For Accepted Students

Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: Florida Keys

I. A Note from the BELL Program Director

Congratulations! We are looking forward to your participation in this unique and engaging program. Please review this carefully with your family and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. Please do NOT finalize travel arrangements or submit final payment for the program until you receive an email from Brown confirming this program.

II. Next Steps for BELL: Florida Keys

You will soon receive a personalized email outlining a checklist of items that need to be completed for you to attend the program. Forms include sections for both students and parents to complete. You can also expect to receive emails with instructions for how to activate your Brown account, pay your balance online, and complete an online tutorial that reviews Brown’s values and policies.

You must complete the following forms to participate in BELL:

  • Off-Campus Programs Student Acceptance and Release and Waiver Form
  • MarineLab Liability Release
  • Medical Authorization Form
  • Medical and Immunization Medical Report — Requires a medical provider signature.
  • Off Campus Dietary Form
  • Travel Itinerary

If applicable:

  • Students with significant food allergies or intolerance should complete a complete a Disability Accommodations or Services Request Form. Along with this form, students may need to submit documentation of their area of disability and needs. More information can also be found on the SEAS Website under "School of Professional Studies (SPS) Programs".

Please Read: Important Health Advisory

Due to recent measles outbreaks within the United States, all Pre-College students must have completed their measles vaccinations at least two weeks prior to starting their program. For other immunizations requiring more than one inoculation (such as hepatitis B and varicella), you must submit proof that you have begun the series and had as many of the inoculations (shots) as possible within the time frame/schedule specified on the Brown Immunization and Medical History Report. In this case, you are considered to be in compliance with the requirements for the current summer term.

Mandatory Online Program Orientation

There are two online program orientations for you and a parent so the BELL: Florida Keys staff can review important program information and give you an opportunity to ask questions. Even if you cannot attend the live events, please register at the links below so that you can receive a recording of the webinars for review at your convenience. To participate in these orientations, you will need access to a computer or smartphone (download the GoToWebinar app). No webcam necessary.

General BELL Orientation
DATE: Wednesday, May 8 at 6pm EST

Pre-Departure Orientation
DATE: Monday, June 10 at 6pm EST

Pre-program Assignments

Any pre-program reading assignments will be sent out via email on or before June 21.

III. Arrival and Departure Day Details

Program Dates: Sunday, July 7 – Saturday, July 13, 2019

Airport: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (IATA: FLL)

Arrival – July 7 between 10:00am and 2:00pm Eastern Standard Time (EST)*

Departure – July 13 between 4:00pm and 8:00pm Eastern Standard Time (EST)*

*Please contact a program advisor at (401) 863­–7900 or before making a reservation if your flight falls outside of these time frames.

Airport Pick-Up and Drop-Off

Brown University staff will meet students in the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport at baggage claim (in Terminal 3) during the arrival window (10am – 2pm EST). Staff will be wearing “Brown University” t-shirts. Once everyone has arrived, the group will drive two hours to MarineLab in Key Largo. We will have dinner shortly after we arrive in Key Largo.

Please contact a program advisor at (401) 863-7900 or if you anticipate that you will arrive outside of our arrival window (10am – 2pm). On July 7, BELL staff will only be at the airport to meet students during the arrival window (10am – 2pm) unless we are made aware of the need for a special accommodation.

At the end of the program, we will transport the group back to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Staff will help students check-in to their flights and move through the security checkpoint. However, once students are through security, they are responsible for communicating with parents and managing their flight home.

Once you have confirmed your flights, please submit the travel itinerary form. This form will be sent to you in your checklist email.

If your flight is delayed

If you experience a delay while traveling to Ft. Lauderdale, please call or text Brown’s On-site Director at 401-323-8326.

Please note: This number will not be active until a few days before the program starts.

Unaccompanied Minors

Airline, bus, and train company policies and services regarding unaccompanied minors vary. If you plan to use this service provided by your transportation carrier, please contact us in advance so we can discuss its feasibility. There may be instances when we are unable to fulfill the required protocols.

IV. Packing List

Important Packing Tips:

  1. There is limited space in the dorm rooms: bring only what you need. Soft-sided bags are best for fitting in small spaces.
  2. Reminder: most airlines charge extra for luggage weighing over 50 lbs.
  3. Weather can vary. Check the weather in Key Largo (zipcode: 33037) before packing.
  4. Rain gear is important. We will be spending time outdoors rain or shine.

Required items:

  • 1 suitcase or duffle bag for all items. If you can’t carry it, it is too big/heavy
  • Day pack/back pack that can be used on hikes and as a carry-on on plane
  • Sleeping bag or extra-long twin bed sheets and blanket
  • Bath towel
  • Beach towel
  • Reusable water bottle (MarineLab PROHIBITS single-use water bottles)
  • Hat – preferably with a wide brim for good sun protection, particularly if you burn easily
  • Sunglasses
  • Closed toed sneakers
  • Water shoes (a closed-toe waterproof shoe, not flip-flops)
  • Sun block – water-resistant, 30+ SPF, NOT spray sunscreen (highly recommend biodegradable sunscreen)
  • Raincoat
  • Long sleeve shirt (1-2 shirts) for cooler weather/as sunburn protection
  • Fleece jacket or warm hoodie
  • T-shirts (4-5 pieces)
  • Fast drying shorts (1-2 pairs)
  • Long pants (1); lightweight if possible
  • Sleep wear
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Bathing Suits (2 - 3)
  • Any prescribed medications in their original bottle and a copy of the prescription
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Toothbrush and toiletries (we recommend using small sample sizes that can be purchased at drug stores or using items provided by hotels)

Recommended items:

  • Pillow (or to reduce bulk, bring a pillowcase and stuff it with your clothes)
  • Skin/rash guard (strongly recommended if you are fair skinned and/or chill easily in the water)
  • Flipflops/sandals for shower
  • Motion sickness patch or medicine (for time on boats)
  • Blank journal
  • Insect Repellent
  • Phone charger
  • Plastic bags to store wet or dirty items
  • Camera
  • Watch (waterproof preferred)
  • Ear plugs (for noise at night)

What not to bring

Students should not bring laptops, iPads, e-readers, or other valuable electronics as there will be no secure location to store them. Students are prohibited from bringing illegal drugs, alcohol, and weapons of any sort, including pocket or Swiss army knives.

Laundry Facilities

There are two coin operated laundry machines at MarineLab but we have very limited free time to use them. Please bring all the clothes you will need for the week.

V. Program Information (FAQ)

Where do we stay?

Students will be staying in dormitory-style housing at the MarineLab. Students will be housed with 3-12 peers, separated by gender, and will sleep on mattresses in bunk beds. Students should bring a pillow, extra-long twin bed sheets and blanket, or sleeping bag. The rooms are carpeted and air-conditioned. Please note: MarineLab keeps a “no food, no drinks, no wet items in the rooms” policy to cut down on odors, insects and damage. Students can expect three meals each day, mostly served in the cafeteria at the MarineLab.

What time is curfew?

Our days are busy, requiring the students’ energy and attention throughout the day. Curfew is at 10pm, at which point students are expected to be in their rooms and keeping noise to a minimum. Evening supervision will be provided by program staff who also stay at MarineLab overnight. Staff are available for support and assistance 24 hours a day.

How much homework should I expect?

There is no homework in this program.

How many students are there?

You can expect around 30 students at BELL, usually slightly more females than males. BELL students come from all over the U.S. and world, and range from 10th grade to graduated seniors.

How much money should I bring?

Accommodations and meals are covered in the program fee as well as entry fees to various sites. You will only need money while you are traveling to and from Florida. We will have one or two occasions to purchase souvenirs, if you so choose.

How often can I use my cell phone?

We try to stay tuned in to each other and to our natural surroundings throughout the program, so we ask that the use of mobile devices (for phone calls, texting, social media, etc.) be limited to free time in the evening. Letting go of the frequent connection to our phones helps us form a community and adjust to a new environment more quickly.

To contact us in an emergency, parents may call the On-site Director at 401-323-8326. Please note: this number will not be active until a few days before the program starts.

Swim Assessment

BELL: Florida Keys includes significant amount of time walking, swimming, or snorkeling every day. We will conduct on-site swim evaluations to determine the level of assistance each students requires while snorkeling. Students may participate in all activities, independent of their ability to swim. We provide life jackets for beginning swimmers.

Health and Wellness

Dietary Restrictions and Medical Conditions

We will work with the staff to make accommodations for dietary restrictions and food allergies if we are notified in advance. Students must communicate significant food allergies that require meal accommodations (e.g. gluten, shellfish, soy, eggs, milk) on the Off-Campus Dietary Concerns Form. Please also indicate any dietary preferences, including vegetarians and vegans, to allow us to plan accordingly.

What if I take prescription medication or need medical attention?

Students’ prescription medications will be collected by the On-Site Director or his/her designee on the first day of the program. Students must be responsible for requesting and taking prescribed dosage. Students with life-saving asthma and anaphylaxis medications (e.g., epi-pens and inhalers) must keep them on their person at all times. All students who are taking prescription medications should bring prescribed medication in the original container, and a copy of their prescription and give it to the On-site Director. Having a copy of the original prescription will enable us to replace medication if needed.

The Florida Keys program is a physically taxing program involving significant exertion in the outdoors. For your safety and comfort during the program, we expect participants to fully disclose any and all pre-existing medical conditions in required medical forms.

In a medical emergency, you will be transported to the Mariners Hospital in Tavernier, a short 20 minute drive away. For minor problems, we have a well-equipped first aid kit and staff certified in first aid and lifeguarding.

VI. Policies

Code of Conduct

Please review the Brown Pre-College Code of Conduct.

Financial Information

The payment deadline for the program is Wednesday, May 22. Students must be paid in full PRIOR to the start of the program. Please review our financial policies, including payment and refund information.


Students will receive a Course Performance Report, written by program staff and will also be asked to complete a course evaluation. Students who successfully complete the program will receive a Certificate of Completion. All completion materials including the evaluation will be sent 6 weeks after the program concludes. The certificate will be sent via US Mail but other items will be sent electronically to the student email we have on file.

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