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«GUIDE TO STUDY ABROAD IN BERLIN (IES), GERMANY Prepared by the Center for Global Education Section 1: Nuts and Bolts 1.1 Contact Information & ...»

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Prepared by the Center for Global Education

Section 1: Nuts and Bolts

1.1 Contact Information & Emergency Contact Information

1.2 Term Calendar

1.3 Passport & Visas

1.4 Power of Attorney/Medical Release

1.5 Register to Vote

1.6 Medical Insurance

1.7 Travel Dates/Group Arrival

1.8 Orientation

1.9 What to Bring

Section 2: Studying & Living Abroad

2.1 Academics Abroad

2.2 Money and Banking

2.3 Housing and Meals Abroad

2.4 Service Abroad

2.5 E-mail Access

2.6 Cell Phones and Communication Home

2.7 Travel Tips

2.8 Studying Abroad During an Election Year Section 3: All about Culture

3.1 Experiential Learning

3.2 Adjusting to a New Culture

3.3 Culture Learning: Customs and Values Section 4: Health and Safety

4.1 Safety Abroad: A Framework

4.2 If Things Go Wrong: How to Get Help

4.3 Healthcare and Insurance

4.4 HIV

4.5 Gender Roles, Sexuality and Social Norms Abroad

4.6 Drugs

4.7 Traffic

4.8 Politics Section 5: Student Conduct and Judicial Policies

5.1 Your Responsibilities and Behavior Abroad

5.2 If You Are a Victim

5.3 For More Information Section 6: Coming Back

6.1 Registration & Housing

6.2 Re-entry and Re-adjustment Appendix 1 Using your HTH insurance SECTION 1: Nuts and Bolts



Contact in the U.S.

IES Abroad 33 West Monroe Street, Suite 2300 | Chicago, IL 60603-5405 Hours: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM CST Phone: 800.995.2300 or 312.944.1750 Fax: 312.944.1448 Email: info@IESabroad.org Emergencies: 800.953.0171 or 812.355.3099 Contact in Berlin Dr. Barbara Gugold IES Abroad (Institute for the International Education of Students) Johannisstrasse 6 10117 Berlin Tel: + (when calling from U.S. start with 011 then 49 etc) Within Germany, drop the 49 and start with the Berlin city code, ‘30’) Fax: +





EMERGENCY NUMBER AFTER HOURS/WEEKENDS: 315-781-3333 Thomas D’Agostino, Director Trinity Hall, 3rd Floor Hobart and William Smith Colleges Geneva, New York 14456 315-781-3307 (tel) 315-781-3023 (fax) e-mail: tdagostino@hws.edu Contact for: Emergencies and other critical issues Amy S. Teel, Programs Operations Manager (same address, tel, fax) e-mail: teel@hws.edu Contact for: Program details, flight information, etc.

Doug Reilly, Programming Coordinator e-mail: dreilly@hws.edu Contact for: Orientation questions, return issues, SIIF grants, the Aleph, etc.

Sue Perry, Office Support Specialist (same address, phone and fax) e-mail: cgestaff@hws.edu Contact for: Paperwork, general inquiries


Metropolitan Studies Track http://www.iesabroad.org/study-abroad/programs/berlin-metropolitan-studies

–  –  –

You will have several excursions in Berlin, to other German cities, and usually one to Turkey and one to Russia as well. These are spread throughout the semester and your participation is REQUIRED.

Your short break is for personal travel and exploration. All students will receive a final pre-departure packet a few weeks before departure with complete calendar dates, and emergency information.

1.3 PASSPORTS AND VISAS By now, you should have your passport firmly in hand. Be sure to keep your acceptance letter from Berlin IES with it as you might need to show this when clearing customs and immigration in Germany. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Germany but you will need to register for a residence permit soon after arrival. This will cost approximately $135 and you will be able to cover this with your Blocker Funds. The Berlin IES office will advise you on what you need to do to register but be aware that you need to bring with you to Germany proof of sufficient financial resources, which can be in the form of a bank statement or a letter from your bank or your parents’ bank stating that you have sufficient funds for each month of your stay. If you do not have the funds (you need to document $4000, or $1000 per month), please ask the CGE to give you a letter of financial sponsorship from our colleges. We can send this to you once you have paid your HWS bill - around August 1 for fall semester or mid January for spring semester students, well before departure. You will also need proof of medical insurance but since both IES and HWS provide students with medical coverage, IES will provide you with a letter confirming this coverage in compliance with German requirements on your arrival. Or, ask Amy Teel to send you an insurance confirmation letter for your HTH insurance.

If you are a student who is NOT from the E.U., the United States or Canada, you may also need a visa to enter Germany. PLEASE CHECK WITH the Center for Global Education ASAP if you are uncertain about whether you need a German visa. Students participating in the Berlin Metropolitan program are also required to obtain a tourist visa to Turkey and a tourist visa to Russia prior to arrival in Germany. IES will give you detailed instructions about how/when/where to apply on their website shortly after you are ‘officially admitted’ and have sent in your confirmation paperwork.

One recommendation we have remains consistent and universal: make copies of your passport’s identification page (with the photo on it), any pages with entry stamps, your visa if you are not a U.S. citizen and your acceptance letter. Make copies of your residency permit once it is issued. Put these copies in various locations. Leave one at home with your parents. Put them in different pieces of luggage/locations. Here’s why: if you lose your passport, having a copy of it will make getting a new one much, much easier.

For more information the registration (for foreigners) process and for international students in general, please go to: www.auswaertiges-amt.de and download a copy.


Sometimes, after students have departed the U.S., important issues arise that require legal signatures or procedures. An example is a student loan or financial aid document that requires a student signature – but you will be gone and generally a fax or photocopy is not considered ‘legal’ in lieu of an original signature. We recommend that you consider signing Power of Attorney over to your parent(s) to cover such eventuality. Since the form and process varies from state to state, we cannot cover all options here but you can easily find Power of Attorney information on the internet through search engines like Google.

In a similar vein, we encourage you to prepare and sign a general release giving permission for insurance companies and medical practitioners to speak with your parents in the case of emergencies and so that they can help you make medical decisions and/or file claims on your behalf. You can bring a copy of this with you and leave one with your parent(s). If you are uncomfortable with signing a general release, you can also sign more limited or specific releases to control or release specific sorts of information. Keep in mind that if you are over 18, medical providers may refuse to share any information at all about your condition without such written consent which will limit your parents’ ability to assist you.

1.5 IES and HTH STUDENT INSURANCE PLAN IES will provide health insurance for all program participants. This is included for all students as part of the program fees. You will find the IES insurance card/program the most convenient to use if/as you need to seek medical care in Berlin. In addition, HWS has secured a medical insurance, medical evacuation and security evacuation plan for you, through HTH Worldwide insurance. Your HTH insurance will cover you while you are studying on any preagreed intensive German language program and also if you travel independently anywhere in Europe.

Details of your plan have already been sent to you by HTH in care of your HWS student email account. Co-pays and deductibles are minimal. If you seek care from an HTH approved provider by calling the HTH customer service number in advance of treatment for a referral, often HTH will pay the provider directly, eliminating the need for reimbursement. In cases where you have to pay yourself upfront, you will also find claims instructions and forms online on their website. If you have a chronic physical or mental illness and know even before departure that you will need care abroad, you can also call HTH customer service (confidential service) to get connected to the appropriate provider or specialist even before you get on the plane. Please be sure to print off your insurance ID card as soon as you receive the email from HTH and keep it in your wallet/money belt with your other most important documents (passport, credit cards, etc.). To reach HTH customer service call: 888.243.2358 FREE from inside the U.S. OR collect from outside the U.S. at +1HTH will accept your collect international call. For more routine service or to

check on the status of a claim you may also contact them by e-mail:

customerservice@hthworldwide.com HWS students also will be sent information from the HWS student accounts office about the yearlong school plan this summer. Students have the option of purchasing the HWS Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk policy for just the spring semester at half the full year rate since you do not need the Gallagher plan while you are abroad. You can/will be given the opportunity to do that before spring semester bills are due. If you normally waive the HWS student insurance plan because you have a family plan covering you while you are in the States, then MAKE SURE TO WAIVE THE GALLAGHER PLAN THIS SUMMER! You will get the international coverage for your

semester abroad with HTH even if you waive the regular HWS student plan! To waive go to:

https://www.gallagherstudent.com/students/student-home.php?idField=1192 and click on “student waive/enroll”. If you do not waive the coverage, then the year-long policy will be purchased for you automatically and will appear on your tuition bill.

1.6 REGISTER TO VOTE ABROAD If you are not already registered as a voter in your home state (or in Geneva, NY), you can register before you leave the U.S. so that you are able to vote by absentee ballot while abroad. Most states now offer voter registration at the local Department of Motor Vehicles. You can register EVEN if you can’t drive! Please see section 2.11 of this guide for more information on obtaining an absentee ballot once you are a registered voter.

1.7 TRAVEL DATES/GROUP ARRIVAL All students are expected to arrive in Berlin on the scheduled arrival day. If you arrive early, you are on your own until the ‘official’ arrival date. If you are going over early for an intensive German language class arranged by the Colleges as a “Blocker Grant” benefit, your stipend should be adequate to cover hostel or temporary housing costs for any small date gap between a Goethe program end and the beginning of the IES program. You may NOT arrive late to IES, no matter what your arrangements. You are free to depart on the date mentioned above that says “fly home”.

Some students choose to stay on in Germany or Europe for personal travel which is just fine so long as you understand that your IES program housing ends on the “fly home” date and that the program cannot accept responsibility for you after the official end date.

The number of students originating from HWS for this program are clearly too small for us to have arranged a “group” flight and IES does not send staff to meet you at the airport. However, if you are interested in working with a travel agent specializing in student travel to make the arrangements for you, you may work directly with Advantage Travel, HWS’ travel agency at-1-315-471-2222. You must report to the IES Berlin center betweEN 10 AM AND 2 PM ON SEPTEMBER 1 so we recommend you schedule a flight arriving INTO BERLIN NO LATER THAN NOON. WHILE YOU MAY FLY INTO ANY of Berlin’s AIRPORTS (THEY HAVE THREE) if pricing is much the same, we suggest Berlin Tegel airport as that is closest/easiest access to IES, where you will head upon your arrival. Berlin’s airports are served by Lufthansa, Air France, KLM, Berlin Air and other major European airlines. IES will give you advice about the best way to reach them from the airport and how to get there by taxi or public transit. Once your flight is booked, please make sure you provide the details to IES. You will also find that there are excellent information services at all of Berlin’s airports, staffed by fluent speakers of English. FINALLY, IF YOU ARE STUDYING


THE NEAREST INTERCITY TRAIN STATION IS Berlin Hauptbahnhof. From there you can take a taxi to IES. Don’t hesitate to ask for help with anything from how to file a claim for lost luggage to where to catch a bus or taxi to your orientation site.


Students will have a 3-day orientation upon arrival in Berlin. IES will provide you with more detail about the program but the key is to take advantage of this opportunity to meet other students, to meet the staff who will be providing support for you for the semester, and to start exploring the city.

Orientation programs cover everything you need to know about academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety, navigating the city, etc. However, it is normal to feel a little overwhelmed and confused at first. You may not be able to take in everything you are told at first. So don’t hesitate to ASK if there is anything you do not understand! Expect to be patient and give yourself and the program time to get used to one another!



How much to pack is our concern here, or rather: How little to pack! The rule of thumb is: pack light.

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