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 Prague 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!

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/global/global-academic-centers/prague/student-life/safety.html

We’re Moving!

The Office of Global Programs will be moving from 25 W. 4th Street to 383 Lafayette Street, 4th Floor, on Tuesday, August 16th!

Our office hours will remain the same (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm EDT), but please note that we will temporarily be closed from 5pm on Monday, August 15th until 12pm Wednesday, August 17th to facilitate this move.

After our move, we can continue to be reached by phone at 212-998-4433 or global.admissions@nyu.edu.

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.  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 be easiest)
  • Have a copy of your arrival cheat sheet – 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.

Arrival Cheat Sheet

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

Other consideration to keep in mind (text in progress, feel free to edit):

  • Know the time difference between your hometown and (site), and discuss a communication plan with your friends and family
  • Know what to expect for meal costs in Prague
  • Check the exchange rate for korunas 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!)

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 to sign up and blog for ThisIsNYU too 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!

Summer Blog Schedule – Every Other Week

Now that it is almost officially summer (or at least according to the academic calendar), blog posts will be reduced to every other week leading up to your departure in August. The posts might be less frequent, but they will still be full of important information about things like upcoming deadlines, academic updates, and housing placements so make sure you stay on top of them!

Our office will stay open all summer during regular office hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EDT.  If I’m going to be out of the office for any extended period of time (we take vacations too!) I’ll give you fair warning in advance, but you can always call the main line for help: +1 212-998-4433.

Planning Ahead: Preparing Your Family for Your Time Away

You may be the first to study abroad in your family, or you simply have people who care and worry about you. Consider sharing this article with family and friends!  The below quote provides initial context, but please see the full article for valuable pieces of practical advice.

“As a parent, your kids expect you to worry. You expect you to worry. Worrying, to an extent, is healthy. But it’s equally important to have realistic concerns and try to mitigate them as much as possible through knowledge and planning.”

Top Security Tips for Students

During your study away experience, please note that your safety is our top priority.

Upon arrival, you will hear from NYU Prague staff about safely navigating the semester away – you will receive 24 hour emergency numbers, tips about the city, and a better understanding of the facilities in your home away from home.  We are there to support you throughout the entire process.  Help us keep you safe by keeping these initial tips in mind:

  1. Have a cell phone that works locally.  Ensure to update your Albert account with this information, share with local site staff, and also share with your family back home.
  2. Add an emergency contact to the Study Away Confirmation Portal
  3. Keep the NYU Prague site staff informed of your independent travel and always register trips in NYU Traveler prior to out-of-town travel. Additionally, let your roommates and RA know of any traveling that you plan to do.
  4. Do not travel alone. Do not walk alone at night. Do not take a taxi alone and especially not at night.
  5. Avoid underage and excessive alcohol consumption.  Know your limits! Students’ with impaired judgement are more likely to be victims of a crime or injury.
  6. Always obey the local laws.  All students are expected to respect the culture, customs, and laws of the host nation as indicated in the study away standard.
  7. Do not leave your bags or belongings unattended at any time.  Be conscientious of keeping your wallets, cell phones, laptops and other valuables with you. These are the types of property that are commonly reported stolen.
  8. Avoid traveling in poorly maintained vehicles. Inquire about the safety records of different bus companies. When taking a taxi only use those that are licensed and always sit in the back seat.
  9. Never keep all of your documents and money in one place or one suitcase.
  10. If you find yourself in uncomfortable surroundings, try to act like you know what you are doing and where you are going.
  11. In your residence, always close and lock your door even if you leave for just a minute.  Insist your roommate(s) do the same.  Establish rules with your roommate(s) regarding visitors.
  12. Have sufficient funds or a credit card on hand to purchase emergency items such as an airline ticket.
  13. Be alert to your surroundings and the people with whom you have contact. Be wary of people who seem overly friendly or overly interested in you. Be cautious when you meet new people, and do not give out your address or phone number. Be careful with information about other students or group events. Be alert to anyone who might appear to be following you, and to any unusual activity around your place of residence or classroom. Report any unusual people or activities to on-site staff immediately.
  14. Exercise good judgment about what places to frequent during the day and at night, and avoid being on the street at late hours more than necessary.
  15. Do not flash money or documents in public places. Avoid carrying large sums of cash —  keep small bills in your pocket and use them whenever possible to pay for things. Be discrete in displaying your passport.  Keep in mind the best time to use ATMs is during the daylight hours. Use bank affiliated ATMs whenever possible.
  16. Do not carry weapons.  Something as simple as a pocket knife can result in a serious weapon charge while on foreign soil.
  17. Be aware of pickpocket situations — crowded areas e.g. subways. Carry wallets and cell phones in the front pants pocket, or use bags, pocketbooks etc. that zipper well; keep pocketbooks on your lap when in restaurants etc. Avoid the backs of chairs or under the table, carry your bag close to your body, tucked in the bend of your elbow. Avoid bags that clasp or snap shut, zippered bags are preferable.
  18. Use your street smarts and be aware of your surroundings.

Introducing Your Student Senators Council Site Ambassador

The Student Senators Council at NYU has selected a group of your peers studying away in the fall of 2016 as student representatives who will work to improve student life across NYU’s Global Network University.  Known as your Site Ambassadors, they will act as a general liaison between students at your site and global programs initiatives in Abu Dhabi, New York, or Shanghai.

Without further ado, we would like to introduce Angela Lin.

 

My name is Angela Lin and to be honest, I can’t pinpoint a geographical location as to where I am from. I grew up in Taiwan, but also lived briefly in California and China, before moving to Paris for my freshmen year with NYU. I am currently majoring in Media, Culture, and Communications with a minor in French and Education. I will be studying abroad in Prague during the Fall semester of 2016 and I am excited to assist in any way possible to make fellow study abroad students transition smoothly into a new culture. Having traveled extensively across Europe, I believe I can provide insightful tips and advices during our semester abroad. As a Site Ambassador, I hope to actively participate and listen to my peers in order to make our study abroad experience memorable. Looking forward to embark on this adventure!