You will be required to book your own flights, but you may contact Byron Suber for advice and coordination—and you must also provide him with a copy of your itinerary once your flights are booked.
Please fill all prescriptions before you leave with enough to get you through the trip as differences in calibrations make it difficult to have them filled in a foreign country. Also bring along any specific over-the-counter drugs that you may need as well as your eyeglass and/or contact prescription, in case you need to replace them there.
There is no language requirement for this program, and all classes will be conducted in English. However, it is recommended that you spend some time learning basic language skills of the countries you will be visiting.
If you would like to study French or Italian at Cornell, two-sequence beginning language courses are offered during the school year. The first course of the sequence is offered only in the fall, and the second is offered only in the spring.
In the past, students have hired tutors for an informal introduction to the language. It is also recommended that you travel with a bilingual dictionary.
Computers and Internet
You are strongly encouraged to bring your own laptop. You will receive assignments and daily schedules via e-mail, and written assignments will be accepted electronically.
Do not send computers or any other valuable electronic equipment via mail, as you will have to pay a twenty-seven percent import tax on them when they arrive overseas. If you are planning to work with digital technology, you must supply your own computer, peripheral equipment, and software. Also remember to bring proper EU electrical adapters.
Your cell phone from the United States will most likely not work in Europe, and, if it does, it will be prohibitively expensive. A temporary cell phone may be purchased on an individual basis. It is best to wait until you are in Italy to purchase the phone, but if desired you can purchase one on the Internet while in the States. A tri-band or four-band phone will work in both the States and Europe, but many people will often purchase a phone to be used only in Europe. Further advice on this topic can be obtained from Byron Suber.
The Cornell health insurance plan will cover you anywhere in the world. If you are on your parents' plan, be aware of the policies concerning international travel. If it does not cover you in any one of the countries visited, you may be able to purchase a rider. If you will not be covered by Cornell's plan, you will be asked to complete and return a waiver. In either case, you will also be asked to sign a release form designed to protect participants in programs with travel segments. It is advisable to have your dental and medical check-ups before you leave.
Each student at Cornell is automatically covered by SOS International 24-hour Worldwide Assistance and Emergency Evacuation Services. You are automatically enrolled in this program if you are a Cornell student. To find out more information about this service, visit the Einaudi Center. Please print a copy of the ID card by clicking the link to "International SOS card" and plan to carry it with you at all times. Parents wanting to visit the company's website should go to www.internationalsos.com.
- We will be in a range of climates from cool to very hot, so be prepared with one or two items to cover many weather types—and do remember beach wear. Try to pack light as you will be walking with your bags quite often and sometimes very far.
- Bring a smaller backpack or bag for full-day trips.
- Bags with wheels are not recommended, as they are difficult to manage on the cobblestones. It is best if you can pack everything into one large but manageable backpack and one carry-on for your computer and essentials.
- Pack sensibly and pay attention to government and airline restrictions concerning size and weight of bag(s). Advice about specific airlines can be sought from Byron Suber. You do not want to be in the middle of a busy airport reshuffling your luggage to save hidden fees.
Plan ahead for whatever electronic equipment you plan to bring before leaving the States. Remember to purchase appropriate adapters for electrical outlets and possibly a voltage adapter if your computer is not equipped. In Ithaca, Om Electronics carries these devices. There is a hardware and electronics stores in each city, but it is best to arrive prepared.
Travel outside the program
If you plan to travel in Europe before or after the trip, Eurail passes are only available for purchase in the U.S. There are many inexpensive airlines to travel between large to medium cities--Ryan Air, Jet2, and BMI Baby, to name three. If you are looking online for prices, they can be deceptive, as there are taxes and other fees attached. A flight listed at nine euros could cost up to sixty euros after taxes. This can still be cheaper than the train. Also notice if the prices are in euros or British pounds, as the value of the pound is very strong to the detriment of both the euro and the dollar.
The apartments will be filled to capacity and are unavailable for additional guests. If you have friends meeting you in Europe, plan to meet them before or at the end of the program. Remember that the program is intensive, that you will be very busy with coursework and field trips, and that, due to the limited resources of the faculty, guests will not be able to be accommodated on field trips.