Preparing to Go: London

Overview

Spring 2018 Pre-Departure PowerPoint: London (coming soon)

Syracuse London Program Dates

Syracuse London Center

Faraday House
48-51 Old Gloucester Street
London WC1N 3AE
Tel: (011-44-207) 400-9310
sulondon.syr.edu
sulondon@syr.edu

London staff contact information

Dr. Troy Gordon, Director, tpgordon@syr.edu
Marco Figueiredo, Assistant Director for IT & Operations, mfigueir@syr.edu
Nada Wansa Silman, Assistant Director for Programming & Student Life, nwsilman@syr.edu
Meghan Callahan, Assistant Director for Teaching & Learning, macallah@syr.edu
Lisa Watkins, Health & Wellness Adviser, lwatkins@syr.edu
Olivia Compton, Community Engagement Officer, ofcompto@syr.edu
Stephen Halliday, Field Trips Coordinator, sahallida@syr.edu
Jovita Adom, Academic Excellence Coordinator, joadom@syr.edu
Eugenia Francis, Registrar, eufranci@syr.edu
Raheel Rafiq, Finance Manager, rmrafiq@syr.edu
Julia Sheehan, Office Coordinator, jusheeha@syr.edu

Mailing Letters and Packages to Syracuse London Students:

Students will have a mail bin at the Syracuse London Center so all mail should be sent to the above Center address (not to a student’s flat address).

Sending packages: We’ve found that people do not receive the best advice in most U.S. post offices about sending packages to the UK. It is best to go to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs website and download the C3 form BEFORE sending any packages. The form asks the sender to list any contents of the package that might be liable for import fees. To avoid these fees, the best thing is to advise that the items are ‘personal effects’ and have no monetary value. The term No Monetary Value is the key term, as anything with monetary value may incur charges. This may seem counter-intuitive, as you may assume you need to put the real monetary value in case the items get lost. However, this will incur charges.

The worst-case scenario is that the student’s package arrives in the UK and is held by customs who demand that they pay a fee (often £50-£100) and fill in the BOR286 form  in order to have the package released and delivered. It is possible to get around this obstacle by downloading the C3 form  and sending it to the courier company who will then (in theory) release the package.

However, in some cases, the courier company won’t accept the claim that the items should not be liable for import duty. In this unfortunate instance, the student would either have to pay OR they can ask Customs to return the package to the sender. Once it has arrived back in the U.S., the sender can download the C3 form  mentioned above and re-send the package.

Staying Connected on Social Media

You can stay connected by following @syracuseabroad and @syracuselondon on Twitter and @syracuseabroad on Instagram.


Traveling to London

There are two options for travel to London. You can choose to participate in a group flight, offered by Advantage Travel, or you may choose to make your own travel arrangements and meet the group upon arrival in London. Admitted students receive an email detailing both options.

Group Flights

Participating in a group flight allows you the opportunity to travel to London with other students on our program as well as a Syracuse University group leader. Upon arrival in London, the Syracuse London Center staff will meet you at the airport.

Group flight tickets are round-trip. It is important to note, however, that group leaders are not on the return flights to the U.S. You are responsible for getting to the airport in London for your return to the U.S.

Independent Travel

Students who choose to travel independently to London will receive an independent travel memo detailing where to go after arrival in London. You will need to take a train and/or taxi from the airport. Please note that you will not be able to take the bus with the students on the group flight and should plan on making your own arrangements into the city.

If you have not made your own arrangements for getting into London from Heathrow or Gatwick and you’d like the assurance of someone meeting you, former Syracuse London students have used a firm called the Keen Group. Their phone number is + 44 20 8299 4455 if you would like to contact them in advance to inquire about prices and to make a booking. If your flight is early/late they will text you personally. You might want to try posting a request on the Syracuse London Facebook group – if there is another Syracuse London-bound student on your flight (and there might well be, given so many of you arrive the same day) you could meet up during the flight and split the cost of the taxi.

Guidelines for Booking Independent Travel

If traveling independently to London, you must purchase a flight that arrives in London by noon on Tuesday, January 16. Your return flight should depart London on or after May 4.

U.S. and Canadian citizens are allowed 90 days outside of the dates of your visa for travel. Your visa will be issued for the exact program dates (not your exact travel dates) so you must be certain that your arrival and departure from the EU fall within the allotted 90-day window. For example, if you plan on arriving to the EU two days before the official program start date, then you must exit the EU within 88 days after the official program end date. There are no exceptions, and failure to comply could result in immediate deportation and/or criminal charges. Plan your travel accordingly! Syracuse University will not be responsible for students who fail to comply.

International students should check with their own consulate before making travel plans regarding length of travel allowed around their visa and make their flight reservations accordingly. Students who are not traveling on a U.S. or EU passport will need to check whether tourist and/or transit visas will be necessary for travel to countries included in the Seminar(s), course excursions, or during personal travel throughout the semester.


Living in London

Orientation

Orientation begins upon arrival in London and lasts through the first week (Tuesday through Friday). Orientation is mandatory. You are required to receive the orientation information from day one.

During orientation, you will meet our London staff, familiarize yourself with Faraday House and the city of London, and connect with other students on the program. You will also take care of many business items that will prepare you for the semester.

Syracuse London Flats

Knowing this, Syracuse London takes great care in selecting flats for our students to live in. Syracuse London students do not live in student dormitories, for example. Instead, they live with other Syracuse London students in independent flats in the city center (zone 1), within 30 minutes of the Syracuse London Center by bus, Tube, or walking. The flats we select are self-contained, fully equipped, independent properties, each in their own neighborhood with their own local shops and amenities. They are owned and managed by one of Syracuse London’s housing partners, whom we carefully select, ensuring a consistent level of quality and amenities. As a Syracuse London student, you will truly feel that you have ‘your’ corner of London, your neighborhood, as your home for the semester and as your base for exploring the city and beyond.

Unlimited Travel in the City

Even better, all Syracuse London students receive an Oyster card for zones 1 and 2 for the whole semester – which means you have unlimited travel around central London at no cost. This not only saves each student a lot of money, since London is one of the most expensive transportation cities in the world, but it also means you never have to worry about getting to class, going on field trips, getting home, or traveling anywhere you want to go in the city at any time. London truly becomes your ‘Oyster’, as the Oyster card promises.

Selecting Flatmates

The London admissions counselor at Syracuse Abroad and the staff at Syracuse London work with all students as soon as they are accepted, forming you into housing groups. You can choose groups yourself or we can introduce you to other students and assist. We ensure that no one is left out. Once housing groups are formed, the London staff will begin assigning groups to suitable flats. When the assignments are finalized, we will notify each student and each housing group about the location and details of your flat, so you can begin planning and coordinating.

When you arrive in London, everyone is required to meet at Faraday House, and we arrange a taxi (at no cost to the students) to take you and your flatmates to your new home. We’ll also have many staff and orientation guides on hand to assist, even going with you or meeting you at your flat if you have questions.

What’s Included with Each Flat

  • Keys
  • Wi-fi
  • Maintenance
  • Council tax & utilities
  • Standard visitor policy across all properties
  • Damages clause built into contract
  • Kitchen supplies

Managing Expectations

As you visualize your London flat, it’s important to keep in mind local norms. Flats in London – in most big cities – are smaller than what some students might expect. Shared accommodation is the norm. It’s also an old city with more historic buildings than new builds, so most flats will not have brand new features or pristine conditions. Electricity and gas equipment (lights, ovens, washing machines, outlets, etc.) may be different than what you’re used to. Flats will also differ from one another because each one is unique. And Londoners think nothing of a 30-minute commute – the average commute in the city is one hour – so it’s important to see distances through local eyes and local norms.

Technology Information

Electronic equipment is considerably more expensive in the UK so we strongly recommend that you buy laptops, tablets, external hard drives, etc. before you travel. If you haven’t done so already, invest in an external hard drive (LaCie, Seagate, Iomega, and Western Digital are good choices). Use it regularly to back up college work and your photos and videos. Remember to pack all cables and, more importantly, restore/recovery and installation discs that came with your laptop (in the event that anything should go wrong). When traveling, DO NOT check your laptop or external hard drives with your luggage as you risk loss and damage.

Computers are available for Syracuse London students at Faraday House. The computer lab is located on the second floor in room SR 205 and operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. The computer lab is open during term time Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Faraday House and the computer lab are closed on Saturdays. Extended opening hours in the run up to midterm and final exams will be announced in London. Shortened opening hours will operate during mid-semester break.

The Faraday House computer room is equipped with networked PCs all with Internet access. Additional Macs are available for photography students. The building is also equipped with wireless Internet access throughout.

Students use their existing SU NetID and password for logging on to Syracuse London computer room machines. Visiting students will be issued an SU NetID and email address before departure. All communication from Syracuse London will be sent to this email so it is imperative you check this regularly, it is recommended you set up your SU email as an additional account on your device.

Help with Computers

Syracuse London does not have the resources to offer extensive advice or assistance with computer problems. Although Syracuse London can help you find a reasonably affordable local repair service, it’s always best to get coverage from the manufacturer. For example, Apple and Dell will repair American machines in the UK, but only under certain warranties. Check the terms of your warranty to see if you are covered for repairs outside of the US. If not, you may be able to purchase an international upgrade to your existing domestic warranty for your time abroad. We strongly advise you to secure this additional coverage before coming to London. Local contact details for product support in the UK should be available on your manufacturer’s website.

If you need to report a fault with the computers in the computer lab, email LDNHELP@ot.syr.edu. Marco Figueiredo, the Assistant Director for IT & Operations, is also available to answer questions about other IT facilities and access to Blackboard and library services.

To buy adapters and other computer accessories, Maplin stores are generally the cheapest option. The nearest one is at 52-54 High Holborn.

Wireless Internet – AirOrangeX

Syracuse London provides free wireless access to students, staff and faculty. To log on to the network choose ‘AirOrangeX’ as your wireless network from your list of available networks and use your SU-issued NetID and password to log in. For students coming from Syracuse, your devices may connect automatically as it is the same network as you use back on home campus. All users must act responsibly and maintain the integrity of the Internet connection. We reserve the right to deny, limit, revoke, or extend computing privileges and access to the wireless network at our discretion. All users should note that the wireless connection is provided by the home campus and as such is monitored by them. Users must adhere to the policies and guidelines outlined by Syracuse University.

U.S. wireless cards and equipment will work fine in the UK.

Architecture and Design Studios

Our studios are open whenever the building is open: Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Faraday House and all studios are closed on Saturdays. Extended opening hours in the run-up to midterm and final exams will be announced in London. Shortened opening hours will operate during mid-semester break.

Classroom Facilities

For presentations in the classroom, all teaching areas are equipped with high-quality projectors. Laptops can be borrowed by previous arrangement with the operations team, preferably booked at least one day in advance.

Cell Phone

Most students purchase a cell phone when they arrive in the UK. However, if you are an AT&T or T-Mobile customer, you may be able to use your phone in the UK. You will need to get your phone “unlocked” when you arrive. Request the code to “unlock” your phone and instructions prior to your departure. You can then purchase a SIM card in the UK and use your phone while you are abroad. If you want to purchase a phone for use in London, the several local stores offer an excellent low price. There will be a representative from a UK mobile phone company at Faraday House on Arrivals Day to answer your questions about phone plans and give general advice.

While the use of a British cell phone is encouraged for the duration of the program, we still recommend that you bring your U.S. cell phone for use on the transatlantic travel dates (departure and return flights to/from the United States). In the event of a travel delay or flight change, it is helpful to have your cell phone in the airport so you can contact your family and Syracuse Abroad.

Work Study

Syracuse students only: Work-study positions are available at the Syracuse London center. If you have work-study as part of your Syracuse University financial aid package, you will be able to apply for available positions during orientation. You MUST have a Tier 4 visa in order to be considered for a work-study position at Syracuse London and/or an internship. Please consult your counselor Caitlin Jarvis if you have questions about applying for the Tier 4 visa. If you would like to apply for a work-study position at Syracuse London and have a Tier 4 visa, please contact Program Manager Nada Wansa-Silman.

Please remember it is illegal to work abroad unless your visa states that you have this option. If you are apprehended working illegally, you are subject to immediate deportation.


Health Information

Information for Students with Allergies

As you may know, most general practitioners within the British health system are unable to administer allergy shots. You may, however, be able to bring the following items with you to London: your medication, a reference letter from your physician in the United States and your physician’s case notes pertaining to your injections. If you have a serious allergy, please carry a medical alert card with you at all times.

Syracuse London staff has located a clinic that is able to administer allergy shots—the London Allergy Clinic (Tel: 020 7637 9711; www.londonallergyclinic.com ). Before your first treatment, you will be required to have a consultation, which will cost approximately £150*. Any shots or further treatments will cost approximately £55*. You must follow these guidelines:

  • Bring your medication with you in the original containers. The contents of all vials must be clearly and accurately labeled.
  • Bring a prescription schedule from your physician in the US, outlining what shots you have received to date and what you will need.
  • Bring a reference letter from your physician in the U.S. and carry a copy of your medical file, or at least the case notes pertaining to your allergy medication.
  • Bring a copy of your skin prick test results.
  • Carry the medication and the authorization in your carry-on luggage. DO NOT pack medication in your checked luggage.
  • Bring a reference letter from your physician and a copy of your medical file, or at least the case notes pertaining to your allergy medication.
  • Budget for the extra cost of private medical care.
  • Check with your medical insurance provider in the US regarding coverage and reimbursement for allergy shots and private care while in London.
  • Contact Lisa Watkins, Health and Wellness Advisor, upon arrival in London.

*Prices correct as of March 2016.

Remember that medical practices in the UK reserve the right to only administer treatments that they determine to be indicated and appropriate. Our students have almost never encountered any problems, but if yours is an unusual situation or you require a very high dosage, you might want to contact the clinic prior to departure to make certain that your request is something they can handle.

If you have further questions, contact Bridget Demorest, Syracuse Abroad Assistant Director, Student Services, at brhughes@syr.edu or (315) 443-1844.

Freedom Health

Your good health is vital to excelling academically and participating fully in living and traveling abroad. To help support you in staying healthy, Syracuse London is partnered with the highly regarded clinic, Freedom Health. If you become ill and need to see a medical doctor, Syracuse London will pay for your initial visit to Freedom Health. In order to be seen by a Freedom Health medical doctor, you must get in touch with a member of the Program Office to get an e-mail confirmation, which can be provided to the clinic.

Many students have reported positively on the healthcare they have received from the doctors at Freedom Health. You can email them or call them at 020 3642 7871 to book an appointment or ask a question. They can supply the paperwork you need for your insurance company.

Most importantly, please let us know if you have any major health problems or concerns, so that we’re in the best position to help you.


Finances

Syracuse London Financial Planning Budget 2017-18

Banking

A Visa or MasterCard bank card with an international PIN (personal identification number) is the best way to access money in London. Check with your bank to be sure your ATM card can be used in foreign countries and to find out about any ATM/transaction fees.

Note that Bank of America and the UK bank, Barclays, have an agreement where U.S. customers will not be charged an ATM fee. HSBC banks in London will also not charge fees to U.S. customers. Please see the Finances Abroad section for more information on banking while abroad.

If you participate in an Syracuse London field trip requiring extra payment, it must be made by Visa or MasterCard (NOT American Express). One-day field trips require a £10 refundable cash deposit; short events such as walking tours require a £5 refundable cash deposit.


Academic Information

Enrollment Policies

All undergraduate students must enroll on a full-time basis and register for a minimum of 12 credits of Syracuse Abroad courses taught in London (this does not include a Signature Seminar, online credits, nor independent study courses with a Syracuse main campus sponsor). Due to UK immigration requirements, students may not drop below 12 credits of Syracuse Abroad courses taught in London at any point during the semester.

Undergraduates may register for up to 19 total credits, including the credits for an optional Signature Seminar and all other classes at no additional charge.

Attendance

As with all Syracuse Abroad centers, Syracuse University London has a strict attendance policy. Punctual class attendance is mandatory at Syracuse University London. It is also monitored by the UK government authorities for purposes of immigration compliance. To comply with Syracuse London policies, professors are required to take attendance in every class and course-related activity. Professors are also required to report any unusual or repeated absence or tardiness to the Program Office. An absence is excused only for documented and serious medical problems, or for reasons approved in advance by the Program Office. Parental, friend or sweetheart visits, missed transportation connections, mild colds, headaches or hangovers, weekend or unofficial trips away from Syracuse London, etc., are not acceptable grounds for missing class and will result in an unexcused absence.

Do not plan personal travel until you get to London and know when you may be required to take part in a class-related study tour, make-up classes, exam periods, and other academic commitments. Some of these visits will occur on weekends, and missing them will result in an unexcused absence. Each unexcused absence may result in a lowering of the final course grade.

Please note that exam schedules at the end of the semester do not necessarily coincide with class days, so students should not plan any departure prior to the published last day of the program.

Classes

Classes at Syracuse London meet either twice a week for one hour and a half, or once a week for three hours. This may require an adjustment in concentration, so be prepared. Laptops, phones or tablets are not allowed in the classroom, unless you have a documented need for them, or if professors request that you use them as part of a group project.

Registration

Online course registration occurs prior to departure with dates announced in the academic packet available to students ahead of time. Enrollment in specific disciplines may be limited during online registration. You will need special permission from our office to register for any courses designated in the academic packet as “Special Enrollment”. To be considered for these courses, you must meet any prerequisites, return your Student Advising Form by the specified deadline, and list the Special Enrollment course among the first four courses on the form. You will receive registration instructions one to two weeks before registration starts. The instructions will include a list of names of students eligible to enroll in Special Enrollment courses.

Visits and Course Fees

Many courses get you out of the classroom and into museums, theaters, and cultural and religious centers where you will view or experience what you are studying. The timetable of classes in the academic packet will indicate whether additional fees and/or site visits or meetings other than classroom time are required of these courses.

Internships

The London Center will review requests for internships for students who submit the Internship Application Form by the deadline. Please note there will be financial penalties for withdrawing from the internship at various times throughout the process as outlined in the Internship Commitment Form, which students will receive later in the semester after their video pre-placement interview.

Students choosing to find an internship independently, through personal connections or family contacts, must complete the Syracuse London Independent Internship Form. While students sourcing their own placements will not receive a placement through the London Center, they will also need to abide by the below requirements and submit the Independent Internship Form by October 15 for the spring semester.

Students considering an internship should also understand:

  • You must have a Tier 4 visa (at a cost to you of £322, or approximately $520) to be placed in an internship.
  • All placements require at least two full days’ commitment on-site per week so you need to work out a class schedule that leaves two days open, one of which may need to be a Friday. There are no classes on Fridays as those are reserved for field trips. If you are unable to work out a class schedule that leaves two days other than Friday free, you will not be able to participate in the Friday field trips, most of which are included in the program fee. No refunds will be given if you can’t attend the field trips.
  • If you intend for an internship to meet a degree requirement, discuss this with your home college or major advisor before you go abroad and also inform the London center.
  • All interns are legally required by UK immigration to enroll in the academic component of the internship program, BUA 400, The Global Workplace, a 90-minute weekly class earning 3 credits (inclusive of credits for the internship).
  • Syracuse Bandier students register for The Global Workplace as RAE 408. Music industry majors and minors placed in music industry internships register for this class as MUI 408.
  • Syracuse Newhouse students in communications internships must register The Global Workplace class for 2 credits and their internship as COM 470 for 1 credit. In addition, before going abroad, they must arrange for a main campus Newhouse faculty sponsor and will need to petition for approval once the internship is confirmed. Approval is based on the proposal you submit which is subject to review by the communications department and your college dean.
  • Syracuse Whitman students may not use internships abroad to fulfill their internship degree requirement. Students are encouraged to discuss any internship plan with Whitman advising staff.
  • Music industry majors and minors placed in music industry internships register for this class as MUI 408.

For further information regarding internships in London, please contact Olivia Compton, the Community Engagement Officer, at ofcompto@syr.edu.