The Making of the Modern Mind
What You’ll Need
Documents to Bring
• Passport: You will need a valid passport. In fact, you will want a passport whose expiration date is at least six months beyond the time you will be returning to the U.S., or you might encounter difficulty returning to your own country (don’t ask us why this is so; we are just passing along the information).
Passport information and applications are available at http://travel.state.gov/passport, as well as at county courthouses and some post offices. The completed form must be presented in person at an approved site. Items required along with the passport application will include: two passport quality photos, a certified birth certificate, and a driver’s licence or photo. I.D. (as well as means to pay the application fee).
The government website claims that processing is currently (March 2010) taking about 4-6 weeks for both new and renewal applications. You need to have your passport by September 1st, since we need that information in order to book your flight overseas. These passports are good for 10 years, however, so you might as well get it now, even if you are still uncertain about participating in this trip.
• Manchester University Student ID: College students typically enjoy discounted admissions, although this usually applies only to students in the European Union. In case we get lucky, however, have your ID with you.
Forms to Fill-Out and Matters to Consider
• Request for Clearance for Off-Campus Short term Program: This very short Manchester University form can be completed here. For “Approximate length of Program” put “2 weeks”. For “Off-Campus Location” put “London/Paris” in the City blank, and “U.K./France” in the Country blank.
• Off-Campus Activity Waver: This fairly short Manchester University form can be completed in the campus Gateway system here. For “Date(s) of Activity” put “2012-01-08” through “2012-01-22”. You will also need insurance information (insurance company, policyholder, and policyholder ID number) to complete this form, as well as the names and phone numbers for two emergency contacts.
• University Liability Release:
• University Code of Conduct for Off-Campus Study:
• Travel Insurance: This costs about $125, and protects you against various eventualities, most importantly, it will reimburse you the cost of your ticket should you need to cancel your travel. Some students choose to purchase this; you are not automatically covered.
• Health Insurance: Make sure that you have coverage while overseas. You might start by checking the Manchester University health insurance policy here.
• Rules of Appropriate Conduct: download, read, sign, and return to one of the instructors.
Clothes and Gear
• First Rule of Travel: A light traveler is a happy traveler. We provide neither mules nor donkeys for this trip; you will need to personally carry whatever you bring. Read what travel expert Rick Steves advises, and then follow his advice.
This likely bears repeating, so I will repeat it: Read what travel expert Rick Steves advises, and then follow his advice. Don’t be an overburdened chump; travel light.
• Comfortable shoes. We will be walking a lot, every day, so you will be miserable if you aren’t wearing sensible shoes. Also, your shoes should be relatively water-proof, or else bring enough socks so that there’s always a dry pair.
• Rain gear. Europe can get a bit wet in the winter; it certainly wouldn’t be London without the occasional shower. In general, you should dress in layers, so that you can easily adjust for changes in temperature (moving from outside to inside, etc.), and a good waterproof hooded raincoat would be a good jacket to bring (wear a warm sweater under that, and you’ve got the equivalent of a winter coat). You might also want to bring a small, foldable travel umbrella.
• Bring a towel for drying off after showering. The hostel where we are staying in London does not provide towels for free (you can rent one for £1, or buy one for £10 — which you could consider as a London souvenir, I suppose, although it will likely be just a plain white towel). You are also welcome to bring a small padlock for securing items in the lockers inside the room (we will not be sharing our rooms with anyone outside our group, but sometimes the housekeepers find things to keep).
• A digital camera will come in handy. Some students might arrange to share a camera. In any event, you will need access to a camera for some of the course assignments.
• Unless you are certain that your cell phone provider has coverage in Europe, you should assume it does not; you may want to have it with you, of course, for making connections at the airport once you arrive back in the U.S.
• As with any group activity, the behavior of each individual affects the well-being of the group, and can make things either better or worse for the group.
Similarly, the behavior of each individual reflects on the group as a whole — and less directly but just as importantly, on the nature of Manchester University, and of U.S. citizens in general.
We are visitors to another country, and we are ambassadors from our own. We all need to act accordingly.