults, and groups from all countries.

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    8) IS MEDICAL INSURANCE REQUIRED?

    Yes. CSA requires all applicants to have or obtain adequate medical and accidental insurance before starting the program. Please be sure to send CSA a copy of your insurance card, and if you already have insurance then double check with your current insurance company to find out if you will be covered while overseas and how claims are processed. Overall, it is for your own protection to have such insurance. CSA includes insurance web-links with your final docs.

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    9) CAN I EARN ACADEMIC (COLLEGE) CREDIT?

    Yes, CSA students do earn college credit for completing these programs. If college credit is desired, then upon request, you will receive an official transcript (certificate) from the school involved. For example, if you attend the “University of Paris-Sorbonne” program, then you can request an official transcript (certificate) from the “University”. Please review the “Academic Credit” section of the site.

    Most colleges and universities allow students to earn academic credit on off-campus programs including study abroad. But some schools are not familiar with foreign study programs, or they have their own programs that they prefer you go on. If the study abroad office says you can not earn credit for your study abroad with CSA, this is usually not true. You may need to take your case to “higher-ups at your school, such as the Dean of Admissions, Registrars Office, Foreign Language Chair Person, or even the legal counsel department for students on campus. Be sure to emphasize that you will receive an official transcript (certificate) from the school directly, not from CSA. Do not give up so easily, and you will get the credit you deserve.

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    10) WHY IS G.P.A. NOT REQUIRED (GRADE POINT AVERAGE)?

    Also a frequent question, for so many college students assume that a minimum GPA is required to apply and participate in study abroad programs. CSA programs are open to all students, and we do not discriminate on the basis of grade point average – GPA. The reason for this is simple, G.P.A requirements by other program providers are primarily done for the purpose of limiting the size of the group as well as to imply that the program is only for college students who have above average G.P.A. This is a “myth”, and only serves the private purposes of the program provider, and has really nothing to do with the program itself overseas. Some programs do request a GPA, but are usually very flexible.

    CSA has always believed that studying abroad is for everyone ! Since CSA started over 20 years ago, we have never required a G.P.A. This does not imply that the program is not of high quality, it only reflects that the “admissions policy” of CSA is open to everyone and not discriminatory. All the programs are of high quality, fully accredited, and are open to all adults from all countries.

    Every year, some CSA college students tell us about meeting up with friends who signed up with other, more expensive program providers who had a GPA requirement. They tell us how their friends are surprised to see them there at the same university overseas….participating in very much the same program…….but did not have to show any minimum GPA…..nor pay as much as they did….and still earn college credit.

    * Note: Some university based programs in the United Kingdom (UK) request a current transcript and GPA from student applicants.

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    11) HOW CREDIBLE IS CSA?

    CSA staff are members of NAFSA (National Association of International Educators), and the NSEE (National Society of Experiential Education), as well as the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. Feel free to verify CSA’s legitimacy with the City of Seattle, Secretary of State office, Department of Licensing, Attorney General Office in Seattle. CSA is also a member of Dun & Bradstreet Credibility. We have a good rating with the BBB – Better Business Bureau. CSA is also an “approved company” to accept credit cards online, which requires an in-depth review by the credit card companies. CSA has been through a few changes over the past 20 years, all very positive as we continue to grow and expand the services and programs we offer. For additional information about CSA, please review the “About Us” section of the Main Menu.
    WA UBI # 602 292 407

    CSA has been around for over 20 years (since 1990). If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us directly. Do not easily believe what you read or hear online in blogs or review websites. Best to contact the company directly, and not quickly judge a program based on somebody’s review. Experiences abroad vary per person.

    View Past Student Testimonials

    Note: To help reduce costs and provide better customer service, CSA staff now work in a very mobile, virtual office setting. Staff are often busy answering emails, processing new registrations and confirmation documents, as well as traveling. Please send any postal mail to our mailing address, and Email any questions or concerns. We thank you for your patience and understanding, and apologize for any inconvenience.

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    12) WHAT IF I HAVE A PROBLEM OVER THERE WHILE ON THE PROGRAM?

    Students with Professor

    The on-site Director and staff there on campus will assist you. Upon arrival and check-in, you will meet the office staff who will be assisting you during your stay. They are there to help you, so you can go to the student office for any assistance you need. Also, CSA staff back in the USA can assist if needed, but its better to first talk to the staff at the student office. In addition, you will be meeting other students right away, and consulting with each other is often most helpful.

    To communicate with friends and relatives back home, we suggest you keep your Facebook and e-mail account open, and sign up for an e-mail account when you get to the program location…either on campus or a nearby internet cafe. Global cell phone rentals (or take your own global phone) are also very convenient…..just remember the time zone differences. CSA will provide you with global cell phone web-links with your confirmation documents….so you can rent them if needed.

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    13) DOES CSA PROVIDE STUDENT REFERENCES?

    We used to provide contact information of past students who gave us permission to refer them to potential applicants. But every time we did this, they would receive numerous phone calls and e-mails asking them about the program. They soon got very tired of this, and asked us to take their names off the reference list. Some of them even threatened legal action. This got even worse with the use of e-mail….for they would receive so many. Another problem we ran into was keeping track of past students whereabouts. Students are very mobile, and they move often…changing their addresses, phone #, and e-mail.

    Due to issues of privacy and legal reasons, as well as the difficult task of keeping track of past students, CSA no longer provides references from past students. Since 1990, CSA has been a fully licensed organization in the state of Washington and city of Seattle. We are members of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. CSA staff are members of NAFSA, the National Association of International Education based in Washington DC. CSA is also a member of Dun & Bradstreet Credibility.

    Another issue with using “student references” is their credibility! Every student has a different experience abroad, and some are more adaptable to a different culture than others. Thus, some students will have a difficult experience purely because they are not mentally prepared to adjust to a new cultural setting, and it has nothing to do with the program itself. International travel is a “personal” adventure, and ones success depends largely on how adaptive the person is to the new culture.

    click here to read student testimonials – references

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    14) WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT WHEN I REGISTER WITH CSA?

    Overall, you should expect prompt courteous responses from the CSA counselors. Upon receiving your online registration, you will receive an email letter providing additional information and instructions. Please do not expect to receive any brochures by regular mail. The CSA website is our online catalog, and we encourage you to review all the sections of the main menu and print off the program description. If you have any questions or concerns, please send them to us by e-mail. CSA will be sending all the receipt letters by e-mail, so please check your e-mail regularly for CSA’s responses. So keep us updated on any changes in your e-mail address….as well as your phone number and postal mailing address.

    CSA staff do not play “phone tag”, unless it is very important. We prefer you send email, for we need a written record. Every year, many people call us for information about programs, and some do not even leave a call back phone number nor email address. If you call, and receive our “voice mail”, at least leave us your email address, so we can get back to you quickly. CSA staff are often busy processing “paid registrations” and sending out confirmation documents to those students who have registered and paid a deposit. Our priority is to take care of students who have paid a deposit, and we apologize if we are not able to return a “general inquiry”. Our website sections provide answers to frequent questions, and we encourage you to review all the Main Menu sections. To be considered a “serious applicant”, you need to register online and pay the deposit. Thank you for your understanding.

    For detailed instructions on “How to Register” and the “Payment Procedures”, please review Q/A # 2 above. Also, it is reviewed in the “Register” section.

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    15) FACTS AND MYTHS ABOUT STUDY ABROAD

    Myth: Registering for a program is a big hassle !

    Fact: Not with CSA ! We offer an easy, auto registration and confirmation system that saves you time and money. Register on our website to get started – no application fee required. CSA provides you with a convenient and smooth registration process, as well as quick admission documents.

    Myth: If I study abroad, will I be alone and sad, far away from family and friends back home ?

    Chiang Mai Thailand
    Fact: Not really ! CSA students meet new friends as soon as they get settled into housing and going to classes. Everyone stays in touch with Facebook, email, and global cell phones….so communicating with family and friends back home is easy and done frequently. Parents (or guardians / friends) are welcome to travel with (or join) you. School staff keep students actively involved with their study program and new friendships are quickly made with other international students. Of course, everyone experiences some anxiety and misses home, but the wide variety of experiences in other countries definitely make it very worthwhile to “study-abroad”. Chances are you will return someday……

    Myth: Expensive packaged programs are better than lower cost programs.

    Fact: Wrong. Lower cost does not mean lower quality. CSA students are saving a lot of money, for they are not over paying for frivolous “packaged items”. For example, paying for an additional “Resident Director” to monitor students is very over-rated and not needed. CSA students are assisted by the on-site Director at the student office, or in the residence halls, and therefore do not pay for a separate “group Resident Director”. Another example is “housing”, CSA students are offered flexibility and can arrange their own housing if they prefer, as well as pay for their housing upon arrival check-in, or in advance. Another example is “travel”, CSA students book their own airfare online and save $$$. They meet up with the other students upon arrival. Overall, CSA students have more independence and control over their study-abroad experience.

    Why would you join a very expensive, packaged program….when you can easily go direct with CSA, saving you much money. With CSA, you attend a high quality academic program, have an active social life on campus, earn college credit, have more flexibility with housing and travel, receive your confirmation documents quickly, spend much less money, and get a refund if you cancel. For over 20 years, since 1990, CSA has offered a better deal ! Join us!

    Myth: I can’t get credit for studying overseas.

    Fact: Many students receive academic credit for all the courses taken overseas. They receive an official transcript upon completing the program, and transfer their credit hours back to their home school. Often students are able to satisfy some of their general education requirements by studying abroad.

    Most colleges and universities allow students to earn academic credit on off-campus programs including study abroad. But some schools are not familiar with foreign study programs, or they have their own programs that they prefer you go on. If the study abroad office says you can not earn credit for your study abroad with CSA, this is usually not true. You may need to take your case to “higher-ups at your school, such as the Dean of Admissions, Registrars Office, Foreign Language Chair Person, or even the legal counsel department for students on campus. Be sure to emphasize that you will receive an official transcript (certificate) from the school directly, not from CSA. Do not give up so easily, and you will get the credit you deserve.

    Myth: I can’t afford to study abroad.

    Fact: CSA is a leader in low cost programs abroad. Since 1990, CSA has helped thousands of students achieve their dream of studying abroad at a lower cost than many other providers. There are also many scholarships and financial aid packages that can be used. If you are on financial aid, you can use your aid for off-campus programs with other colleges, including studying abroad. Ask your aid office for details, and have them provide you with a Consortium Agreement for study abroad.

    Myth: Only Juniors or Seniors can study abroad.

    Fact: CSA programs are open to all students. Even beginning college students can join on these programs. CSA does not discriminate based on your year in college.

    Myth: Only currently enrolled college students can study abroad.

    Fact: CSA programs are open to all students. Even if you are not currently enrolled in a college or university, you can join CSA programs and still earn credit.

    Myth: Study abroad is a waste of time, and will not help me find a job.

    Fact: The opposite is true. Employers in todays global environment value overseas experience. It also shows that you can cope with cultural differences and adapt well in new and challenging environments as well as competent in another language.

    Myth: My G.P.A. is not high enough to qualify.

    Fact: CSA programs are open to all students, and we do not discriminate based on GPA. GPA does not determine how well you will do on the program. Many programs do not even require a GPA, and those that do are usually very flexible.

    Myth: There are too many requirements to apply.

    Fact: It’s easy to apply with CSA. Simply register online, and send the deposit. Programs are open to all students and adults, from all countries. CSA does not require a GPA, nor written essays or letters of recommendation. CSA makes it very simple and convenient to apply and be confirmed. Review our website, and register online to get started.

    Myth: I have to travel to program destination all alone (by myself).

    Fact: Wrong. You can ask your parents (guardian), friends or other relatives to travel with you, and even join you on the program. Many parents travel with their son / daughter (escort them over), and take a short vacation at the program destination.

    Myth: Reviews posted on blogs and review websites are all sincere and true.

    Fact: False. Overall, it is best to contact the company directly, and not easily believe what you read or hear on some blog or review website. Also, travel experiences vary per person, and some people do not want to accept personal responsibility for their own mistakes….so they blame the airline, hotel, or school…for not having a good experience.

    Note: Please read all sections in the “Menu” on the home page, as well as the program description. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed on the website. Thank you.
    Click here to read past student comments.

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    16) IS CSA ON FACEBOOK OR TWITTER?

    Yes…CSA Facebook is up…and currently being updated. CSA does not do Twitter at this time – send email instead.

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    17) EXCHANGE RATES

    Foreign exchange rates vary daily, and what you see online is the “wholesale rate” only…..not what you get when you buy the currency. When you buy a foreign currency, the rate you pay depends on when, where and who you are buying the currency from….you pay their “retail rate” which is higher, for their “margin” and service fees are included in the exchange. Overall, you get a better rate in the country of the currency.

    Once you arrive at your destination country, you can usually buy the local currency at the airport banks or foreign exchange service providers. Again, rates change daily…can even change several times during the day. Overall, money is a commodity that is bought and sold by currency traders (investors) daily worldwide.

    18) SAFETY CONCERNS / FOR STUDENTS & PARENTS

    Please review the “Safety Tips” provided in the “Resources” section (Travel Info page) of the main menu.

    We know you are concerned about your daughter / son going abroad, thus we provide only fully accredited programs that are in safe locations, and staff there at location takes very good care of all students (support services). With CSA, you will have the emergency contact info for the program as well as housing, all provided with your Confirmation Documents. In addition, CSA staff is available to assist in any emergency – working together with the staff over in the program location. Safety guidelines are provided in the final documents from CSA, and program staff overseas, as well as during the students arrival on-site orientation. Each student is advised to register with their respective Embassy,and each school has its own evacuation plan if the need arises. In addition, CSA students are usually living in campus residences, nearby student flats, or host families, and they are around other students and adults that can be of assistance if needed. Health insurance is also required, and CSA provides several insurance web-links to assist you, so please be sure they have coverage before starting the program. Security systems are used in the programs, and staff there are familiar with the local police and emergency contact info (ambulance, hospital, etc). Overall, CSA students are well taken care of. Additional information and useful resources are provided in the confirmation documents (admission docs).

    Also, in regards to starting the program…..all students travel independently to the program location. Once you arrive and check-in, you meet the other students there as the program begins. Easy to do, and arrival instructions and contact info is included with your confirmation documents. Independent travel gives you the flexibility to travel on “your own schedule” and you usually save money booking your own tickets. Some parents accompany their daughter/son to the program location and stay at a nearby hotel for a few days. Overall, CSA students save money and have more flexibility by being more independent……for it is not necessary to join an “expensive group program” whereby you pay the high expense of traveling with a group. Better to just meet-up with other students at the program location. In addition, airport pick-up (escort) service can be arranged for several locations if desired.

    Parents (legal guardians), other relatives or friends can travel with (escort) their son / daughter to the program destination. Many do, and take in a short vacation at the program destination. Can even join in on the same program if desired.

    19) CSA Bank Details: Direct Deposits or Wire Transfers only !

    Email us for bank details. Not posted for security concerns.

    * Payment in U.S. dollars (USD)
    * Add your bank wire service fee
    * Email CSA when payment is paid (sent)
    * Write your name on wire transfer form, and any direct deposit slip

    20) European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

    European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is based on the students learning process. Each credit reflects the work done in terms of both class hours and individual study time. Each learning outcome is expressed in terms of credits, with a student workload ranging from 500 – 800 hours for an academic year, and one (1) ECTS Credit generally corresponds to 25 – 30 hrs of work. Overall, the use of ECTS credits, together with “outcomes-based qualifications” frameworks, makes study programs more transparent and facilitates the recognition of qualifications. By making higher education comparable across Europe, ECTS makes teaching and learning more transparent and easier to transfer credits between institutions, as well as allows for greater student mobility and more flexibility in earning degrees. ECTS makes national systems more compatible.

    CSA students receive an official transcript (certificate) upon completing their courses. To help facilitate the transfer of credits, CSA students can also access professional credit evaluations (if needed) through the web-links provided with their confirmation documents. Overall, CSA students earn academic credit on many of the programs offered. See “Academic Credit” page in the “Resources” section of the main menu.

    21) Program Dates – Year Around Ongoing

    All programs are continual, year-to-year. Specific dates given upon request, and when confirmed.

    CSA posts general dates to avoid having to update the programs every year, for the process is very time consuming and costly. Just ask us for the specific dates, and they are also included with your confirmation docs.

    22) Personal Responsibility

    All programs are fully accredited and verified with CSA. Participants (students) are expected to arrive on time to check-in and get started and to attend all classes. How quickly you learn and advance in the course is strictly up to you. All students are responsible for attending all classes, and studying the material outside of class as well, and take all tests. Program staff are available to take care of any questions students have with classes or other issues, and students are expected to speak up and talk to the instructor and student office staff about it. Thus, be pro-active and talk to staff there about any questions or problems….they are there to help you. Again, CSA does expect all students to practice (take) “personal responsibility” for all aspects of their participation and behavior while in the program.

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