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There are many things to prepare for and organize before your departure from your home country to your study abroad location. Essential information will be communicated to you via email after you are accepted to FIE. 

In addition to any home-school preparation students might have, pre-departure orientation sessions led by FIE staff take place online and sometimes on partner campuses to get you ready for your study abroad experience.  

PREPARING FOR DUBLIN EMAILS

In the months prior to your arrival, you'll receive important information about your study abroad program through our 'Preparing for Dublin' email series. These communications will include important information on your programme such as immigration information, semester dates, accommodation details, what to pack, guidelines on health, safety and medication and much more.

You must check your email inbox (including your junk mail) regularly so that you don't miss any important communications. We also recommend that you add any @fie.org.uk emails to your safe senders list. Please also ensure that the email address that you provided on your application is correct.  

IMMIGRATION INFORMATION

Fall and Spring semester students 

  

SUMMER STUDENTS  

  

STAYING SAFE AND CONNECTED IN DUBLIN AND ABROAD

At FIE, your safety and security is our primary concern. In addition to the regularly scheduled safety and security information, you will receive as part of your countdown emails and orientation, we wanted to pass on some tips and guidance now that will help you as you get ready for life abroad: 

  • Have a working accessible mobile (cell) phone and provide your mobile phone number to FIE and provide the number via www.studyabroad.fie.org.uk- this should be done immediately upon arrival via request from FIE Dublin staff.
  • US citizens should enroll in the US State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program  (STEP) - this will enable you to receive security messages as well as make it easier to locate you with information and support should an emergency arise in any city you're traveling in
  • Non-US citizens should register with their country's embassy and respective program
  • Research your country’s nearest embassy or consulate in any location you plan to travel to outside of Ireland and make note of their contact information - U.S. citizens/permanent residents can check this information on the US Department of State's website
  • Add This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to your Safe Senders list and check your junk mail folder to prevent missing important safety email correspondence from FIE  

As always, it is best to be proactive about things like these – if you have questions about your health and safety while preparing for your time in Dublin, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PRE-APPLICATION IDENTITY AND DIVERSITY QUERIES

Study abroad students of all backgrounds face unique challenges in adjusting to their host country and cultural nuances. FIE encourages students to reflect that as a study abroad student, you bring more than just physical belongings with you to the host country, but also your personal culture, background, experience, values, interests, and identity.

FIE seeks to support students with their adjustment process as much as possible. As you are preparing to apply for your FIE study abroad program, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, concerns, and support needs around aspects related to your identities, such as diversity, background, LGBTQ+, religion and faith, first-generation, disabilities, veteran or any other aspects related to your own self.

If you are interested in setting up a time to talk with an FIE staff member about these concerns, please email our Diversity & Inclusivity Leads at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

 London Tower Bridge 2

There are many things to prepare for and organize before your departure from your home country to your study abroad location. Essential information will be communicated to you through your student portal and email after you are accepted to FIE. 

In addition to any home-school preparation students might have, pre-departure orientations on partner campuses are often conducted by a visiting FIE staff member.  You will also be emailed pre-departure guides to help them with their preparation. 

 

Preparing for london emails

Prior to your arrival, you will receive important information about your program through our 'Preparing for London' email series.  Please check your Inbox and Junk regularly!  Please ensure that the email address that you provided on your application is correct. 

You will receive the following communications: 

 

IMMIGRATION INFORMATION

Please see the following information to determine the type of visa you require. You will get the password to access our immigration guides once you have received an offer to study with us.

 

STAYING SAFE AND CONNECTED 

At FIE, your safety and security is our primary concern. Expect regular communication from FIE during your program, with guidance on how to stay safe in London and further afield. Before your arrive, read through our personal safety, health and emergency incidents webpages, and prepare the following:

 

WHAT TO PACK & OTHER ARRIVAL FAQS

It can be hard to know what to bring with you for your study abroad program in London. For a helpful list of what to pack and for answers to other frequently asked questions, visit our Arrival FAQ page. 

 

DIVERSITY INQUIRIES

Study abroad students of all backgrounds face unique challenges in adjusting to their host country and cultural nuances. FIE encourages students to reflect that as a study abroad student, you bring more than just physical belongings with you to the host country, but also your personal culture, background, experience, values, interests, and identity.

FIE seeks to support students with their adjustment process as much as possible. As you are preparing to apply for your FIE study abroad programme, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, concerns and support needs around aspects related to your identity, such as diversity, background, LGBTQ+, religion and faith, first generation, disabilities, veteran or any other aspects related to your own self.

If you are interested in setting up a time to talk with an FIE staff member about these concerns, please email our Diversity & Inclusivity Leads at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

CREATING A SUPPORTIVE LIVING & LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

Residence Life Supervisors (RLS) are situated in all FIE residences. They are available to assist you with various residence life questions and concerns outside of Foundation House office hours. They're also a great source of info about London life, including places to get discounts, find specific types of food, nightlife, and travel! Unlike many US universities, FIE RLS are not undergraduate students. We are proud to have an elite team of academics pursuing postgraduate study or employed in the education sector in London.

Residence Life Supervisors operate an on-call system and there is always one available during weeknights and weekends. If you require their assistance or support, contact the Facilities Support Desk at Metrogate House who will then send out the RLS on-call:

+44 (0)207 808 0130

+44 (0)207 808 0131 (Emergency Number)

General queries regarding Residence Life can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

General queries regarding Facilities and Housekeeping can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (remember, you can report non-urgent maintenance issues using our online form)

 

The RLS seek to foster a truly communal living and learning experience for our students, with a focus on providing diverse, inclusive, and welcoming safe spaces. You'll see them around the halls as well as in Foundation House as many of them hold other positions at FIE such as in the Student Life Team or working as Writing Support Tutors. We hope you get to know our RLS team and utilize their knowledge and talents! 

 

FIE Image Library Residences 11 Res Life Webpage Image 6 FIE Image Library Residences 23

As you prepare to study abroad, you are undoubtedly feeling a variety of emotions: excitement, curiosity, anxiety or even bewilderment. Generally speaking, American students going to English-speaking countries, such as England or Ireland, do not anticipate feeling culture shock because they speak the same language. Students and travelers going to non-English speaking countries are often better prepared to experience difficulties in communication and interpreting cultural clues because of the language barrier. Students studying in English-speaking countries are faced with subtle, more disguised differences that can take them by surprise.

Be prepared to undergo some culture shock. There are lots of adjustments that you will need to make in your habits and attitude, but keep an open mind and take it in stride. Moving to any new country is a real challenge, but it is also a very exciting opportunity to learn.

Culture shock affects everyone differently - some people feel the impact in the first few days because of all the changes, while others find themselves feeling homesick weeks later after the novelty of the new place has worn off. Remember you're all going through this together and everyone experiences some form of it.


WHAT IS CULTURE SHOCK?

A feeling of confusion, doubt, or nervousness caused by being in a place (such as a foreign country) that is very different from what you are used to. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

 

               STAGE 1: 

  THE HONEYMOON STAGE

                      STAGE 2:

          THE HOSTILITY STAGE

                   STAGE 3:

          THE HUMOR STAGE

             STAGE 4:

       THE HOME STAGE

 Characterized by exhilaration, anticipation and excitement.  The individual is fascinated with everything that is new.  An individual in this stage will often demonstrate an eagerness to please, a spirit of cooperation, and an active interest in new things.  They will gloss over misunderstandings and frustration. When these emotions build, they often enter stage 2.  Characterized by frustration, anger, anxiety, and sometimes depression.  Following the initial excitement is a frustration with the bureaucracy.  Sleeping and eating patterns may be disrupted.  Sometimes individuals react to this frustration by rejecting the new environment in which they feel discomfort.  The internal reasoning might be, “If I feel bad, it’s because of them,” thus blaming the external environment for the bad internal feelings.  When the individual of another culture begins to relax in a new situation and begins to laugh at minor mistakes and misunderstandings that previously would have caused major headaches.  This more relaxed stage occurs after the individual has made some friends and is able to manage the complexity of the new environment, understand the work, and experience successes.  Occurs when the individual not only retains allegiance to his or her home culture, but also ‘feels at home’ in his or her newly acquired one.  This student has successfully adjusted to the norms and standards of the new environment and should be commended for the ability to live successfully in two cultures.

 


HOW TO HANDLE CULTURE SHOCK

If you find yourself feeling a little culture shocked or homesick, it helps if you set goals:

  • What do you want to see?
  • Where do you want to go?
  • What type of events, museums, theater productions or historic locations do you hope to visit? 
  • What do you want to get out of your experience abroad?

Resources available:

Additionally, familiarize yourself with current events and pop culture in your new city. Read local papers and magazines; watch local television and listen to local radio stations. Contact the Student Life Team in London or the FIE Dublin Team with any concerns or questions you have about culture shock. Before you know it, you'll find that your new city feels like home.


REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK

Once you've grown accustomed to life in London or Dublin, the time will come to return home. You may find that you have changed and grown with your experiences abroad and that it is difficult to assimilate back into life in your home country. Read more about Reverse Culture Shock after leaving your study abroad program in the When You Get Back - Reverse Culture Shock page.

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