Exchange Report Tulane University

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1 Exchange Report Tulane University Yoyo Leung Spring 2013 Exchange

2 Table of Contents Page Part I Activity Log 3 Part II General Exchange Information 4 Part III Checklist 6

3 Part I Activity Log January The semester started on Jan 12 so I arrived at New Orleans on Jan 8 to settle the accommodation stuffs earlier. I highly recommend you to arrive earlier to first gain acquainted with other exchange students and join the orientation event. You can meet all exchange students including undergraduates and postgraduates. Apart from intruding yourself, you can get a welcome package including loads of information about Tulane like this safe ride service. The weather on Jan was quite cold for me, especially at night and in the early morning. Therefore, you should bring more heavy clothes. January was an important month for you to make friends with all new faces. February I joined a Chinese Association which is held by Chinese students there so I could celebrate Chinese New Year even in the State. They always held some big dinner and party for celebrating Chinese festival. In addition, you started to get more workload and midterms on February. March March was the most exciting month for every people in New Orleans. It was Mardi Gras time! It is a French festival there with full of parades and parties. Everyone will stand in the two sides of the streets and the decorated vehicles will throw out beans and small gifts. You have to grab as many as beans and gifts as you can because it represents the more you have, the prettier you are! Try to stand awake and not to get so wasted as you have to go to the next parade after a party night. Besides, I went to Orlando during one-week long spring break. Orlando was close to New Orleans and not that expensive to travel there. Both Universal Studio and DisneyWorld there were awesome. April April was kind of busy because there were lots of projects, presentations and exams. But being an exchange student, academic was definitely not the first thing you should be worried about. In addition, Tulane held Crawfish Festival every year, which you can eat as much crawfish as you can without paying a dozen. More, there was a French Quarter Festival in downtown. French Quarter is a famous place in the world especially the bourbon street. In the festival, you can enjoy music and bear during many band shows. However, please be safe!

4 May When it comes to the last month in NOLA, I finished all my exams, presentations and projects. After getting all the academic stuffs done, it was the tome to have party and travel every corner in New Orleans. Besides, there was a Jazz Festival although I did not go there. The ticket was not cheap but it was worthwhile to go there. YOLO! There was one way to get in there freely. You can apply to become a volunteer for the festival so that you can enjoy free live music performance. Finally, I had the farewell party with my friends, packed my luggage, got back the deposit, canceled the bank account and said goodbye to NOLA with tears. Part II General Exchange Information Visa Procedures You can start applying the visa once you get the acceptance letter. I received several forms in the application package from Tulane. The health assessment form is kind of troublesome because it required me to have some specific injection before going Tulane. Therefore, I got one injection and a doctor proof at HKUST. Then, I sent back all forms and got the acceptance letter as well as visa application form (DS-2019). Finally, I can apply the visa and pay online. I took around one month in the whole process after having a very short and easy interview. Orientation Activities Before the semester started, there were some orientation events which I met all exchange students there once. However, the official orientation meeting was not my way to make friends with them. In the early time, many exchange students including me arrived few days before the orientation event so we gathered together to look for a house. Therefore, it is better for you to arrive earlier. International Services & Activities The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) provided many helps to me. Please feel free to send or walk-in the office once you have any difficulties. They are all more than nice. More, they offered so many free events to us on a regular basis. You must always keep an eye on the s sent from OISS because they will list out all coming events with a very decent price like NBA game, Mardi Gras tour and zoo trip. Apart from OISS, the International Student Office also helped me a lot especially Cooper and Janice like registering courses, receiving package and finding a house.

5 Accommodations This year, Tulane does offer on-campus housing to exchange students but the fee was a bit expensive. I got used to live alone with more privacy so I decided to rent an offcampus house. I rented a one bedroom apartment at $800 with water and gas. However, I was not alone because there were two more exchange students living on the same floor with me. We shared the internet fee and Wi-Fi. Although the rent was slightly higher than others, the neighbors were good and there were enough restaurants and supermarkets to let us survive. Most importantly, my apartment was covered by the safe ride service area. I remind you that safety must be the first priority when you select the house. Courses Registration Actually, I checked the course equivalent system before selecting the exchange choice so I could send back the course registration form immediately after getting the package. Adding or dropping courses are not difficult. I just sent the course code and timeslot via to Cooper. He helped me to finish registration. I have taken the following courses: Tulane HKUST ACCN 4110 ACCT 3020 FINE 4130 FINA Free Elective FINE 4100 FINA 4104 FINE 4120 FINA Free Elective MCOM 3010 LANG 3069 Teaching & Assessment Methods The learning environment and process are very similar to HKUST. Tulane provided website for and sharing learning material separately, just like Sqmail and LMES at HKUST. There were plenty of print budgets for me to print out every lecture note. Workload and level of difficulty are pretty same as HKUST. Sports & Recreation Facilities I did not use the sport facilities very often. However, Tulane provided many recreation facilities like gym room, football field and tracks. You can use them freely. More, there were difficult kinds of sport matches happening in Tulane. I watched a baseball match, which Tulane Baseball Team is kind of famous and outstanding in the South.

6 Cost/ Expenses Everything in the USA is more expensive than HK. For textbooks, I did not buy one book during the entire period but maybe just because of my courses requirement. Some exchange students bought second-hand books via Amazon. However, I recommend you to search online first. For the flight ticket, the earlier you buy, the cheaper it will be. Items Expenses in USD Tickets 2300 Rent 4000 Food 1000 Travelling and shopping 1500 Miscellaneous 200 Internet and telephone fee 120 Total 9120 Social Clubs & Networking Opportunities There was a student associations fair showing all social clubs you can join although I didn t go there. I just joined the Chinese Students Association (TCSSA). Actually, you can join the club or add the QQ group before going to the US so that you can find a Chinese roommate quickly because every semester, there were loads of Chinese students finding houses and roommates. Here is the Facebook link of TCSSA: https://www.facebook.com/tucssa Health & Safety In the past few years, HKUST students were used to apply a waiver in one website. Unfortunately, Tulane enhanced the insurance coverage so I could not find any equivalent insurance. Therefore, I just bought the insurance provided by Tulane. It was so expensive but there was no other way. This insurance was kind of useless because I still had to pay if I see the doctor in Tulane clinic. New Orleans is not a very safe city but I didn t have any accidents. Just stay in a group and be careful. More, Tulane will send an with crime alert once there was any robbery or crime next to campus. I highly recommend you make good use of the safe ride. It is a free service provided by Tulane. Like a free taxi, you call and it will pick you up and drop you off next to your destination if the places are within the service area. It serves every day from 8 pm to 4 am.

7 Food In New Orleans, there were different kinds of delicacy like Mexican, Columbian Food. Just dine out with your friends every week until you try all of it. At Tulane, you can buy a monthly meal plan but I didn t buy it because I prefer trying local food in NOLA. Don t worry if you love Chinese food. Although there is not China Town, you can easily find a Chinese restaurant everywhere. It is cheaper if you cook. Tulane offered free shuttle to pick students to Walmart freely. You can make use of it if you love cooking AND washing dishes. Transportation Transportation in NOLA is not as convenient as HK. Streetcars and Buses are the main tool to travel between uptown and downtown. They are slow but safe. I downloaded an app so that I could check the bus position. One thing to highlight is the shuttle bus provided by Tulane. There were several routes linking to different spots, like Walmart, shopping mall and downtown. They are on time and fast. Climate The weather there was cold in January, warm and windy in February and March, rainy in April and hot in May. It was like 0 degree in the morning of January so remember to bring some thick coat! There was one snowing day but it was disappointed me as the snow was extremely tiny. Communication At first, it was hard to hear what American said but I got used to it in a week. I guess one of the aims of going on an exchange is to improve your English efficiency. You can achieve it in NOLA because there were little Chinese outside campus. Just speak English and you can speak more fluently day by day. Cautionary Measures Safety is not a big deal if you always stay in groups. Try to avoid not walking on the main street at night and take the safe ride if it is possible.

8 Part III Items to Bring and Contacts Checklist of items to bring: - Cash - Laptop - USB - Suits - Medicine - Photos - Copies of important documents - Umbrella - calculators It is hoped that you can enjoy your time in Tulane and New Orleans. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Good luck!

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