Practical Pre-Departure Checklist & Packing Tips

Below is a final checklist full of practical items and packing tips to ensure your travel goes smoothly:

  • Read the NYU Shanghai Resource Sheet: this includes packing tips!  Check the luggage restrictions for your airline before you pack.
  • Take note of what NOT to pack by visiting this website. And try to pack LIGHT.  Layers, layers, layers!  You will inevitably come home with more than you started with.
  • Have all medications you may need for the full term & bring a copy of prescriptions (medication, eyeglasses, etc.) and carry it with you in your carry on.  Your carry on should also have all important paperwork, phone numbers, and a change of clothes in case your luggage arrives late.
  • Don’t forget that you cannot bring more than 3 oz. of any liquid in your carry on for your flight overseas.  Airport security can be very stringent.
  • Do not plan to use your blow dryers and flat irons that you use currently. Even with a plug adaptor and converter, the higher voltage can destroy (as in burn to a crisp!) your appliances and could potentially knock out power in entire buildings, which isn’t a great way to make friends abroad. If you’re not willing to forgo the blow dryers and flat irons for a few months, then it’s best to purchase local versions that operate on 220 volts once you get abroad.
  • Make photocopies of your passport/visa, ID, and cards (bank, credit card). Leave one copy of this packet with your parents and bring a set with you in your carry-on.  That way, if these items are lost or stolen, they’re much easier to replace.
  • Bring your flight confirmation printout to the airport.
  • If you follow a special diet (vegetarian, kosher, etc.) don’t forget to inform your airline ahead of time. It’s horribly unpleasant to be hungry and thirsty while you’re on a plane and they control when you get meals, so bring some snacks (stay away from fruit, as some countries don’t want you to bring perishable food into their airports). And make sure you have your own water on the flight (though, remember, you can’t take any through security).
  • Download the VPN to access NYU internet in Shanghai.
  • Notify your bank and credit cards that you will be abroad.  Make sure they won’t block your accounts when they see international charges, and ask for phone numbers to call from abroad in the event you have any issues. The 1-800 numbers on the back won’t always work from overseas.
  • Have some cash on hand to get you through the first few days (you can exchange at the airport if needed, but service fees can be hefty.  Banks may be able to issue the local currency, the Renminbi, ahead of time if they have notice.  Or simply withdraw cash from the ATM directly once you land – this can be easiest).
  • Have a copy of your Arrival Information (coming soon) – and leave a copy with your family.

And some tips for staying connected to friends and family, and making the most of your experience:

  • Set up a plan of communicating with your family members while abroad—we recommend calling or e-mailing them only once or twice a week while abroad. Your family will ALWAYS want to talk to you more often than that, but remember that part of studying in another country is putting some distance between you and your old life. You’ll be better for it!
  • Buy a journal.  Study Away is a profoundly personal experience and Facebook updates alone won’t capture the spirit of what you are doing.  Keep a journal that is meant to be just for you.
  • These articles may help with your move to a new city:

Preparing for Study Away Series: Workshop Resources

This packet is intended to give all students the opportunity to consider their identity during the pre-departure process, even if they weren’t able to attend our in-person events.  If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, and we are happy to talk to you or connect you to resources or students. Also check out these identity-based resources in China from IES Abroad.

Alternatively, you can download the Workshop Resources here.

Visa Documents

If you recently submitted a copy of your passport and the Student Information Form to OGS, please note that the support letters you need for your visa application will not be available until the university reopens after the winter break.

If you have not yet completed both of the above steps, your documents cannot be requested until we receive them which means they will not be requested until after the university reopens. Please complete the above today to avoid any additional delays. These are past due! Questions should be directed to ogs.outbound@nyu.edu; 212-998-4242.

Offices Closing for Winter Break

NYU’s Office of Global Programs and Office of Global Services, as well as most other departments around NYU, will be closed for the winter break starting at 4pm EST on Friday, December 23rd. We will reopen on Wednesday, January 4th at 9am EST.  Both the Office of Global Programs and the Office of Global Services will not be monitoring voicemail or emails during this time.

We understand that questions may come up while our office is closed – if so, please use the “Search” tool within this blog to see if we have covered it already (in many cases, we have!). This blog is meant to be your main resource of things to know and do regarding London, and can continue to assist in answering your questions even when we are not available.

Happy New Year and Best Wishes this Holiday Season!

GeoBlue Health Insurance Emails Received

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

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

If you didn’t receive the email from GeoBlue, be sure to check your spam folder first, as they sometimes end up there. If you can’t find it, please notify me at jessica.levin@nyu.edu to ensure it is resent.  Rest assured that you will absolutely be covered.  

Apply for your Chinese Visa!

If you have not yet applied for your Chinese visa, please do not delay any further. You can find instructions about the visa process here. If you are applying for your visa at a Chinese Consulate outside of New York, please be advised that the processing time might be longer and you could be asked for additional documents. Please be sure to check the requirements for your specific Chinese Consulate or Embassy.

Please note if you have not picked up or contacted OGS to mail your visa documents by December 23rd at noon you must wait until January 4th.

Shanghai City Guide from ThisIsNYU Bloggers

As you may know from previous updates, students across the global sites are currently blogging on ThisIsNYU about their experiences away and must-see spots.  Visit the Shanghai City Guide to see favorite places to go, things to do, areas to visit beyond Shanghai, and overall advice.

We encourage you to also sign up and blog for ThisIsNYU during your time away!  Not only will others benefit from your recommendations, but this is a great way to document and share your experience with family and friends.  To get started or to learn more, simply visit nyu.edu/global/bloggers. The “Getting Started” page will have you ready to start in under 15 minutes, so you can sign up — and start blogging — today!

Reminder: Ebills Due January 5

If you have not yet paid your ebill, please take the necessary steps to do so by the January 5th deadline.  As a reminder, ebills were sent to your NYU email address ONLY.  You can also access your ebill as follows:

  • Log into NYU Home (home.nyu.edu)
  • Click on the Academics tab, then click on Albert Login
  • Click on the “Student Center”
  • Click on the “View Bursar Account” link located under the Finances menu
  • This should link to the secure eSuite website

*Visiting students, if financial aid money from your school is going to transfer to NYU and/or your school pays on your behalf, it is okay if these anticipated payments arrive after the bill becomes due. Only the portion of the bill that you are personally responsible for paying directly to NYU must arrive by the due date.