Keeping in Touch
Keeping the Lines of Communication Open
One of the countless benefits of being a University of Rochester student is the ease and abundance of communication between students, families, faculty, and staff. This also holds true while you are studying abroad. You've already discovered that we begin our regular communications with you long before you depart. We have also mailed an information packet to your parents/guardians describing study abroad policies, costs and billing procedures, and information about health and safety.
Overseas Address Form: Common sense and recent world events necessitate that your parents provide us with their contact information. You also will need to provide us with your overseas address, phone number and e-mail, once they become available. A form for this purpose is included in your Pre-departure packet, which you received when you attended the mandatory pre-departure meeting. You can also submit your overseas address using an on-line form on the web site of the Center for Study Abroad.
Contacting UR: The Pre-departure Handbook also includes contact information for key UR offices. If you need to contact the Parking Office, for example, when you are abroad, you'll have that information at hand. Space is provided for you to write down the name and contact information of your UR advisers: academic, major, minor, and certificate. Even if you speak to these advisers and obtain their approval of your courses before you go abroad (as well you should), your course schedule may change. If, for example, you discover a new course once you arrive overseas, it will be essential to have your adviser's e-mail address available to secure approval for that course.
You are welcome to contact the Center for Study Abroad while you are away. We especially like to receive postcards (hint, hint) from the exciting places you are visiting. Click here for a worldwide list of zip codes and postal codes. We are always available during regular office hours by mail, e-mail, fax or telephone. Keep in mind when contacting anyone at UR that there is a time difference of anywhere from two to 16 hours. This means that you normally won't get an immediate response to your electronic communication. Please allow 24-48 hours; faculty and staff are just as busy as you are!
Program Directors: Most of you will have on-site Program Directors and we ask you to provide their contact information, as well as yours, on the Overseas Address Form. Their roles are very important and they should be your first line of contact. They will not only orient you to your study abroad location, but will be available for all kinds of assistance: academic, housing, everyday living, health and safety issues, and more. If you have a question or concern, for example, about your housing situation overseas, consult them first, since they are on location and have the knowledge necessary to help you get what you need to make your studies successful.
Mailings While You're Abroad : While you are abroad, you may be out of sight, but not out of mind. We will send you occasional group e-mails, if a situation necessitates. The Office of Residential Life and the Parking Office may also be in touch with you to help you plan for your return semester. When you return, we will send you a study abroad questionnaire as part of a "Welcome Back" e-mailing.
Web Access: Most of you will be in places with relatively easy World Wide Web access, either at your program center, university computing center, residence, or cyber cafes. Don't be surprised to find time limits and/or fees assessed for this service. Be considerate of any regulations, and above all, read the section in your Pre-departure Handbook, which explains your e-mail options while overseas. After you've gotten over any initial homesickness, spend less time on-line, and more time exploring your new surroundings and community.
Phone Service and Email: You may wish to consider obtaining a cell phone for your stay overseas; some programs even include them as part of the program. Most programs will help students to acquire cell phones, either by selling recycled phones or directing them to purchase one. If you already own a cell phone, check with your service provider, as most American phones do not work outside the United States or are prohibitively expensive to use. As you would here, be sure you've read (or get help to read) the fine print on the contract. Failure to do so can result in staggering phone bills.
Minimally, you will want to look into phone cards, which can make the expense of international calling slightly less acute. If you have questions about telephones, direct them to your program provider and to study abroad returnees. For more information on telephoning to/from overseas locations, including international calling codes, try the AT&T web site. Remember, of course, to take into account the difference in time zones when making international calls.
Likewise, be aware that few American students (normally only those directly enrolled in an overseas university) have free and relatively unlimited access to email. Computer labs and Internet cafes are generally not open as late as they are here. Shopping around can save you a lot, because the high demand is lowering prices everywhere. One huge British chain, http://www.easyeverything.com is opening new locations all over Europe, and the price changes hourly according to number of users. You may also find that pre-buying hours is your best option. You'll need to strike a balance; stay in touch, but don't live vicariously back at UR. Periodically, during the semester, the Center for Study Abroad will communicate with you via email (faster and more reliable than overseas mail).
The Center for Study Abroad will use your UR email account to send you official correspondence. Therefore, you are responsible for maintaining and checking your UR mail account. The Center for Study Abroad will not send emails to alternate email accounts. See below for information about how to access your email account from abroad.
Keep in touch!
Using Email From Overseas
Important Information from University IT
What you should do before you leave for your trip abroad:
- Setup a password secret question and answer in case you forget your password—Go to http://mail.rochester.edu/password.html and click setup a "security question & answer." If you have an @mail.rochester.edu account choose the first option listed. If you do NOT have an @mail.rochester.edu account choose the second option listed.
- Make sure you remember your password.
There are two ways to check your UR Gmail account while you are abroad:
- Use the new UR Gmail web interface to email available at http://mail.u.rochester.edu
- Forward your UR Gmail account to another account.
To set forwarding on your UR Gmail account access the account via http://mail.u.rochester.edu. Access your UR Gmail account using your netid/password combination. In the upper right corner of your account page click the "Settings" link. You will see a tab called "Forwarding and POP/IMAP". The first section of this tab provides forwarding options.
Do not forget your password!
If you plan on accessing your email account while you are studying abroad, do not forget your netid and associated password for your account! If you forget your password, University IT WILL NOT reset your password over the phone. If you forget your password AND you have already set a security question you can do the following:
To try to reset your password using your security question please go to http://www.rochester.edu/its/netid. On that page you will see a link entitled "Forgot my password" Click the link to get started. Then click the link for "Reset your password". If you have an @mail.rochester.edu account choose the second option listed. If you do not have an @mail.rochester.edu account choose the third option listed.
You will be asked for your username/netid and your 8 digit student URID#. Once you add in the information and click submit your security question will appear. You will need to answer the question exactly as you did when you originally set up the question/answer.
If this fails you must fill out a "Long Distance Password Reset Request" form and send University IT proper identification by mail or fax to get your password reset. To get a copy of this form on-line, you can go to: http://www.rochester.edu/its/forms/ldpassword.html
The "vacation responder" option in UR Gmail
The "vacation responder" option allows you to notify people that you are studying abroad. It will automatically reply to any email message you receive directly and notify the sender that you are not reading your email. The vacation responder option will still save all of the email you receive in your account so that you can read it when you return. To set the "vacation responder" option on your UR Gmail account please go to http://mail.u.rochester.edu
Access your UR Gmail account using your netid/password combination.
In the upper right corner of your account page click the "Settings" link.
On the General tab there is an option called Vacation Responder.
Set the option to "on" and complete the subject/message criteria.
To find out more about this option click the "Learn more" link located in the option box.
When you return from your study abroad experience you will need to go back to the vacation responder option in your UR Gmail account settings page to disable the vacation messages from going out to users sending to your UR Gmail account.
If you do not plan to check your email while abroad:
- If you will not be checking your email regularly, UNSUBSCRIBE from any mailing lists that you may belong to so that your inbox does not fill up while you are away.
- DO NOT tell anyone your password or allow them to read your email while you are away.
- Set the "vacation responder" option before you leave to send an automatic reply to any email you receive, letting the sender know that you are away from your email. See above for more details.
A few final words about email
- NEVER give anyone your PASSWORD, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, or any other important personal identifying information about you through email. Email is a very insecure medium for transferring this information. The Systems Administrator and UNIX Consultants will NEVER ask you for your password or social security number.
- Review University IT policies and procedures before going abroad so you can make sure you understand how to get help if you need it.
To find out more about University IT policies, please go to the following UR web site: http://www.rochester.edu/it
You will find information including our policies, on-line documentation, etc. If you have any questions or problems while you are away, please send them to: UnivITHelp@rochester.edu