Approx. Time Difference
UK: Add 8 hours
France: Add 9 hours
Welcome to your program!
This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants
section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Bookmark your Participants program page. This resource lists requirements and policies you need to know before you go abroad, including your Predeparture Checklist, UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
, Program Calendar, UCEAP Student Budgets, and payment instructions.
Study Centers Abroad
UCEAP programs in London are administered by the London Study Center while UCEAP programs in Paris are administered by the Paris Study Center. Both offices collaborate closely and continually with ACCENT, a provider of student services for a number of study abroad programs worldwide. ACCENT headquarters are located in San Francisco.
ACCENT’s London office is located on Bedford Square in the heart of London’s Bloomsbury district near the British Museum and the University of London. The London Study Center is nearby.
In Paris, both the ACCENT office and the Paris Study Center are in the same building, along with classrooms and computer lab.
The program is designed for UCEAP students; there are no British or French or other international students in the program.
Study Center staff advise on academic and other matters and help ensure that your academic program meets UC requirements. ACCENT handles the logistical arrangements and day-to-day activities of the program. ACCENT oversees student housing, coordinates on-site orientation, organizes field trips and cultural activities, handles class scheduling, and serves as a resource for nonacademic questions or problems you may encounter.
The Director for ACCENT in London is Elizabeth Terry, while the Director for ACCENT in Paris is Melissa Smith-Simonet. Both ACCENT offices have several staff members overseeing specific components of the program, while all are available to assist students with any issues.
If you need to contact ACCENT prior to departure, call the San Francisco office.
ACCENT San Francisco
870 Market Street, Suite 1026
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (800) 869-9291
12 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3JA, United Kingdom
Phone: (011-44-207) 637-7518
UCEAP Study Center
3 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3RA, United Kingdom
Phone (calling from the U.S.): (011-44-207) 079-0562
Phone (calling from the U.K.): 0207-079-0562
ACCENT Paris and UCEAP Study Center
89 rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine
75011 Paris, France
Phone (calling from the U.S.): (011 33) 1 49 28 54 00
Phone (calling from Paris): 01 49 28 54 00
Phone Number Codes in the U.K.
U.S. international code. . . . . . . . . . . . . 011 (dial this to call from the U.S.)
United Kingdom country code. . . ... . . . 44
London city code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Approximate Time Difference in the U.K.
Add 8 hours
Phone Number Codes In France
U.S. international code . . . . . . . . . . . 11 (dial this to call from the U.S.)
France country code . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
City code: Included in city phone number.
Drop the initial 0 when dialing from the U.S.
Approximate Time Difference in France
Add 9 hours
In the Perspectives on the Global City program, courses are designed along the American model, with continual assessment and multiple assignments. The focus of the program is careful analysis of British and French society. You’ll be expected to assimilate and then compare and critique what you read, see, and experience around you.
Instructors will welcome questions and lively discussion. However, most program faculty are themselves products of British and French traditional academic culture, and will generally admire independence, self-discipline in managing readings and assignments, very strong writing skills, and intellectual curiosity. UCEAP students who exhibit these qualities will especially shine in this program.
Students are required to attend all course meetings. Course meetings include site visits and excursions. Students are allowed only 1 course absence for each course for any reason (illness, travel delays, or similar exceptional circumstances). There are no exceptions to this rule. If a student misses more than 1 course meeting (including required visits and excursions related to the course), then 1/3 of a letter grade will be deducted from the student’s final grade for that course for each excessive absence. Please note: three tardies (10 to 20 minutes late to class) equal one absence. Students arriving more than 20 minutes late to a course meeting will be counted as absent.
Violation of the attendance policy may result in sanctions including a lower grade, loss of course credit, or dismissal from the program.
For detailed information about grades, see the Academic Information
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Grades for the Perspectives on the Global City Quarter program are usually available in late June or early July.
The Perspectives on the Global City Semester program is a new program and information about when grades are available is not known.
Perspectives on the Global City • London/Paris and Paris/London (Quarter)
You will take two courses at each location, resulting in four courses total for the entire program. Each course is four units. You also have the option of adding on a 2-unit Directed Group Study.
Course Selection, London (choose 2 of 3):
- After the Empire: Diversity and Integration in Britain. Study the rise of Imperial Britain, its transformations following de-colonization and the redrawing of national borders, and the emergence of competing versions of Britishness, leading to the diverse and challenging British society of today.
- Health, Urbanism and Social Change: London, 1850 to the present day. Explore questions of health and disease as they relate to London, from the mid-nineteenth century through to the present day.
- Policing London: Policy, Law and the Police in the Global City. Explore the relationship between the police, the judicial system, and policy makers in London. You will learn the history of the police force in the UK and the developments that have formed the Metropolitan Police in London today.
Course Selection, Paris (choose 2 of 3):
- Differing Diversities: The Politics of Belonging in France. Explore how diversity has (and has not) been articulated in France's political traditions and how these traditions inform contemporary social situations.
- Documenting the Periphery: Identity and Citizenship in the “Other” Part of Paris. Examine the socioeconomic and political disenfranchisement experienced by residents of the "other France" – a France comprised of working-class citizens often of immigrant origin and from France’s former colonies.
- (Un)veiling the Republic: France in the Muslim World and the Muslim World in France. Draw from the fields of history, political science, sociology, and international studies to examine the fraught relations between France and the Muslim world over the centuries.
Directed Group Study (takes place only in the second city of your program)
Choose from a list of suggested research topics or propose a topic of your own design. The course meets once per week for two hours and takes the form of a workshop.
You are required to take a full-time course of study on UCEAP, which is 16-18 quarter (14-15.3 semester) units for this program.
Perspectives on the Global City • London/Paris and Paris/London (Semester)
The course choices for the Perspectives on the Global City Semester program are the same as for the Perspectives on the Global City Quarter program listed above.
The Quarter and Semester programs differ in that the Semester program has an additional component: an Internship plus Workforce Course. The internship begins near the end of the courses and continues full-time for the rest of the semester.
Internship placements primarily take place in the sectors of education, not-for-profit organizations, tourism, arts & cultural affairs, and similar organizations.You will submit information regarding your internship interests at the time of application, and the Study Center staff in London and Paris will help facilitate the placement process. Your internship placement will be finalized once you are on-site.
The internship is an integral part of the semester program, and you enroll in a Workforce course in addition to your internship in the second city of the program. You will earn 5 UC quarter units for your internship and the Workforce course.
You are required to take a full-time course of study on UCEAP, which is 21-23 UC quarter (14-15.3 semester) units for this program.
In addition to the ACCENT office library, you will have access to a small, fully staffed lending library, which is located in the same building as the ACCENT office. Within the library there is a selection of materials relevant to your courses reserved just for UCEAP students.
You can also access the California Digital Library
(CDL) while abroad. This library includes online academic journals and other resources. In order to access the CDL from a computer that is not part of the UC network (including those you may use abroad), follow the instructions from your UC campus on the CDL website. Students can also become members of the British Library. Please see ACCENT staff for more details.
Academic materials including textbooks will be distributed by ACCENT during orientation.
Extending UCEAP Participation
Extension is not possible in this program.To participate in two back-to-back programs (either a fall quarter program and a spring quarter program or a spring quarter program and a summer program) you need to apply to both programs by each one's application deadline and fulfill all pre-departure requirements for both. Make sure the program calendars do not overlap and that you can apply for the appropriate visas from your location at the time of visa application.
Educate Yourself - London
Educate Yourself - Paris
Cultural Awareness - London
Living in the U.K.
The United Kingdom is a multiracial society and has experienced, and continues to experience, racial tensions. But the mix of races is quite different from the U.S.; in addition to Africans and Afro-Caribbeans, Britain has a sizable population from the Asian subcontinent, including Indians and Pakistanis, but in relation to California, a smaller number of East Asians. Moreover, ethnic minorities represent different cultural experiences, deriving their place in contemporary Britain from the nation’s comparatively recent colonial past. British people are conscious of the need for racial awareness and sensitivity, but as ethnic groups are unevenly spread across the country (minorities typically concentrated in London and the large cities of the Midlands and North), they vary a great deal in their actual experience of racial diversity.
Drinking & Smoking
In general, British students use pubs for socializing a great deal more than their American counterparts; a night out may be more frequent and involve the consumption of more alcohol than most American students are used to. Be aware of this fact and set your own limits; all pubs serve soft drinks, too.
Cigarette smoking, while more controlled than a few years ago, is still common, especially among university students. Smoking in public buildings has been banned, but smokers may cluster immediately outside doorways so you cannot always avoid secondhand smoke.
Although the British are not as open about sexuality (especially in the smaller cities), larger cities such as London have well established lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) scenes. Publications such as Time Out list LGBT-friendly events and venues in London, and UCEAP staff will have further contact information. In addition, most universities have LGBT societies. The age of consent for gay males is 16 years in the U.K. There are no legal prohibitions against lesbianism.
Cultural Awareness - Paris
The French may have different attitudes toward sexual differences than Americans. Although they may be more accepting of sexual difference at the societal level, they may be less open to discussing it at the individual level. Cities such as Paris, Nice, or Lyon have long-established lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) scenes. Websites such as Time Out or Paris’ Centre LGBT provide list of LGBT-friendly events and venues. The age of consent is 15 in France for males and females.
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
Arrival and Orientation in London and Paris
This program begins on the UCEAP official start date found in the UCEAP Program Calendar on the UCEAP website. Students are required to attend a mandatory on-site orientation. Failure to arrive by the official start date and time of day or failure to attend the orientation sessions and events could result in dismissal from the program per the UCEAP Student Agreement.
UCEAP and ACCENT will provide a thorough orientation when you arrive in your first city, and again when you move to your second city.
- Welcome Reception in first city
- Meet and bond with other students
- Learn what to do in matters of health, safety, emergency
- Topics include banking, communications, transportation, budgeting, food, housing contract
- Advice given on integration into the host country culture, etiquette
- Guidance on how to register your courses with both ACCENT and UC, to make sure you receive UC credit for courses taken abroad
- Information packet with maps and city guidebook
- Walking tour of local neighborhood
- Ongoing cultural and social activities
- Departure packet by email
- Farewell Reception in second city
Travel to Your Host Country
Purchasing Your Ticket
Flights from the U.S. direct to the U.K. or France arrive the day after they depart the U.S. Keep this in mind when booking your flight to arrive on the correct date for the program.
No group flight has been arranged by UCEAP. You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements directly to the program site. Even if you are on full financial aid, you are responsible for reserving and purchasing your airline ticket. Your Financial Aid Office will not do it for you.
Purchase a changeable airline ticket; standby tickets are not appropriate. You are required to arrive at the correct program site on UCEAP’s Official Start Date—see the program calendar on the UCEAP website for the date. If you fail to appear on the date and at the place indicated, you will be subject to dismissal from the program (see the Student Agreement in MyEAP). Detailed instructions on transportation from different airports to the designated arrival point at the program site are available in the UCEAP Predeparture Checklist. The start date of the program can change due to unforeseen circumstances. You are responsible for making modifications to your travel itinerary to accommodate such changes. In addition, flights are routinely changed or canceled; confirm your flight schedule about two weeks before the departure date. UCEAP is not responsible for any unrecoverable transportation charges you may incur. To be kept informed of any program changes, update your address, telephone number, and e-mail address in MyEAP.
Airline & Customs Restrictions
Do not ask other students to carry any items of any kind abroad for you (laptop, camera, extra bags, etc.) and do not volunteer to do so for others. Airlines will ask you if you are carrying items for someone else, and if you are, they will not allow you to take them. If you are allowed to board the plane with the items, customs abroad may charge you a high duty upon arrival. They will assume you plan to resell the items, especially if you already have similar items of your own. This is particularly a concern with electronic goods.
Make photocopies of all important documents and keep the copies in a location separate from the originals. E-mail yourself a list of passport and credit card numbers and any other personal information that would need to be replaced if it were stolen or lost.
Carefully read the UCEAP Visa Instructions concerning entry to the U.K. and France. The regulations are different for each country, and different for U.S citizens and non-U.S. citizens. All students need to follow the instructions for both countries.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, follow the UCEAP Visa Instructions immediately to determine your specific visa requirements. Requirements may differ depending on your country of citizenship, and the process may take longer than it does for U.S. citizens.
Consider bringing your favorite brand name products that might not be available abroad (familiar brands of shampoo, antiperspirants,over-the-counter remedies, contact lens supplies, etc.). Although a particular brand may be difficult or impossible to find, it is almost always possible to find a local equivalent.
Pack your passport, travel tickets, prescription medications, money, and other important travel documents in your carry-on luggage. Keep photocopies in a separate location. Scan the first pages of your passport and e-mail yourself the document; keep the file in your e-mail inbox and not on your computer so that you can more readily retrieve a copy if it is lost or stolen.
Never put valuables in your checked luggage. Leave extra credit cards at home and carry only what is necessary. You will not need to carry your California driver’s license or your Social Security card.
Most likely, it will be cold or rainy when you arrive for a spring program. Pack the appropriate clothing based on the months that you will be abroad.
Typically, California winter coats are too thin for the U.K. and France. Either take a durable coat or buy one after arrival. However, be aware that clothing is usually more expensive abroad.
Local students abroad tend to dress up more than Americans. Generally, they do not wear sweatshirts, sweatpants, athletic shoes, or jeans with holes or tears. You may feel more comfortable if you dress to fit in. Wearing dressy clothes is obviously not practical for everyday purposes, and you can get by wearing shirts, blouses, or sweaters with pants or nice jeans.
Between cultural activities, excursions, on-site lectures, and traveling, you will be doing a lot of walking. Comfortable shoes are a necessity; make sure they are well broken-in before departure. Sturdy walking shoes (preferably with thick rubber soles), boots, and athletic shoes are recommended.
Good jeans, skirts, sweaters, and other casual attire are sufficient for everyday wear. You will need a warm dress or skirt and blouse for more formal occasions, such as the theater. Most women do not wear shorts, halter tops, or revealing clothing in the city. If you dress this way you are likely to attract unwanted attention. Such clothing is acceptable and common, however, at the beach and recreational areas.
Jeans and permanent-press shirts are practical. Many men wear sweaters over their shirts in cooler weather. You will need more formal attire for dressier occasions, such as the theater.
Read the linked UCEAP visa instructions to find out if you need to show a round-trip ticket or other proof of departure from the country, to Immigration upon arrival, depending on which country you are entering first. For flexibility, you can purchase a changeable or “open return” round-trip ticket. If you are not required to show a round-trip ticket, be sure to book a return flight with plenty of lead time once abroad. Flights to the U.S. fill up quickly and economy-fare seats book early.
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Be cautious about carrying and displaying money.
Before leaving the U.S., exchange $200 into British or French currency. The funds will be useful upon arrival for snacks, transportation, tips, and unexpected purchases. Some U.S. banks will purchase the foreign currency for you; the process may take a week or more. Dollars can also be exchanged for foreign currency at airports.
It is imperative that you review the UCEAP Student Budget and determine your program costs. You can find the budget in the Money Matters section of your Participants program page. As noted in Section II of the UCEAP Student Budget, you are responsible for your finances while abroad. Before you go, make sure you completely understand your financial needs for study abroad and verify that your personal funds and/or financial aid meet these needs. Plan carefully, as recreational travel expenses and entertainment are not included in the program budget.
The official currency of the U.K. is the pound (£) and it is the euro (€) in France (and the European Union). As with all currencies, the value of the pound and euro relative to the U.S. dollar fluctuates daily. Depending on these fluctuations, your actual living expenses (in terms of U.S. dollars) can rise or fall over the duration of the program. To find the current conversion rates, visit websites with currency calculators such as Google Finance
In writing numbers, commas and periods are reversed in France. For example, 1,00 is what we would consider 1.00, and 1.000 is what we would consider 1,000. It is also possible to exchange dollars for pounds or euros at international airports (both in the U.S. and abroad), although exchange rates are less favorable and exchange offices are not always open in the late and early hours of the day. ATMs can be found at the airport, and you will have the opportunity to withdraw pounds or euros from your American bank account as soon as you enter the arrival hall.
Obtaining Cash Abroad
The Study Centers recommend the following forms of handling money: debit card, credit card, international money orders for AmEx members, and wire transfers. How you divide your money into the various forms is entirely your choice; choose the options with which you feel most comfortable. UCEAP recommends that you choose multiple methods of accessing funds so if there is a problem with one, you can use another.
Credit cards generally offer the best international exchange rates. Visa, known as Carte Bleue in France, is the most widely accepted credit card in Europe. With a Visa card, usually you can get an immediate cash advance by presenting your card and passport at a major bank. Four-digit PINs are essential in order to use credit cards at ATMs. MasterCard is also widely accepted, as is American
Express (AmEx), though to a lesser extent. You can use an AmEx card to purchase travelers checks abroad. The Discover card is not commonly accepted. If you take a credit card, set up an online account (if possible) so you can track expenses, receive statements, and pay your bills online. You may also arrange to have your statements sent to you abroad, or for your parents or a responsible person to receive and pay your bills from the U.S. Past students have found it useful to bring an additional credit card strictly for emergencies.
Travelers checks are rarely accepted and not recommended for use abroad.
If you do bring travelers checks, you will need to exchange them into pounds or euros. American Express travelers checks are the most widely accepted. Be sure to make two copies of the check numbers and give one copy to a family member or friend. Keep the other copy for yourself, separate from the actual checks. If you lose your checks, you will need to provide these numbers and the receipts in order to obtain replacements.
A good way to obtain cash is through an ATM. To get an ATM card, you must first have an account at a bank or credit union in the U.S. before departure. Most ATM cards are connected to a checking or share draft account. The bank will issue you an ATM card and a personal identification number (PIN). The PIN must have four digits in order to work abroad. Keep in mind when choosing a PIN that ATMs abroad do not have letters on the keypads. Most cards carry the symbols for the Cirrus and Plus systems on the back, which are common ATM networks throughout Europe. It is helpful if your ATM card has a Visa or MasterCard logo on it. Once abroad, the ATM card and PIN can be used to withdraw money from the U.S. account.
Students in short-term programs are not advised to open bank accounts due to time constraints.
If you withdraw from the program after the deadline noted in the UCEAP Student Agreement, you will incur financial penalties. These penalties vary according to the host institution and date of withdrawal. UCEAP cannot waive or assume the expenses of penalties assessed by the host institution. You will be required to pay the amounts assessed by the host institution and UCEAP. UCEAP is not responsible for reimbursing airfare expenses; therefore, do not buy a plane ticket until your UCEAP participation is confirmed.
In addition to UCEAP penalties, ACCENT will charge withdrawal penalties based on the withdrawal date. Refer to your online Student Budget. The effective withdrawal date is the date that ACCENT is notified of the withdrawal. It is important that your Campus EAP Advisor notify the UCEAP Systemwide Office of the withdrawal immediately.
Housing Cancelation Fees
Students who withdraw from the program for any reason from:
- January 16, 2013 – February 25, 2013 will be charged 10 percent of the housing fee
- February 26, 2012 – March 4, 2013 will be charged 35 percent of the housing fee
- March 5, 2013 – March 18, 2013 will be charged 60 percent of the housing fee
- March 19, 2013 onwards will be charged 100 percent of the housing fee except any recoverable costs
Program Cancelation Fees
Students who withdraw from the program for any reason from:
- February 16, 2013 – March 18, 2013 will be charged a €100 cancelation fee for orientation/cultural activities/materials
- March 19, 2013 onwards will be charged the full amount of the program fee except any recoverable costs
Laptops, cell phones—particularly smartphones—and other electronic devices are among the most frequently stolen items from travelers. Keep all your electronics within reach at all times. Do not place your cell phone on the café table—it can be quickly swiped. For your laptop, it is advisable to have up-to-date virus protection. The UCEAP Insurance Plan offers a personal property benefit, which covers theft; however, it is your responsibility to review the insurance details and determine whether or not it is sufficient to cover your laptop. You may decide to purchase additional coverage depending on your needs.
Most laptops are equipped with a voltage converter allowing the use of the 220-volt electricity in Europe. Read your manual to confirm. The converter is usually part of the “box” located halfway down the power cord. You still need an adapter to use the outlets.
In order to have Internet access on a laptop in Europe, you will need:
- Access to a phone jack. If you have access to a phone jack and can make outgoing calls, you will need a dial-up number for an ISP (see below).
- European phone cord. The phone plugs are shaped differently in each country in Europe. You will need to buy phone plugs. These are inexpensive and available in the U.S. and Europe.
- European ISP (Internet Service Provider). Talk to your American ISP to see if you can use your service while abroad. If not, you will need an ISP in Europe. Some services require a monthly subscription; others are more flexible. Note: An ISP from the U.S. may exist in Europe but will require a different billing and payment setup (for example, AOL).
- Wireless cards and 3G. If your laptop or smartphone has a wireless card or 3G installed, you will be able to access WiFi in Europe where it is available.
Phone Use - London
Phone Use - Paris
In the Daumesnil residence, you will have a phone in your room. On this line, you can receive incoming calls from anywhere for free and make unlimited free calls to any landline in the Paris region (phone numbers starting with 01 or 09) and to any landline in the United States. (The previous sentence is not a misprint, but a unique benefit offered by the Daumesnil residence.) You will need a phone card to call any cell phone (the card access phone number should start with 01).
Packages generally take six to eight weeks to send by surface mail. Due to the short length of this program, you should not have
packages sent. The Study Center and ACCENT will not collect luggage that has been shipped in advance, and staff will not pick up any luggage that must be claimed at a customs office or dock.
Have your mail sent to the ACCENT address in either London or Paris during the dates you will be in one city or the other. The addresses appear in the Study Center Abroad section under Contact Information.
British Postal System
The British mail service is usually fast. Letters mailed in the evening before the last mail collection at any of the British universities are generally delivered in London the next day or two and vice versa. Airmail usually takes from six to ten days to or from California. However, delivery times can vary widely; if you are expecting a package that you need by a certain date, encourage the sender to use an express mail service.
You are required to live in housing pre-arranged by ACCENT.
You will receive the URL for ACCENT forms in the Predeparture Checklist, including a housing contract and housing/roommate preference form. You will need to print and complete these forms and return them directly to the San Francisco office of ACCENT by the deadline stated on the forms. Detailed instructions will be included with the forms. Students will be assigned as roommates only if both students request to room together.
You cannot remain in the housing after the program ends. Students must move out of the housing no later than 10 a.m. on the final day. No exceptions will be made.
Where Will I Live in London?
You will be housed approximately 10-15 minutes walk from the ACCENT office.
You will live with other U.S. students only. No British students live in the apartments. All apartments are non-smoking. When completing the ACCENT Housing Form, you must indicate whether or not you are a smoker, even though all apartments are non-smoking, so ACCENT can make appropriate housing assignments.
Apartments are fully furnished twin and triple rooms, including televisions and telephones (for incoming calls; all outgoing calls can be made only by using a calling card); bed linens, towels, dishes, and cooking utensils are provided. Kitchens are supplied with a cooker, fridge/freezer, microwave, and cookware. A basic weekly cleaning is also provided. All flats are self-catered. Laundry facilities are available, at no cost, either in the apartment or in a separate laundry room. All utilities except outgoing telephone calls are included in the housing fees.
ACCENT handles any housing questions or problems that you may have during the program in London. You may make housing maintenance requests to ACCENT, which will work with Acorn Property Management as needed. As is the case with most aging institutional buildings in an urban setting (such as youth hostels or student dorms), the housing has experienced occasional pest infestations in the past. Should any such problems arise while you are occupying these rooms, be sure to bring the issue to the immediate attention of the ACCENT staff and Acorn Property Management for resolution.
Housing fees for this program do not include a security or damage deposit. You will be billed by UCEAP for the cost of any housing damage repair or cleaning and for any lost key charges, invoiced to UCEAP by ACCENT at the end of the semester. The cost of housing damage repair or cleaning will be divided among the occupants of a flat, so roommates should agree among themselves to treat each other and their surroundings with respect.
The London post office will not deliver mail to short-term student housing due to the constant turnover of recipients. In addition,ACCENT cannot give you your exact housing assignment (room number, roommates, etc.) prior to arrival in London. Give the ACCENT office address in London (provided in the Communication section in this guide) to family and friends prior to departure to use as a mailing address during the semester. The ACCENT office is located in the same building where participants attend classes, so mail pickup is convenient.
Where Will I Live in Paris?
London/Paris students will live in the Daumesnil residence, approximately a 5-minute walk from the classrooms. As in the U.S., European residence halls and student hotels tend to be simple. The student residences in Paris consist of single and double studio rooms and are furnished with the necessities: a bed, a desk, a closet or armoire, sheets, pillows, and blankets. Each studio has its own bathroom (toilets and shower), and you will need to bring or buy your own towels and toiletries, including toilet paper. Each room also includes a kitchenette with a hot plate, a sink, a small refrigerator, basic dishes and utensils, and a microwave. Living in a residence hall requires sharing space and being respectful of the needs of others.
Paris/London students will live in double or triple shared student apartments furnished with a bed, a closet or armoire, an area for toiletries, sheets, pillows and blankets as well as a bathroom. Students need to provide their own towels. Kitchen facilities include a small stove-top, refrigerator, dishes and basic cooking utensils. Internet is available in all apartments.
European residences tend to be much quieter, as students generally socialize off campus. Dorms require that quiet hours be observed between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Overnight guests and excessive noise are prohibited—the French are quite serious about this. Parties are not allowed within the residences, and violation of these rules may lead to expulsion. There are numerous cafés and restaurants near the student residences where you can gather socially.
See “Estimated Personal Expenses” in the UCEAP Student Budget, where the “Incidentals/Books/Transportation” line factors reasonable, average local transportation costs into the budget.
Transportation System - London
You will use the London transportation system extensively. Detailed maps, routes, and schedules for bus and London Underground transportation are available online. Bus rides are free for those in wheelchairs.
Transportation System - Paris
Transportation options include walking, biking, the metro, and the bus. You can purchase a Navigo or an Imagine “R” pass, which allow you to ride both the metro and the bus. The cost of the Navigo pass is approximately €62,90 per month. Single metro tickets cost about €1,80. You may also purchase a weekly pass for about €19,15. Prices are subject to change.
Working in the Host Country
Participants in this program cannot work, intern, or do volunteer work due to visa restrictions.
Students with Disabilities
Is There Accessible Accommodation in London and Paris?
There are a few accessible rooms in both the London and Paris housing for students with disabilities—students should make requests for accessible housing as soon as possible. Accessibility standards differ among countries so students should not expect U.S. standards. However, most buildings have at least one step up to the main door and showers have a small step into them. Bathrooms do not have grab bars. Some apartment doors have two locks, with one fairly high, and require two hands to open them. Some buildings have laundry facilities in the basement, but no elevator. Depending upon the disability, most rooms are not very accessible. If accessible housing is needed that cannot be provided at Kamen House in London or at Daumesnil in Paris, then most likely there will be a significant supplemental housing cost and the alternative housing would probably be a studio about 25 minutes away from the London Center or up to 45 minutes away from the Paris Center. Mass transportation is reasonably accessible, however, daily transportation is as important to consider as housing. Also, if needed, personal assistants can be hired through private organizations; however, students need to make their own arrangements and pay directly for any assistance.
Travel within the U.K. and Europe
Numerous sites exist where you can store luggage, either during breaks or while traveling after the end of the program. Two storage companies in the U.K. are Big Yellow Self Storage
and Excess Baggage Company
. Storage sites are usually at airports, underground stations, and train stations. Rates and hours will vary, so confirm all details in advance. Most companies can also arrange to ship luggage.
Travel lightly and avoid shipping surplus supplies abroad. You will have to carry all of your luggage through customs. Baggage allowances continue to change, so be sure to check with your airline to determine their restrictions. Most U.S.-based airlines charge a fee for each bag you check. Oversized and overweight luggage (typically defined as over 50 pounds) also requires an additional fee. Ideally, aim to travel with one large suitcase, but make sure it does not go over the weight limit.
You will be responsible for carrying your own bags quite some distance, including to your final residence. Many apartment buildings do not have elevators. In addition, most cities in Europe are not set up with wheelchair ramps. Consequently, rolling luggage may need to be carried up flights of stairs or lifted frequently. Keep your luggage with you at all times while traveling. Many students find that a large backpack (not an external frame backpack) is more convenient than a suitcase. Backpacks are especially handy when traveling by train.
The UCEAP Student Budget does not include funds for recreational travel.
Insurance for Personal Posessions
To be reimbursed for expenses that are covered by the insurance plan, submit a claim form to the insurance carrier along with itemized bills within 30 days. See the Insurance tab on your Participants program page for claim forms and details.
You will receive health care information during the on-site orientation. In addition to the following sections, read the Health
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
, and the U.S. CDC Travelers’ Health
information website for specific health information for all your travel destinations.
Medical Facilities - London
Medical Facilities - Paris
Medical care in France is of comparable quality to that found in the U.S. If you feel sick or have a medical emergency, seek medical attention and contact the Study Center immediately. Study Center staff can recommend a clinic to visit, provide the necessary UCEAP medical insurance claim forms to complete, and make arrangements with your professors if an extended absence from class is expected.
Physical Health - London
Physical Health - Paris
If you have questions, concerns, or feel that you need to be tested for a sexually transmitted disease, the Institut Alfred Fournier is the leading clinic in Paris for information and testing:
Institut Alfred Fournier
25, bd Saint-Jacques
75680 PARIS Cedex 14
The clinic is located off the following exits:
Métro ligne 6: Glacière ou St-Jacques
RER ligne B: Denfert-Rochereau
Bus n°21: Arrêt Glacière
Bus n°38: Arrêt Denfert-Rochereau
Condoms are the only type of birth control available over the counter in France. Oral contraceptives and other pharmaceutical forms of birth control are available only with a prescription. The UCEAP Insurance Plan covers birth control up to U.S. $500.
Psychological Health - London
You can be referred to the consultant psychiatrists at Priory Hospital North London for individual or group consultation sessions with psychiatrists specializing in various areas of mental health. The Priory Hospital is part of the Priory Group, the leading provider of private psychiatric care in Europe. Your UCEAP Insurance Plan covers outpatient visits; there is no co-pay or deductible and you can make an appointment with any doctor.
Call Europ Assistance, the UCEAP assistance provider, to get referrals and request direct payment to the provider, if the provider is able and willing to work with the Europ Assistance agents in the U.K. To contact Europ Assistance, e-mail email@example.com
or call the University of California dedicated line collect at 1+ 202-828-5896.
Psychological Health - Paris
If you are in need of counseling, the International Counseling Service is a group of 11 English-speaking clinical psychologists and psychiatrists in Paris. Additional information is available at the UCEAP Study Center.
There may be times when you wonder why you decided to study abroad, especially when you miss your family and friends, or you are struggling with financial problems, feeling alone, or unable to communicate easily with others. There could be any number of things that might make you feel unhappy or worried and perhaps being abroad makes it much harder to cope with such stresses. Most students expect to quickly adapt to the new culture—and they need to adjust rapidly if they are to effectively meet the academic demands placed upon them. Culture shock is a normal developmental phase of adjustment to a new cultural environment. It is not a psychological disorder.
Reactions to culture shock can mimic more severe psychological problems such as clinical depression and anxiety. Typical reactions to culture shock include feeling helpless, out of control, vulnerable, fearful, anxious, and confused. Sadness may set in with periods of crying or sleeplessness.
Most students who experience culture shock function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life. However, a high level of stress can cause unusually strong emotional reactions and can interfere with effective functioning either at that time or later. Such reactions are normal responses to abnormal situations and are to be expected under the circumstances. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Nevertheless, there are occasions when the experience of culture shock can stir up deeper emotional issues. If you find that you need help, talk to the experienced local UCEAP and ACCENT staff who can help you identify a professional who can help you. They can also help you, along with the UC travel assistance provider, Europ Assistance, to set up direct payment for any counseling sessions that you may need.
There are some strategies you can practice anywhere in the world to minimize your risks. Personal safety starts with awareness. To be alert to potential dangers and risks to your well-being, you need to be aware of what is going on in your immediate environment. The choices you make with your behavior, attire, travel, personal property, relationships, etc., can directly influence your exposure to risk. Follow your instincts. If a situation is uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation. Carry official ID and a charged cell phone with you at all times.
Crime & Prevention - London
Personal safety starts with awareness.
- Pickpocketing, mugging, and snatch-and-run thefts remain common criminal incidents, especially in airports, restaurants, public transportation hubs, and crowded streets. Take precautions. Keep all valuables, especially wallets, passports, credit cards, and the like, in buttoned or zippered inside pockets, money belts, or fastened bags while walking about major cities. Never leave bags, backpacks, and cases unattended anywhere, not even in locked cars.
Personal possession of guns is outlawed except for the strictly regulated use of shotguns for hunting and other weapons for competition sports. Policing units are unarmed, with the exception of some specialized firearms support teams, counterterrorism protective specialists, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). According to the U.K. Metropolitan Police statistics, serious crime (i.e., assault, robbery, burglary, gun-enabled crimes, and rape) in many London boroughs has increased. As with any major metropolitan city, be cautious and aware of your surroundings. In general, most central-city parks present few risks in daylight hours; larger open areas, the commons and heaths in and adjacent to major cities, should be treated with caution. Do not walk alone after dark.
While London is generally safe and the program’s student housing is located in a desirable neighborhood, the area is urban and you must use common sense and take precautions. Burglary is on the increase in student residences. Never leave doors propped open. Keep your room door locked and store valuable items in locked drawers or closets, if available.
Follow basic personal protective measures to maximize your safety and that of your roommates. For example, if a building has a door facing an open area and another door in an alley, use your common sense on which door is better to use, even though the other may be reached by a shortcut.
Thieves can reach through bars across an open ground-level window—do not place valuable items on a table under the window. If a ground-level window does not have bars, do not open the window wide enough for a person to enter and never leave the window open.
Crime & Prevention - Paris
Tips for Staying Safe
- Be inconspicuous. Try to dress to blend in with locals. College sweatshirts, sweatpants, baseball caps, white sneakers, and shorts are all associated with Americans and will make you stand out.
- Act like you know where you are going, even if you do not. Plan ahead when you are in an unfamiliar part of a city so you will not have to pull out a map and reveal that you are lost. Always walk with a friend.
- Carry your purse or bag with the strap diagonally across your chest. Do not store a camera or other valuables in backpacks where they can be removed without notice. Leave items that you do not need on any given day at home.
- Do not carry your passport. Copy the first page of your passport to use as a form of ID and leave your actual passport safe in your room. Before departure, scan the first page of your passport and e-mail the file to yourself. If your passport is stolen while you are traveling, you can access it online and print out a copy, which will help in obtaining a replacement from the embassy. If you lose your passport, or if it is stolen, immediately notify the nearest American embassy or consulate, local authorities, and UCEAP Study Center staff; go to the consulate immediately and obtain information about passport replacement.
- Do not use ATMs in isolated, unlit areas or when there are people loitering in the vicinity. Avoid using the ATMs in train stations, especially at night. Beware of people standing close enough to the ATM to read your personal identification number (PIN) as you enter it into the machine. Thieves often conduct successful scams simply by observing the PIN as it is entered. If your card gets stuck in the ATM, be wary of people who offer to help, even those who seem to be helpful and ask for your PIN so they can “fix” the machine. Legitimate bank employees never have a reason to ask for the PIN.
- If using your laptop or smartphone in a public space, be sure to remain aware. Many laptops, cell phones, and smartphones are swiped by agile thieves watching you and waiting for you to turn away for a moment. If using a laptop in a restaurant or café, do not sit near the doors where a thief could run in, grab the computer, and run out easily. Sit in a back area and remain aware of the people around you. Do not place your cell phone or smartphone on the café table; always keep it in your purse or pocket.
- Do not text or phone while walking down the street or waiting for the metro; do so in a discreet place where no one can see the phone you are using.
- Use common sense and use the same personal safety precautions that you would use in a large city in California.
- Lock your door and secure your bike to prevent theft.
- Do not leave your residence room unlocked and/or open, even when just visiting a friend down the hallway.
- On buses and in crowds, secure your wallet and purse. Carry your wallet in a front or breast pocket, never in your back pocket.
Drinking and Personal Safety
The more you drink, the more likely you are to put yourself at unnecessary risk. For travellers, the most serious hazard is usually not illness, but accidents and injuries. If you choose to drink, do so responsibly. Criminals are known to target vulnerable individuals whose judgment is impaired by intoxication. Always watch your beverage. Instances of drink spiking have been reported. Do not leave drinks unattended in bars and nightclubs. Drugs can easily be mixed into drinks when unattended. These drugs can disorient you, dramatically impair your judgment, or cause you to lose consciousness. Once you lose sight of your drink, do not continue drinking.
You will find different practices and attitudes towards drinking in France. Alcohol can be purchased by anyone over 16 years old. Familiarize yourself with the UCEAP Substance Abuse Policy
While you are traveling in other countries, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. If you break local laws, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.
Many pocket knives and other blades, and mace or pepper spray canisters, although legal in the United States, are illegal in the United Kingdom and will result in arrest and confiscation if detected.
Demonstrations & Strikes - London
Public rallies and demonstrations, common in bigger cities, are usually peaceful and rarely end in violent confrontations. In case of larger gatherings, there is a possibility of sporadic confrontations and violent escalation. Strikes occasionally occur in the transportation sector and could have an impact on commuters. Do not participate in demonstrations, and remain vigilant when in the vicinity of any demonstrations; if violence erupts seek shelter.
The police services, fire brigades, medical response, and other emergency services in the U.K. are excellent. Police services in the U.K. rank among the world’s best, but they face daunting challenges and strongly encourage the participation of the public in ensuring their own safety.
Demonstrations & Strikes - Paris
The police are well equipped and trained. Many officers speak more than one language. Main police stations, whether National Police or Gendarmerie, are located in each arrondissement.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Traffic & Transportation Safety - London
Do not get too close to the traffic. If there’s no pavement, keep back from the edge of the road but make sure you can still see approaching traffic.
Pedestrians do not have the right of way, and cars are only required to stop for pedestrians on black and white “zebra” crosswalks with flashing yellow globe lights on the sidewalk.
Traffic & Transportation Safety - Paris
Emergency Services Response
UCEAP Contingency Planning
Fire Safety - London
Fire Safety - Paris
If you are abroad - UK
Carry the local emergency contact information at all times:
- If you need immediate emergency assistance, call 999 for Police, Ambulance, or Fire Department
If you are abroad - France
Carry the local emergency contact information at all times:
If you need immediate emergency assistance in France or elsewhere in the European Union, call 112. In France, you can also call:
- SAMU (24-hour Ambulance).............15
- Fire Department .............................18
U.S. Embassy in London
24 Grosvenor Square
London, W1A 2LQ
Phone: +44 207 499 9000
U.S. Embassy in France
American Citizen Services
4, avenue Gabriel
75382 Paris Cedex 08
Phone: +33 1 43 12 22 22
Fax: +33 1 42 66 97 83
The University of California, in accordance with applicable
Federal and State law and University policy, does not
discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion,
sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical
condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status,
citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era
veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also
prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy
covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs
and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s
student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to
the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action
* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical
conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.