Preparing to Go: Strasbourg

Overview

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

Syracuse Strasbourg Program Dates

Syracuse Strasbourg Center mailing address:

Université de Syracuse
19 Quai Rouget de Lisle
67000 Strasbourg, France

Mail should be sent to the Syracuse Center address above at the student’s attention, not the host family address. Students will have a mailbox at the Syracuse center. The staff will hold packages and students will be notified to pick them up.

Strasbourg staff contact information:

Dr. Raymond Bach, Director, rebach@syr.edu
Mary Boyington, Assistant Director, mcboying@syr.edu
Sabrina Barel, Student Services/Receptionist, sbarel@syr.edu
Alison Bayart, Assistant to the Director, ambayart@syr.edu
Mick Hardenberg, Housing and Community Internship Coordinator, mhardenb@syr.edu

Staying connected on social media:

Twitter: @syracuseabroad or @SUStrasbourg; Instagram: @syracuseabroad; Facebook: Syracuse University in Strasbourg


Getting to Strasbourg

The Strasbourg semester starts with a Signature Seminar, which begins in Berlin in the fall and Paris in the spring. There are two options with regard to travel: you can choose to take a group flight offered by Advantage Travel, or you may choose to make your own travel arrangements and meet the group upon arrival. Admitted students receive an email detailing both options.

Before You Leave

You need to apply for your French student visa. All students (apart from EU citizens traveling on a valid EU passport), participating in the Strasbourg program must get a French student visa prior to departure. Obtaining a French student visa is a multi-step process, so it is important that you begin early and follow all instructions given to you by your admissions counselor.

Group Flights

Taking a group flight allows you to travel with other students on our program, as well as with a Syracuse University group leader (East Coast departures only). Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport by Syracuse center staff and taken by bus to the hostel or hotel to begin the Signature Seminar.

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 departure airport from Strasbourg on your own for your return to the U.S.

Independent Travel

Students who choose to travel independently to meet the group will receive an independent travel memo, detailing when and where to meet with the group upon arrival. If traveling independently, you must arrive prior to the group flight. This way, you will travel on the group bus from the airport. You may also wish to arrive the day before, though it is up to you to make arrangements to stay at the seminar hotel (or the hotel of your choice) at your own expense.


Living in Strasbourg

Meals

In Strasbourg, you will live with a host family who will provide you with breakfast seven days a week and an evening dinner five days a week (Sunday through Thursday). The Sunday meal may be replaced with a Friday evening meal by mutual agreement between you and your host. You will need to budget additional funds to cover the rest of your meals.

Midterm Break

Students are responsible for their housing and meals during the mid-semester break and will need to cover the costs from their personal funds.

Students in French University Programs

Students enrolled in the Institut International d’Etudes Françaises (IIEF), the Université de Strasbourg (UdS), the Conservatoire de Strasbourg, or the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (IEP)  remain in Strasbourg longer than those students who are only taking classes at the Syracuse Strasbourg Center due to the French institutions’ extended academic calendars. Your program fee will be adjusted to reflect these additional housing expenses.

Transportation

Bus and tram transportation: The CTS is Strasbourg’s public transit system (www.cts-strasbourg.fr ). From Monday to Saturday buses and trams run frequently from early in the morning to approximately 12:30 a.m. For late-night travel, there are special bus lines. On Sundays and holidays, trams and buses run on a more limited schedule.

As part of your program fee, you will receive a monthly bus/tram pass, which permits unlimited travel on the CTS network. You are responsible, however, for any travel costs after public transportation ceases to run (e.g., taxi fare to return home after a late social activity).

Bicycles: Many students choose to rent bicycles for the semester with Velhop (www.velhop.strasbourg.eu). Strasbourg has the most extensive system of bike paths of any city in France.


Technology

Computers
Computers and wireless access are available in the Strasbourg Center during its regular hours:

Monday to Thursday: 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Personal Laptops
For general computer connections, you must ensure that your computer will work on 220/240-volt, 50-cycle current. Since nearly all laptops work on 100- to 240-volts, 50/60-cycle current, the only accessory that you will probably need is a plug adapter. These are available from most electronics stores. All host families have Internet access and many local cafés provide wireless access to their customers.

Cell Phones
There are several options for students:

  1. Bring an unlocked smart phone and install a French SIM card (which costs approx. 10 Euros)
  2. Buy a small ‘burner’ phone for calls/text for around 20 Euros
  3. Buy a French smart phone (budgets vary)
    1. Students should always get a no contract plan; costs range from 10-30 Euros per month.
    2. Rechargeable pre-paid cards are easy to use and require no cancellation. You can buy them at the phone store or newsstand. These have ‘smaller’ data plans.
    3. No contract monthly plan paid by credit card. This plan has unlimited calls and data for 20 Euros per month; students must cancel by registered letter and usually end up paying for an extra month.

Further information will be provided during orientation in Strasbourg. Sometimes students use a combo plan of a U.S. cell phone with international data and a pre-paid French phone for emergency calls and texts. Before you leave the U.S., it’s helpful to check with your current cell phone provider to see if they offer a plan for students studying abroad.

While the use of a French 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.


Finances

Syracuse Strasbourg Financial Planning Budget 2017-18

Banking

Students cannot open French bank accounts for one semester. You will need to use ATM machines to withdraw cash. Some banks have international agreements with French banks, so check with your current bank to see what services they may offer. No one should go to Europe with large amounts of cash (dollars or euros).

International ATM and debit cards are widely accepted in France and at ATM machines throughout Europe. Check with your bank to be sure your ATM card can be used in foreign countries and to get information on your bank’s service fees for international ATM transactions. Sometimes banks have international partners, and using ATMs at these branches may reduce your fees.

You may need cash more often in France than in the United States, especially for small purchases of less than 10 euros. You can order Euros from your bank in the U.S. prior to departure or plan to withdraw Euros from an ATM when you arrive, as it is easier and much more convenient than exchanging money. Do not bring a large amount of cash with you!

Transferring Funds

If parents or family members need to send you money during the semester, they can deposit money in a U.S. bank account accessible through ATMs, which are available throughout France and Europe. Money can also be wired to a Western Union location. For complete advice on transferring money overseas, check with your bank before you leave.

Credit Cards

Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted in Europe, while most businesses do not accept American Express or Discover Card. Chip cards are the standard in Europe and non-chip cards may not always work for certain purchases. Cash advances against a regular Visa or MasterCard incur interest charges immediately. Let your bank and credit card companies know you will be living abroad for the semester so they do not suspect fraudulent activity when you access your accounts. Also, make copies of both sides of your credit and ATM cards and keep them stored in a safe place. If a card is lost or stolen, you will still have access to the important contact and account information on your card.

Textbooks

You will purchase your English-language textbooks from the Strasbourg center. Payment must be made by either MasterCard or Visa, or through a Syracuse Bookstore account. American Express is not accepted. Books in French must be paid for in cash (Euros).


Academic Information

Enrollment Policies

All students must register for a French language course or a course taught in French. In total, you are required to enroll on a full-time basis and register for at least 12 credits, not including credits for the Signature Seminar. You may register for up to 19 total credits, including the credits for the Signature Seminar, at no additional charge. Note that courses dropped after the financial deadline still count in your total billing credits.

All upperclassmen (except for those participating in the music and engineering programs) are required to enroll in The European Identity Signature Seminar; continuing students may repeat the seminar for credit, if space is available, as it has a different focus and itinerary during fall and spring semesters. The Signature Seminar course may not be dropped.

Some courses may not be audited. These include the Signature Seminar, required French course, courses offered at affiliated Strasbourg universities, applied music and ensemble courses, and engineering courses.

Registration

Course registration for all programs occurs in Strasbourg during the orientation period. Syracuse Center students should have already planned their schedule based on information included in the academic packet emailed within weeks of the application deadline. In some cases, class offerings and schedules at local universities are not available until the start of the semester. Once abroad, students taking courses at the Institut International d’Etudes Françaises, the Université de Strasbourg, and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques will finalize their schedules by selecting courses from these local institutions, typically in combination with Center courses.

Grades from local partner institutions: Final grades for courses taken at a partner institution in Strasbourg (IIEF,UdS, IEP) may not be received and posted to Syracuse University’s student records system until March for the fall semester and September for the spring semester.