Preparing to Go: London

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

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).

Staying Connected on Social Media

You can stay connected by following @syracuseabroad and @syracuselondon on Twitter, @syracuseabroad and @sulondon on Facebook, and @syracuseabroad and @syracuseulondon on Instagram.


Overview:


Before You Travel

Passport and Visa Information

If you are a U.S. citizen not participating in an internship or work study position, you do not need a visa but you must have a valid passport to enter the UK. Please ensure your passport is valid at least six months after the program end date. Don’t wait until the last minute to get a passport; get one now and specify you need it before the departure date!

All students must complete the Passenger Locator Form at least 48 hours before travelling to the UK. You may be fined or refused entry if your details are not logged with the UK Government by the time you reach the UK border. You must have proof you completed the Passenger Locator Form: print or save the QR code emailed to you after submitting the form to show at the UK border.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may be required to obtain a visa in order to enter the UK. It is your responsibility to check with the British Embassy or Consulate to determine the visa requirements as they apply to you.

If you are participating in an internship or work study position you will need to obtain the Student visa. Your admissions counselor will send detailed visa instructions via email. If you have any questions please reach out directly to syrlondon@syr.edu.

 Packing

  • Take half of what you think you need. Many airlines have strict regulations regarding baggage weight limits and you will be charged for any excess baggage.
  • You must be able to carry your own luggage. Don’t load yourself down.
  • Do not pack valuables in your checked suitcases. Luggage can sometimes go astray so keep travel documents, money, medication, laptop and other important items in your carry-on bag.
  • Check with your airline about specific luggage requirements, including carry-on restrictions.
  • Currently, three-ounce containers of liquids and gels (packed in a one-quart, transparent plastic bag) are the maximum allowed in your carry-on luggage.
  • Do not bring scissors or sharp objects in carry-on luggage.
  • As security protocols are subject to change, please re-confirm airline regulations for luggage and carry-on restrictions before leaving the airport.

Essentials (keep these on your person)

  • Valid passport. Make photocopies for yourself and your family. Passport should be valid for at least six months from the date of travel.
  • Photocopies of credit card(s), contacts of bank/card issuers. Make copies for yourself and family at home and keep them separate from the originals. Make sure to contact your bank and let them know you will be traveling so they do not think the activity on your credit card is suspicious and freeze your credit cards. Know what international fees you will incur.
  • Immigration Letter (print out hard copy from OrangeAbroad under “Documents”).
  • Pound sterling. Currency exchange rates in airports are not always good, so have some money exchanged into pounds prior to arrival or you can withdraw from an ATM on arrival.
  • Face coverings and hand sanitizer. Have these readily accessible and carry extras.

Useful Websites

Before you travel anywhere, the more you know in advance, the better experience you will have, so we encourage you to look at these websites:


Traveling to London

Students are responsible for making their own flight arrangements. Admitted students will receive an email with suggestions from Syracuse Abroad and Advantage Travel in early July.

Make sure your flight does not have a connection in Ireland, as you will not receive your visa stamp upon arrival and will therefore have to leave the country immediately.

Your program advisor will advise you of the date and time to be in London.

Transportation to London from the airport

As of 1 November 2020, students will be required to quarantine upon arrival in the UK. They will need to make their way directly from the airport to their flat (housing addresses will be provided by the Syracuse London staff well ahead of arrival). From Heathrow Airport you can reach London by the underground (Tube), airport train, or taxi. For the fall 2021 semester, students are encouraged to take a taxi in light of COVID-19 precautions.

  • Secure taxis can be found upon arrival. Students should only ever us a licensed cab, found in the airport’s official taxi rank.
  • Taxis can be pre-booked. Former Syracuse London students have used Greater London Hire (GLH). Their phone number is (011-44) 207-490-4222.
  • The Tube is the cheapest option, but we do not advise this if you have heavy or lots of luggage. Get the Tube from Heathrow Terminals 1, 2, 3, or Terminal 4 on the Piccadilly line towards central London. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/plan-a-journey/.
  • The Heathrow Express is a non-stop train to Paddington Station that runs every 15 minutes with a journey time of 15 minutes (www.heathrowexpress.com). Tickets on the day cost £22.
  • From Gatwick Airport, ThamesLink rail is the quickest method – trains run every 15 minutes and take you to Farringdon Station in 45 minutes (http://www.thameslinkrailway.com/airport-travel/gatwick/).

Traveling pre-and post-semester abroad:

Syracuse London students must agree to not travel to Europe or any other country outside the UK during the semester. Post-semester travel is permitted. Given ongoing risks around the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as restricted entry and quarantine policies in many countries, students should not travel in Europe before their arrival in London.

U.S. and Canadian citizens are allowed to travel within the UK and Europe on a tourist visa, but different countries will have restrictions on how long students can stay. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure their pre- and post-semester travel complies with all immigration requirements. 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.


Living in London

Orientation and Quarantine

As of 1 November 2020, students will be required to quarantine upon arrival for their first two weeks in London. They will do so in their assigned program housing, with support from the Syracuse London staff. During these two weeks, there will be online orientation and classes. Attending all online orientation and classes is mandatory. Failure to adhere to the quarantine restrictions will result in losing programming privileges (e.g., participation in Love London activities, weekend field trips, etc.), and will likely result in suspension from the entire program. More information about COVID-19 policies will be emailed to students and made available on the OrangeAbroad portal.

During orientation, you will meet our London staff, familiarize yourself with the city of London, and connect with other students on the program.

Syracuse London Flats

Syracuse London takes great care in selecting flats for our students to live in. All fall 2021 housing will be located within walking distance of Faraday House, minimizing the need for public transit.

The flats we select are self-contained independent properties, in their own neighborhood with local shops 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. However, it’s important to note that each property offered will differ in size, configuration, and location. Not all properties will be uniform, but each flat comes with WiFi, maintenance, council tax & utilities, damages clause built into contract, basic kitchen supplies, and bedding (which students may choose to personalize). London flats will be more like modest dorms than apartments.

When you arrive on your flight, you need to make your way straight to your new home. We’ll have many staff and orientation guides on hand to assist with quarantine and talk to you about your flat if you have questions.

Tenant Courtesy

As per the Housing Agreement Form all students must sign: You must keep your flat clean and in good condition. Please respect other tenants and your neighbors. Most flats are in residential areas, so limit excessive noise, especially at night. London has official quiet hours from 11pm to 7am. Students who cause excessive noise, disturbances, or property damage will be asked to leave their flat and will be held accountable for damages.

Selecting Flatmates

The London program advisor at Syracuse Abroad and the staff at Syracuse London work with all students as soon as they are accepted, forming you into housing groups. Complete the Housing Questionnaire on OrangeAbroad to assist with this process and make notes about your preferred housemates (with a maximum of 4 students per flat). When the assignments are ready, we will notify each student and each housing group about the location and details of your flat, so you can begin planning and coordinating.

Included with each flat: WiFi, maintenance, council tax & utilities, damages clause built into contract, and basic 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. 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

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, any restore/recovery and installation media that came with your laptop.

You will need a converter if you bring any appliances that are not ‘dual voltage.’  Note that the US, UK, and EU have different plug configurations. You will need a universal plug adapter for non-British electronic devices.

Computer Access

To support COVID-19 safety, no communal computing facilities will be available for fall 2021. Students are expected to travel with their own laptops and have all required applications (especially students in architecture, design, and photography courses). We strongly recommend software be purchased or downloaded and installed before travelling.

Course assignment submission will be electronic; Syracuse London staff can provide information on where to purchase personal printers and other electronics if needed.

Work space will available for Syracuse London students at Faraday House, but students will need to reserve time and space with Reception staff. There will be extended opening hours in the run up to midterm and final exams to support study.

I.T. Assistance

Syracuse London does not have the resources to offer assistance with personal computer problems; it’s always best to get coverage from the manufacturer. Check the terms of your warranty to see if you are covered for repairs outside of the US. We strongly advise you to secure this international coverage before coming to London.

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

Student Email

All university communications will be sent to your syr.edu email, so it is imperative you check this daily. We expect you to read and respond to emails promptly- it is our first mode of contact in an emergency.

Note that Syracuse University uses a two-factor authentication system for email and other electronic access. You should configure this with a smartphone app before travel, so you do not have issues accessing your email, visit Answers.

Failure to receive and read communications sent to your university email address does not absolve you from knowing and complying with the content of them.

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 should note that the wireless connection is provided by the home campus and is monitored by them. Users must adhere to the policies and guidelines outlined by Syracuse University.


Cell Phones

Cell phones can be easily purchased in the UK. You may be able to use your U.S. phone in the UK. You can then purchase a SIM card in the UK and use your phone while you are abroad.

While the use of a British cell phone or SIM card is encouraged whilst in London, we strongly recommend that you bring your U.S. cell phone for use during travel and quarantine. In the event of delays or cancellations, it is helpful to have your cell phone with you so you can contact your family and Syracuse Abroad.

Please ensure that before you leave the U.S. you have downloaded the Duo Mobile app on your smartphone. This will allow Syracuse University’s two-factor authentication system to work while you are abroad and is critical for access to email, MySlice, etc., visit Answers.

Architecture and Design Studios

The architecture studios are open whenever the building is open. Faraday House and all studios are closed on weekends. There will be extended opening hours in the run-up to midterm and final exams and shortened opening hours will operate during mid-semester break.

Working in London

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

Syracuse students only: Work-study positions are available at Faraday House but must be applied for early in the process due to immigration. You MUST have a UK visa (Student Route) in order to be considered for a work-study position at Syracuse London. If you have work-study as part of your Syracuse University financial aid package, please be in touch with your advisor Joelle Orecki.


Health Information

Syracuse Abroad participants are held accountable to the Syracuse University Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, the Code of Student Conduct, and the Syracuse Abroad Standards of Behavior while overseas. For fall 2021, students will also be required to adhere to a Syracuse London Stay Safe Pledge to minimize COVID-related risks. This Pledge will be emailed to accepted students and be available online.

Health Preparations

The health, wellness and safety of our students are our highest priorities. Our on-site and pre-departure orientation sessions include extensive health and safety information to help students maintain their health and well-being throughout their term of study.

To ensure that you maintain your health while abroad, we want to remind you to be prepared for your travels. Please complete the Medical History questionnaire, if you have not done so already. If you have any general health inquiries as you prepare for your semester abroad, you may contact SU Health Services at (315) 443-9005.

Medications

If you take medication regularly:

  • Contact your prescribing physician to ensure you have enough medication for the duration of your study abroad.
  • Obtain a breakdown (not just a generic name) of your prescription from your physician.
  • Inform Syracuse Abroad as soon as possible if your medication requires refrigeration, so secure arrangements can be made in London.
  • You should contact ISOS for information and rules governing the transportation of medication in the countries you’re traveling to. Syracuse University’s membership number is 11BCPA000177.

Medical Conditions

Please consult with your physician and/or psychiatrist before traveling abroad and ensure you have adequate medicine resources for the duration of your time in London. Should any difficulties arise, please contact Bridget Demorest, Assistant Director for Student Services, at brhughes@syr.edu.

It is not possible for programs abroad to provide the full range of counseling services that are offered on home campus. Please be aware that adjusting to an overseas lifestyle may cause some stress. Information you provide, no matter how minor, will save time in an emergency should one occur.

DocTap

If you are sick and need to see a doctor, your first doctor’s consultation is covered by the programme fee, as Syracuse London have partnered with the highly regarded private GP surgery DocTap. You can book a same day appointment on their website at several consulting room across London.

The majority of DocTap surgeries are held within pharmacies, which means if you require medicine following your consultation, this will be issued in a private prescription and dispensed immediately from the pharmacy. The cost of a prescription depends on the medicine and you will have to fund this.

Important: if you miss a class due to a doctor’s appointment, make sure you get a doctor’s note in order to obtain an Excused Absence Form.

You are not entitled to free healthcare under the National Health Service (NHS). Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments should only be used in the event of life-threatening illnesses or accidents. If you need to visit A&E and are admitted to hospital, you will be charged for this service.

Diets and Allergies

Please let us know about any dietary or health-related restrictions that may affect you (e.g. food allergies, dietary needs such as salt-free, etc.) Though all needs cannot be fully met, we make an effort to accommodate them where possible. London is a global city, where nearly everything is available.

Disabilities

Students who wish to inform us of their learning disabilities and request accommodations should have completed the Accommodations for Students with Disabilities questionnaire. Please make sure you have done this- we cannot provide accommodations retroactively. Though informing us of disability is not compulsory, doing so will help us assess your needs and better support you.

Please note that your accommodations information is NOT automatically transferred from the Center for Disability Resources (CDR, formerly known as the Office of Disability Services, ODS) at home campus to Syracuse Abroad, so unless you have disclosed it on the questionnaire, center staff and faculty will be unaware of your possible need for support.

If you are a visiting student, please make sure that your home campus center for disability resources has sent any relevant documentation to Syracuse Center for Disability Resources, and if possible, bring copies of any documentation.

Building a Safe Campus Abroad

At Syracuse Abroad, the health, wellness, and safety of our students are our highest priorities. For full details on our advice, support and policies, see the Syracuse Abroad Health and Safety page.


Medical Insurance Abroad 

It is important that you and your family/guardians assess your personal medical situation and decide what level of insurance protection best meets your individual needs while studying abroad. Begin by contacting your current insurance company to ask about obtaining medical care overseas.

If you do not have adequate coverage under a policy for overseas protection, you can purchase an alternative insurance plan designed for US students living abroad by contacting Haylor, Freyer & Coon.  well-known insurance plan recommended by many universities is HTH Worldwide. You can also research other options for coverage.

Excess Insurance Coverage with Syracuse Abroad

The Syracuse Abroad insurance covers emergencies or accidents that occur whilst travelling to London or overseas field trips. Medical evacuation, security evacuation, limited personal property coverage & 24/7 emergency assistance are covered – read Syracuse Abroad Travel Insurance At-A-Glance for details.

International SOS

Through Syracuse Abroad you have 24-hour access to ISOS information services at no charge – please make a note of SU’s membership number: 11BCPA000177. These information services range from country risk ratings, State Department postings, medical travel recommendations, and immunization requirements, to access to medical doctors via phone consultation, referrals to English-speaking doctors, to phone assessment and phone translation services in case of hospitalization.

NOTE: Use of actual medical services (beyond information services) is not free. While you have access to ISOS clinics and doctors, you will be responsible for the cost of such services if not covered by your health insurance policy. The ISOS program and membership is not a health insurance plan.

Filing a Claim

Carry your primary insurance card and the ISOS membership number, as these will be helpful in an emergency. Most hospitals abroad do not recognize US insurance and will not bill your insurance company directly. You will likely have to pay for services upfront, then file a claim for reimbursement:

  • Keep copies of all medical bills and have them translated to English.
  • Keep your receipts for any payments you make.
  • You are responsible for follow-up on any insurance claims, both with your primary insurance provider and the Syracuse Abroad insurance provider.

Contact the Syracuse Abroad insurance provider by calling 1.610.293.9229 from outside the U.S.; 1.888.293.9229 from the U.S.; or via email at aciclaims@visit-aci.com


Finances

Banking

A Visa or MasterCard bank card with an international PIN is the best way to access money in London – it’s good to have a credit card in case of emergency. Check with your bank to be sure the card can be used abroad. In particular, American Express is not as widely accepted in the UK. If the debit card is linked to the international Visa or MasterCard network, then the student will get the best exchange rate and will not be charged interest. To avoid high interest charges on credit cards, students should prepay their account before going abroad. There is usually a service charge for each ATM transaction. Note that Bank of America and the UK bank, Barclays, have an agreement where U.S. customers will not be charged an ATM fee. There are also HSBC banks all over London that will not charge their U.S. customers fees.

Please notify your credit/debit card company and bank that you are traveling abroad– tell them the dates and locations. Banks may freeze credit cards when they see foreign transactions.

Transferring Funds

If parents or family members need to send students money during the semester, they can deposit money in a U.S. bank account accessible to the student through ATMs. Parents can also wire money from the U.S. to an American Express office in London for pickup. For further advice on transferring money overseas, parents should check with their bank before the student leaves.


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.

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

Punctual class attendance is mandatory at Syracuse 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 (e.g., COVID-related precautions). Parental, friend or sweetheart visits, missed transportation connections, 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 arrive and know when you may be required to take part in a class-related study tour, exam, or other academic commitment. 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. For fall 2021, do not plan personal travel outside of the UK during the course of the semester.

Further Academic information, including details for visiting students on transcripts and transferring credit, can be found on the Syracuse Abroad Academic Information page.

Registration

If a student needs to make a registration change they should contact Eugenia Francis on eufranci@syr.edu once in London.

Grades

Syracuse University uses an A-F grading scale on a 0-4.000 cumulative grade point scale. Grades for center courses offered by SU are typically posted within two weeks following the end of the program.

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 for these courses. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, visits to venues outside of Faraday House are subject to change.

Internships

The London Center will review requests for internships for students who submit the Internship Request Form by the deadline specified by your program advisor. 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 the deadline specified by the London program advisor.

Students considering an internship should understand:

  • You must have a UK visa via the Student Route (at a cost to you of approximately $500) to work at an internship, whether placement is managed by Syracuse London or found independently.
  • If you intend for an internship to meet a degree requirement, you must 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 weekly class earning 3 credits (inclusive of credits for the internship).
  • Syracuse Bandier students register for The Global Workplace as BAN 403. Music industry majors and minors placed in music industry internships register for this class as MUI 408. Human Development and Family Science majors/minors register for the class as CFS 493.
  • 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, you 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. You are encouraged to discuss any internship plan with Whitman advising staff.
  • Syracuse iSchool students in placements related to information studies must also complete iSchool internship requirements via Blackboard.

For further information regarding internships in London, please contact Dr. Maggie Scull, the Internship Program Manager, at mmscull@syr.edu.


Returning to the United States 

 Please bear the following in mind when going through customs:

  • Customs officers are allowed to ask questions, and, in the unlikely event they believe it warranted, send a person to secondary inspection. Remain calm with a professional and respectful attitude. Answer all questions honestly. This is not the time to joke around.
  • In the unlikely event you are detained, don’t panic! Contact Syracuse Abroad at any time day or night at 315.385.9487.
  • If this results in missing a connecting flight, talk to airline staff for assistance with re-booking.

Syracuse Abroad is here to support you from pre-departure through your travel back home. If you have any concerns about your planned trip or re-entry into your home destination, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Assistant Director of Student Services, Bridget Demorest.