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 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!

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 plan to visit countries other than the UK, you should check with the embassy or consulate of the country to determine that country’s visa requirements.

If you are participating in an internship or work study position you will need to obtain the Tier 4 visa. Your admissions counselor will send detailed visa instructions via email. If you have any questions please reach out directly to jlorecki@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.

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

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

If traveling independently to London for the Fall 2020 semester and not traveling on the flight arranged by Advantage Travel, make sure your flight does not land 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.

Try posting a request on the Syracuse London Fall 2020 Facebook Page – if there is another Syracuse London student on your flight (which is likely) you could meet up and split the cost of the taxi.

Transportation to London from the airport

From Heathrow Airport you can reach London by the underground (Tube), airport train, or taxi.

  • 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/).
  • If you want to book a taxi, former Syracuse London students have used Greater London Hire (GLH). Their phone number is (011-44) 207-490-4222 if you would like to make a booking.

Traveling pre- and post-semester abroad:

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 such as a Schengen visa 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. Attending all of orientation from Day One is mandatory. Failure to adhere to the advice provided regarding booking appropriate travel will result in immediate suspension from all Syracuse London programming – including, but not limited to activities Love London Week and all-school weekend or one day trips pending a meeting with either the Assistant Director for Teaching & Learning or the Assistant Director for Programming & Student Life.

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.

Syracuse London Flats

Syracuse London takes great care in selecting flats for our students to live in. You will live with other Syracuse London students in independent flats in the city center, within 30 minutes of Faraday House by bus, Tube, or walking.

The flats we select are self-contained independent properties, each 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, and basic kitchen supplies. London flats will be more like modest dorms than apartments.

When you arrive on the group flight, you will be taken straight to your new home. We’ll have many staff and orientation guides on hand to assist and talk to you about your flat if you have questions.

All mail should be sent to Faraday House, not to a student’s flat address.

Tenant Courtesy

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.

Unlimited Travel in the City

All Syracuse London students must apply for an 18+ student Oyster photocard which, once activated by Syracuse London staff, will give you unlimited travel for zones 1 and 2 at no cost. London truly becomes your ‘Oyster’, as the Oyster card promises. You will receive information about how to apply during on-site orientation.

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. You can choose groups yourself or we can introduce you to other students and assist. 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.

We recommend all students obtain their own bedding upon arrival. Staff and Student Guides can provide advice on where these items can be purchased.

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 discs that came with your laptop.

You will need a converter if you bring any appliances that are not ‘dual voltage.’  You will need a universal plug adapter – these can be found at Target or Amazon.

Computer Access

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-served basis. The computer lab is open during term time Monday through Thursday, 8am – 9pm, Friday 9am – 5pm. It is closed on the weekend. 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.

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

Students use their existing SU NetID and password for logging on to Syracuse London computers. 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.

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

Most students purchase a cell phone when they arrive in the UK from a local phone store. You may be able to use your U.S. phone in the UK. You will need to get your phone “unlocked”– do this prior to your departure. 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 still recommend that you bring your U.S. cell phone for the days of departure and return flights to/from the U.S. 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.

Architecture and Design Studios

Our studios are open whenever the building is open: Monday through Thursday, 8am – 9pm, Friday 9am – 5pm. 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 Tier 4 visa 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.

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.
  • 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 will be free, as Syracuse London have partnered with the highly-regarded private GP surgery DocTap. You can book a same day appointment on their website.

All 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 provided 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 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.

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 

Personal/Family Insurance

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. Another 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. You can use American Express but it is not as widely accepted in local shops. 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 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

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. 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 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.

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 Syracuse Abroad directly or 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.

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 Tier 4 visa (at a cost to you of approximately $500) to work at an internship, whether placement is managed by Syracuse London or found independently.
  • 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, 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 2-hour 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, 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.
  • 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.