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Academic Enrichment Opportunities

Germany Trip

Germany
As part of a collaboration between LSUS and Germany's Universität Lüneburg, LSUS students will be studying Issues in European Business on location! The two-week course takes place between the Spring and Summer semesters. Students earn three elective credit hours.

Germany Trip

Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to learn about international environments and to increase your understanding of foreign practices and cultures. Widen your horizon, have fun, make friends, learn for life and all that while earning credit towards your LSUS degree!

Check out the FAQ section below and e-mail Dr. Tim Shaughnessy or call (318) 797-5334. We are looking forward to having you on board!

ORGANIZATION
What is this course all about?
This two-week course, a collaboration between Louisiana State University in Shreveport (LSUS) and Universität Lüneburg, is an official three-hour credit course. As part of 2008 Summer undergraduate electives, participants will be studying Issues in European Business on location! For most of the time, students will be staying with German families and students in Lüneburg, a town approximately 30 miles south of Hamburg. They will be attending seminars at the Universität Lüneburg and visit companies in and around Lüneburg. Additionally, students will make trips to Hamburg and Berlin and several other places of academic and professional interest. The field trip is a wonderful opportunity for all participants to increase their understanding of other business practices and cultures.

When does the course take place?
The course takes place between the Spring and Summer semesters (May 14-27).

Where exactly are we going?
We will be hosted by the Universität Lüneburg in Lüneburg, a town 30 miles south of Hamburg in the North of Germany. You will have to fly into Hamburg (airport code HAM). LSUS students should look for tickets from Dallas (DFW) to decrease ticket costs.

How will the participating students be chosen?
Since the number of participants is limited, students will be chosen on a first-come-first-served basis.

Who is the instructor?
The 2008 course is designed and coordinated by Dr. Tim Shaughnessy, Associate Professor of Economics at LSUS.

Where are we going to stay?
We will be staying with German students and families in Lüneburg. If staying with students, female students will be staying with females, and male students will be staying with males. Most of us will be living within walking or cycling distance to the university.

When will I receive my host's name and address?
You will receive your host's name in late April or early May, or - at the latest - upon your arrival in Hamburg. 

Who is taking care of travel arrangements?
YOU! YOU! YOU! The students are responsible for their own travel arrangements. Prices vary, so do your homework. Last year students paid between $450.00 and $950.00 for exactly the same flight. Dr. Shaughnessy will not be involved with the travel arrangements. Students from LSUS should look for tickets from Shreveport [SHV] or Dallas [DFW] to Hamburg [HAM] (typically via Frankfurt or Paris or Amsterdam or Brussels or Zurich).

Will I be picked up at the airport upon arrival?
Absolutely YES! You will be picked up at Hamburg Airport (HAM) by your hosts or other students. All you have to do is provide Dr. Shaughnessy with your detailed itinerary. Keep in mind that Dr. Shaughnessy may be leaving a few days before you, so submit your information early and expect a confirmation. If Dr. Shaughnessy does not confirm the receipt of your itinerary,  he probably didn't receive it! And if he didn't receive it, you will not be picked up because nobody is expecting you.

How much will it cost to participate?
Your total expenses will depend on your spending behavior in Germany. You are responsible to pay tuition if you wish to earn course credit. You are also responsible to buy your own plane ticket (approx. $750-900). Furthermore, you have to pay a $550 fee that takes care of the major expenses associated with the trip (for example, bus for excursions, hotel accommodation in Berlin, tour guides, on-location transportation during special events, instructor expenses and transportation, aide compensation, administrative expenses, preparation expenses, and various other design and coordination expenses, etc). A nonrefundable down payment of $250 of that fee has to be paid at the Division of Continuing Education and guarantees your right to participate. The remaining $300 of that fee will have to be paid in Germany. All you need in addition to that is spending money and money for food (accommodation is free). The amount of spending money depends on your personal purchasing behavior. I have seen students living off $100 a week, and I have seen students spending $3,000 and more over the course of three weeks. Please note that although you will be staying for free, you are expected to pay for meals (just as you would be at home) and some individual transportation. 

Germany Trip

SURVIVAL
Help, I don't speak any German!
Not a problem. All classes will be in English, and most Germans have a working knowledge of English. Nevertheless, once there, we may offer you a free crash course in German.

What if I get lost?
Germany is a relatively safe place if you take the usual precautions (don't walk dark alleys at night, etc.), so DON'T PANIC. If you are lost, you can ask any German in the street for help. Most Germans are very supportive in those situations. You may also find a phone booth and dial one of the three numbers that will be provided to you (your host's number, your instructor's number, the International Office's number). If you have money, you could take a taxi. In severe cases you might want to call the police (dial 1-1-0). On trips, we will always identify specific points where we could meet every other hour or so if someone is lost. 

How much money do I need to bring?
Good question. How much are you planning to spend? You can definitely get along with about $150 per week, probably even with $100. But don't calculate with less than that. If you bring $400 to $600 spending money for two weeks, you will certainly have enough money to have a very good time.

Should I bring cash or a credit card?
Both. Even better, bring American Express Traveler's Checks. Credit card usage is not nearly as common in Germany as it is in the United States. If you don't like to carry too much cash, bring Traveler's Checks! You have to order them through your bank and can turn them into cash at every German bank (during their office hours: M-F 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.).

What if my parents need to contact me?
You should provide your parents with your host's phone number and the number of the International Office in Lüneburg.

What are Germans like?
Very, very different. Just check them out, you will have fun...

What is the German weather like?
In May, it could be anything between a rainy and windy 55 degrees F, and a warm and sunny 90 degrees F. The truth is probably in the middle. Bring some light summer clothes, but definitely also a warm sweater and a rain jacket!

Is Germany dangerous?
Lüneburg itself is a very safe place. Hamburg and Berlin are like any large city in the United States, you are fine as long as you take the usual precautions. The probability of becoming a victim of a violent crime is very low in Germany. However, as everywhere, the more alcohol you drink, the greater the likelihood of becoming involved in some ugly stuff. Therefore, the consumption of alcoholic beverages is strongly discouraged. If you drink enough alcohol to put yourself or others at risk (as evaluated by Dr. Shaughnessy), you will be sent home at your own expense.

Anything else I need to know about Germany?
There are many things you may want to know. For example, you need to bring an adapter if you want to use your blow-dryer. For this kind of information, just surf the Internet. It's packed with information. A good place to start could be the German Embassy in Washington www.germany-info.org.

I have never traveled. What should I bring?
Okay. Place everything you ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY need on your bed. Then take 25% of it. In other words, we are usually taking too much, rather than too little. Remember, Germany is a developed nation, so even if you leave something behind that you will suddenly need, you will be able to obtain it over there. You may also want to ask students who went in the past or have a practice run. Pack everything you intend to take in one suitcase and then LIVE OUT OF THAT for two weeks. If you can't, then you need to repack. Also, at the end of the week, if you didn't use something, then don't take it (except for the warm sweater and the rain jacket!). You definitely need to bring shoes that are comfortable for walking (tennis shoes or alike); there will be a lot of walking.

ACADEMIC

What are the prerequisites?
You need to be an LSUS undergraduate student. You need to be approved by Dr. Shaughnessy. Other than that, there are no general prerequisites.

Do we earn credit hours?
Yes, you will earn 3 undergraduate credit hours if you register and pass.

Do I need to buy a textbook?
No, there will be no textbook. Reading materials will be distributed. German professors work with handouts.

Where and when do I need to register?
First of all, you can only register after receiving Dr. Shaughnessy's confirmation that you are on board. Do not register online or by phone. Come and see Dr. Shaughnessy before you register, otherwise your registration will not count and you will not be able to go.

When are the payments due?
For planning purchases and to indicate your definite intent to participate, you are asked to pay the $250 nonrefundable fee as soon as possible. There is no specific due date for that contribution. However, as soon as you are absolutely certain you will go, you should make the contribution, because slots will fill up fast (the contribution guarantees your right to participate). The tuition for the course is due by May (before we leave).

Are there going to be pre-trip meetings?
Yes, there may be meetings before we actually leave. Dr. Shaughnessy will keep you posted on the exact dates and locations.

What kind of classes are we going to attend in Germany?
There will be classes in marketing, management, finance, economics, organizational behavior, business law, and business psychology, among others. Most classes will focus on Europe.

Is class attendance mandatory?
Absolutely YES, YES, YES. If you want a passing grade for the course, you will have to attend all classes and be punctual. The German professors will prepare classes JUST for us, so it would be outright disrespectful not to attend. Dr. Shaughnessy will take attendance and will also administer a final exam.

What kind of trips are we going to make?
We will definitely make trips to Berlin (with overnight stay) and Hamburg, visit companies (for example, Volkswagen in Wolfsburg), check out a ship elevator, and see a former concentration camp. In addition, there are a number of leisure activities.

Will the instructor be with us all the time?
During all activities outside Lüneburg, yes, Dr. Shaughnessy will. During the normal everyday schedule, no, he may not. As a matter of fact, the professor will be largely invisible during your activities within Lüneburg, and you (the students) will be by yourselves. This is part of the the whole experience. The long-leash principle has worked well in the past so we'll stick to it.

How will we be graded?
Attendance, Final Exam, and general behavior and attitude. The grade will be PASS or FAIL.

What will the Final Exam be like?
This is up to the German professors. The exam is not too hard.

ACTIVITIES

Will our German hosts spend a lot of time with us?
Some will, some won't. They are not required to, but if they are willing to, you should certainly take advantage of it.

Do I have to pay for activities?
The major costs for the activities (hotel, transportation, etc.) will be covered by the fee. You will be required to cover the typical basic expenses yourself (food, beverages, tips, barbecue, etc.).

Will we have time to go shopping?
For those of you who want to spend some extra money, we'll have a shopping day in Hamburg and sufficient shopping time in Berlin and Lüneburg.

How are we going to move around?
You will walk or cycle to school, or you hosts will give you a ride. We will have a bus available for the road trips.

Are we going to go to parties?
Definitely! You may even be able to go to the famous Haifischparty , a party previous participants are still talking about.

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES

I want to go! Now, what do I have to do?
First of all, you are asked to see Dr. Shaughnessy. You will then have to pay the nonrefundable $250 fee. The contribution has to be paid at the Division of Continuing Education and guarantees your right to participate. Also, you have to keep in touch with Dr. Shaughnessy through the email list (please read all incoming emails carefully!). You will need to bring a picture to Dr. Shaughnessy and fill out a sheet with some basic information about yourself (smoker/nonsmoker, allergies, fear of dogs, ability to ride a bicycle, etc.). You need to buy an airplane ticket and get a passport. Provide the instructor with your itinerary so that you will get picked up at the airport in Hamburg! AND: If you decide not to go after all, please let the instructor know.

What kind of papers and visas do I need to bring?
You need a valid passport! Please keep in mind that the process to obtain a passport can take two or more months; apply early (you should have a passport anyway, whether or not you go on this trip - passports are valid ten years and you never know when you will need one at a short notice, so it's money well spent)! For other requirements, check out the German embassy in Washington (http://www.germany-info.org) or any other country you are a citizen of.

Do I have to buy the plane ticket by myself?
Yes. The students are responsible for their own travel arrangements.

POST-TRIP ISSUES

Can I stay in Lüneburg for a few more days?
Generally not a problem. However, you will have to talk to your host about it.

Who is giving me a ride to the airport on the way back?
Your host or some other student.

I would like to travel through Europe...
The most important thing here is to organize yourself BEFORE leaving. The cheapest rail passes can only be bought while you are still in the United States. You should try to talk to some of the other students who are going, and definitely also to students who have gone in the past.

CONTACT

Who should I talk to if I have additional questions?
For questions regarding donations, program design, hosting, or travel, and for general information and concerns, please contact e-mail Dr. Tim Shaughnessy or call 318-797-5334.