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London & Paris 
Approx. Time Difference
UK: Add 8 hours
France: Add 9 hours
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Global Cities Urban Realities, London & Paris

- Spring (Quarter)
- Spring (Semester)
- Spring (Semester with Internship)

 
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.

Disclaimer
While UCEAP endeavors to keep the information updated and accurate, all program information should be considered in conjunction with program-specific operational correspondence which may contain the most up to date information. There may be times where UCEAP will need to change this information and it will often be updated online. Student is responsible for reviewing all information shared through the program guides and by UCEAP staff in California and abroad, and partners abroad. UCEAP reserves the right to make changes to its programs, whenever, in our sole judgment local conditions so warrant, in response to local circumstances that could substantially change some parts of the program, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of our program participants.


Click a heading below to see section content.
Your UCEAP Network

Local UCEAP Support

Campus EAP Office

The Campus EAP Office coordinates recruitment, student selection, orientations, and academic advising; and serves as your primary contact during the application process.
 

UCEAP Systemwide Office

The UCEAP Systemwide Office establishes and operates programs and coordinates UCEAP administration for all UC campuses from its headquarters in Goleta, California. You will work closely with the following Systemwide Office staff:
 
Program Advisors provide academic and operational program information to you and your campus as well as administrative support for all aspects of your participation.
 
Program Specialists manage the logistics of the program. They coordinate document requirements, visa application instructions, health and safety precautions, acceptance and placement by host institutions, arrival and onsite orientation, and housing arrangements.
 
Academic Specialists advise on academic policies, review courses taken abroad for UC credit, and document your registration, grades, petitions and academic records.
 
Student Finance Accountants assist primarily with UCEAP statements, program fee collection, and financial aid disbursements (in conjunction with your campus Financial Aid Office).

Contact Information

 
 
Program Advisor​
Shannon Krahn
Phone: (805) 893-3246; E-mail: skrahn@eap.ucop.edu
 
Operations Specialist
J. O Connell
Phone: (805) 893-5926; E-mail: jgoconnell@eap.ucop.edu
 
Academic Coordinator
Emily Vallerga
Phone: (805) 893-4683; E-mail: evallerga@eap.ucop.edu
 
Student Finance Accountant
Ben Kinman
Phone: (805) 893-4812; E-mail: studentfinance@eap.ucop.edu
 
UCEAP Systemwide Office
6950 Hollister Avenue, Suite 200
Goleta, CA 93117-5823

Phone: (805) 893-4762; Fax: (805) 893-2583​

​UCEAP Online
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.
 
Connect with us! Join our Facebook network UCEAP United Kingdom page and the UCEAP France page.

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 in a large building block owned by Florida State University, so there is FSU signage on the building. The classrooms and computer lab are also located in the FSU building which is 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.
 

Contact Information

ACCENT San Francisco
870 Market Street, Suite 1026
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (800) 869-9291
 
ACCENT London
12 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3JA
ENGLAND
 
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 53 02 01 30
Phone (calling from Paris): 01 53 02 01 30 

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
 
Academic Information
Program Overview
Please see the Academic Information Chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad for critical academic information and policies, including unit requirements, taking less than the program requirements, the MyEAP Study List registration process, changing courses, petitions, and grades. While abroad, direct all academic questions to the ACCENT Director first, with one exception: contact your departmental and college advisors if you need to know how your UCEAP coursework applies to UC degree or major requirements.
Academic Culture
 
In the Global Cities Urban Realities 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.
 
Most program faculty are themselves products of British and French traditional academic culture, and generally admire independence and 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. Instructors welcome questions and lively discussion in the classroom.

Attendance Policy

Attendance policies are strictly enforced on this program. Instructors maintain attendance records, and absences from class are strongly discouraged. Attendance at all components of a class (lecture, seminar, field visits, etc.) is expected.
 
Violation of the attendance policy may result in sanctions including a lower grade, loss of course credit, or dismissal from the program. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the grade reduction policies for unauthorized absence at the beginning of the term. If you experience an emergency that prevents you from attending class, contact your instructor or the ACCENT Director immediately.  
 

Resources

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.
 
Course Information

Global Cities Urban Realities • London/Paris and Paris/London (Quarter)

You take two courses at each location (1 culture course and 1 elective course), resulting in 4 courses total for the entire program. Each elective course is 4.5 UC quarter units. Each culture course is 3.0 UC quarter units. You have the option of adding an additional elective course in your first city (for a total of 5 courses). Below is an outline of the structure of the program.  
 
Quarter Program
First City (5 weeks) Second City (5 weeks)
1 Elective Course 4.5 UC quarter units      1 Elective Course 4.5 UC quarter units
1 Culture Course 3.0 UC quarter units 1 Culture Course 3.0 UC quarter units
Optional: 1 Elective Course 4.5 UC quarter units 
 
 
Units
You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad: 15 quarter/10 semester UC units per quarter. (19.5 quarter/13 semester UC units if you take an extra elective course in the first city.)
 
P/NP Policy
You are required to take all courses for a letter grade. Students who choose to take two electives in the first city may take the culture course P/NP.
 

Students enrolled in an additional elective in the first city do not have the option to drop this elective once course assignments are finalized. You will receive an email from the study center prior to your arrival in Europe confirming your request to enroll in two electives. At this time you may choose to drop your second elective. Once onsite, you will not be able to drop or change courses.
 

Course Selection, London:

Required Culture Course (3.0 quarter/2.0 semester UC units):
  • London Uncovered: Meaning and Identity in the Contemporary Metropolis. Explore London as a trading city, as an Imperial center, as the seat of both traditional authority and Parliament, and as a city of migration. Visits to local sites of importance will round out the instruction. 
 
Choose One Elective Course (4.5 quarter/3.0 semester UC units):
  • Health and Urbanism: Ladscapes of Health and Disease. Explore questions of health and disease as they relate to London, from the mid-nineteenth century through to the present day. Subject areas: Urban Studies, Political Science, Geography
  •  
  • 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. Subject areas: History, Political Science, Urban Studies
  •  
  • Exhibiting Ourselves: Museums, Display, and Identity in London. Explore the cultural relationship between museums and identity in London, and learn how to 'read' exhibits and develop a critical awareness of the issues relating to collecting practices, modes of display, and the construction of knowledge. Subject areas: Anthropology, Art History, Political Science
 

Course Selection, Paris:

Required Culture Course (3.0 quarter/2.0 semester UC units):
  • City and Language: Pursuing Paris and Unlocking French. Explore the city’s history and culture and learn survival or more specialized French to assist you in a deeper appreciation of local culture. Visits to local sites of importance will round out the instruction. 
Choose One Elective Course (4.5 quarter/3.0 semester UC units):
  • 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. Subject areas: Sociology, Urban Studies, Comparative Literature
  •  
  • (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. Subject areas: History, Political Science, Sociology
  •  
  • Nation and Identity in Modern France: A Series of Great Ideas. What is France? And who is French? Explore these questions by referring to authors in a variety of fields, including political science, philosophy, and literature, ranging from the 18th century to the present day. Subject areas: Philosophy, Political Science, History
  •  
  • Food in a Global City: Understanding France through its Food Traditions. Seek to understand the general principles of social anthropology through the exploration of food as a reflection of culture. Subject areas: Anthropology, History, Sociology 

 

Global Cities Urban Realities • London/Paris and Paris/London (Semester with Internship)

The course choices for the Global Cities Urban Realities Semester with Internship program are the same as the Global Cities Urban Realities Quarter program listed above. 
 
You take one elective course and one culture course in the first city, and then you take one elective course, one culture course of 6.0 UC quarter units, and one internship + workforce course of 4.5 UC quarter units in the second city, resulting in 5 course total for the entire program. You have the option of adding an additional elective course in your first city (for a total of 6 courses). Below is an outline of the structure of the program. ​
 
 
Semester with Internship Program
First City (5 weeks) Second City (5 weeks) Second City (5 weeks)
1 Elective Course 4.5 UC quarter units 1 Elective Course 4.5 UC quarter units 1 Internship + Workforce Course 4.5 UC quarter units
1 Culture Course 3.0 UC quarter units 1 Culture Course 6.0 UC quarter units
Optional: 1 Elective Course 4.5 UC quarter units 
 
Units
You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad: 22.5 quarter/15 semester UC units per semester. (27 quarter/18 semester UC units if you take an extra elective course in the first city.)

P/NP Policy
You are required to take all courses, except your Internship + Workforce course, for a letter grade. The Internship + Workforce course is graded on a P/NP basis only. Students who choose to take two electives in the first city may take the culture course P/NP. 
 
Students enrolled in an additional elective in the first city do not have the option to drop this elective once course assignments are finalized. You will receive an email from the study center prior to your arrival in Europe confirming your request to enroll in two electives. At this time you may choose to drop your second elective. Once onsite, you will not be able to drop or change courses.
 
The internship + workforce course is an integral part of the program. You are expected to arrive to both your internship and your course in a timely fashion and to be prepared to participate. 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 or Paris will help facilitate the placement process. Your internship placement will be finalized once you are on-site. On rare occasions, interns may be placed at more than one organization during the internship. This will depend on supervisor capacity and the availability of internship projects at a particular organization.
 
 
 
 

Global Cities Urban Realities • London/Paris and Paris/London (Semester)

The course choices for the Global Cities Urban Realities Semester program are the same as the Global Cities Urban Realities Quarter program listed above with an additional course option in Paris or London listed below.
 
You take one elective course and one culture course in the first city, and then you take two elective courses and one culture course of 6.0 UC quarter units in the second city, resulting in 5 course total for the entire program. You have the option of adding an additional elective course in your first city (for a total of 6 courses). Below is an outline of the structure of the program.
 
Semester Program
First City (5 weeks) Second City (5 weeks) Second City (5 weeks)
1 Elective Course 4.5 UC quarter units 1 Elective Course 4.5 UC quarter units 1 Elective Course 4.5 UC quarter units
1 Culture Course 3.0 UC quarter units 1 Culture Course 6.0 UC quarter units
Optional: 1 Elective Course 4.5 UC quarter units 
 
 
Units
You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad: 22.5 quarter/15 semester UC units per semester. (27 quarter/18 semester UC units if you take an extra elective course in the first city.)
 
P/NP Policy
You are required to take all courses for a letter grade. Students who choose to take two electives in the first city may take the culture course P/NP. 
 
Students enrolled in an additional elective in the first city do not have the option to drop this elective once course assignments are finalized. You will receive an email from the study center prior to your arrival in Europe confirming your request to enroll in two electives. At this time you may choose to drop your second elective. Once onsite, you will not be able to drop or change courses.
 
During the second five weeks in the second city you will take the following elective course:

 

London
  • 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. Subject areas: History, Political Science, Urban Studies
 
Paris
  • Nation and Identity in Modern France: A Series of Great Ideas. Examine the key role that images and representations play in the building and transformation of "the Parisian" identity that is simultaneously so clearly defined and so difficult to grasp. Subject areas: Political Science, Communications, Film 
Grades
Grades for the Global Cities Urban Realities Quarter program are usually available in late June or early July.
Grade for the Global Cities Urban Realities Semester and Semester with Internship programs are usually available in early September.
 
For general information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
 
Internships
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.
 
Cultural Awareness
Educate Yourself

Educate Yourself - London

“Nothing gives the English more pleasure, in a quiet but determined sort of way, than to do things oddly.”
—Bill Bryson
Become as acquainted as possible with the U.K. prior to departure, and keep up with current events by reading articles in newspapers and magazines, and by watching films set in contemporary Britain. UC libraries subscribe to the main daily newspapers published in London, and weekly or monthly magazines of news and commentary are also available.
 

Guidebooks

UCEAP students recommend acquiring a guidebook or two before departure. Travel books give comprehensive accommodation, sightseeing, historical, and travel information. Suggested travel book series include Let’s Go, Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, Blue Guide, Michelin Guide, and Intelligent Traveler’s Guide. Other resources are Time Out, DK, Insight, and Footprint guidebooks.

 Educate Yourself - Paris

Get acquainted with your new host city, country, and culture before you leave the U.S. Travel guides and travel-related websites are excellent resources. Many guides provide background information about the region’s history and culture. The following guides provide a wealth of travel information: Lonely Planet’s France: A Travel Survival Kit, Shoestring Guide to Western Europe, The Rough Guide to France, Michelin Guides (Red and Green), Baedeker’s France, Fodor’s France, and Frommer’s France.
 
Gain or brush up on your general knowledge of French history and culture and prepare yourself for your academic program by reading books like The Discovery of France (2008); Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong: Why We Love France but Not the French (2000) by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow; Fragile Glory: A Portrait of France and the French (1991) by Richard Bernstein; and Multi-Ethnic France (2007) by Alex Hargreaves.
 
You may also consider reading two books written by a UCEAP France alumna, Meredith Escudier. Meredith is the author of Scene in France: A to Z (2014) which paints portraits of ordinary French folks through the telling of various vignettes, and Frenchisms for Francophiles (2014) which is a compilation of 50 columns devoted to French expressions. 
 
Improve your language skills. The more French you know before leaving for France, the easier your time abroad will be. Prior to departure, spend time working to improve your French. Even though you may know the language, you may have trouble understanding people initially because they may speak fast, have a regional accent, use colloquial terms, etc. To prepare for this, go beyond reading and studying French and look for opportunities to speak and listen to the language. Stream French music on your listening devices from sites like Fun Radio or France Culture and French television from sites like TV5 Monde, M6, or Arte.
 
Keep up with current events by reading articles in newspapers, magazines, and journals. This will also help you to understand the local culture and history. The following resources will help you prepare before departure.
 

Recommended Periodicals

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.

Sexual Attitudes

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

Etiquette

The French are very attached to certain formalities, such as shaking hands frequently, exchanging kisses several times when meeting friends, and using expressions of courtesy like bonjour, au revoir, and merci, followed by monsieur, madame, or mademoiselle when in public situations. You can avoid misunderstandings by observing closely and conforming to some of these customs.
 
The student society is more relaxed than the society at large, and once initial contact is made, you should have little difficulty socializing with young French people. Students frequently go out in groups.

Concealment Act

The French Concealment Act prohibits the wearing of the full-face veil in public places in the territory of the French Republic. However, hijabs are very common and unlikely to lead to any specific harassment in France. Students wearing hijabs in France may encounter stares, though not likely any outright hostility. If you encounter any kind of hostility, contact the UC Study Center staff immediately.

Sexual Attitudes

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 Planning
Travel to Your Host Country
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip fares, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid office will reserve or pay for your ticket. If you are on financial aid, you will need to purchase a plane ticket before you receive a financial aid disbursement.

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.

Financial Aid Students

Your financial aid package is based partly on the UCEAP Program Budget for the program. The estimated round-trip airfare amount is based on the cost of a changeable student fare to your host country. If your independent travel costs are greater than the airfare estimate in the UCEAP Program Budget, notify your financial aid counselors. Neither UCEAP nor the Financial Aid Office can guarantee that the additional cost will be funded by financial aid.
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.
 
Travel Documents
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.
 
Non-U.S. Citizens
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.

Traveling to the U.K.

You may not travel to or through the Republic of Ireland on your way to the United Kingdom. Do not book your flight on Aer Lingus, as it will make a stop in Dublin on its way to the U.K.
 
The U.K. and Ireland are part of the Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangement, which also includes Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man. The first entrance into the CTA dictates the type of entry clearance stamp or entry clearance activation you will receive. This means that if you arrive first in Ireland on your way to the U.K., you will receive an “in transit” stamp, even if you already have an entry clearance (for the U.K.) from the British consulate in your passport. So, the U.K. entry clearance you might already have will not be activated upon arrival in the U.K., and you will not receive an entry clearance for short-term study because the CTA has already been entered and an “in transit” stamp given.
 
U.K. immigration officers may not even be present where passengers deplane from flights from CTA locations into the U.K. Immigration officers elsewhere in the airport will not and cannot activate or give an entry clearance to persons who have already entered the CTA. This means you have no status in the U.K. immigration computer records—your student status in the U.K. is nonexistent and your stay is considered illegal. You must regularize your status in order to register at your host university—and you will be denied reentry if you travel.
 
If you must regularize your status, you will have to apply for the correct entry clearance after arrival at your host university. Most likely you will need to return to the U.S. to obtain the correct entry clearance. If the British Home Office allows you to apply to their London office, it will cost at least $590 to apply by mail and at least $1,000 to apply in person. Applying by mail requires you to submit your passport to the British Home Office for several weeks, so you will not be able to travel out of the country. To be on the safe side, do not travel to or through Ireland on your way to studying in the U.K.
 

History of CTA

CTA has been in existence for decades to allow ease of travel to British and Irish citizens between the two countries. The European Union has adopted and continues to refine several similar arrangements for various groups of European countries, the most well known being the Schengen Treaty and its offshoots. However, Europe compensates for ease of border crossing with more internal controls, such as identity checks and shared immigration databases. How does this affect you? The U.K. appears to be loosening internal CTA border control in the European manner, thus you would not receive the entry clearance stamp or activation you need if you arrive in the U.K. from Dublin.

International Student ID Cards

An international student identification card is cheaper in the U.K. than in the U.S., and some students wait to purchase one. However, cards purchased in the U.K. do not carry the supplemental travel insurance policy that is provided with cards purchased in the U.S. The UCEAP insurance plan does provide travel insurance coverage, so review your policy to see if it will meet your travel needs. 

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Students who are granted DACA are strongly encouraged to consult an immigration attorney to evaluate the risks of potentially being unable to re-enter the United States and any impact that participation in UCEAP might have on any deferred action application. If you are undocumented and have not been granted DACA, we strongly encourage you not to leave the country.
 
Packing Tips
The UCEAP Program Budget does not include funds to purchase clothing abroad.
 
Identify each item of luggage on the inside and outside with your name, home address, and destination. A rolling, wheeled suitcase is a wise investment. Luggage restrictions vary by airline, though all carriers have weight restrictions.
 
Pack clothing that is washable and quick drying if possible. Objects such as scissors, pocket knives, nail clippers, etc., must be packed in checked luggage only. They will be confiscated if found in your carry-on luggage.

Essential

  • Layered clothing (T-shirt,fleece vest, button and pullover sweaters)
  • Lightweight jacket
  • Warm socks
  • Flip-flops, walking shoes, casual footwear
  • One dressy outfit
  • Umbrella
  • Heavy jacket or coat
  • Rainwear

Optional

  • Bathrobe and slippers
  • Beach towel
  • Lightweight blanket
  • Seat pad (good for train and bus travel)
  • Travel-size sleeping bag
  • Empty backpack (to bring home items purchased abroad)
  • Travel alarm and flashlight
  • Small gifts for new friends (with UC Logo or California designs)
  • Family photos

Do Not Bring

  • Pharmaceuticals that are illegal in the U.K. (prescription medications are the exception; see Health chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad)
  • Fragile items unless they are bubble wrapped
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.
 

Electronics

The electrical current used abroad is 50 cycles AC rather than the 60-cycle current used in the U.S., and voltage is 220–240 rather than the standard U.S. 110–120 volts for small appliances. Most electrical sockets in the U.K. have three-pin plugs. Prior to packing electronics, check the plug or the tag near the plug to verify their voltage capabilities. If an item is intended for 110-120V, it will require a converter and an adapter. Items intended for 110-240V require only an adapter. Past students who did not check their electronics have caused short circuits in their accommodations and elsewhere.
 
Travel irons, curling irons, hair dryers, electric razors, etc. can be purchased in the U.S. with either a built-in converter or multi-voltage function. These appliances will need only a plug adapter to be used abroad. U.S. clocks need to be battery-driven to operate abroad. Past UCEAP students recommend purchasing small appliances abroad, although they will be more expensive than in the U.S.
 
If you plan to take a laptop, be sure that the AC input of its power supply will accept 240 volts and 50hz (AC Input: 100V–240V; 50hz–60hz); if it does not, purchase a transformer before departure. You can purchase the correct adapter plug (for three-pronged sockets) in the U.S. or abroad. Since the cost of electricity abroad is high and improper use of appliances may damage both the electrical outlets and the appliances, ask before using the outlets. Some university accommodations will test your appliances to make sure the appliances comply.
 
Information on electrical appliances and accessories can be found on the Magellan’s and Distant Lands websites.

Clothing

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.
 
Women
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.
 
Men
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.
 
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Consider having additional protections for your property, as in spite of your best efforts, it is still possible to experience loss, theft, or accidents that will damage your belongings while traveling. Talk to your parents and analyze their family homeowners’ insurance to determine whether the items brought or bought while abroad are covered by their policy.
 
UCEAP's travel insurance policy offers limited personal property coverage.  UCEAP strongly recommends you to examine the details of the UCEAP travel insurance benefits and to purchase additional property insurance coverage, especially to protect high cost items such as laptop computers, MP3 players, and other valuables. Review the policy carefully before departure and determine if it provides adequate coverage for your possessions before you experience a loss. 
 
You may decide to purchase additional coverage, especially for high-value electronics (e.g., computer, tablets, camera, etc.). If you decide to do so, purchase supplemental coverage before departure because most theft occurs in the airport or while moving into housing. The host university does not protect student belongings—even in university accommodations.
 
You are responsible for your own personal property. You can safeguard your belongings from damage or theft by locking your room and securing money, travelers checks, jewelry, passport, and other possessions. Use logical precautions to safeguard valuables. Avoid wearing expensive clothing or jewelry and going to questionable parts of the city, especially at night or when alone. Minimize your vulnerability by staying in control of your drinking and your behavior. Do not invite casual acquaintances or strangers home.
 
Return Transportation
 
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.
 
UCEAP strongly recommends purchasing changeable round trip fares, which will allow you to make changes to your return flight for a fee. Carefully research airfare rules prior to purchasing a flight. Standby and courier fares are not appropriate. Plan for this expense. If you do not make round-trip arrangements, be sure to book a return flight with plenty of lead time once abroad. Flights to the U.S. fill up fast and economy-fare seats are booked early.
 
Most airline tickets are good for one year only. When buying round-trip tickets, purchase a ticket that allows changes to the return date.
 
The estimated airfare amount in the UCEAP Program Budget is based on the cost of a changeable round-trip student ticket.
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Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
It is important that you carefully read all of the information available in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and discuss it with the person who will assist you with your finances while you are abroad.
 
Understanding your finances before, during, and after your program is crucial to having a successful time abroad. The following list outlines just a few of the many things you will need to know before departure.
 
Detailed information on the following topics can be found in the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad:
  • Contact information for finance questions
  • How to estimate the cost of your program
  • Budget instructions and information
  • Who Can and How to make payments to UCEAP
  • UCEAP student account information(what fees do I pay to UCEAP and what fees do I pay out of pocket?)
  • Banking before and after arrival
  • Fees and penalties
  • Loan information
  • How financial aid works while abroad (how do I get my financial aid from my home campus and how are my fees paid?)
  • Various forms (e.g., direct deposit, etc.)
 
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Your MyEAP Student Account is similar to your UC campus financial account. It will be available as soon as you are selected for your program in MyEAP. You can make payments through this account using e-checks or credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover). The fees that you owe UCEAP will be applied to your account after your program pre-departure withdrawal date, which is listed in MyEAP. For the amount due to UCEAP prior to fees being posted on your account, refer to the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule located on the second page of your UCEAP Program Budget. Program fees are subject to change.
 
Carefully review your UCEAP Program Budget.
 
Your UCEAP Program Budget lists the fees you will pay to UCEAP and an estimate of the personal expenses you will need to plan for. It does not include the cost of recreational travel or personal entertainment. Review your UCEAP Program Budget frequently. The Payment Schedule is on the second page of the UCEAP Program Budget.
 

Instructions

  • Download and print your UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule.
  • Note the deadlines on the Payment Schedule.
  • Give the UCEAP Program Budget and Payment Schedule to the person responsible for paying your UCEAP bills. Sign this person up for Third Party Authorization on MyEAP so they can make payments online.
For further information see the Money Matters chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and the Money Matters tab of your Participants Portal. If you will be receiving financial aid, see also the UCEAP Financial Assistance web page.
 
​​

Refund of Credit balances and Financial Aid Disbursements:

 
If you are signed up for Direct Deposit on your UC campus, it is not linked to your MyEAP account. You must sign up for eRefund with UCEAP to receive direct deposits from your MyEAP account. For more information, see the UCEAP eRefund Instructions.
 
Handling Money Abroad
Be cautious about carrying and displaying money.

Before Departure

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.
 

Recommendations from UCEAP Students

Take a bank card that enables access to funds in a U.S. bank account at an ATM. The bank card must have a four-digit PIN. Although most U.S. banks will charge currency exchange fees when money is withdrawn from an ATM, ATM withdrawal is the best way to access your money. Using a credit card to make purchases is another good way to access your money, and it helps you avoid carrying too much cash.
 
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.

Currency

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 or OANDA.
 
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
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
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.
 
ATM Transactions
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.
 
Banking
Students in short-term programs are not advised to open bank accounts due to time constraints.
 
Cancellation Fees
 
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 21, 2015 – February 23, 2015 will be charged 10 percent of the housing fee
  • February 24, 2015 – March 2, 2015 will be charged 35 percent of the housing fee
  • March 3, 2015 – March 16, 2015 will be charged 60 percent of the housing fee
  • March 17, 2015 onwards will be charged 100 percent of the housing fee

Program Cancelation Fees

Students who withdraw from the program for any reason from:
  • February 18, 2015 – March 16, 2015 will be charged a €300 cancelation fee for orientation/cultural activities/materials
  • March 17, 2015 onwards will be charged the full amount of the program fee  in addition to other cancelation fees above

Internship Cancelation Fees

Students who withdraw from the Internship component of the program for any reason from:
  • February 18, 2015 – March 25, 2015 will be charged a €500 cancelation fee for internship organization in addition to other cancelation fees above, unless student cannot be placed into an internship by ACCENT
  • March 26, 2015 onwards will be charged the full amount of the internship fee in addition to other cancelation fees above
Communications Abroad
Internet Access
Computer access is available in the ACCENT computer lab. However, you may experience long waits during peak hours or at midterms/finals periods. Some computers may be too old to have ports for downloading images from digital cameras and saving them to CDs. Take a laptop if possible; there is wireless Internet access in the student housing.
 
The network in the student housing cannot support 3–4 electronic items per student, especially when most items are all on at the same time. Try to bring only one item in addition to your laptop. Acorn housing management has an office on site at the Bedford Place flats, with an IT staff person. Do not do any illegal downloads; this may cause all students to lose Internet access.
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.
Phones

Phone Use - London

Approximate time difference: add 8 hours
There are two types of public phones in the United Kingdom, pay phones that take coins (of 20 pence and over) and card phones. Calling cards are the most convenient method for making calls from public telephones. Cards in denominations of £2, £4, £10, or £20 are available from the post office, travel centers, some news agents, machines on underground platforms, and anywhere there are Phone Card signs. Many BT pay phones take major credit cards and charge cards. Unfortunately, phone card telephones may not be available in your residence hall, and you may have to walk to one elsewhere on campus, or even off campus.

Collect Calls

In the U.K., collect calls (made by dialing 100) are expensive. Do not phone the Study Center this way unless there is an emergency.

Directory Assistance

Information in the U.K. is reached by dialing a provider of Directory Service Information. All providers have six-digit numbers beginning with 118 and all charge for the service, even from public phones. First try other means to find a phone number (the Internet, a phone book, etc.) because the charge can be expensive. More information will be distributed at the on-site orientation.

International Phone Calls

International calls are best made using phone cards, though at least a £10 card is needed for calling the U.S. The direct dialing code to the U.S. is 001 + area code + number. You can call the U.S. collect through the operator by dialing 155 (the International Operator). Calls made between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. are the most expensive, those made in the afternoon are slightly less expensive, and rates go down considerably after 8 p.m. An excellent time to phone California is 7 a.m. because the rates are still low and because at that time it is 11 p.m. (the previous day) in California.

Calling the U.S. from Abroad

Many U.S.-based long-distance phone companies, including AT&T and Sprint, provide special services that make it easy to phone home from abroad. In addition, you can purchase a wide range of commercial phone cards in the U.K. in various denominations specifically for international calls.

Skype

Many students use Skype for long-distance calls. Family and friends in the U.S. can call you, at low rates, using Skype from their computers. You can Skype family and friends from any computer with Internet access. Computer-to­-computer Skype calls are free. You will need a headset and a microphone.

Cell (Mobile) Phones

Cell phones are called mobiles in the U.K. A pay-as-you-go plan is best, as it offers flexibility and good rates. Often, UCEAP students purchase an inexpensive handset that will last the term or the year, and install a SIM card with their chosen plan combining free texts or free minutes. You will be advised on cell phones during the UCEAP orientation, and will have free time to purchase a cell phone.
 
You may consider unlocking your U.S. smartphone, but be aware that this can void warranties and potentially prevent you from downloading future software updates for your phone. Check with your provider about your phone's international capabilities. Some students suggest that it is convenient to bring your U.S. smartphone if only for wi-fi and other non-phone applications.
 

Calling from Student Housing

There is a landline telephone in each room. You can receive calls but will need a phone card to call out (except for the 999 emergency number). Phone cards are available at all newsagent stands.

Phone Use - Paris

Many students choose to obtain a cell phone shortly after arrival. A wide selection of cell phones is generally available. You may be required to have a bank account in order to buy one, but if you buy a “Mobicarte” (cell phone with prepaid minutes) you can avoid this. If you already have a cell phone, check with the manufacturer to see if it will operate in France (it will need to be at least a tri-band phone to operate in Europe). More information will be available after your arrival at the Study Center.
 
For students with smart phones, many opt to use their US phone and to swap out the SIM card for a French SIM card. Students can find inexpensive contract-free plans with mobile.free.fr, virginmobile.fr and sfr.fr. Make sure your smart phone is unlocked before you leave the U.S.
 
Due to the recent and significant increase in theft (violent and other) of smart phones, students have found it better to avoid using a Blackberry, iPhone, or other costly device in a public place, instead replacing it with a cheap (€20–30) pay-as-you-go cell phone that does not attract thieves when used in public.
 
One of the most popular means of communication when calling internationally is using the Internet to make phone calls at an inexpensive rate. Skype is a free option for computer-to-computer calls made through the Internet. You are advised to buy a headset in the U.S., where electronics generally cost less. SkypeOut is a Skype service through which you or your parents can charge the account to make calls to regular landlines and cell phones. Currently, SkypeOut costs 2.3 cents per minute to a French landline, American landline, and American cell phone, and 8 cents per minute to a French cell phone.
 
Facetime is another way that students with iPhones can communicate.
 
 
Mail & Shipments

Shipping

Do not ship computers, cameras, or valuable items to France unless the shipping agent and French customs confirm that you can receive your shipment without import duty taxes. It is common to pay a fee as high as $100 for something as simple as a coat or camera. Furthermore, even inexpensive items that are correctly marked “For Personal Use Only/No Commercial Value” sometimes incur customs charges. Keep all your receipts for electronic equipment and register the items with U.S. customs to make it easier to bring equipment back to the U.S. It is also against the law to send prescription and over-the-counter medications through the mail. Medication will be stopped at French customs if you try to ship it to France.
 
If things have to be shipped, all packages will go First Class and the rates are fairly expensive.
 
When shipping important documents, it is often worthwhile to use such shipping services as FedEx and DHL. These companies, along with the U.S. Postal Service, have special additional services that help to ensure that the documents reach their proper destination. All of these options usually require a physical address (no P.O. boxes) along with a phone number.
 
Remind your parents, friends, and others who might send you a package to declare “For Personal Use Only/No Commercial Value” on the customs slip.
 
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.

French Postal System

French mailboxes are yellow and readily available in public places and on the outer walls of post offices and tobacco shops, called tabacs. Collection times are indicated on each box. In general, mail sent within France that is posted before the last collection will be delivered within 48 hours, unless it is sent economy rate. Mail sent abroad will take longer, and delivery times depend on the destination—on average it takes from three to five days. Anticipate five days for letters to reach the U.S.
 
Stamps are available in post offices, which are open from 9 a.m. to 6 or 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and on Saturday mornings until noon. In Paris, the main post office, located at 52 rue du Louvre (metro station “Louvre”), is never closed. It is the only post office in France open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Domestic stamps are also available at tabacs, which charge the same rates as the post offices. These shops are identified by a red or orange diamond-shaped sign.
 
Sending parcels home from post offices is generally convenient and reliable. Sturdy shipping boxes with self-fastening systems are available in all sizes.
 
 
 
Study Center Contact
Keep in contact with the UCEAP Study Center, in addition to being in daily contact with the ACCENT office.
 
The Study Center office hours are generally 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office may be closed for lunch. You may contact the Study Center at any time and leave a voicemail message. You may also contact Study Center staff outside office hours in an emergency by using the personal telephone numbers that will be distributed during the onsite orientation. ACCENT office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for student services.
Housing & Meals
​You are required to live in housing pre-arranged by ACCENT.
In addition to the required forms found on the UCEAP Pre-departure checklist (PDC), you will access ACCENT forms through the ACCENT portal, including your housing contract and housing/roommate preference form. You will need to 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 in the ACCENT portal. Students will be assigned as roommates only if both students request to room together. Overnight guests are prohibited in both London and Paris housing.
 
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 can 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?
  
Your Paris apartment can be within walking distance, or a 30 to 45-minute metro ride from the ACCENT office.
 
You will live with other U.S. students only. No French students live in the apartments. All apartments are non-smoking. You will live in a double or triple occupancy room in a shared student apartment. Student apartments include rooms which are 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
 
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.
 
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.
 

Dining Out

Meals in student restaurants (the “CROUS”) are substantial and only cost about €3.50 each. If you eat primarily at student restaurants, you can keep within the estimated budget noted in the UCEAP student budget. If you cook some meals and eat at restaurants often, plan on spending at least $100 more each month than is noted in the UCEAP budget. Eating out in France is generally a lot more expensive than it is in the U.S., and students report grocery shopping in general is more expensive than at home.
 
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Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
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.

Bikes

Paris has a rent-a-bike program, called the Velib. For information, go to the Velib website. Velib does not accept credit cards that do not contain a microchip.

Trains

When traveling between cities and countries, many students use the train. A train ticket from Paris to Lyon costs approximately €75 to €125, and you can receive a 25 percent student discount. There are also high-speed trains (TGV) between Bordeaux and Paris. To find routes, fares, and departure and arrival times, visit the website for France’s train transportation system, SNCF.
 
Extracurricular Activities

Get Involved

This program is designed for UCEAP students only—there are no other students enrolled in these courses. For this reason, you are encouraged to seek out ways to interact with the surrounding community in your free time. Participating in extracurricular cultural and social activities while studying on UCEAP is an excellent way to meet people and integrate more fully into the community. Join sports, musical, theater, or arts groups; attend lectures and receptions held in academic and community circles; and get the most out of your time abroad.
 
It can be challenging to find and participate in extracurricular activities, but it can be done. After arrival, you will receive information about available options, but you also need to make an effort to locate additional options and participate in as many activities as possible. Past UCEAP students who have joined clubs, played sports, and attended religious services have tremendously increased their enjoyment of the program.
 
In the U.K., you can purchase an associate membership in the University of London Student Union, or ULU, located a few blocks from the ACCENT office. Information about this option will be distributed at the ACCENT on-site orientation. Students from universities throughout London belong to the student union, so participating in ULU sports teams and student clubs is a great way to meet British students. The facilities include inexpensive dining options, a café, a copy center, and a popular venue for live music performances.

Academic & Cultural Visits

A number of academic and cultural activities are provided as part of the UCEAP program; however, you must sign up for each event after arrival so ACCENT can schedule the buses needed and plan how many groups there will be.

Working in the Host Country

Participants in this program cannot work, intern, or do volunteer work due to visa restrictions.
 
Students with Disabilities

United Kingom

Inform your host university of any needs so accommodation in services or housing can be made if at all possible. You must provide a letter from your UC campus Disabled Students Office requesting specific services. Accessible housing is available but needs to be reserved early. Professors will give extra time on exams if required. Note-takers are not available. You will need to borrow notes from your classmates or record the lectures (each professor’s permission must be obtained to record his or her lectures).
 
U.K. law mandates access to buildings for persons with disabilities, and the government effectively enforces this requirement. The law requires that all public service providers (except in the transportation sector) make “reasonable adjustments” to ensure their services are available to persons with disabilities. Getting around in U.K. cities may be difficult at times, since many sidewalks are narrow and uneven. Although the London Underground and the U.K.’s National Rail System are very efficient methods for traveling throughout central London and the U.K., most stations are not readily accessible for people with mobility disabilities. Very few stations have elevators, and most have stairways and long corridors for changing trains or exiting to the street. Buses are equipped with lowering platforms for people with mobility, sight or hearing disabilities. Taxis are also a good means of transportation.
 
The Transport for London and National Rail websites provide information for passengers with disabilities. There are many other resources available on the internet for persons with disabilities traveling to or living in the U.K. Contact your Operations Specialist well in advance of departure.

Plan Ahead

  • Be realistic about your condition and its impact, on your worst and best days.
     
  • Have a plan for what to do to do during flare ups, along with a list of signs indicative of not being able to cope. Work a realistic daily schedule and list of needs.
     
  • Regardless of how you have managed your disability on your campus, you may have to address the tension between the program structure and the need for flexibility demanded by the typical, sometimes daily, fluctuations of different activities.
 

France

In France, accessibility and accommodation for people with disabilities are very different from what you find in the United States. French law requires that any new building with public or community space and any existing public building be accessible for persons with disabilities. However, many existing buildings, as well as transportation systems, do not yet meet these requirements.
 
Getting around in French cities may be difficult at times since many sidewalks are narrow and uneven, and cobblestone streets make access difficult, but the major tourist areas have better facilities. Although the Paris métro is a very efficient method for traveling throughout central Paris, most métro stations are not readily accessible for people with disabilities. Very few stations have elevators, and most have stairways and long corridors for changing trains or exiting to the street. However many Parisian buses and tramways are equipped with lowering platforms for travelers with limited-mobility, or who with vision or hearing disabilities. Taxis are also a good means of transportation.
 
The English-language website of the Paris Visitors Bureau and the French language, government-sponsored internet site contain additional information and include links to a downloadable local transportation map specifically designed for travelers with special mobility needs. There are many other resources available on the internet for disabled persons traveling to, or living in, France. 

Is There Accessible Housing in the Prograrm?

There are a few accessible rooms in both the London and Paris for students with disabilities—students should make requests for accessible housing as soon as possible. As accessibility standards differ among countries, students should not expect U.S. standards.
  • 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 on 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, 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, a daily commute can be as important to consider as housing.

If needed, personal assistants can be hired through private organizations; however, students need to make their own arrangements and pay directly for any assistance.

 

For more information:
 
Travel Sign-out Form

Leaving your host city for more than 24 hours?

You are required to complete the online sign out through your MyEAP account.

Click on Travel Signout and complete all required fields. During an emergency (abroad or in the U.S.), it is important for UCEAP officials to know how to reach you so we can help you.

The UCEAP program budget does not include funds for recreational travel abroad.
 
Working Abroad
LGBTIQ Students
LGBTIQ Students
​For more information,
Travel within the U.K. and Europe

Storage

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
UCEAP Insurance

Know Before you Go

 
While abroad you are automatically covered by the UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy.  Coverage begins 14 days before the official start date of your UCEAP program term. Coverage ends 31 days after the official end of the UCEAP program term. Your UCEAP travel insurance does not include coverage for preventative care, checkups, and vaccinations.
 
The UCEAP travel insurance policy is not the same as your campus or private insurance and it is does not meet ACA requirements for domestic coverage as required by U.S. law.  Read details in Benefits at a Glance. Familiarize yourself with the coverage, exclusions, and eligibility criteria. Your travel insurance policy number is ADDN 04834823.  It is underwritten by ACE American Insurance Company.
 
There is no deductible or co-insurance but the travel insurance works on a reimbursement basis.  You can submit a claim for a refund of covered expenses to the UCEAP insurance carrier.
 
Do not assume that if you seek medical care abroad for a covered illness or injury that the local hospital will bill your insurance.  Generally, hospitals around the world, including the US, do not bill insurance companies (unless there is a special arrangement with a local hospital in your UCEAP country).  It is the patient's responsibility to inquire with the hospital, at the time of service, and make arrangements to pay any outstanding bills. Payment for medical services abroad is ultimately your responsibility.
 
For more information refer to your Pre-Departure Checklist, Insurance tab, or the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance chapter.
 

For Questions about Coverage, Benefits and Claims

ACI at claims@acitpa.com.

 
Insurance for Personal Posessions
The UCEAP Travel Insurance Policy includes limited personal property coverage; however, it is your responsibility to determine if it is adequate. Look into the benefits before departure and decide whether or not you will need to purchase additional coverage, especially if you are bringing anything of value like a laptop or camera.
 
In addition, your parents may already have insurance coverage for personal possessions, though it may not cover items that are in transit or abroad. Find out if your parental policy, combined with the UCEAP travel insurance policy, are sufficient to cover the items you will be taking with you.
 
If you decide to purchase additional coverage, it is best to obtain insurance before departure because most theft occurs in the airport or while moving into housing. The host university does not protect student belongings, even in university accommodations. Endsleigh is a major student insurance provider in the U.K.
 
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.
 
Staying Healthy
 
You will receive health care information during the on-site orientation.
 
Arriving in a new country is a very busy time and there are a lot of changes to go through. There are differences in food, weather and customs to cope with. In this type of situation, with all its stresses, you may find yourself paying less attention than usual to your health.
 
Existing health problems can also be made worse by the effects of adjusting to unfamiliar food, a different climate and the emotional strains of being away from home. It can be easy to concentrate on your studies and forget about taking care of yourself. Travel health is about prevention and common sense: Being aware of health issues that may arise and taking the appropriate measures to prevent illnesses and injuries when you are travelling not only for your own well-being, but for the people and communities you encounter during your trip.
 

Know Before you Go

Inform yourself before you travel.  Just as language and currency vary around the world, so does medical care.  Know what to do if you get sick.
 
Read the Health chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad and your Program Guide for important information to plan for a healthy stay abroad.
 
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler's Health web page has important information about health risks present in the country where you will be studying.
Local Medical Facilities

Medical Facilities - London

Register at your host university’s student health center soon after arrival. Services are usually prompt and free of charge.
 
The standard of medical care in the U.K. is good. Most routine medical treatment takes place in a “surgery,” which is simply the office where one or more doctors practice. If you require more specialized treatment, you will be sent to a consultant.
 

How the Medical System is Organized in the UK

GP's (Doctor's) Surgery (Doctor's Office) or Health Center
This is your first point of contact for medical treatment.  You will need to register with a Health Center or GP's Surgery.  Most illnesses and other problems can be treated by a GP.  If you need to see a specialist, the GP will refer you to an appropriate hospital department.  In addition to consultations with a Doctor, most GP's Surgeries and Health Centers provide a range of community health services: for example vaccinations, women's health clinics, family planning, contraception and sexual health. GP Surgeries and Health Centers are normally open during the daytime and early evening. They normally have an answering-machine message about where you can get help when the Surgery or Health Center is closed. Your local hospital may also have a Walk-in Clinic.
 

UCEAP Travel Insurance

You are covered by UCEAP travel insurance.  It is not the same as your U.S. or UC campus insurance.  There is no copay or deductible but you will be expected to pay for any kind of medical service.  If you are sick or injured, you pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance company.  You will need to budget for this. 
 

Average Cost of Medical Consults in the UK

The average medical consult charges could be 207 BP an hour. For more information about medical professional fees, access the British Medical Association page. If you need a written report extracted from your records, it could cost 51.50 BP. For more information about UCEAP travel insurance, refer to the UCEAP website, Participants page, Insurance tab.
 

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. If you are sick or injured, you pay up front and submit a claim to the UCEAP insurance company.  You will need to budget for unexpected medical expenses.
 
Physical Health

Physical Health - London

If you feel sick or have a medical emergency, seek medical attention and contact the Study Center and ACCENT immediately. The Study Center and ACCENT can recommend a clinic to visit, provide advice about completing the necessary UCEAP travel insurance claim forms, and help if extended absence is expected from class.
 
Since you will be studying in London for less than six months, you are not entitled to free treatment by the National Health Service.
 
You can choose where to obtain medical treatment. Both the UCEAP Study Center and the ACCENT office can provide information about private practitioners, clinics, hospitals, or other care providers.
 
The ACCENT office in London can refer you to a general practitioner (GP) who has worked with UCEAP students for several years. GPs in the U.K. are the doctors who would refer you to a specialist. Although you might be able to make your own appointment directly with a specialist, this is not the usual procedure. If you plan to request referral to a specialist, you need to give the GP a letter from your US physician indicating your condition, prescribed medications, and your treatment plan. You will need it for appropriate referral and further medication prescription.
 
Wherever you go to receive care, you will be expected to pay up front and submit a claim to the UCEAP insurance. Be prepared to be charged a fee for every type of service, including the completion of forms. The average medical consult charges could be 207 BP an hour. For more information about medical professional fees, access the British Medical Association page. If you need a written report extracted from your records, it could cost 51.50 BP. For more information about UCEAP travel insurance, refer to the UCEAP website, Participants page, Insurance tab.
 
Check your UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Insurance section for additional information on the UCEAP travel insurance claims process.

Physical Health - Paris

If you feel sick or have a medical emergency, seek medical attention and contact the UC Paris Study Center administrator immediately. The Study Center will help you choose a clinic to visit, help you with the UCEAP insurance claim process, and arrange with your professors if extended absence is expected. It is a good idea to let the Study Center know of any medical services you receive, even in routine or non-emergency situations.
 
If you have a preexisting medical condition, carry a letter from your physician describing the medical condition, treatment, and prescribed medications, including generic names and dosage.

Basic wellness

Recognize that your behaviors have a significant impact on your wellness.  Observe healthy habits, as follows:
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Stay hydrated:  Drink water
  • Avoid negative health behaviors (excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, etc.)
  • Do not skip on sleep
  • Maintain a positive outlook
  • Exercise
 

STD's

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
 
 
 
Prescription Medications
Prescription Medications

London

​Continue with your prescription medication, as indicated by your doctor, especially while abroad. Cultural, environmental, and academic differences may create triggers.

Before Departure

  • Talk to your doctor to discuss whether he/she can prescribe an adequate supply of your prescription to last throughout your trip and whether your prescription contains controlled substances. If your medication contains controlled substances, you must get a license to enter the UK for more than 3 months.  To check if your prescription is on the controlled drugs list, visit this website, https://www.gov.uk/travelling-controlled-drugs.
     
  • Ask for a letter (on letterhead) indicating your name, treatment, diagnosis and medication regimen, including the generic name, so a physician in the UK can conduct an examination and confirm the diagnosis before issuing a prescription. Note, a private doctor’s visit for a prescription can cost around 470£.  Your UCEAP insurance may cover this appointment provided it is not for preventive care.  
Your US prescription (and/or the refill label on your prescription container) will not be honored abroad.  It is illegal for pharmacists to supply medicines based on prescriptions issued outside the UK, the European Economic Area, or Switzerland.
 
Carry your medication in your carry-on provided that it is non-perishable and legal in your destination. Keep all medication in the original container clearly showing your name, the prescribing doctor’s name, and the prescription number. Have a letter from your doctor, on letterhead, indicating your name, treatment, diagnosis, and medication regime. This confirms your legal authority to possess, for personal use, the prescription medication.  This will facilitate clearance through customs at your destination. Read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad ‘Medications & Supplies’ for additional information.

Mailing Medications

It is against the law to send prescribed and over-the-counter medication(s) through the mail. It will likely be stopped at UK customs. Many students, and their parents, have found out the hard way that their medication is stopped by customs officials. The U.S. Post Office also restricts using the U.S. postal system to mail medications. Prescription medications can only be mailed by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registered entities. Similar regulations may apply to some over-the-counter medications.

Medications that can be Problematic upon Arrival in the UK

Two classes of medicines – narcotics and psych​otropics – are under the purview of international law. This covers any medicine that can have an effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the potential to be abused. The narcotic class mostly relates to analgesic opioids and their derivatives (e.g. morphine and codeine, including synthetic drugs, such as methadone and pethidine, and cannabis and coca leaf), which tend to be highly regulated. Psychotropics are used to treat mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions. See below section on Adderall. 
 
UK customs restricts the amount of controlled drugs you may bring into the country. You must get a license if you’re entering the UK for 3 months or more with medication containing a controlled drug. For most* controlled drugs, a 3‐month supply is permitted, but it must be accompanied by a letter from your doctor on letterhead indicating your name, diagnosis, treatment, and prescription regimen.
 ​
*Drugs including cannabis and derivatives, cocaine, synthetic ‘designer drugs,’ and hallucinogens are defined as ‘Schedule 1’ drugs and cannot be brought into the UK in any quantity.

To Find Out Whether your Prescription Medication has Restrictions

 

Adderall is NOT licensed in the UK

 
If you take Adderall, read the following carefully:
  1. Adderall is “unlicensed” in the United Kingdom. This means no UK licensed health practitioner can write a prescription for Adderall.
     
  2. Students on summer programs can bring enough Adderall with them to cover their time in the UK, provided the U.S. doctor will issue the prescription for the length of the program.
     
  3. Students on non-summer programs can bring no more than a three-month supply of Adderall. It is illegal to mail controlled drugs through the mail.
     
  4. Non-summer students should work with their US doctor before departure to change their medication to one that can be obtained in the UK.
     
  5. At least two weeks before your supply is gone, visit the host university student health service or a General Practitioner (GP).
     
  6.  The student health service or GP most likely will refer you to a specialist, usually a psychiatrist.
     
  7. The specialist will conduct an evaluation before prescribing medication.

UCEAP Insurance and Prescription Medication 

Coverage is effective beginning 14 days before the official start date of the program so you can fill and pay for prescription medication, prescribed by a licensed physician, within 14 days before the program begins and submit a claim form for a refund. The claim form can be found here: http://eap.ucop.edu/Documents/Insurance/accident_sickness_insurance_claim_form.pdf
 
Complete the ‘COMPLETE THIS SECTION FOR SICKNESS CLAIM’, cross out ‘Date of sickness’, and write in “prescription medication”. The claim form and the pharmacy receipt, (see details below) can be scanned and attached to an email addressed to . The pharmacy receipt must include the fill date, Rx number, medication name, strength, dosage, quantity, days’ supply, amount paid, prescriber name, and patient name. Keep copies of all documentation submitted.
 
For questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits, read the UCEAP insurance brochure, or contact ACI at claims@acitpa.com.

Paris

 

PLAN AHEAD

  • Understand your UCEAP travel insurance terms of coverage.
  • Although you should always travel with a copy of your prescription from your U.S. doctor, many pharmacies in other countries will only fill prescriptions written in that country. If you need a refill while abroad, you must see a local doctor to get a similar prescription that a pharmacy will fill. Note:​ If the visit to the local doctor is considered preventive care, it will not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance.  It may be covered if you are insured through your campus health insurance plan.  It will be critical to have a letter from a U.S. doctor during this appointment explaining your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name. 
  •  
  • If you need to find out if this appointment would be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance, contact ACI at claims@acitpa.com. For more information about the UCEAP travel insurance, refer to your UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, or your pre-departure checklist, Insurance tab.
  •  
  • Two classes of medicines – narcotics and psychotropics – are under the control of international law. This covers any medicine that can have an effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the potential to be abused. The narcotic class mostly relates to analgesic opioids and their derivatives (e.g. morphine and codeine) which tend to be highly regulated. Psychotropics are all those medications likely to be used to treat mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and psychotic conditions.

Before Departure

  • If you plan to purchase medication using the UCEAP Travel Insurance coverage, you must fill and pay for medication prescribed by a licensed physician when coverage is effective (14 days before the official start of the program).  Do not assume that your local pharmacy knows about the UCEAP travel insurance policy.  It is not the same as your campus health insurance coverage. You will need to pay for the medication and submit a claim to the UCEAP insurance.
  •  
  • Find out whether your medication is legal in your UCEAP country.
  •  
  • If intending to travel with prescription containing controlled substances, review international agreements governing the transportation of medications across borders check the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) website. The INCB is responsible for international drug control. If traveling with controlled substances, you must have a letter from your doctor. Generally, amphetamines (e.g., Adderall, Vyvanse) are illegal in other countries. Talk with your doctor to switch you to another medication.
  •  
  • Talk to your doctor to see whether he/she can prescribe an adequate supply of your prescription medication to last through the end of the program.  Ask your doctor how to adjust your dosage depending on time zone changes.
        
  • Get a letter from the prescribing physician on letterhead  indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic name as brand names vary considerably around the world.

Traveling with prescription medications

  • Keep the medication in its original packaging. Ensure that it is clearly labelled with your full passport name, doctor’s name, generic and brand name, and exact dosage. Carry it in your carry-on luggage. Do not pack the medications in your checked luggage.  
  •  
  • Carry copies of all original prescriptions.
     
  • Carry the letter on letterhead from the prescribing physician for all prescribed medications, indicating your diagnosis, treatment, and medication regimen, including the generic names. This is extremely important in case you need treatment or a medication refill abroad.
     
If your particular medication cannot be taken into the country in quantities to last through your stay, talk to your doctor.  If you need to switch prescriptions, your doctor may need to make changes to your medication at least 3-6 months before departure, so you can have time to consult with your doctor on any resulting complications.  The letter from your doctor indicating condition, treatment and medication regimen, can help a local physician to assess you and to consider reissuing your prescription provided it is licensed in your UCEAP country. Note that the local doctor's appointment for medication refill may not be covered by the UCEAP travel insurance.
 
Consult with ACI, claims@acitpa.com. Read more in the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health section.
 
Mental 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.

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.
 
Your mental health is important to us all. Managing your mental health while studying abroad – whether or not you have a history of anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions – is something every person must think about when going abroad. Being away from usual stress at home can sometimes be a relief when abroad; experiencing new adventures can be a useful distraction. You will also have times when you feel confused, uncomfortable, annoyed, and many of the same emotions that you manage in your daily life at home. Read the Mobility International tips, Ups and Downs of International Travel.
 
Cultural adjustment and homesickness are normal. They are usually transitory—lasting a couple of weeks—and do not imply mental illness or an inability to cope. Most students who experience culture adjustment function reasonably well under the stress and are able to keep up with the responsibilities of school and everyday life.
 
If you are currently in treatment in the U.S., it is extremely important to discuss your study abroad plans and program details with your doctor. If you are taking a prescription medication, talk with your prescribing physician well in advance about getting the supply you need for going abroad.  For information about traveling with medications, refer to the Prescription Medications section in this guide.
 
The UCEAP travel insurance policy covers outpatient visits as any other illness up to $500,000; there is no co-pay or deductible, and you can make an appointment with any doctor. Budget for this expense as you must pay up front and submit a claim to the insurance company for a refund consideration.  Doctors, hospitals, and clinics will require you to pay bills at the time of treatment. You must then submit a completed claim form and paid receipts to the UCEAP insurance company. If you have questions about your UCEAP travel insurance benefits contact ACI at claims@acitpa.com.  For information about the claims process, access Insurance Claims Process.
 
Health Risks
Food Allergies
If you have severe food allergies should take precautions, as the cuisine may include ingredients that can cause anaphylaxis in those affected. A language barrier increases the risks associated with severe food allergies. 
 
Precautions to take include:
  • Research the local cuisine. Be aware that some popular local sauces may contain nuts.
     
  • Discuss the risks with your doctor six to eight weeks before departure to discuss your treatment plan while abroad.
     
  • Carry the medications you need to prevent an adverse reaction like antihistamines or epinephrine injectors with refills. Pack it in your carry-on, not your checked luggage. Your medication must be in its original packaging, with your name.
     
  • Have a letter from your physician to present to airport security that states your need to have the epinephrine auto injector with you at all times.
     
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet or tag with instructions for assistance in both English and the local language. Wearing medical identification at all times can help should a life-threatening reaction occur.
     
  • Tell others about your food allergy. If traveling with friends, make sure they are trained on your allergies, how to recognize an allergic reaction, and how to administer your epinephrine auto-injector.
  •  
  • At restaurants and food markets, use apps to help you translate if you’re not fluent in the official language. Use Google Translate and Allergy Smartz. Carry a card written in English and the local language explaining what foods cause allergies and possible reaction. Make several copies in case you lose one. Have a native speaker verify that you have written everything correctly.
  • Ask for a waiter/waitress who speaks English to help you choose a safe menu item. Some restaurants will have menus in English, but it varies.
For more information, read the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Health chapter, Allergies section.
 
  
Air Quality
Staying Safe
 
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. Make sure your phone works in both cities and update your local contact information through MyEAP.
 
Minimize Risk
With the right information - and by thinking ahead - everyone can play a part in preventing crime. There are steps you can take to manage or minimize risk and avoid being a victim of a crime. Inform yourself of risks you can encounter while traveling. Talk to returnees and learn firsthand the things to avoid. Stay alert. If you will be traveling, think about how you are getting to your destination and/or any travel inside a country. Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to tavel. 
 
In addition to the UCEAP information, do some reasearch.  Detailed information on the country, its cultural, and political and security situation can easily be found on the Internet, through the U.S. Department of State.  Keep your eyes and ears open at all times. Be conscious of what is unusual or threatening. 
  • When entering larger venues, always decide on a meeting place with those you are with just in case you get separated.
     
  • Never leave your bags or other valuable items unattended.
     
  • Always keep your wallet and phone in a front pocket that you can zip or button up if possible. Don't make your mobile phone a moving target. The longer the phone call, the more likely you are to be spotted by a thief.
     
  • Never leave your drink unattended or accept drinks from strangers.
     
  • Know your limits. Consuming too much alcohol can land you in trouble and potentially leave you very vulnerable.
     
  • Have a communication plan. Who will you call if you are facing an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling? 
  • Make sure you tell someone where you are and who you are with, especially if you are with someone you don't know well.
     
  • Always try to make prior arrangements as to how you will get home.
 

 You play an active role in protecting your personal health, safety, and well-being. 

 
​Staying safe in another country is similar to staying safe in a large U.S. city. Understand the potential threats, know which neighborhoods to avoid, and remain vigilant (pay attention to your surroundings; do not walk around while talking on the phone or while listening to music).
 
If you will be traveling, think about how you are getting to your destination and/or any travel inside a country.  Plan your itinerary carefully, let your friends and relatives know where you will be, and research the safest way to travel.  Be proactive about your safety. Be prepared.
 
The University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) has established policies and procedures and contracted with emergency service and security providers, to help you minimize your risk exposure and enhance your safety. 
 
Steps to manage or minimize risk and avoid being a victim of a crime:
  • Assess your surroundings.
     
  • Remain aware at all times. Do not walk around talking on the phone or listening to music on your headphones. 
     
  • Be attentive to what is unusual or threatening. Trust your "gut feelings"; if you feel threatened, leave the area immediately and find somewhere more secure.
     
  • Research potential risks you can encounter while traveling. 
     
  • Increase your safety and reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime by staying on top of your drinking.
     
  • Practice the buddy system, which promotes safety.  This system helps ensure that you, and a partner, will look out for each other.  Choose your buddy wisely.  The ideal buddy should feel that the buddy system is very important. If you are having a problem, your buddy can help to alert others and get you to safety.
     
  • Have a communication plan. Who will you call on site if you are facing an emergency? Do your friends and relatives know how to reach you when you are traveling?
 

Know what to do in a possible risk scenario

Locate the nearest emergency exits. If evacuated in a group, remain in the center of the group with as many people around you as possible. Don’t take the lead or straggle behind.
 
Register online with the U.S. embassy through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country.
 
Read the UCEAP the Guide to Study Abroad, Safety Chapter  for more information on how to prepare to have a safe experience and access the U.S. Department of State Students Abroad website for updated travel information.
 
 
Crime & Prevention

Crime & Prevention - London

Personal safety starts with awareness.
 
Cities in the U.K. are, by all relevant measures, relatively safer than comparable metropolitan areas in the U.S.
 
In general, the centers of cities, the parts that visitors and tourists are likely to frequent, can be considered safe. Most central-city parks present few risks in daylight hours. But larger open areas, the commons and heaths in and adjacent to major cities, should be treated with caution. In all cases, inquire into and accept the advice of local university officials, police, and others with experience in the communities.
 
Most crime in the U.K., as in Europe generally, is directed against property. Pick-pocketing, mugging, and snatch-and-run thefts remain common criminal incidents, especially in airports, restaurants, public transportation hubs, and crowded streets. Take precautions. 
 
Visitors should be aware of "distraction crimes." Strangers will attempt to engage victims inconversation, or otherwise distract their attention, so that their accomplices may more easilysnatch bags or parcels or pick the victims’ pockets. Avoiding such distractions andmaintaining situational awareness will help to deter such crimes.
 
Burglary is on the increase in the student residences. Keep your room door locked and store valuable items in locked drawers or closets, if available. If you take valuable items such as a laptop or an expensive camera, the UCEAP travel insurance policy provides limited coverage for personal property benefits (in addition to health coverage). Read the plan, make sure it is adequate, and consider purchasing additional coverage before departure from the U.S. See more detailed information about insurance for personal possessions in the UCEAP Insurance Plan brochure.

Tips for Staying Safe

  • Exercise common sense about your personal safety and belongings and do not be lulled into a false sense of security. Do not carry large amounts of cash and, unless traveling, leave your passport in a safe place in your room.
     
  • Asian-American students report a significant amount of stereotyping by local citizens (e.g., students are assumed to be Japanese tourists and locals speak a few words of Japanese to them). All Asian-American students report this unexpected behavior.
     
  • 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.
       
  • Watch your personal belongings, particularly in busy locales. Do not leave them unattended.  Thieves use snatch-and-grab techniques to steal smartphones, laptops, purses, and other valuables. In restaurants, bars, theaters, and other public places, keep bags within reach; do not place possessions on the floor or hang them on a chair.
  • 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.
 
Student Housing
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

France is a relatively safe country, with most crimes being non-violent. The majority of crimes directed against foreign visitors, including Americans, involve pick-pocketing and theft.
 
Crime in Paris is similar to that in most large cities. Violent crime is relatively uncommon in the city center. Pickpockets are by far the most significant problem. In addition to purses and wallets, smart phones and small electronic devices are particular targets. In Paris, pickpockets can be any gender, race, or age and are commonly children under 16 because they are difficult to prosecute.  Pickpockets are professionals and they are good at what they do. They prey on tourists and can usually spot one easily. Then they will wait for the one moment when your attention is elsewhere to steal your purse or wallet.
 
Pickpockets are very active on the rail link (RER B) from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the city center. In addition, passengers on the Metro line 1, which traverses the city center from east to west, servicing many major tourist sites, are highly targeted.
 
Avoid the area around the famous Moulin Rouge, known as Pigalle, after dark, unless with a tour group headed for a show. Pigalle is an adult entertainment area known for prostitution, sex shows, and illegal drugs. Unsuspecting tourists have run up exorbitant bar bills and been forced to pay before being permitted to leave.
 
Beware of thefts that occur on both overnight and day trains, especially on trains originating in Spain, Italy, and Belgium.
 
Thieves operate on the rail link from Charles de Gaulle Airport to downtown Paris by singling out jet-lagged, luggage-burdened tourists and students.

Safety Tips

  • Carry only essential items: ONE credit/ATM card, ONE piece of identification, and no more than €40-50.
     
  • Never leave valuables unattended.
     
  • Never confront a thief.
     
  • Avoid carrying high-value jewelry and large amounts of cash. Valuables should be kept out of sight and in places difficult for thieves to reach, such as internal coat pockets or in pouches hung around the neck, under your clothes.
     
  • Carry only a purse that zips closed and ensure that it is carried under the arm and slightly in front of the body. Swing backpack-type purses around so that they are slightly in front of your body. Carry your wallet in a front pocket. While on foot, remain aware of your surroundings at all times and keep bags slung across your body and away from the street. Shoulder bags and wallets in back pockets are an invitation for a thief.
     
  • Never leave valuables unattended Thieves often operate in groups and often come to each other's aid if confronted. If a thief is caught in the act, a simple pick-pocketing could turn into an assault if you attempt to capture the thief. You can shout out for police assistance to attract attention, but do not pursue the thief.
     
  • Many theft and assault victims are targeted when making their way home from a late night out after drinking alcohol. If you go out late at night, do so with a group of trusted friends. There is safety in numbers.
If a pickpocket steals your wallet or purse, do not let it affect your sense of personal safety. It can happen to anyone and possessions are much less important than your overall safety and good health.  Report the incident immediately to the UC Paris Study Center Administrator.

Common Scams Affecting Travelers

  • Persons working in conjunction to distract a foreigner by asking directions or the time, asking you to sign a petition, or putting a “friendship” bracelet on your wrist. While you are distracted, one of the scam artists steals from the victim.
     
  • A thief throwing a ring or a key on the ground and stealing your wallet while you are distracted.
     
  • One thief sprays you with a substance and others, pretending to help, rob you. Safeguard belongings before reacting to any situation or before attempting to clean up.
     
  • Fake poll-takers who steal your items while asking you to sign the paperwork on their clipboard. 
In many bars and restaurants, males are targeted by women who work in conjunction with the establishment. They will ask the man to buy them a drink. Later, the man will be billed for the drink at an exorbitant rate. Management will frequently claim that the customer is also being charged for the services of a conversation hostess. This is most prevalent at cabarets in the Pigalle district.
 
Be mindful of anyone asking to borrow your smartphone "to make a quick call." The scammer will often pretend to have just had his phone stolen/lost. When you lend him your phone, he runs away with it.
 

Police Response

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. Commissariat is the name for a police station. The Study Center can help you fine the one closest to you.
 

Tips for Staying Safe: Remain Aware

  • 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.
 
Substance Abuse
You will find different practices and attitudes towards drinking in Europe. Alcohol can be purchased by anyone over 16 years old. Familiarize yourself with the UCEAP Substance Abuse Policy.
 
Criminal Penalties
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.
 
Civil Unrest
Civil Unrest
Public rallies and demonstrations, common in bigger cities, are usually peaceful and rarely end in violent confrontations. In case of bigger 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. Given the diversity of its population, political events that take place around the globe can often precipitate demonstrations and protests in the U.K., particularly in London.
 
Police and protest organizers engage in dialogue before the event, and, as a consequence, protests take place with little or no violence. Still, certain political situations may spawn larger demonstrations that entail a commensurate increase in the risk of violence. Students in the U.K. should maintain good personal security practices, stay current with media coverage of local events, avoid large demonstrations, and exercise caution should they happen upon demonstrations.
 
Do not participate in demonstrations, and remain vigilant when in the vicinity of any demonstrations; if violence erupts seek shelter.
 
Terrorism
Terrorism can occur anywhere in the world. Islamist extremists continue to view the U.K. as a legitimate, high priority target. Radical Islamist groups and their surrogates have demonstrated their intent and capability to operate on U.K. soil. This threat is enhanced by the possibility of violence perpetrated by radicalized lone actors, as well as individuals returning from fighting in Syria and elsewhere.

The large scale terror attacks in France have put all of Western Europe at an increased level of vigilance. Following the Paris attacks in 2015, the government has been increasingly vigilant against radical Islamist groups who have demonstrated their intent and capability to operate on U.K. soil. This threat is enhanced by the possibility of violence by radicalized lone actors. 
 
The U.K. government assesses the current threat of international terrorism in the U.K. as “severe,” meaning that an attack is “highly likely.” Threats against specific American targets in the U.K. are assessed as “substantial” level, meaning that there is a “strong possibility” of attack. Throughout the year, U.K. authorities have made various terror-related arrests with an emphasis on U.K. citizens attempting to travel to Syria to be “foreign fighters.”
 

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.
 

Police

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

For your safety, avoid all protests and demonstrations, including student and labor rallies. Exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations.
 
Political violence in Paris and throughout France is relatively uncommon, although there are occasional instances of extremely large demonstrations simultaneously occurring in many French cities.
 
Large demonstrations in Paris are generally managed by a strong police presence but even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.
 
Some sporting events, such as soccer matches, have occasionally degenerated into violence that continued into the streets.
 

Police

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
 
The U.S. Department of State provides information about road safety in its country information bulletins. Refer to the U.S. Department of State website.

Traffic & Transportation Safety - London

Public transport in the U.K. is excellent and extensive. Information on disruptions to London transportation services can be found on the Transport for London website.
 
Information about the status of National Rail Services can be found on the National Rail Enquiries website.

Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrians do not have the right of way. Cars are only required to stop for pedestrians on black and white “zebra” crosswalks with flashing yellow globe lights on the sidewalk.
 
Be extremely careful when crossing the street.  Oncoming traffic approaches from the opposite direction. There are helpful reminders painted on the sidewalk curbs to look right.
  • Look both directions while crossing streets, follow the pedestrian indicator lights.  Always cross with caution; never in front of a car.
     
  • As a pedestrian, having a green traffic light facing you does not mean you should proceed into the street.
     
  •  
  • Be predictable; follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
     
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
     
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
     
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs; they impair your abilities and judgment.
  •  
  • Do not cross the street while wearing headphones or talking on the phone.
Cell-phone related injuries are most common among youths. Activities such as emailing, talking on the phone, texting, or listening to music have contributed to some people falling off walkways or bridges and walking in front of moving traffic. If a text message, call, or email cannot wait, step aside, let others go by, and respond before proceeding.
 
Hitchhiking is not considered safe anywhere in the world.
 
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

Paris has an extensive and efficient public transportation system. The interconnecting system of buses, subways, and commuter rails serves more than four million people a day with a safety record comparable to, or better than, the systems of major American cities.​
 
Efficient transportation systems are found in all major French cities. Between cities, France is served by an equally extensive rail service, which is safe and reliable. High-speed rail links connect the major cities in France. Traveling by train is safer than driving. Many cities are also served by frequent air service.
 
In larger cities, subways, buses, trolleys, and public transport stations are havens for thieves, pickpockets, and purse snatchers. Loose items such as cameras and purses should be kept within a larger and securable carrying bag that is kept in front of you.

Train Travel Security

Crime committed on trains on popular tourist routes is a concern. Most personal crimes, including robbery and assault, occur at night and on low-end domestic service trains.
  • Travel during the day, using the highest class of travel available and the most direct booking.
     
  • If overnight travel is required, book tickets only on international rail lines in a lockable cabin and never travel alone.
     
  • Do not accept food or drink from strangers, as criminals are known to drug unsuspecting travelers, especially foreigners.
Train stations are usually open 24 hours a day and do not have security to control travelers or loiterers. Stations and their immediate surroundings are havens for petty criminals including scam artists, pickpockets, purse snatchers and baggage thieves.
  • Keep your luggage and other possessions in sight.
     
  • Avoid using the station's public restrooms if they are vacant or not guarded.
  • Avoid withdrawing money from ATMs in train stations, as thieves may be targeting those that use them.

Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrians make up 13 percent of the deaths in motor vehicle accidents (roughly the same as in the United States), but this percentage is increasing. Most of these accidents occur when a pedestrian steps out onto the street, often when a car or motorcycle is making a turn onto a pedestrian crosswalk.
 
As a pedestrian, it is your responsibility to make yourself visible and avoid dangerous behavior and situations. Be careful and attentive.
 
Traffic is heavy in major cities, and pedestrians are numerous. Sidewalks are sometimes narrow. Motorists may not stop for pedestrians in crossings. Look carefully in both directions before crossing streets, even when using a marked crosswalk.
 
Be especially careful while crossing streets and busy intersections. Drivers can be very aggressive in Paris and traffic laws are frequently broken. Even when the light is green, take extra caution while crossing the street. Also watch out for cars in certain areas that seem pedestrian-only.
Emergency Services Response
 
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.
 
UCEAP Contingency Planning
If a local situation requires increased caution or a program suspension and evacuation of participants, UCEAP will activate contingency plans. For security reasons, contingency plans are not public and cannot be shared with anyone except UCEAP officials.

Program Suspension Policy

If the U.S. Department of State or CDC issues a Travel Warning after the start date of the program term, UCEAP may suspend the program. If time and local security conditions permit, UCEAP will consult with the UC Study Center Director, U.S. Embassy, U.S. Department of State regional and security analysts, other organizations that offer programs in the same country, and area experts to determine the appropriate timeframe for suspending the program and/or for the evacuation of the students from the host country.

Security Evacuation

The UCEAP required security evacuation will override any host institution, or local US Embassy voluntary departure on U.S. government-arranged flights, that require U.S. citizens to sign a promissory note with the government. The safe evacuation of UCEAP students, managed by UCEAP, is covered by UCEAP insurance. UC students are required to follow UC safety directives in the event of an evacuation.
 
Fire Safety
Follow these general fire safety tips. Most college-related fires in the U.S. are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country. Fire safety standards differ drastically around the world.
  • Know where emergency exists are located and check whether exits are passable.
     
  • Know how to call the local fire department.
     
  • Do not stay in housing above the sixth floor so you are within range of most fire department rescue ladders.
     
  • Print and take with you the UCEAP brochure, Fire Safety 101 for Students.
     
  • Purchase and use a smoke detector. Before departure contact the Fire Safety Foundation. Choose from a variety of battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, including models with sealed, 10-year batteries. Once purchased, the alarms and a multilingual installation manual – written in English and the host country’s native language - will be shipped to the address where you are residing.
     
  • Have an escape plan and practice it.
     
  • Treat every smoke alarm activation as a likely fire and react quickly and safely to the alarm.
     
  • Check for fire hazards. Make sure exit routes are not blocked.
     
  • If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.
     
  • Refer to the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Fire Safety section for life-saving information.

Fire Safety - London

The U.K. Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Act requires businesses and educational institutions to carry out a fire safety risk assessment and implement and maintain a fire management plan. Students have a responsibility to comply with the Fire Safety Policy of the host institution.  Become familiar with your host institution's Fire Safety Procedures, Arrangements and Responsibilities. Fire wardens are appointed by the host institution's Deans, Directors and Heads of Unit. There should be sufficient numbers of fire wardens to cover all areas occupied by Schools, Units and Divisions.
 
Know where the fire exits and alarms are located and have a fire escape plan.
 

In an emergency dial 999.

Fire Safety - Paris

France has low fire safety requirements for both single-family dwellings and blocks of flats. There is a law requiring every home in France to be equipped with a smoke alarm by March 2015. Around 800 people die each year from domestic fires in France.
 
  • Identify possible fire hazards in your room and eliminate them.
  • Educate yourself. 
  • In case of fire - Dial 18
UCEAP Contingency Planning
In An Emergency

What Is an Emergency?

An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The following are considered emergencies:
  • Any life/death situation
  • A traumatic event requiring immediate assistance
  • An arrest
  • Civil unrest or natural disaster in the host country

In an Emergency

Contact local emergency services first and then contact the following:
 

If you are in the U.S.

  • During office hours (8 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Time): Contact your Program Specialist at the UCEAP Systemwide Office at (805) 893-4762.
     
  • After office hours: Call the 24-hour emergency phone numbers at (805) 893-4762 or (805) 882-2086.
 
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:
  • Police.............................................17
  • SAMU (24-hour Ambulance).............15
  • Fire Department .............................18

Emergency Contacts

U.S. Embassy in London
24 Grosvenor Square
London, W1A 2LQ
United Kingdom
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
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