Welcome and congratulations once again for being accepted onto the Washington Placement program. This page contains helpful info and links for you to access as you prepare for DC and for when you are on the ground.
For further information throughout the program, please join our facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/groups/500345584136517/ This page will be used for reminders about what needs to be completed, but please also use this site to ask questions, share advice and travel tips!
All students must enrol in USSC3703, US Studies Internship unit and will do so through special permission. If you want USSC3703 to count toward your major, please let me know before departure as this may be possible. I will be in touch later in the year with instructions about how to complete your enrolment into USSC3703.
In addition to USSC3703, you will also need to enroll in 2 units of study at UCDC in November (I will send an email to everyone when UCDC enrolments open). All unit outlines are now available HERE for you to look at before enrolment and all units will be pre-approved for general FASS elective credit, and The Business School will also honour this credit. This means that if you are a business students, the 2 UCDC units will count as 6 elective credits toward your degree (arts). If you are an Arts students, this will still be the case, but you may be able to have the DC units counted as specific elective credit i.e. government elective credit. I will also be asking the government department to pre-approve units-last year, they approved 4 out of 6, and my aim is to get any government units pre approved before the November enrolment date. If you still have questions about credit approval, please just let me know!
You do not need to receive credit for the 2 units you do at UCDC, but you must attend class and complete assesments as this is part of your visa requirements. I also recommend using your UCDC transcript for future internships, jobs or study opportunites and encourage all students to do well in these subjects.
In November, you will need to complete a roommate questionnaire (link will be emailed to you by me). It is through this you can request a roommate if you wish. You don't need to request someone from USYD/UWA, they will randomly assign you with the best match based on your questionnaire. All studnet dorm rooms at UCDC house 4 students, 2 students to each bedroom/bathroom with a shared kitchen and common area.
Futher information on housing and residential life while you are in DC can be found on the UCDC website. I recommend looking through this as they give great tips on planning your arrival, where to get supplies and where to eat! There is also a mandatory information session (details at the bottom of this page) on the first Monday you will be in DC. All other relevant information will be gone over by UCDC staff on that day.
Please note that all students must stay at UCDC (part of the program conditions) and must follow the rules as listed on their website-this applies to ALL students, not just those coming from other UC campuses. The move in dates are Saturday or Sunday, 4/5 January with activites begining Sunday night. Internships and classes will end on Thursday 5 March, but you don't need to check out until Saturday 7 March. Please plan your travel accordingly (after your visa interview and when you have recieved your passport back with F-1 visa).
We will have a group visa session in November. I will send an email out to students about a week before this session with further instructions. These instructions also outline what you need to bring with you to your visa interview. Please make sure you have all items with you for your appointment. If you have questions before you go to your interview, please let me know.
The USSC only recommends that you purchase your flights after you have your passport back with F-1 visa. The US Studies Centre will not be responsible for any flight change fees that may be required if there is a delay in your visa process. We do not expect any delays to occur, but it's completely dependent on the US Consulate processing times.
For your F-1 visa, you will be issued an I-20 form from UCLA extension. As we will go over at the visa session, you will need to treat this item like your passport. If you are planning on traveling outside the US on this trip (i.e. Mexico or Canada) you will need to get the second page of this form signed (by the main office in Los Angeles). If you are headed to the US earlier than the program start date, I would recommend stopping in LA to have this signed. If you are not, you will need to Fedex the form to LA AFTER your arrive in the US to get this signed (do not do this before getting to the US as you need this form to enter the US). Please make sure in either instace you contact the office first to arrange a time to come in or for them to expect your shipment. The office details are:
UCLA Extension - International Student Office
10995 Le Conte Avenue, Room 118
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Phone: (310) 825-9351
Hours: Monday through Friday
Phone Inquiries: 9am-4:30pm
Walk-in hours: 2pm-4:30pm
Their website is located here for any further information you may need. The website has a lot of useful information about traveling, especially if you are planning on travelling around after the program end date.
If you are only planning on travelling domestically around the US, you don't need to worry about having your I-20 signed.
Thank you so much for coming to the pre-departure session. At the session we covered the student handbook, please find a copy of the handbook HERE. We also we over the student behavior contract, you can find a copy HERE, so you have a further record of what you have signed.
Students on this program are covered by The University of Sydney/ University of Western Australia health insurance as well as UCLA insurance. Further details for UCLA insurance will come closer to the start date of the program, but please review your home institution insurance before heading to the US, so you know what you are and aren't covered for.
Please note that both UCLA and home institution insruance only cover you for the program dates (with a day or two on either side to allow for travel). Your F-1 visa allows you to enter ther country 30 days prior to the start date of the program and stay for 60 days after the program end date. If you chose to spend additional time in the US, outside of the program dates, you will need to purchase additional insurance.
If you're traveling on a US passport, i'll speak to you separately about insurance information.
During your time in DC we will have a few group activities. Please make sure you save the following dates:
Sunday 5 January at 7.30pm. You will all meet Vik in the UCDC lobby and head out for a group dinner-this is a causual dinner close by where we can all check in. If you need to reach vik via email, his details are firstname.lastname@example.org (also in the handbook)
Monday 6 January at 11am. This is a mandatory session run by the residential life team to go over all information you need to know about the building and UCDC staff. Lunch will be provided after (noting that all internships start on Tuesday 7 January and all host companies are aware).
Modnay 6 January at 2.30-We will have a briefing at the Embassy this afternoon. You will meet Vik in the UCDC lobby at 2.10pm and walk over as a group.
Wednesday 22 January at 6.00pm. Host company and student reception hosted at Darlington House, 1610 20th St NW (close to UCDC). We invite all of the host companies and students to come together as a thank you for their participation.
Friday 24 January at 10.30am. We will meet in the UCDC lobby and take some group photos on our way to Rio Tinto, so please ensure you are in business attire.
Friday 24 January at 12pm. Each year, Rio Tinto hosts our group for lunch to share what they do and to engage students in a discussion. Lunch provided.
Late March 2020, date/time TBC: Welcome back reception in Sydney. Further details on the day to come later.