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GW Paris: Pre-departure orientation FA13AY13-14

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Christina Hyde At GW

on 24 June 2013

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Transcript of GW Paris: Pre-departure orientation FA13AY13-14

Goal: Prepare students to successfully immerse into their host culture and reintegrate back to GW.
Goals & Objectives:
What's up with PDO?

Who does what?
Logistics: Getting there
Expectations: what will happen abroad?
Culture Shock
What can happen abroad?
In small groups, come up with tips on how to avoid/respond to the scenarios assigned to you.
Health & Safety
Returning to GW & Next Steps
Provide resources & guidance on navigating the French systems
Learn about cultural perceptions, differences, and identity
Discuss health & safety concerns
Understand how to transition back to GW
GW Office for Study Abroad, DC
Chrissy & Sarah
Concerns before going and while abroad, clearinghouse (can direct you to who you should get in touch with), and study abroad processes
Chrissy Hyde, Executive Coordinator, chyde@gwu.edu

Sarah DeNapoli, Program Assistant, engparis@gwu.edu
Office hours - no appointment needed - 2pm - 4pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Open over the summer!
GW Paris Study Center
Florence & Edouard
Issues on the ground, pastoral care, academic concerns, safety/security, and can serve as a clearinghouse (can direct you to who you should get in touch with) while abroad
GW Paris events which may include:
Trip to Normandy
A visit to the home of Claude Monet
Tours of the cultural scenes of Paris
Campus France
Specific questions about visas
Host University
Direct-exchange students:
Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po)

Matthew Thomas or Amy Greene
Finances & Money
Cost to Study Abroad

Fixed Tuition rate + Tier fee to GW + food & entertainment + travel + visa costs + housing

*Tier 4 = includes housing (
Fall Business

*Tier 6 = you pay housing directly (
Sciences Po direct exchange
Money Abroad

Most ATM & credit cards work abroad

Tell your bank and credit card companies you are going overseas!

Ask your bank about special relationships: (ex. Bank of Am. & BNP Paribas no w/d fees)

GW-specific due
May 1st
What to pack
What to bring?

What not to bring?

Sciences Po Direct Exchange
: You will be responsible for your own housing.
Arrival & Travel tips:
Direct Exchange
Thursday, August 22
Friday, August 23 - Friday, August 30
You will need to plan on how to travel from the airport to your housing.
Taxis - Get an official cab from the taxi stand outside the customs exit. Do not accept rides from clandestine drivers offering their services from inside the terminal. Plan to pay 45 to 55 euros
in cash.
Tip 3% to 5% of the fare.
Public transportation: http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr/ADP/en-GB/Passagers/Access-maps-car-parks/Paris-CDG/Access/public-transport/public-transport.htm

Fall Business

Monday, September 2 @ Charles De Gaulle Airport between 7am - 1:30pm
GW Paris staff will meet you at the airport if you arrive at the date and time above and take you to PAA Apartments
GW Paris: Pre-departure orientation
Fall 2013 / Academic Year 2013-14

Expectations activity!
Walk around the room and write your expectations under each topic.
U.S. vs French

Expect 24/7 access to libraries and computer facilities with support from staff

Utilize office hours for one-on-one attention and instruction from faculty

Given specific texts and detailed syllabi that outline expectations

Attend classes and participate …because these things usually count toward the final grade

Tested regularly and earn grade based on many variables over the course of the semester

Do not have 24/7 access to campus facilities or staff

Office hours are not always mandated for faculty members and French students don’t tend to seek out individual help.

Students are tested bi- or annually and earn their grade based heavily on one end-of-year written and/or oral exam
Social / Immersion
Remember why you are going abroad - to immerse in a new culture!

Don't just be a tourist! If you travel every weekend, you won't build "community."

Understand French (and American) politics - it will come up in conversation!

Be sure to expand your social circle to include French and other international students:
Join local clubs, societies or get a language "buddy" to meet other students
Be aware of your body language and use of technology. Are you approachable to other students?
Language (word usage, slang, grammar, spelling)




Customer Service
Culture shock
is "the loss of emotional equilibrium that a person suffers when he moves from a familiar environment where he has learned to function easily and successfully to one where he has not."

So, remember studying abroad is not supposed to be easy! If you are doing it "right" your assumptions, norms, and expectations will be challenged. And that is
You've made the decision to study abroad. Not everyone makes the choice to move out of their comfort zones into a completely new environment.
Reactions to culture shock
Can range from mild uneasiness, homesickness, and unhappiness to panic, severe irritability, and loss of perspective.

The disorientation can produce feelings of isolation.

It is important to remember that symptoms and reactions vary from one individual to another!
What makes up your identity?

What "pieces" of your identity are most important to you?

How are these pieces of your identity perceived in France? Other countries?

How will it make you feel to have your identity challenged?

Be prepared to have the nationality, ethnicity, and political components of your identity challenged.
How to deal with culture shock?
Find a friend that is part of the local culture

- He/she can help add perspective to your experience. Be sure to utilize the GW Paris on-site staff!

Talk to family/friends that understands your culture too

- lean on family/friends if you need to vent. Please careful not to start making "judgements" about the local culture though! This is unproductive.

Find something you like about the culture each day

Carve out some alone time to reflect

- journal, go for a walk, listen to music

Do your research

- become familiar with the issues/culture of the country - read the local papers, watch the news, etc.
If you are still having trouble, let us know! We can direct you to additional resources/services. For example, your host university's counseling center.
Stolen phone or laptop


Lost or stolen passport/wallet

Accident while traveling outside of France
Who do you call in an emergency?

The emergency number in France is 112
Summit America? International SOS?
Summit America
= short-term, reimbursable health insurance
GWU enrolls you automatically.

Nothing for you to do.

International SOS
= Travel assistance program (emergency evacuation and repatriation insurance)
You have to enroll yourself!
You can find the link to enroll & directions on your GWU study abroad application.
You are hospitalized in a foreign country while traveling and don't speak the language
You get sick and need to go to the doctor.
You are traveling throughout Europe after the program ends and break your arm.
You are injured while intoxicated.
You need to know what immunizations to get before you leave/while traveling.
You get food poisoning and need to go to the emergency room.
You are in Italy for a long weekend during the semester and twist your ankle.
Please consider coming to talk to us before you leave if you:

Need extra accommodations abroad due to a medical issue or special need

If you have any other questions/concerns or wish to discuss anything privately, come talk to us!
Transfer Credit
You can work on getting course approvals…...

NOW (if you have the course descriptions and know what classes you are taking)

While abroad via email (once you have your syllabi and have registered for your courses)

When you get back (bring back your coursework and syllabi)

Look at automatic approvals (available in the "resources” section of your application after PDO)!
What we need to transfer your credit:

Course approvals (signed off by your academic advisor/department head +

Official transcripts (will be mailed directly to our office)
Remember: Getting the course approval form filled out is your responsibility.

It takes
2-3 weeks
for your credit to transfer once you have turned in your completed course approval form and we have your official transcript. Do not wait until you need to register for classes to turn everything in.
You are in the driver's seat!
Need more information on credit transfer? Try these resources:

Office for Study Abroad (OSA) Credit Transfer Page: http://studyabroad.gwu.edu/index.cfm?FuseAction=Abroad.ViewLink&Parent_ID=F8D9AB64-5056-8964-C3436F9E338FF2BC&Link_ID=0D38BCB6-5056-8964-C310C6E376AFFD54&pID=2&lID=12

OSA Pre-departure Handbook (pages 7 & 8)

Look at you host university one-pager (in your PDO packet) for how many GW credits each class is worth abroad.

Still have questions? Contact us!
PDO Packet
Keep in touch!
Next Steps
What's inside?
GW Paris-specific + OSA PDO guides –-

Read these!
Important host university-specific information
Summit America & International SOS information/cards
List of forms to submit before going abroad
For the GW Office for Study Abroad:

Clear all GW holds
Drop all GW fall 2013 courses & GW housing

If you are conditionally approved do not drop courses or cancel housing until you have met your condition!
Complete & summit online forms
As soon as you are officially accepted, Withdraw all other program applications
Click COMMIT button online by

May 1
Bring copy of passport to OSA (if you haven't already)
Apply for OSA-specific scholarships by

May 1
Fall Business:
program (
) + housing deposit (

Set up your Sciences Po email account and check regularly! (
Direct Exchange only

Complete & submit all required forms by the deadlines from Sciences Po (
Direct Exchange only

Attend a
Meet & Greet with Fall Business Faculty on Thursday, May 2 from 5pm - 6pm! (
Fall Business only

Stay on top of the visa process!

Apply for other scholarships by deadlines
Do you need a visa? If so, stay tuned!
Join the fall 2013 Facebook group
Send us videos of your experiences abroad!
Find out the generic name of your prescription at
(it will likely be called something different abroad)

Please note that some medications that are legal in the United States are may be considered “controlled substances” in France. Research your medications and know how much you are permitted to bring into the France.
Do not send medication through the mail.

Be sure to care your prescription in its originally packaging (with your name on it) as well as copy of your prescription. If you are carrying a 6-month supply, have a note from your doctor with you stating this!

Be sure you know (or can can access to) all the ingredients in your medication. No doctor in France will administer medication without this information.
Contact Campus France
Join the GW Paris Fall 2013 Facebook group to get details on activities & trips!
Fall Business students:
GW Faculty or GW Paris staff (Florence & Edouard)
Fall Business
: You will be living at the Paris American Academy (PAA) in double or triple apartment facilities. You will be responsible for your own meals.
Option to live in GW-leased housing in the 5th arrondisement (Latin Quarter)
35-minute walk to Sciences Po (through the Luxembourg Gardens)
Modestly-sized, but fully equipped apartments
Sign-up for housing on your GW Study Abroad Portal & submit a $200 deposit to GW

May lst
Either choose your roommate or be assigned a roommate by GW BY
May 1st
PAA Housing
(Fall Business program only)
This information is also available as a handout we included in your packet - both homestays and apartments are available!
Independent Housing
(Sciences Po direct-exchange)
Please note: The list below is for informational purposes only. GW doesn't endorse any specific housing company.
French Accommodation & Culture: http://www.fac-paris.com
Parisian Home: http://www.parisianhome.com/
LODGIS Agency: http://www.lodgis.com/en/paris/
Paris Attitude:http://www.parisattitude.com

Your arrival date in France is the day
the day you leave the US
Have important contact numbers written down (university, apartment, Florence) with you
Contact your family ASAP after arriving!

Expect oral and written exams!
Unexcused absences = automatic fail
1 lecture (5 GW credits) + 4 elective or seminar (each worth 2 GW credits) = 30 ECTS (15 GW credits)

Review the currciula! http://college.sciences-po.fr/siteparis/curricula

Please meet with your academic advisor before leaving campus to discuss!
“Studying at Sciences Po is very different than studying at GW for a variety of reasons. Most of the classes are lectures, with a professor speaking into a microphone for 2 hours, and very little student interaction. Obviously this can become quite boring, and in order to really understand and study the material, you have to reinforce the lectures with the readings. What is nice about Sciences Po is that each class is only once a week (with the exception of language classes), so there is plenty of time not spent in class.

However, I have never had more reading in my 3 years years at GW than I do at Sciences Po, so
most of my time outside of class is spent reading and writing
. Lastly, the grading system is completely different than GW. The grading scale is from 1-20. A 10 is considered the lowest acceptable score, and no one really ever scores higher than an 18. From the words of an administrator during orientation, ‘if you get an 18 you are God.’”

Michael DiBattista, Spring 13, Sciences Po
Student testimonial re: academics at Sciences Po
Fall Business:

3 GW-style classes + 2 Sciences Po-style classes = 5 classes
Expect oral exams for your Sciences Po elective classes
Intensive 3-week long GW classes + Friday site visits + semester-long Sciences Po classes
You will select your Sciences Po electives during the summer
Student feedback re: Fall Business program
"[The program] is very rigorous. You will learn a lot and think GW is easier when you return. Since everyone on the program is very smart, they will push you to work hard."
What are French values? How are these similar? Different from the U.S.?

How will you adjust to immerse yourself in France?
Make an effort to speak French while in France. If you don't speak French, practice the basics this summer!
For more information on fire safety abroad: http://www.firesafetyfoundation.org/
French Visa Materials
You need the following materials to complete the next part of PDO!
Laptop (please ensure that you have Firefox or Chrome installed as your internet browser)
U.S. passport information (American students) or U.S. visa information (international students)
Dates of prior visits to France (if applicable)
An electronic photo of yourself (under 50K)
An electronic copy of your resume (word doc format)
A money order for $100.00 made out to MCUFEU (you can request a money order at your bank, post office, or CVS)
Full transcript