Students pose for a photo while hiking in the mountains
Students wearing chef hats pose in a kitchen
A group of students bicycle through the countryside
Students pose in Amsterdam near a whimsical bench
A student and professor chat in front of rooftops below them
People walk and ride bicycles at the seashore

Packing and Preparation

Packing

Essentials to pack in carry-on bag

Documents needed for legal transit:

  • Passport and 1 color hard copy
  • "Temporary Stay Authorization" letter aka "AST" letter

Other items for carry-on:

  • Housing Letter
  • GeoBlue insurance policy information
  • Emergency contact card
  • Expensive electronics
  • ATM Card, Credit Cards, desired amount of cash (in Euros)
  • Prescription medications in original packaging (physician letter strongly suggested in some cases) - if at all possible, bring enough for the entire program

Clothing

Pack for an Ohio fall/spring/summer—the climates are fairly similar. Remember to pack at least one formal or semi-formal ensemble as one will be required for a handful of activities each semester.

Linens and Toiletries

Unless students have specific requirements, do not pack these items (beyond what is needed to travel to Europe). These products are either provided or easily obtained on-site. Toiletries are the #1 enemy of an efficient pack.

Electronic converters vs. plug adapters

Students should only bring an electrical outlet plug adapter(s). Most electronic devices can handle the voltage in Europe and only need to have the physical plug adapter to work. Devices that are appliances (such as hair dryers), however, require a voltage converter which are heavy and expensive and do not always work. It is recommended to check devices for their voltage capabilities and only bring those that need a plug adapter. One or two plug adapters should be sufficient for standard needs. While most of Europe is on the same type of plug format, consider a universal plug adapter that will work in other countries as well, such as the UK and Ireland.

Luggage

Each carrier has different luggage policies, but generally, international flights to Europe allow one free checked bag and a carry-on. It is highly recommended for students to do whatever is necessary to fit all belongings in one or two checked bags. Extra fees for additional checked baggage beyond one bag are typically much less than the cost of shipping items to Europe. Under no circumstances should electronics (such as replacement laptops) be shipped to Europe. Shipped electronics will be impounded by EU customs for a long time and they will charge a tax designed to adjust the cost of the item to match what it would cost in the EU. This legal practice is designed to combat individuals who buy electronics cheaply overseas to sell on the informal market in Europe. The #1 packing advice Miami can provide? If you are not sure that you need something, then you don't need it!

Preparation

Textbooks

Many courses at MUDEC require textbooks, though some do not. Students have a few options for purchase:

  • Purchase from the Miami Bookstore or another vendor, ship to US address, pack in luggage, and transport to Luxembourg. Paying for extra baggage is often cheaper than shipping to Europe ($65 for a couple of books).
  • Purchase from a vendor in the UK or Ireland, such as Amazon UK. Sometimes students are able to purchase from vendors in these locations and ship to Luxembourg at a lower cost, due to the proximity of these locations. Before making purchase, remember to factor in the exchange rate.
  • Wait until arrival in Luxembourg to determine if past students have left books that you are able to use, or if other students are willing to share their books.

Miami does not endorse or recommend any textbook purchase options beyond the official bookstore. Students are expected to purchase and possess their books for MUDEC courses in a timely manner, and are entirely responsible for ensuring this. If you go to the Miami Bookstore website and your course states "textbooks are still being determined for this course," do not worry. Check with the MUDEC Luxembourg Coordinator on the status in this case.

Supplies

You will need whatever you would normally use for classes in Oxford. There are stores in Differdange that sell school supplies, so you can bring the essentials (laptops, books, course packs, etc.) and get notebooks, pens, etc. when you get there. Certain special summer/semester programs, such as with Architecture majors, do require unique supplies. Please contact the instructor of the course for more information.

Passports

Students must have a passport with at least 6 months remaining validity beyond the end date of the program by the date given during the application process, usually 3-4 months before departure. This timeline is necessary because each student must have a valid passport for us to obtain the pre-departure residency paperwork known as the "AST" letter.

Communications

All students will receive a Luxembourgish cell phone with talk/text/data plan (5GB monthly) within 48 hours of arrival in Luxembourg. Students are required to keep this phone on and active for the entire program as a safety measure; we must always have a way to reach students at a moment's notice. Fees for this phone and plan are included in the regular tuition and fees for the program.

Students are more than welcome to bring their US phones. Keep aware of international usage charges of the specific provider, and understand that they will vary. Some students will either turn their US phone off for the entire program, others will keep it on airplane mode with WiFi enabled, and yet others will have an international plan and keep it fully functioning at all times. This is an individual choice. 

WiFi based communications are best for contacting numbers in the US, such as apps like Viber, Whatsapp, FaceTime, Skype. For contacting numbers in Europe (even if you have an international US plan), it will be best to use the Luxembourg phone's regular talk and text. This is because in any case, it will be expensive for other students and locals using European numbers to contact a US phone.

Planning for Housing in Oxford and Finances

Miami encourages students to consider how participation in the MUDEC program will affect their Oxford housing situation. Sub-letting, early lease/contract signing, and other measures may be necessary, so we encourage planning as early as possible. If you have questions about resources to assist with this consideration, please contact the Study Abroad Office or the MUDEC Luxembourg Coordinator.

Plan financially for the MUDEC program as far in advance as possible. Most students are able to use their regular scholarships and financial aid on the semester MUDEC program, as well as be considered for other study abroad and MUDEC scholarships. However, Miami encourages students to have deliberate discussions with relevant individuals (such as parents) regarding finances, so the impact is known and anticipated well in advance. That said, MUDEC remains one of Miami's most affordable study abroad programs, costing not much more than a semester in Oxford (and with a lot more awesome places to see)!