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FAQ

 
     

 

Why study abroad?
A Study Abroad program gives you the opportunity to combine earning college credit with seeing the world. If you have never been abroad, the program typically provides the guidance and security necessary for such a first international experience. While in college you have access to financial aid and many awards and scholarships, which can help you afford a study abroad program. Also such a program gives you the chance to travel for several weeks without falling behind in your studies, an opportunity you won't have once you enter the workforce. An added bonus – which becomes increasingly important – is the opportunity to list such an international venture in your resumé, which will make you stand out among other job applicants once you complete your studies and apply for your first job.

Why study in Innsbruck?
The Innsbruck International Summer School sets itself apart from many other study abroad programs:

  1. It was established in 1976 and has been continuously run in Innsbruck since then.  Thus, UNO has great experience in international programming and has established strong ties in Innsbruck, both at the university and in the city.
  2. Innsbruck is a small city, easy to navigate, very safe and walkable, and student-friendly. (The University of Innsbruck has approx. 28,000 students.)  Its setting, surrounded by mountains, provides an incredible backdrop and a myriad of recreational opportunities. Its Old Town brims with history and culture, and attracts visitors from all over the world.
  3. Innsbruck is very centrally located in Europe and provides easy access to other cultural centers of Europe.  The Innsbruck Summer School offers its students ample opportunity to visit these places by scheduling classes Monday-Thursday (except Week One) and keeping weekends free for travel.  Most students get Eurail Passes and use the train to visit destinations such as Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Amsterdam and other highlights of Europe.
  4. At the core of the Innsbruck International Summer School, though, are the courses, the students and the teachers.   The program has upheld its academic rigor for decades and continues to do so through its dedicated faculty and staff.  Learning, however, does not only occur in the classroom.  Guided tours, excursions, field trips, and weekend travel all contribute to the learning experience.

Does Financial Aid apply?
Yes. If you receive federal financial aid, grants (Pell grant, f. ex.), or student loans, you may be eligible to use this financial assistance to help pay for the International Summer School.  Non-UNO students must apply for Financial Aid at their home institution. Information about other scholarships and awards can be found here: http://inst.uno.edu/scholarships.cfm. Your study abroad office may also have more information, so be sure to check with them.

Do I need to know German or another foreign language to participate?
No. All classes are held in English and most people in Austria (and many other parts of Europe) speak English.  Of course, taking a German language course before or during the summer may help you better appreciate the culture and people of Austria (and other German-speaking countries), and may increase your enjoyment of your experience abroad.

How many classes do I take?
All students on this program are required to take a minimum of two courses. Each course carries three credit hours. (For most universities, six credits are considered full time in the summer, thus allowing students to apply for Financial Aid.)  After March 6, students can add a third class, earning an extra three credits, for a total of nine credits.  There is no extra cost for the third class.  You should, however, keep in mind that this six-week program is very intense and that travel and recreation in your free time are an important part of your experience. Earning nine credit hours in six weeks while in Europe can be a difficult task and will diminish your free time for exploring and experiencing the foreign setting.

When and how can I apply?
The online application is usually available by late October. You will be able to apply on our website: http://inst.uno.edu/austria/pages/apply.cfm. All students must meet the 2.5 GPA requirement and be in good standing with their home institution.

I have filled out the online application. What do I do next?

There are a few more forms you need to submit. All can be found on our web site on the “Forms/Downloads” page at http://inst.uno.edu/austria/forms
Follow the order below:

The first two items are required by the review committee to decide on the applicant’s acceptance to the program and should be submitted first:

1. Transcript: Request an Official Transcript from your home institution and have it sent to:

Innsbruck International Summer School
International Center, Rm. 128
The University of New Orleans
2000 Lakeshore Drive
New Orleans, LA 70148


It is very important that the transcript is sent to this address. Otherwise, it may get lost at UNO, which may hold up your admission to the program.  UNO can also accept e-transcripts, but they have to be sent by the home institution directly to the Program Coordinator Mariana Martinez at mzanotti@uno.edu.

2. Home Institution Approval Form:  Print it from the “Forms/Downloads” page of our web site, complete the top portion, and bring it to your Study Abroad Office to complete and send to us.  If your home institution requires you to complete a Course Approval form, please submit a copy to us as well.

Note: Students from UNO, LSU & UGA do not need to submit the Home Institution Approval form.

Additional items needed to complete your application:

3.Immunization Compliance Form: Print it from the “Forms/Downloads” page on our web site and ask your physician or health care center on campus to complete and sign it. Then send it to us.

4.Medical History Report: This form is used for medical emergencies only and will be kept confidential.  The student needs to complete this form personally. It is submitted securely online.

5.Digital photo: Please upload a photo of yourself. It should be a headshot, with no sunglasses and no hat. The photo will be used for your program ID card, which you will need to get into the dorm.

6.Passport: Please upload a scan of the picture page of your passport.  The passport must be valid until at least 6 months after the end of the Innsbruck program.

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Can I change my classes after I submit my application?
Yes. You can change your classes until May 1st by sending an email to innsbruck@uno.edu.  Your request to change a class has to be in writing and can only come from the student.  If the class you request is full, we can place you on a waiting list for this class, but we will not take you out of your other class until a space becomes available.  You must be enrolled in two courses (6 credits) at all times.  After May 1st no class changes can be made until we get to Innsbruck, where you can drop/add a course on the first two class days of the program ONLY.  The waiting list is no longer in effect once we get to Innsbruck – it’s first come, first served!  If your home institution requires you to get the UNO course approved by an academic department prior to enrolling in it, we will not make any class changes until we get that approval.

What if I have to cancel my participation in the program?
A cancellation must be made by the participant personally and must be received in writing.  It can be emailed to innsbruck@uno.edu. The date your cancellation is received by the Program Director determines how much money can be refunded.  Please see the Refund & Cancellation Policy in our brochure and on the web site:  http://inst.uno.edu/austria/pages/programcosts.cfm.

When and how do I book my plane ticket?
We recommend you wait until you have been accepted to the program before purchasing your plane ticket.  If you cannot wait, we urge you to purchase cancellation insurance.  The biggest international airport closest to Innsbruck is Munich.  Innsbruck also has an airport, but you have to connect to it via another major European airport.  You can choose to book a seat on the group flight provided by ITS Tours travel agency or you can select to purchase an individual ticket (for instance if you want to use miles, or if you choose to travel before the program).  You must arrive in Innsbruck on Saturday, July 1, 2017 in time for the mandatory orientation at 5:00 pm.  In order to arrive on July 1st, you must leave the U.S. on June 30th since all flights from the U.S. to Europe are overnight flights. Return date is August 11th.  For further information on flights, please visit:
http://inst.uno.edu/austria/pages/programinfo.cfm#air_rail.

How do I get from the Munich airport to Innsbruck?
We provide a bus transfer from the Munich airport to the dormitory in Innsbruck on the morning of arrival day (July 1, 2017). The ride takes about 2½ hours. All program participants can use this transfer service provided they arrive in time. Our last bus leaves the Munich airport at noon. If your plane arrives after 11:00 am, you may not be able to catch our last bus since you have to go through passport control, luggage claim, and customs.
If you miss this bus, you can book a shuttle to Innsbruck with Four Season’s Travel shuttle service, which costs approx. EUR 50.00:
http://www.tirol-taxi.at/

How do I get a passport?
All students traveling and studying abroad will need a valid passport.  If you already have a passport, make sure that it is valid for at least 6 months after your return. Otherwise, you should apply for a new passport as soon as you decide to study abroad. For more information, fees, processing times etc., and to download an application form, please visit: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports.html.

How do I get a Eurail Pass and what kind should I get?
You can get your Eurail Pass from ITS Tours or other Railpass providers in the U.S.  You have to purchase your pass in the U.S. before departure.  (You cannot get it in Europe.) If you purchase your pass through ITS Tours, you will not receive it until you get to Innsbruck unless you let them know that you intend to use it before the program starts.
Unless you travel before and/or after the program, we recommend getting the Youth Flexipass for travel in 10 or 15 days within two months.  It is highly recommended that you purchase insurance in case your Eurailpass is lost or stolen. All passes purchased through ITS Tours will be distributed at the Travel and Eurail Orientation in the first week of the program.  This extensive orientation will explain how to use your pass and teach you some ins and outs of rail travel in Europe.

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Am I free to travel each weekend?
Some classes have mandatory field trips on the first weekend of the program.  These trips are some incredible opportunities to see destinations that may not be easy to get to on your own, and they will help bring your classroom learning to life. Check the the Academics and Class Field Trips page or call the International Summer School office to see if you are required to participate in any of these excursions.

Also, keep in mind that we do have class on the first Friday of the program.

How do I get my textbooks?
Textbooks are available through the UNO Bookstore: http://www.uno.bkstr.com

A textbook list is usually available by mid-April and the textbooks can then be purchased online (UNO Bookstore or elsewhere).  The UNO Bookstore will list the exact book, correct edition, etc. as ordered by the professor. They also provide Used Textbooks and may buy back your textbooks if you wish to sell them.  The UNO Bookstore will also provide digital versions of the textbook (e-books), if available.
Your textbooks will be shipped to your address in the US.  You have to bring your textbooks with you to Innsbruck.  Do NOT wait until you get there to order them!  Shipping will be exorbitantly expensive and will take a long time.

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What if I decide to change my classes in Innsbruck and don't have the right books?
You can drop/add classes on the first two class days of the program, if space is available.  But then you would not have the correct books. You may be able to buy the textbook(s) from another student who dropped that class. If an e-textbook is available, you can order that through the UNO Bookstore.

What is the best way to get money while abroad?
We recommend using your ATM card to get cash. Please inform your bank or credit card institution that you will be spending time abroad. Otherwise, they might freeze the account when foreign currency transactions are made. Make sure your ATM card has a ‘Cirrus’, ‘Plus’ or ‘Pulse’ logo on the back.  Major credit cards are widely accepted in Europe (definitely Visa and MC, not so much Amex. Discover cards are not accepted in Europe.)  It is, however, very expensive to get cash with your credit card.

How much money do I need to have available for the course of the program?
It depends strongly on how much you intend to travel on the weekends and on your expectations regarding hotels and meals. Generally, we recommend budgeting between $400 and $600 per week (including weekend travel). If you don’t plan to travel every weekend and are frugal with meals and other expenses, you can probably get by with less. If you plan to stay in upscale hotels and want to go out and shop a lot, you will probably need more.

How do I communicate with my family and friends at home?
While it is important to maintain regular contact with family and friends, don’t overdo it.  A little distance from home will help you adjust more quickly to the foreign culture and surroundings.  It is a good idea to examine the time difference (Europe is 7 hours ahead of CST), agree on times that will work for phone calls, and establish expectations for when and how often to contact your family. 
There are no phones in your dorm rooms, and we recommend you purchase one of the inexpensive Austrian cell phones we make available upon arrival in Innsbruck. (Please register for one on our Pre-Departure Form online – available after April.) On these Austrian cell phones, you can receive incoming calls and text messages for free.  The dorm provides free internet connection for your laptops, so you can use Skype or similar providers to communicate.   Email is also a good and cheap way to stay in touch and it works best for the time difference.  In a true emergency, your family can also call the UNO-IBK office during office hours or the front desk at the dorm around the clock.
We do not recommend using your i-phone or other smart phone, as phone calls and web access are very expensive from Europe.

Should I bring my laptop and other electronic devices?
Yes. The voltage is different, though, with 110 volts in the U.S. and 220 volts in Europe.  Laptops and many other electronic devices have a built-in voltage converter (power pack).  Other devices, though, such as hair dryers, flat irons or curling irons, do not have this converter built in, and we recommend you buy such devices in Innsbruck.   There is a well-stocked department store in the center of town that carries all such electronics and much more.
In addition to the voltage difference, wall outlets are also shaped differently in Europe.  Therefore, for all US electronics you will need a plug adaptor.  You can get these at Walmart, Target, Brookstone and other places that sell travel equipment and gadgets.

Will I have internet access?
In your dorm room, you can connect to the internet – free of charge - wirelessly or with an ethernet cable. You can bring one from home or purchase it in Innsbruck. At the university (across the bridge from the dorm), you can also access the internet wirelessly, and you can use some of the computer labs there.    We will provide the necessary log-ins in the office starting on the first day of classes.

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Can family members and friends stay with me in the dorm?
No. For the security of all our students, non-program participants are not allowed in the dormitory (except the lobby). If you have family or friends visiting you in Innsbruck, we recommend that they stay in a hotel or B&B. Information on hotels in Innsbruck can be found in our ‘Innsbruck Pre-Departure-Guide’ or can be received from our office upon request.

What if I get sick in Innsbruck?
We have a registered nurse on the staff who can see students during regular office hours for minor medical complaints.  The nurse also has an assistant who is fluent in German and can generally help students with doctor appointments and hospital visits.  Innsbruck has a world-class medical facility, the University Hospital (Universitätsklinik), which is only minutes from our student dormitory.  Students will be expected to pay for visits to a local doctor, hospital or other medical facility and can file a claim with the insurance provided by the program after return to the U.S.

How can my family and friends send me letters or packages?
Please use the following mailing address:

(Your Name)
c/o The International Summer School
Hotel Rössl in der Au
Höttinger Au 34
A-6020 Innsbruck
Austria, Europe

Please note: No medications should be sent to Austria.  Many of them will be confiscated by customs and will not be delivered to you.
You may also have to pay a customs tax on other items shipped to you.

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