Florence City Guide from ThisIsNYU Bloggers

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.  Visit the Florence City Guide to see favorite places to go, things to do, areas to visit beyond Florence, and overall advice.

We encourage you to sign up and blog for ThisIsNYU too during your time away!  Not only will others benefit from your recommendations, but this is a great way to document and share your experience 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!

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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 Florence 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!

Permesso Paperwork Reminder

One you arrive in Italy you will need to obtain a Permesso di Soggiorno.  The NYU Florence staff will assist you with the process.  For the Permesso application, you will need:

  • The returned paperwork from the Italian consulate (Note: Each consulate will return different quantities of paperwork– you may get a single stamped page or a full packet from the consulate. This paperwork is either returned on the day you apply for your visa or when you pick up your passport with your visa inside.).
  • 4 2×2 sized passport photos
  • 3 copies of the bio/signature page of your passport
  • 4 copies of your visa

Please note: If you participated in group processing you will only need to take 4 2×2 passport photos.  We have already sent copies of your paperwork to Florence.  Also note: if you are traveling on an EU passport you do not need to obtain a Permesso di Soggiorno.  Please contact OGS at 212-998-4242 or ogs.outbound@nyu.edu if you have any issues or concerns.

Traveling with Dual Citizenship

Students who hold dual citizenship (most notably students who are US citizens as well as citizens of a country that provides access to visa free travel to their Spring 2016 location) should take careful note to bring both passports with them this semester when they travel.

If you are a US citizen, you must always use your US passport when entering the US, regardless of which passport you used to enter your Spring 2016 study location.  When entering your Spring 2016 study location, you should use the passport which provides you with the ability to study there visa-free.

For example:

A dual US-EU citizen should use their EU passport when entering Italy, but their US passport when returning to the US.

Please contact the Office of Global Services at ogs.outbound@nyu.edu or 212-998-4242 if you have any questions.

Mail from Florence: Things to Note

Global Orientations – January 28 and 29 with a follow up activity on March 24.

Global Orientations is a program designed to introduce students to the contemporary political, economic and socio-cultural issues present in Italy today. The activities are divided into three days. For a complete description and further suggested readings and assignments please see our website.

All students will have an assignment for Italian language due on Jan 29, 2016.

Save the Date – Thursday, March 24, 2016 there will be an all day conference on the topic, “Race, Racism & Xenophobia.” Regular classes have been canceled that day in order for all students , faculty and staff to participate. This conference is considered a part of the Global Orientation program.

Strategies for Success – Please review these tips and guidelines for an academically successful semester in Florence.

Student Employment – NYU Florence offers on-campus employment opportunities for students in the Spring 2016 semester.

There are a limited number of positions available and these are not a guaranteed source of financial aid.  Prior to your departure, please contact the NYU Financial Aid Office, to discuss alternate methods of financing your semester abroad if you were to be one of the candidates not selected to have on-campus student employment in Spring 2016.

Application instructions:

  • Complete a Wasserman On Campus Registration Form by logging onto Albert and selecting “Wasserman On-Campus Student Employment Registration” at the bottom-right of the screen.
  • Send a pdf copy of the Wasserman On Campus Registration Form to cristina.bellini@nyu.edu You will then receive an internal application form from Cristina with details of the positions, and further instructions.

Community Engagement – NYU Florence offers a variety of activities so that students can become active in the local Florence community.

To learn more about the options available to you, read a list of descriptions here. Interested students should complete the Google Form no later than February 9, 2016. Also, at the NYU Florence Info Fair (Jan. 29, 2016) you can meet Enrico Buonincontro, Community Engagement and Leadership Development Coordinator (see more info here). ​

Practical Pre-Departure Checklist and 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 at home with your family 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 is often very strict. 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.

You can find more packing information linked here.

Course Update: History of Immigration

History of Immigration Course – HIST-UA 9186001- will be taught on Monday 9am-11:45am by Professor Cynthia Salloum.  Please note that in the first two weeks of classes this course will meet three times: Feb 1, Feb 8 and Feb 10 9am-11:45am.  Starting the week of Feb 15 the class will meet regularly once a week on Mondays only.

Permesso Paperwork Reminder

One you arrive in Italy you will need to obtain a Permesso di Soggiorno.  The NYU Florence staff will assist you with the process.  For the Permesso application, you will need:

  1. The returned paperwork from the Italian consulate (Note: Each consulate will return different quantities of paperwork– you may get a single stamped page or a full packet from the consulate. This paperwork is either returned on the day you apply for your visa or when you pick up your passport with your visa inside.).
  2. 4 2×2 sized passport photos;
  3. 3 copies of the bio/signature page of your passport;
  4. 4 copies of your visa.

Please note: If you participated in group processing or submitted copies of above listed paperwork to our office you will only need to take 4 2×2 passport photos.  We have already sent copies of your paperwork to Florence.  If you also submitted 4 2×2 passport photos to our office we have sent those to Florence as well.  Also note: if you are traveling on an EU passport you do not need to obtain a Permesso di Soggiorno.  Please contact OGS at 212-998-4242 or ogs.outbound@nyu.edu if you have any issues or concerns.