Tulane University (Orleans)

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1 You are requested to write on the following topics. Text boxes will expand automatically while typing. Preparation Exchange/placement application process: The exchange application process was pretty easy, but take enough time to fill out all the forms. Also take enough time to get your visa approved by the US Embassy, since it can take a very long time. Counselling/support at home university: The International Office is very helpful, so if you have a question you can always or call them or just walk into the office. You can also attend the information and Q&A meetings, where most of your questions will be answered. Some students tell stories about their exchange program, which gives a lot of helpful and fun insights. Academic preparation: For some courses at Tulane University prerequisites were needed, so you could not follow those courses. There was no academic preparation needed. The level of Law School in the United States should be at the same level as the Master program in the Netherlands, but it is around the same level in my opinion. Language preparation: A TOEFL test with a result above the 80 was required. If you are doing the exchange program in the Fall semester you can do an English course at Tulane, but if your English is at a decent level I don t think that is necessary. I went to Tulane in the Spring semester and didn t take any extra English courses and managed just fine. Finances: Tulane University requires you to have a certain amount of money and you have to show a bank statement to this extent. The study materials and Tulane health insurance are really expensive (books are around $200 each and the insurance is $1100 for one semester). You should try to get insurance at an alternative insurance company, which will be around $400. I took ISO Insurance. Study/placement abroad period Study programme/work plan (concerning content and organisational issues): You can choose your courses before going on your exchange semester to New Orleans and you should definitely do that on time. You can always drop or change courses during the first few weeks of your semester. It s easier to drop courses than to change them, since a lot of courses are already full. I followed the courses International Human Rights, Constitutional Criminal Law: Investigative, Constitutional Law: Freedom of Speech and Press and Business Enterprises. I found

2 all the courses really interesting and enjoyed studying the American legal system. Academic quality of education/placement activities: The quality of the education was in my opinion better than at the University of Utrecht. Every course had two lectures per week, varying in time in accordance with the amount of credits (usually 1 hour and 20 minutes). The lectures also varied in size, from 30 to 100 people. There were no working groups, as we are used to in Utrecht. The professors did ask questions and expected active participation. There were no writing tasks you had to prepare for each class, only reading assignments. Depending on the kind of course you are following, you get either one test at the end of the semester or also midterms/essays. I only had the 100% tests at the end of the semester and has a lot of time during the semester but had to study harder at the end because of that. Counselling/support at host institution/organisation: At Tulane Ms. Landry does all the support for the Law students, so all the questions about your visa, changing of courses and other questions can be directed at her and she will answer them or redirect you if needed. There are enough people to help you out with any problem you might have with your stay at Tulane. Transfer of credits: At the end of your semester you have to transfer your credits from Tulane to Utrecht. This has to be done through a website and your official transcript of records will be send to Utrecht by or mail ($8). Student life Welcome/orientation programme: For the Spring semester there are two days of introduction before the classes start. It is a great way to meet all the international students and to get to know the campus and all the services Tulane provides (and there are a lot!). Accommodation: Tulane does not have enough on-campus housing available for international students. Some international students did get to live on-campus, but said it was overpriced and not as great as expected. There are a lot of apartments close by the campus, which are great to live in. There is Facebook group called TU s Off-campus Residents Association (OCRA) on which a lot of people post ads for renting their apartments. Some people also post ads for their apartments in the group Tulane Classifieds (a great group to buy or sell your stuff). Leisure/culture: In your free time there are so many things to do in New Orleans. Tulane University has a great variety of sports teams you can join, a very good gym where you can work out, a lot of associations and groups you can join and do activities with and there is a bar next to the campus called the Boot, which has a lot of happy hours and specials.

3 However, New Orleans has so much more to offer besides Tulane University and its campus. Mardi Gras, a carnival lasting for 3 weeks in January and February, is something you should not miss out on! So if it s possible, plan to go on exchange in the Spring semester. Also, New Orleans is famous for its music, especially Jazz, Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll. There is a street in the French Quarter called Frenchmen street where every night in every bar really good live music is played. On Bourbon street there are a few bars in which live music is played as well and besides that a lot of clubs and bars. All the drunk tourists are found on Bourbon street as well. New Orleans is also famous for its food. When you re there, definitely try the Po boy (sandwich with fried seafood), Jambalaya (rice dish), Gumbo (soup), Crawfish (sort of spicy, small lobsters, only in Spring) and the delicious Oysters. Furthermore, New Orleans is built over a swamp, so when you re there you should definitely do a swamp tour on which you will see alligators. Also do a plantation tour if you have the chance, where you will see how the slaves were hold in the South before the Revolution. Suggestions/tips: There are so many things to do in New Orleans. I would advise you to not only stay uptown (close to the campus), but also go to different parts of New Orleans. I really enjoyed all the live music on Frenchmen street and the French Quarter itself. Just make sure you re not staying in your Tulane bubble but go out and make the most of your stay. Conclusions Would you recommend this host organisation/destination to others? Please explain: Yes, definitely! I had such an amazing time studying at Tulane and living in New Orleans. I would do it all over again if I had the chance and I would definitely advise everybody to go to New Orleans! It is such a lively and beautiful city, with amazing locals, known for its great festivals, Jazz and Blues, great food, great weather in Spring and a great university. Do you have any additional advice or comments?: If you have the time and money and if you re into that, you should go traveling after your stay. The USA has so many beautiful places to visit and you have 30 days after your exams to travel in the USA. If you re not 21 yet you cannot enter most bars, so don t forget about that preparation exchange/placement application process The application process was pretty straightforward, but of course you need to take your time to fill in the forms and get all the info and documents you need. It takes a while and

4 not everything goes smoothly but in the end it s all worth it. If you re in doubt about something, don t hesitate to ask the International Office at Utrecht University or Tulane University. They re more than willing to help! counselling/support at home university The information meetings at Utrecht University were very useful to get to know all the ins and outs of going abroad. It gets you motivated and thinking about where you want to go and what you need to do before you can actually enjoy spending your time abroad. And again, don t hesitate to ask questions! You can go to Q&A meetings, send an or just walk into the office. academic preparation I was in my masters when I went abroad. There was no extra academic preparation necessary. language preparation For Tulane University there was no language requirement, but they do offered an Intensive English Course before the start of university. I did attend the course and it was really nice to get acquainted with English once again before starting with Law School, but it s not necessary if your English is already up to date. finances Tulane University requires you to have a certain amount of money, which you need to present to them by giving them a bank statement. The amount required was in my case sufficient for housing, books, living costs (food, furnishing et cetera), travelling in the USA, bars, dinners and cultural expenses, but it s always useful to have some extra money, just in case. study/placement abroad period study programme/work plan (concerning content and organisational issues) It was difficult and fun to choose all the courses. Difficult because there were so many great options to choose from and because you have to fit them all into your schedule. Fun because it s really exciting to follow these courses at an American University. Keep in mind that not all the courses are offered every semester. So don t get your hopes up to high when you browse the website. But I m sure you ll find something that really appeals to you. I chose the following courses: International Criminal Law, Family Law, Negotiation and Mediation Advocacy and Comparative Constitutional Law. I really enjoyed all of them. Negotiation and Mediation was a practical course, you had to negotiate a lot,

5 it was very interesting and challenging and a good way to get to know your fellow American students and practice your English. I would also recommend choosing a course that focuses on American Law, in my case Family Law, because it gives you the opportunity to experience the differences (and similarities) in the Dutch and American Law systems. academic quality of education/placement activities The average quality of education was quite similar to ours. The way in which they teach is a bit different. At the Law School they only give lectures, not small working groups. But in the lectures they do ask questions. So it s kind of a combination between a lecture and a working group. Also, for most courses the preparation only contains reading material. You don t have any writing tasks. counselling/support at host institution/organisation The counselling at Tulane University was very good. You could always walk into the office and ask your questions. It was very useful to get in contact with Ms. Landry (International Office), especially before coming to the USA. She was more than willing to help to connect me to people who were subleasing their rooms and she could answer many of my other questions. student life welcome/orientation programme In the fall semester they have an introduction week, in the spring (when I attended) only a one-day introduction. You should definitely go to this introduction; it s a great way to get in contact with other international students. It also helps you to get an idea of what will be happening the coming months. They talk a lot about safety, so much that you don t feel safe at all. But you just have to get used to the fact that it s not safe to walk alone in the dark. Just walk with your friends or use the shuttle, which Tulane provides. accommodation It can be difficult to find housing when you re still in the Netherlands but it s definitely possible. Like I said before, just get in contact with the International Office and look at the Tulane Classifieds Facebook page and you ll probably find something you like. leisure/culture New Orleans is very different from the rest of the cities in the USA; it s quite a unique city. It s way more relaxed and has more history to it than most cities. There are a lot of bars, museums, restaurants and in spring time definitely don t miss out on Mardi Gras and be sure to go on a swamp tour ;) There are lots of activities outdoors like food- and

6 music festivals (Jazz fest!!), canoe trips, paddle boarding et cetera (Reily Center at Tulane University) The Law School/Campus is not downtown (French Quarter), but you can get there by shuttle, car, bus or streetcar. suggestions/tips You can use the Reily Center at Tulane University for free! (gym, pool et cetera). conclusions would you recommend this host organisation/destination to others? please explain I would really recommend going to Tulane University in New Orleans. I had a wonderful time!! I met so many new people, made new friends, explored New Orleans and the rest of the south of the USA. It was something I ll never forget. do you have any additional advice or comments? Be open minded and let yourself be impressed by the city and Tulane University! If you re graduating right after you return to the Netherlands please make sure that you have the transcript a.s.a.p. so that you can give it on time to the Examencommissie. If you re one day too late you ll miss out on the graduation ceremony and they won t make any exceptions, which is very disappointing.

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