University of Delaware

Institute for Global Studies

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MEPI FAQ's

When will we get our daily schedule?

Since the program schedule is modified daily, we are not sending the final version in advance, as we find that sending multiple and different versions of the calendar can be rather confusing. Your typical class day will include seminars, workshops or discussions with a break for lunch. In addition, you will participate in civic engagement activities in which you will volunteer for a local service organization and attain skills that you can apply to your civic engagement project and home communities. The evenings will generally consist of some homework and a few more casual presentations on interesting topics as well as free time to plan and participate in various cultural and recreational activities that you can plan! You will receive your daily schedule each morning that specifically outlines all of the scheduled activities for the day.

Where will we be living?

You will be housed at the Christiana Towers, one of UD's best ranked housing complexes. Each mini-apartment consists of two bedrooms, a common sitting room, a rest room and kitchenette. You will each have your own bedroom and will share the rest room with your apartment mate. We have assigned staff members to reside in the housing complex in case you have any issues that you may need to address with our RAs.

Who will my roommate be?

It's a surprise but he/she will not be from your country or from a bordering country. We want you to develop new friendships with other students in your region as well as with Americans. Although we do not typically accommodate room change requests, please let you RAs know of any significant concerns that you may have with your rooming assignment or accommodations and we will do our best to resolve any such issues.

How can I get in touch with people at home?

Although there are no telephones in your rooms at the Christiana towers, you will have regular access to phones if you wish to call home. Georgetown University will be providing you the opportunity to purchase a US cellular phone and SIM card from T-Mobile, and the University of Delaware will be providing you with Skype credits.

Each room is laptop-capable with free internet and we suggest you bring a laptop since there are no computing facilities at the Christiana Towers. Please note that laptops left unattended may be stolen or misplaced, so remember that you are responsible for your laptop while in the US. If you decide not to bring your laptop on the study tour, it can be stored in a secure location. If you do not wish to bring a laptop, there are computing facilities available on campus for your use. Internet is available in the Christiana Commons and at many other computing sites on campus. For a list of public computing sites, see: http://www.it.udel.edu/computingsites

What if I need to go to the doctor?

The Department of State provides you with medical coverage and a staff member can arrange for you to visit a doctor. In case of emergency, the University of Delaware's Department of Public Safety has a team of paramedics available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. They provide emergency transport to the local hospital if needed, though we hope it will not be necessary! If you need any medical attention or have any related questions or concerns, just let Institute staff know if you are not feeling well and we'll be glad to find help for you.

What is the weather going to be like?

Summers in Delaware are usually hot and humid, and people in the U.S. walk a lot, especially in small college towns like Newark. Generally speaking, temperatures in Delaware during the course of the program range between 30-35 during the day and 22-27 in the evenings. At our various study tour locations, San Diego, daily temperatures range from 22-29 during the day and 17-21 in the evenings while the weather in New York is comparable to Newark, DE. It is recommended that you bring comfortable clothes, socks, and shoes. Sandals and heels are not recommended as you will have a great deal of walking to do during the Institute. The following link is a helpful resource for more information about the weather in Delaware.
www.weather.com/outlook/health/allergies/hourbyhour/19711?
from=36hr_topnav_allergies

Where will I eat?

UD has all-you-can-eat (buffet) dining halls, to which you will have access. You will also be able to go to the UD food courts, which accept credit cards, and cash.

Of course, you can eat anywhere on Main Street, which has a wide variety of restaurants where you can pay cash. Although most restaurants on Main Street in Newark offer vegetarian options and serve non-pork meat, only select restaurants are considered Halal. Specifically, a Mediterranean restaurant on Main Street, called Ali Baba, serves Halal meat as well as an Indian Restaurant, called Indian Sizzler, also serves Halal meat. You will also be able to easily find Halal restaurants at our various study tour locations.

If you want to buy food for your apartment, there is a small convenience store in the Commons Building in the Christiana Towers, where you will be housed. A better alternative is the grocery store (full-size supermarket) named Super Fresh, which is a ten minute walk from the Christiana Towers.

Smoking don'ts:

You should know that smoking is frowned upon in many parts of the United States. Strangers in the street might also tell you "those things will kill you". While we understand that this intrusive approach might bother you, you will find that Americans (including strangers) are generally friendly, so please don't take offense! If someone politely asks you to refrain from smoking near them, it is socially appropriate to honor this request and always try to avoid smoking in close proximity to people as a courtesy to those who don't smoke.

In any case, smoking is prohibited by law in any indoor public place in most of the states you will visit. Therefore NEVER smoke inside of any building or closed area (including cafes and restaurants). Americans have lived in a largely smoke-free environment (by law) for many years now and are pretty sensitive to smoke (and they'll tell you about it). In fact - the smell of smoke alone can make many people feel ill.

If you do smoke, be respectful of people around you. Even outdoors, do not smoke near a door frequently used by people to get in and out, or in an area where there are a lot of people gathering, and take your cigarette butts with you - do not throw them on the ground - dispose of them in special receptacles in smoking areas. Please remember to be aware of and honor all applicable smoking laws.

When will classes meet?

Classes will meet everyday starting around 10:30 am and you are expected to attend every class. All classroom times are noted on your program schedules and any changes to class times will be announced to you in advance. In the event that illness or any other urgent or unforeseen circumstances prevents you from attending class, please let a program staff member know immediately.

Class do's and don'ts

Do your best to be considerate towards your professors.

It is extremely important that you get to class a few minutes early, in order to seat yourself and be ready to start. In the U.S., a class starting at 9:00 a.m. means that your professor will start speaking at 9:00 a.m.; and interruptions by people walking in late are not welcome. In general, being on time is very important for Americans, and it is considered disrespectful to be late..

Talking to your classmates during class is also not acceptable. Professors will welcome questions at any point, but do not interrupt class by being loud or chatting privately. It is also unacceptable to go out for a smoke during class, or to leave class for any simply because you wish. However if you must step out (e.g.: to go to the rest room), do not interrupt to ask for permission: simply get up and quietly walk out and then return as quietly as you can.

You will find that UD professors really expect you to be engaged in the lecture - that means you participate by listening and asking questions and answering questions. Often a lecture turns into a big discussion with everyone contributing.

Will I need electricity adapters?

Yes. Most of your countries use higher voltage electricity (220V/240V) than the U.S., which uses 120V. Check the charger of each electronic device you want to bring: it will tell you which voltage it accepts. Some devices (most laptops) will accept both 220V and 120V: in this case you only need a plug adapter (plugs in the US and in your country are of different shapes).

Most your devices will only accept 220V, so you need an electricity converter. We encourage you to get plugs and converters at home before you leave, since they are expensive in the US. If you need to purchase an adapter in the US, they are widely available both in Newark and at our study tour locations. Adapters are sold at many convenient stores, electronic stores and malls, and program staff can assist you with purchasing this item.

Where can I get local news?

The UD community news resource is located online at: www.udel.edu/UDaily
The News Journal, a Wilmington newspaper, can be found at: www.delawareonline.com

What should I do in case of an emergency?

The national emergency number is 911 and works with any phone. They will transfer you to the appropriate unit. Should you have to use it, ask for the Newark Police. You have to dial a 9 first to get off-campus - so if using a campus phone dial 9- 911.

For problems on the UD campus (buildings, parking lots, green areas, etc, managed by UD), call the UD Police at 831-2222. If you do not have a phone with you, look around and go to the nearest Blue Light Phone. We have Blue Light Phones everywhere on campus. They blue lights are well visible, and below them is a phone that will connect you to the UD Police. Caution: blue light phones are for emergencies only. If possible, also alert a program staff member to any emergency you may have and they will find the appropriate help for you.

What kind of clothing should I bring?

Since the weather will be hot, bring comfortable (light-weight) everyday clothes. We will have 1-2 more formal events where the dress code is academic casual (men: polo shirt or long-sleeve and chino or khaki trousers; women: whatever you feel is formal enough. Do not wear jeans at a business casual event). You are also welcome to wear traditional clothes at a formal dinner if you like. I would also suggest bringing swimwear if you wish to use the pool or beach while in the US.

We also recommend sunglasses and a hat since you will be in the sun when you walk around campus and when we travel. It is also recommended that you wear sunscreen, especially when the weather is sunny and when we are in Colorado, as the sun is much stronger due to the higher altitude.

What places will we visit?

You will be in the small college town of Newark, Delaware (not to be confused with the huge industrial city just one state away - Newark, New Jersey) for most the program with focused study tours in San Diego, California as well as New York City and Philadelphia. Each of these regions has distinct cultures and sometimes even the language (dialect) is quite different!

You will visit or pass though California, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C. - more states that many Americans have even traveled through!

What about money and credit cards?

Although we suggest that you exchange your currency before arriving in the US, there are currency exchange locations in Delaware and at various study tour locations. You can also use credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) for payment in almost all places, though keep in mind that you may incur transaction fees. You will also be able to withdraw money at ATMs all over campus and there is an ATM in the Christiana Commons Building.

Who will pick us up at the airport?

Your airport arrival plans are coordinated by Georgetown University, and you will receive information about your flight, directions once you get to the airport and confirmation of your travel arrangements from the airport to the hotel in advance of the program. Members of the Georgetown program staff will be at the airport to assist you and provide further direction, though if you have any questions of concerns about your travel, please do not hesitate to ask.

Should I bring medication?

If you regularly take prescription medication, yes. You will be able to buy non-prescription medication such as aspirin on Main Street at a reasonable price.

How do I get around when I want to go out with other students or on weekend excursions during our free time?

You will be provided transportation to all scheduled program activities. We will rent large vans to transport participants and the program staff will drive the vans after undergoing a certification process. Generally speaking, most locations in Newark, including Main Street are within walking distance. In addition, you may take the local bus to more remote locations including the Christiana Mall.

How do I get to the Mosque?

Transportation will be provided by staff each Friday for a trip to the Mosque and we set aside free time each Friday to accommodate those who wish to visit the Mosque In addition, staff will be happy to accommodate any additional trip requests to the Mosque during free time. Information about the Mosque in Delaware and study tour locations will be provided upon arrival to the University of Delaware.

How does Ramadan impact this year's program?

The 2014 MEPI program overlaps with Ramadan. Although we acknowledge that the observance of Ramadan is not universal and may be treated differently by each individual, we also recognize the importance of this occasion and will therefore make every effort to accommodate your individual observance of this event. If there is anything additional that we can do to better accommodate your observance of Ramadan, please do not hesitate to ask a member of the program staff.

Where can I go to get more information?

The UD MEPI website: http://www.udel.edu/global/outreach/mepi.html. You can also feel free to contact any MEPI staff member with questions or concerns you may have about the program and we will be happy to help!

A little (big) helper for foreigners: conversions between US-Metric Units

The United States, unlike many other parts of the world, uses the English system for temperature and measurement. Therefore, please find below some basic conversion information.

  Name of US unit US to Metric Metric to US
Weight Pound
Ounce
1 lb = 0.45 kg
1 kg = 2.2 lbs
1 oz = 28 g
1 kg = 35 oz
Volume (liquids) Fluid Ounce 1 fl oz = 3 cl 1 l = 33.8 fl oz
Length/Distance Inch
Foot
Yard
Mile
1 inch = 2.54 cm
1 foot = 30 cm
1 yd = 91 cm
1 mi = 1.61 km
1 cm = 0.39 inch
1 m = 3.28 feet
1 m = 1.09 yd
1 km = 0.62 mi = 3280 feet
Temperature Fahrenheit Degree °F = °C × 9 / 5 + 32 °C = (°F - 32) × 5/9

 

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""FACULTY

Participants From:

Algeria
Bahrain
Egypt
Gaza
Israel
Iraq
Jordan
Kuwait
Lebanon
Libya
Morocco
Oman
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Syria
Tunisia
U.A.E.
Yemen
West Bank
  • Institute for Global Studies  •   Elliott Hall, 26 East Main Street  •   Newark, DE 19716  •   USA
    Phone: ++1 (302) 831-2852  •   Fax: ++1 (302) 831-6042  •   © 2011