Technology Policy

Technology Policy FAQs

Find answers to commonly asked questions about utilizing technology at the Academy.

The Academy is a technology-free zone to allow you to concentrate on gaining tangible language skills and making lasting friendships.

In order to create the most effective living and learning environment, we require students to “unplug” from personal electronic devices like cell phones and computers. Upon arrival on campus, personal devices will be checked in and securely stored in the Academy office, and only available for use during designated call-home times throughout the week.

Students may keep an iPod (with wireless capabilities turned off) loaded with music in their target language with them. During call-home times, students are allowed to check social media on their devices stored in the summer site office.

What are your rules regarding electronic devices?

As an important part of full language immersion, the Academy asks students to leave cell phones and other communication devices with our on-site staff. Students in the U.S. immersion and study abroad programs will have access to these devices at designated times during the week when they will be allowed to call home and check social media, if they wish. These designated “chat” periods occur twice a week for around 45 minutes to an hour. For the study abroad Academies, the assigned times will be compatible with both time zones. While communicating during these call-home times, students are allowed to speak English. However, we do ask that students refrain from disrupting the learning experience of the other students around the rest of campus. Our technology policy is intended to keep students focused on the language and their peers at the Academy, while minimizing the effects of outside influences on the immersion experience.

How do parents keep in contact with their children at the Academy?

To ensure that a student realizes the maximum benefit of the Academy’s language immersion experience, contact with family members outside of the Academy is limited. However, we do offer twice-weekly call-times for you to converse with your child. Additionally, although students will not have regular access to email, they will have the opportunity to write and receive letters. The Academy also maintains a blog and other social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) that update parents on the day-to-day activities at each Academy. Parents will also be provided an email address where they can send messages to their children (in English or their target language!) that will be delivered to them by their Residential Educators.

What happens if I need need to get in contact with my child because of an emergency?

During a family emergency, parents should call the site office directly, and Academy staff will put you in touch with your child as quickly as possible. Parents may also call the Director of Residential Life of their student’s respective site. This Director is a strong presence on each campus and supervises the Residential Educators who remain in constant contact with their charges. We value parent communication, and try to return all messages within 24 hours.

Can I bring entertainment devices, such as a portable DVD player or iPod, if I were only to access material in the target language?

We allow students to bring iPods or other music playing devices as long as they do not have wifi capabilities and all materials are in language. However, we discourage students from bringing other devices, such as DVD players, because we want everyone to actively participate in group activities.

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