Introducing Your Student Senators Council Site Ambassador

The Student Senators Council at NYU has selected a group of your peers studying away in the spring of 2017 as student representatives who will work to improve student life across NYU’s Global Network University. Known as your Site Ambassadors, they will act as a general liaison between students at your site and global programs initiatives in Abu Dhabi, New York, or Shanghai.

Without further ado, we would like to introduce Kara Stevens, ks3579@nyu.edu.

My name is Kara. I grew up thirty minutes outside of New York City and spent my summers on Catchacoma Lake in Ontario, Canada. At school, I’m involved in Gallatin’s growing film community. I spent my senior year of high school in Rennes, France living with a host family. I also lived in London my freshman year at NYU. I’m passionate about filmmaking, food policy and animal rights. In my free time, I like cooking new recipes, reading new literary magazines and county newspapers, and taking photos.

I’m very excited to host town hall meetings and other events that will give students the opportunity to come together and use their voices. I’m motivated to create several opportunities for our community to get to know each other and share our experiences abroad. Particularly in the beginning of the semester and all throughout, I hope to be an advocate for anyone who is having a difficult time adjusting socially or academically.

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What to do if you Encounter Flight Cancellations or Delays

While our hope is that you arrive at your study away destination without any challenges, we know at times these can occur for a variety of reasons.  Please note that NYU is unable to act as an intermediary between the traveler and airline, but it may be helpful to keep in mind the below tips should you encounter any flight cancellations or delays:

Contact Your Airline First

Number one tip: Whether it’s an airport delay or flight cancellation, contact your airline – immediately.  It is most beneficial to act quickly so that you are able to grab a seat on the next available flight if necessary.  Many passengers will be trying to rebook and options may become more limited the longer you wait.

If Your Flight is Canceled:

  • Multi-task communications: If your flight is canceled or delayed, immediately get in line for a gate agent; at the same time, call the airline (it may be quicker).
  • If you have a frequent flyer status with the airline that gives you access to a priority phone number, using this may expedite the service you receive.

Note: There are no federal requirements that require airlines to provide you with any hotel or meal vouchers due to events outside their control such as weather, but airline policies on this vary. When in doubt, ask. Some will provide you with certain amenities.

If Your Flight is Delayed:

  • Stay in touch with the airline: Follow the tips above; stay connected to your carrier
  • Don’t be late to the gate: Even if you’ve been told your flight is delayed, stay in the gate area. Delays can evaporate and windows of opportunity for take-off can be short; if you’re not present for boarding, you may be out of luck

Note: Always be at the gate at least 20 minutes before departure, minimum.

Ultimately, if you are in an area where you still have access to email or phone service, please contact the appropriate staff member(s) at NYU Paris listed on your arrival cheat sheet to forward your updated itinerary.  This is another reason why it is important to have a copy in your carry on.  

Should your updated itinerary arrive outside of the provided transportation window, you will be responsible for getting to housing (but don’t worry – the arrival cheat sheet will have all the relevant details necessary to do so!).  

The staff recognize these occurrences are beyond your control so will work with you to catch up if any material is missed.  On behalf of the entire NYU Global Programs team, we wish you safe travels!

Global Safety Tips

Keeping you safe — and ensuring your ability to make academic progress — are top priorities for NYU. As you prepare to spend the semester away from your home campus, we wanted to share with you some tips and best practices that will help to do so.

The University continuously monitors events in cities and countries around the globe, and adjusts security precautions, as necessary, based on the local environment. Should an urgent situation arise, the University maintains an emergency notification system, which delivers alerts via text message and email.

  • Register your travel with your respective embassy or consulate – both while you are at your study away location, and anywhere else your travel plans may take you.
  • Make sure to have a mobile phone with you whenever you’re away from the site – and be sure to keep it charged!
  • If you are planning on traveling away from your site – even if only for a night — please be sure to register your trip in NYU Traveler, and let a member of your local site staff know.
  • Please be sure that your site staff has a local contact phone number for you.
  • Do your homework before you travel away from your site. Check for potential travel warnings for cities and countries to which you are thinking about traveling (the US State Department website is a good place to start.
  • Always be fully aware of your surroundings. Avoid at-risk areas (in many cities, this could include locations that are very popular with tourists). And if during your travels you ever find yourself in a situation in which you feel uncomfortable, trust your instincts and leave.
  • Whenever possible, travel in groups. Whether you’re going out for an evening, or are planning to explore the region (or beyond), go with friends!
  • If you don’t know the person entering a building right after you, make sure they have their own ID — don’t allow “piggy-backing” at entrances to NYU academic centers and residence halls.
  • If you ever have a question or concern about your safety – either at your site, or while you are traveling – either check with your local site staff, or call the NYU Public Safety Command Center (open 24/7) at +1.212.998.2222.
  • Should you ever feel anxious or upset during your time away, or you simply want to have someone to speak to, please call the Wellness Exchange (24/7). You can always reach them at +1.212.443.9999, but many sites also have local numbers, which can be found here.

For more safety tips, visit: http://www.nyu.edu/paris/student-life/safety.html

Practical Pre-Departure Checklist & Packing Tips

As you prepare to get on a plane, it is now time to review the below final checklist full of practical items and packing tips to ensure your travel goes smoothly.  Also, take note of what NOT to pack by visiting this website.

  • Notify your bank and credit cards that you will be abroad.  Make sure they won’t block your accounts when they see international charges, and ask for phone numbers to call from abroad in the event you have any issues. The 1-800 numbers on the back won’t always work from overseas.
  • Have all medications you may need for the full term & bring a copy of prescriptions (medication, eyeglasses, etc.) and carry it with you in your carry on.  Your carry on should also have all important paperwork, phone numbers, and a change of clothes in case your luggage arrives late.
  • Make photocopies of your passport/visa, ID, and cards (bank, credit card). Leave one copy of this packet with your parents and bring a set with you in your carry-on.  That way, if these items are lost or stolen, they’re much easier to replace.
  • Bring your flight confirmation printout to the airport.
  • Check the luggage restrictions for your airline before you pack.
  • Have some cash on hand to get you through the first few days (you can exchange at the airport if needed, but service fees can be hefty.  Banks can generally issue euros ahead of time if they have notice.  Or simply withdraw cash from the ATM directly once you land – this can be easiest)
  • Have a copy of your arrival cheat sheet (coming next week!) – and leave one with your family!
  • Set up a plan of communicating with your family members while abroad—we recommend calling or e-mailing them only once or twice a week while abroad. Your parents will ALWAYS want to talk to you more often than that, but remember that part of studying in another country is putting some distance between you and your old life. You’ll be better for it!
  • Buy a journal.  Study Away is a profoundly personal experience and Facebook updates alone won’t capture the spirit of what you are doing.  Keep a journal that is meant to be just for you.  
  • Do not plan to use your blow dryers and flat irons that you use currently. Even with a plug adaptor and converter, the higher voltage can destroy (as in burn to a crisp!) your appliances and could potentially knock out power in entire buildings, which isn’t a great way to make friends abroad. If you’re not willing to forgo the blow dryers and flat irons for a few months, then it’s best to purchase local versions that operate on 220 volts once you get abroad.
  • Bring a small weekend-size bag/backpack/collapsible duffle bag for trips you’ll take during your time abroad.
  • Don’t forget that you cannot bring more than 3 oz. of any liquid in your carry on for your flight overseas.  Airport security can be very stringent. Make sure you follow all the rules when it comes to flying!
  • If you follow a special diet (vegetarian, kosher, etc.) don’t forget to inform your airline ahead of time. It’s horribly unpleasant to be hungry and thirsty while you’re on a plane and they control when you get meals, so bring some snacks (stay away from fruit, as some countries don’t want you to bring perishable food into their airports). And make sure you have your own water on the flight (though, remember, you can’t take any through security).
  • Last but definitely not least, try to pack LIGHT.  Layers, layers, layers!  You will inevitably come home with more than you started with.

You can find more packing information linked here!

Offices Closing for Winter Break

NYU’s Office of Global Programs and Office of Global Services, as well as most other departments around NYU, will be closed for the winter break starting at 4pm EST on Friday, December 23rd. We will reopen on Wednesday, January 4th at 9am EST.  Both the Office of Global Programs and the Office of Global Services will not be monitoring voicemail or emails during this time.

We understand that questions may come up while our office is closed – if so, please use the “Search” tool within this blog to see if we have covered it already (in many cases, we have!). This blog is meant to be your main resource of things to know and do regarding Paris, and can continue to assist in answering your questions even when we are not available.

Happy New Year and Best Wishes this Holiday Season!

Paris City Guide from ThisIsNYU Bloggers

As you may know from previous updates, students across the global sites are currently blogging on ThisIsNYU about their experiences away and must-see spots.  Visit the Paris City Guide to see favorite places to go, things to do, areas to visit beyond Paris, and overall advice.

We encourage you to sign up and blog for ThisIsNYU too during your time away!  Not only will others benefit from your recommendations, but this is a great way to document and share your experience with family and friends.  To get started or to learn more, simply visit nyu.edu/global/bloggers. The “Getting Started” page will have you ready to start in under 15 minutes, so you can sign up — and start blogging — today!

Attend Beyond the Selfie Next Week!

Join us next week Wednesday, December 7th for Beyond the Selfie! Eat and mingle with your spring 2017 study abroad peers and receive tips from study abroad alums on how to get the most out of your travel writing, blogging, photography and video during your semester away. All attendees will automatically be entered into a raffle to receive great prizes.

Beyond the Selfie
Wednesday, December 7th
1:00pm to 3:00pm
Palladium Multipurpose Room
140 East 14th Street, 3rd Floor

There will be pizza and dumplings! Please RSVP on Facebook if you’re interested in going so we can have enough food available for everyone. If you don’t use Facebook just send an email to global.admissions@nyu.edu.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Learn more about engaging with your study away classmates and becoming a Global Peer Mentor!

There are many ways to contribute to student life at both your study away location and back at your home campus. The Office of Global Programs works collaboratively with students before, during, and after study away to engage more deeply in matters of cultural transition, personal identity, community building, and reflective practice.

In the coming weeks we will be meeting with interested students to discuss ways in which you can either begin – or continue – to engage with your peers and campus communities while studying at the global sites.

If interested, CLICK HERE!

Please submit your contact info by Monday, December 5th.