B2B: Strategic Response to RiskB2B: Strategic Response to Risk

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Where does the program take place?

A. The program is hosted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank group member, in Washington, D.C. The address is: 2121 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20433.

Back to top

Q. How do I get to Washington, D.C.?

A. There are three international airports serving the Washington, D.C. area: Washington Dulles (IAD – http://www.flydulles.com/iad/dulles-international-airport), Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA – http://www.flyreagan.com/dca/reagan-national-airport), and the Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI – http://www.bwiairport.com/en). 

There are several ways to get from the airports to downtown Washington, D.C. using taxi stands (a list of taxi services is available here: http://dctaxi.dc.gov/page/dispatch-companies). Public transportation is also available, both in the city as well as from the airport: www.wmata.com. There is also a shuttle service available for transportation into town: http://www.supershuttle.com.

Back to top

Q. What do the tuition fees cover?

A. The tuition for the program is USD $3,900 (non-refundable registration fee of USD $500 and a program fee of USD $3,400). Tuition fees cover:

  • Program participation and materials
  • Meals during the event: breakfasts, coffee breaks, lunches, a scheduled cocktail, and a graduation dinner.

Back to top

Q. What other costs will I need to cover?

A. Participants are responsible for the cost of travel to Washington, D.C., accommodations, visa fees and incidentals. Dinner is not included in the program and must be covered by participants.

Excursions, tours and evening activities arranged by Boulder Institute are also not included in the tuition fee. These activities are optional and prices range from USD $8 to $100 per excursion.

Also, please consider purchasing travel insurance. In the event you might need medical attention, costs can be steep in the United States.

The following table includes three sample budgets. They do not include airfare and other related travel expenses (transfer to and from your home airport, visa fees, travel insurance, etc.), or shopping expenses.

Sample 2017 Budgets in USD
*Does not include airfare and other related travel expenses

Conservative Budget in USD:

Tuition ($500 non-refundable registration fee + $3,400 program fee) $ 3,900
2 Star Hotel w/o breakfast ($100/night x 6 nights) $ 600
Dinner & incidentals ($30 x 5 days) $ 150
Excursions, social activities, daily transportation, miscellaneous $ 200
TOTAL $ 4,850

Medium Budget in USD:

Tuition ($500 non-refundable registration fee + $3,400 program fee) $ 3,900
3 Star Hotel w/o breakfast ($185/night x 6 nights) $ 1,150
Dinner & incidentals ($50 x 5 days) $ 250
Excursions, social activities, daily transportation, miscellaneous $ 300
TOTAL $ 5,600

Liberal Budget in USD:

Tuition ($500 non-refundable registration fee + $3,400 program fee) $ 3,900
5 Star Hotel w/o breakfast ($350/night x 6 nights) $ 2,100
Dinner & incidentals ($70 x 5 days) $ 350
Excursions, social activities, daily transportation, miscellaneous $ 350
TOTAL $ 6,700

Back to top

Q. Are discounts or other forms of financial assistance available?

A. Boulder Institute offers an early bird discount of $150 if you register before June 30! Please do register early and let us know if you are an IFC client, as IFC investees may be eligible for additional discounts. For guidance on how to go about securing alternative funding to attend the program, click here.

Back to top

Q. Is this program right for someone new to microfinance?

A. Back to Boulder: Strategic Response to Risk in Microfinance Markets is designed for professionals with experience in microfinance and financial inclusion, especially those who have attended Boulder Institute programs in the past.

If you are a professional beginning your career in microfinance and financial inclusion, we are happy to help you figure out which of our programs is best aligned with your background and interests. Please email us at pax_b2b@bouldermicrofinance.org.

Back to top

Q. What is the program’s schedule?

A. This intensive microfinance training program will take place during a full week. Classes will run from 9:00am to 5:30 pm each day, incorporating two 30-minute coffee breaks and a one-hour lunch period. A welcome cocktail is scheduled for Monday and a celebratory graduation dinner for Friday.

Participants should plan for one to two hours of course preparation/reading each evening. There may also be some after class round-table discussions, panels or meetings.

There will be several social and cultural activities planned for participants after classes and during the weekends before and after the program. These are optional and not included in the program’s tuition. You will receive more information about how to sign up for these activities at the event.

For more information about the program’s schedule, click here.

Back to top

Q. How do I select my courses?

A. Elective courses are organized by concentration:  Risk Governance and Enhanced Competitiveness.

When you register, you will be asked to select the concentration you prefer. After you have been accepted into the program and submit your registration fee, we will send you a confirmation email with your selected concentration and associated course descriptions.

Back to top

Q. How do I register for the program?

A. You will first need to complete the online registration form in order to secure your space. We will then review your registration to confirm you are a good fit for the program. If you have concerns about whether this is the right program for you, please do not hesitate to contact us.

As we get closer to the program’s start, you will receive emails with additional instructions on payment procedures, securing your visa (if necessary), course selection, etc.

Application for the program is on a first-come-first-served basis, with preferential placement for Boulder Institute alumni. Once you have received a registration confirmation and completed your tuition payment, your place will be reserved.

We encourage you to apply early in order to secure your space in the program and receive an early bird discount of USD $150 by June 30, 2017.  

To register now, click here

Back to top

Q. Is special food available to meet dietary restrictions (Halal, vegetarian, etc.)?

A. Boulder programs offer a wide array of food choices. Because we organize international programs, we offer food options that meet the dietary restrictions of many different cultures (i.e. vegetarian, halal, etc.).

While participants will have lunch at the event, dinner will not be provided on most days. A variety of dinner options are available in close proximity to the event venue, costing anywhere between USD $10 to $18. 

Back to top

Q. How do I get my visa to travel to the US?

A. The following website provides information about countries whose citizens will need to obtain a visa to travel to the United States: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html

If you require a visa to enter the United States, you will need to contact your nearest American consulate or embassy and apply for a 'Business Visa'. This process can take some time, so we strongly recommend that you apply at least two months before the program to ensure you receive your visa in time.

In preparation for securing your visa, we encourage you to make sure that your passport is current and will not expire within 6 months of the program. It is also important that you know where the nearest American consulate / embassy is located. To determine which consulate / embassy office will process your visa application, please visit: http://www.usembassy.gov/

To determine what documentation you will need in order to apply for a visa as well as other requirements specific to your country of origin, we suggest that you visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/visa-wizard.html

Once you have submitted your registration fee, Boulder Institute will provide you with a letter of invitation to the appropriate embassy or consulate. The letter will be sent approximately 6 to 8 weeks before the program’s start date in order to avoid embassies rejecting applications sent too early or requesting information you don't yet have (accommodations, tickets, etc.).

The embassy / consulate may provide you with additional instructions for obtaining your visa, and it is very important that you follow these instructions in a timely manner. For example, you may need to travel to the consulate to provide them with additional information or pick up your visa in person.

Before this time, we encourage you to request information from the American embassy / consulate to ensure you understand the process and documents that will be required.

Please feel free to contact us at pax_b2b@bouldermicrofinance.org if you have any questions or concerns about your visa process!

Back to top

Q. What are the health requirements for traveling to the US?

A. It is very important to note that one should be in good health before coming to the program. If you are feeling ill beforehand, a medical provider should ensure that you are fit to travel.

It is highly recommended that you purchase US visitor health insurance prior to your departure. The United States offers some of the best medical care in the world but it is also very expensive and can even be cost prohibitive if hospitalization is required. For example, a visit to the emergency room can average over USD $2,000. If you need to purchase medications while in the US, a US physician’s prescription will most likely be required given that few medicines can be issued at a pharmacy without a US prescription.

US visitor health insurance can be purchased via your local travel agency. For your convenience, we have compiled the following list of websites that provide information on health requirements for traveling to the US and health insurance coverage for visitors:

 

Back to top

Q. What should I know about customs and security measures before I travel to the US?

A. Customs and security requirements for traveling to the United States are an important consideration given current security measures. Here are some helpful links regarding health and travel in the United States:

Back to top

Q. What tourist activities can I do while I'm in Washington, D.C.?

A. You can learn more about Washington, D.C. and extracurricular activities by looking at our page about the city. To see this page, click here.

Back to top

Q. What clothing should I bring for the program?

A. November and December are cooler months in Washington, D.C. In November, temperatures range from about 11°C (52°F) during the day to around 6°C (43°F) at night. We suggest you bring an umbrella or raincoat in case it rains.

You should bring clothes appropriate for cool weather during the daytime and a jacket for evenings. Also, be aware that the training rooms have central air heating and can become a little hot at times. You can check for weather conditions here:

https://weather.com/weather/5day/l/Washington+DC+USDC0001:1:US

For most of the program, you are free to dress casually in clothing that you find comfortable. There are a few special events, like the graduation dinner, for which you may want to wear more formal attire. We will take a group photo with all participants on this day and have a special, 20+ year custom of participants wearing the traditional dress from their countries. We hope that you will share your traditional dress with us! Please bring comfortable shoes, as Washington, D.C. is a very walkable city and the venue is within walking distance of a number of shops and restaurants. 

Back to top

Q. Where can I exchange currency?

A.  There are several foreign currency exchanges in the vicinity of the training venue. For more information, please consult:

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/031215/best-places-exchange-currency-washington-dc.asp

Back to top

Q. Is there any other information I should know?

A. We really recommend that you do not plan to send back large items to your country as they are difficult to ship and it detracts from focusing on the program. Also, please take into consideration the guidelines from US Customs and Security that can be seen below:

Back to top

Q. Who can I contact to learn more about the program?

A. If your question has not been answered, please email:
pax_b2b@bouldermicrofinance.org

Back to top

Boulder Institute of Microfinance

120 E Washington Street Suite 325
Syracuse, New York 13202, USA
+1 (315) 760-3091

info@bouldermicrofinance.org

Boulder Institute