NYU Sydney Fall 2017

Your Pre-Departure Guide to Studying Away in Sydney

Note: Linens are Included!

Some last minute packing advice

In less than a week you will be boarding a plane and embarking on your Australian adventure. I thought I would share some last minute packing advice in case you missed my Facebook post. You will be arriving in Sydney during the last days of winter. Even though our winter and fall can be mild when compared with North America it is still important to be prepared for cooler weather. During September and October the average temperature can occasionally drop to the mid-fifties before it begins to steadily rise.

I recommend packing with mid-fall in mind. During the first month most students rely on fall jackets, jeans, sweats and closed-toe walking shoes. Don’t worry, there will certainly be plenty of time for flip flops and summer clothes as the semester progresses.

Your rooms at Urbanest are very comfortable. Each room is supplied with: 1 pillow, 1 pillowcase, 1 mattress cover, 1 bedsheet, 1 comforter, 1 body towel and 1 hand towel. If you would like extra bedding or if you prefer other items a number of stores are located within walking distance of your residence hall. I was recently informed that some students mistakenly received a message indicating that bedding would not be provided. If you received this message please disregard it. All NYU Sydney student rooms will be supplied with the bedding listed above.

At Urbanest your rooms and hallways will be carpeted and each of you will have a private bathroom. The temperature in your rooms can be controlled; however, energy saving measures prevent heating and cooling from being run continuously. For this reason, I recommend bringing some warm clothing to sleep in (just in case) as well as options for warmer nights.

If you forget to pack anything don’t worry. Replacements can be easily purchased in Sydney.

If you have any questions before you depart please contact me at mn93@nyu.edu. The NYU Sydney team are eagerly awaiting your arrival. Safe travels and we will see you in Sydney!

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 London 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.  

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!

GeoBlue Health Insurance Emails Received

By now you should have received an email from NYU Student Insurance/GeoBlue with your certificate number and instructions about creating your GeoBlue profile. This was sent to your NYU email address only. Please register and bring your health insurance card with you.  

As a reminder, all students are still expected to maintain valid domestic health insurance over the course of the semester. GeoBlue is valid only for the dates of your study away program.

Please notify me at nyoka.joseph@nyu.edu if you did not receive an email from GeoBlue to ensure it is resent.  Rest assured that you will absolutely be covered.  Be sure to check your spam folder first, as they sometimes end up there.

Pre-Departure Survey

By now you should have received the Global Programs Pre-Departure Survey in your email. Please submit your feedback by August 20!

NYU’s Office of Global Programs strives to provide students with the best possible experiences and services as they prepare to study away, and your input will help us tremendously as we prepare for future semesters.

Thanks so much in advance for your assistance!

Arrival Cheat Sheet

Don’t leave for Sydney without your Sydney Arrival Cheat Sheet! It contains helpful information about navigating the airport, getting to your housing assignment, and NYU Sydney 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 Sydney, and discuss a communication plan with your friends and family
  • Know what to expect for meal costs in your host location (link to any helpful site/document for your site)
  • Check the exchange rate for your host country’s currency 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!)

Opal Card

The Opal Card is an all purpose travel card that was introduced in New South Wales late last year. Customers making use of Sydney’s public transport (train, bus and ferry) network have been encouraged to purchase these cards as paper tickets have been phased out. The Opal Card can be purchased with a set amount of credit and topped up when necessary.

If you plan to use public transport during the semester consider purchasing an Opal Card at the airport when you arrive.

To purchase an Opal Card just look for a sign at one of the many airport stores. Single ticket rides can also be purchased at the airport train station.

Without a valid local university card NYU Sydney students are not entitled to concession cards. Please remember to request an adult card when purchasing.

Opal Cards cannot be used in taxis.

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 Australian dollar 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.
  • You can find more packing information linked here .

Understanding the Cost of Living in Sydney

There are several things that you can do to prepare your finances before you arrive in Sydney. Figure out: what is the cost of living in Sydney? What can I do now to make sure I save money? This site, Numbeo, can help you compare the cost of living in your home city and your study away location!

NYU Sydney Online Global Health & Wellness Orientation

By now you should have received an email from site staff at NYU Sydney with instructions to complete an Online Global Health & Wellness Orientation.

This mandatory online exercise provides useful information about health and safety resources in Sydney.  It encourages you to practice self-care, to support your fellow students and the NYU Sydney community, and to remain curious about all the things that are different and exciting in Australia.

It should take you about 45-60 minutes and must be completed by Tuesday, August 29th. Please access the orientation by clicking the link in the email you received.

If you have questions about the content please email Lauren Stahl at l.stahl@nyu.edu.


Review Health & Wellness Information

You’ll find important information on the Health & Wellness page of our website about NYU-provided GeoBlue Health Insurance abroad, counseling services, medical services and more. Please take some time to look it over.

As a reminder, do NOT cancel your domestic health insurance!

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