What to do if you Encounter Flight Cancellations or Delays

While our hope is that you arrive at your study away destination without any challenges, we know at times these can occur for a variety of reasons.  Please note that NYU is unable to act as an intermediary between the traveler and airline, but it may be helpful to keep in mind the below tips should you encounter any flight cancellations or delays:

Contact Your Airline First

Number one tip: Whether it’s an airport delay or flight cancellation, contact your airline – immediately.  It is most beneficial to act quickly so that you are able to grab a seat on the next available flight if necessary.  Many passengers will be trying to rebook and options may become more limited the longer you wait.

If Your Flight is Canceled:

  • Multi-task communications: If your flight is canceled or delayed, immediately get in line for a gate agent; at the same time, call the airline (it may be quicker).
  • If you have a frequent flyer status with the airline that gives you access to a priority phone number, using this may expedite the service you receive.

Note: There are no federal requirements that require airlines to provide you with any hotel or meal vouchers due to events outside their control such as weather, but airline policies on this vary. When in doubt, ask. Some will provide you with certain amenities.

If Your Flight is Delayed:

  • Stay in touch with the airline: Follow the tips above; stay connected to your carrier
  • Don’t be late to the gate: Even if you’ve been told your flight is delayed, stay in the gate area. Delays can evaporate and windows of opportunity for take-off can be short; if you’re not present for boarding, you may be out of luck

Note: Always be at the gate at least 20 minutes before departure, minimum.

Ultimately, if you are in an area where you still have access to email or phone service, please contact the appropriate staff member(s) at NYU Madrid listed on your arrival cheat sheet to forward your updated itinerary.  This is another reason why it is important to have a copy in your carry on.  

Should your updated itinerary arrive outside of the provided transportation window, you will be responsible for getting to housing (but don’t worry – the arrival cheat sheet will have all the relevant details necessary to do so!).  

The staff recognize these occurrences are beyond your control so will work with you to catch up if any material is missed.  

On behalf of the entire NYU Global Programs team, we wish you safe travels!

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Arrival Cheat Sheet

Don’t leave for Madrid without your Arrival Cheat Sheet! It contains helpful information about navigating the airport, getting to your housing assignment, and NYU Madrid contact information. Please provide a copy of this document to your family.

Here are some other things to keep in mind:

  • Know the time difference between your hometown and Madrid, and discuss a communication plan with your friends and family
  • Know what to expect for meal costs in Madrid!
  • Check the exchange rate for euros regularly
  • Purchase any necessary voltage convertors and/or adaptors.

And remember these tips from our First Time Traveler Post. (They’re actually quite good for everyone!)

Global Safety Tips

Keeping you safe — and ensuring your ability to make academic progress — are top priorities for NYU. As you prepare to spend the semester away from your home campus, we wanted to share with you some tips and best practices that will help to do so.

The University continuously monitors events in cities and countries around the globe, and adjusts security precautions, as necessary, based on the local environment. Should an urgent situation arise, the University maintains an emergency notification system, which delivers alerts via text message and email.

  • Register your travel with your respective embassy or consulate – both while you are at your study away location, and anywhere else your travel plans may take you.
  • Make sure to have a mobile phone with you whenever you’re away from the site – and be sure to keep it charged!
  • If you are planning on traveling away from your site – even if only for a night — please be sure to register your trip in NYU Traveler, and let a member of your local site staff know.
  • Please be sure that your site staff has a local contact phone number for you.
  • Do your homework before you travel away from your site. Check for potential travel warnings for cities and countries to which you are thinking about traveling (the US State Department website is a good place to start.
  • Always be fully aware of your surroundings. Avoid at-risk areas (in many cities, this could include locations that are very popular with tourists). And if during your travels you ever find yourself in a situation in which you feel uncomfortable, trust your instincts and leave.
  • Whenever possible, travel in groups. Whether you’re going out for an evening, or are planning to explore the region (or beyond), go with friends!
  • If you don’t know the person entering a building right after you, make sure they have their own ID — don’t allow “piggy-backing” at entrances to NYU academic centers and residence halls.
  • If you ever have a question or concern about your safety – either at your site, or while you are traveling – either check with your local site staff, or call the NYU Public Safety Command Center (open 24/7) at +1.212.998.2222.

Should you ever feel anxious or upset during your time away, or you simply want to have someone to speak to, please call the Wellness Exchange (24/7). You can always reach them at +1.212.443.9999, but many sites also have local numbers, which can be found here.

For more safety tips, visit:  http://www.nyu.edu/madrid/student-life/safety.html

Practical Pre-Departure Checklist & Packing Tips

As you prepare to get on a plane, it is now time to review the below final checklist full of practical items and packing tips to ensure your travel goes smoothly.  You can find more packing information here!

Also, take note of what NOT to pack by visiting this website.

  • Notify your bank and credit cards that you will be abroad.  Make sure they won’t block your accounts when they see international charges, and ask for phone numbers to call from abroad in the event you have any issues. The 1-800 numbers on the back won’t always work from overseas.
  • Have all medications you may need for the full term & bring a copy of prescriptions (medication, eyeglasses, etc.) and carry it with you in your carry on.  Your carry on should also have all important paperwork, phone numbers, and a change of clothes in case your luggage arrives late.
  • Make photocopies of your passport/visa, ID, and cards (bank, credit card). Leave one copy of this packet with your parents and bring a set with you in your carry-on.  That way, if these items are lost or stolen, they’re much easier to replace.
  • Bring your flight confirmation printout to the airport.
  • Check the luggage restrictions for your airline before you pack.
  • Have some cash on hand to get you through the first few days (you can exchange at the airport if needed, but service fees can be hefty.  Banks can generally issue euros ahead of time, if they have notice.  Or simply withdraw cash from the ATM directly once you land – this can sometimes be easiest).
  • Have a copy of your arrival cheat sheet (coming next week!)  – and leave one with your family!
  • Set up a plan of communicating with your family members while abroad—we recommend calling or e-mailing them only once or twice a week while abroad. Your parents will ALWAYS want to talk to you more often than that, but remember that part of studying in another country is putting some distance between you and your old life. You’ll be better for it!
  • Buy a journal.  Study Away is a profoundly personal experience and Facebook updates alone won’t capture the spirit of what you are doing.  Keep a journal that is meant to be just for you.  
  • Do not plan to use your blow dryers and flat irons that you use currently. Even with a plug adaptor and converter, the higher voltage can destroy (as in burn to a crisp!) your appliances and could potentially knock out power in entire buildings, which isn’t a great way to make friends abroad. If you’re not willing to forgo the blow dryers and flat irons for a few months, then it’s best to purchase local versions that operate on 220 volts once you get abroad.
  • Bring a small weekend-size bag/backpack/collapsible duffle bag for trips you’ll take during your time abroad.
  • Don’t forget that you cannot bring more than 3 oz. of any liquid in your carry on for your flight overseas.  Airport security can be very stringent. Make sure you follow all the rules when it comes to flying!
  • If you follow a special diet (vegetarian, kosher, etc.) don’t forget to inform your airline ahead of time. It’s horribly unpleasant to be hungry and thirsty while you’re on a plane and they control when you get meals, so bring some snacks (stay away from fruit, as some countries don’t want you to bring perishable food into their airports). And make sure you have your own water on the flight (though, remember, you can’t take any through security).
  • Last but definitely not least, try to pack LIGHT.  Layers, layers, layers!  You will inevitably come home with more than you started with.

 

Start Blogging About Your Study Away Experience!

As you may know from previous updates, students across the global sites are currently blogging on ThisIsNYU about their experiences away and must-see spots.  We encourage you too to  sign up and blog for ThisIsNYU during your time away!  Not only is it a great way to document your experience, but it is also an easy way to share your day-to-day encounters with family and friends.  

To get started or to learn more, simply visit nyu.edu/global/bloggers. The “Getting Started” page will have you ready to start in under 15 minutes, so you can sign up — and start blogging — today!

Pre-Departure Orientation Recap

img_4399It was wonderful seeing all of you at the Pre-Departure Orientation on November 5th! There were  funny videos,  a quick history of Spain, and an excellent Q&A with the Global Peer Mentors.  This interactive session covered everything you need to know as you prepare to study away next semester.

I am providing an online version of the presentation here as a helpful reminder of the important details we covered. 

I have also shared a quiz with the students who could not attend to test their knowledge and make sure they know the essential information!

Some key points to remember from the orientation:

  • All students must arrive on January 22, ideally between 9am and 12pm. Late arrival is NOT permitted!
  • Please note that housing is ONLY available during the dates of the program, January 22 – May 12! If you arrive early or leave late, you are responsible for your own accommodations.
  • All class attendance and course related field trips are mandatory.  Do not book personal travel until you have arrived and confirmed your syllabi.
  • Bring all the prescription drugs you will need for your entire stay. Make sure you talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for any medication you take regularly for the full 4 months. Do NOT ship medication overseas.

If you have any questions or concerns after you have read through the presentation, feel free to email me.  To be put in touch with an NYU Madrid alum, email global-peer-mentors@nyu.edu.

Enroll Your Trip with STEP!

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By enrolling you will receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your study away country.

Learn more about enrolling your trip by clicking here!

Complete the Study Away Module

All NYU Study Away participants are required to complete the Study Away Module.

It contains information about important requirements, resources and offices you need to be aware of as you prepare to study away. It covers logistical information that is consistent across NYU study away sites so that we are able to focus on NYU Madrid-specific information during the in-person pre-departure orientation.

The module consists of a webinar, a short questionnaire and travel release confirmation. It should only take you about 5-6 minutes to complete from start to finish. When you are ready to begin the module you can access it by clicking on the link below.

Study Away Module                                                                          

Please note that it is mandatory to complete the Study Away Module for all students. Remember that students currently in New York must also attend the in-person orientation.

What You Need to Know Ahead of the Pre-Departure Orientation

We look forward to seeing you this Saturday, November 5th at the mandatory NYU Madrid Pre-Departure Orientation!  As a reminder, this session will be held in Grand Hall, Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life, 5th Floor (entrance at 238 Thompson Street) at 3pm. Please be prepared to stay for the entire duration of the orientation.

The Orientation will discuss various aspects related to culture and identity, as well as cover your responsibilities and study away resources.* You will hear from me as well as students who have previously studied away in Madrid.

Here are some items to note ahead of the session:

  • Be on time!  In fact, please plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early.  There is a lot to cover, and we will get started right at 3pm.
  • Watch this TED Talk before the orientation.  It is very powerful and will guide parts of the session.
  • Bring your NYU ID to swipe in.
  • Bring a pen/pencil with you (there will be a worksheet to complete).
  • Coffee and light snacks will be provided, but take care of yourself: eat ahead of the session if you normally would during this time.
  • Come with excitement, ready to learn, and an open mind!

*Please note:  This session will NOT cover aspects of the visa process.  Each individual’s visa process is very different so there is not a one-size fits all approach.  Our partner office, The Office of Global Services (OGS), will continue to be your main resource when navigating this. You can reach them at ogs.outbound@nyu.edu or 212-998-4242.

Become a Wasserman Global Peer!

Studying away during Spring 2017? Become a Wasserman Global Peer! Peers are study away student leaders who help coordinate, promote, and present career development related content. Learn more about the position and application process here.

Deadline: Friday, November 25. Interviews will be November 29 – December 2