Pre-Arrival Information

2014 SUSI group

Airline tickets - must have boarding pass with you to board the plane

Passport – must have with you to board the plane and to enter the United States.

Visa – must have with you to board the plane and to enter the United States.

Emergency contact information – bring one copy of information with you and leave another copy with your family or other emergency contacts.

Copies of passport and visa – bring one set of copies with you and leave another set of copies with your family or other emergency contacts.

Photocopies of credit cards and other important personal information – leave copies with your family or other emergency contacts.  This is only a suggestion and is not required.

Prescription medicine– Eyeglasses (if you use them). Reading materials / music for the long flights.

Anything you can’t afford to lose in your checked luggage (that is permissible), place in your carry-on.

Bring a sweater or jacket as the plane can sometimes be cold.

A shuttle bus will pick you up upon arrival at the U.S. airport and transport you to the University of Connecticut campus.

Representatives from the University of Connecticut (UConn) will meet you in the baggage claim area to  escort you to the shuttle.  Look for UConn staff holding signage that reads “UConn SUSI Program.”

The shuttle will drop you off at your on-campus lodging accommodations for the duration of your visit.  UConn staff will assist with the check-in process.

UConn Orientation: Participants will have an orientation on campus on the first day of the program.  The orientation will include a review of the complete program agenda, a campus tour, activities and services available during your stay, and introductions to key staff.

The following two links to the University of Connecticut Website and the UConn Campus Map will better orient you with the university and all that it has to offer.

You will be staying in on campus apartments while you study at the University of Connecticut, you will have a private room and share a bathroom, common space and kitchen with other SUSI participants.

Classrooms and dining facilities are all within a ten to fifteen minute walk from the apartments.

GTDI will pay for all participants' housing; however, participants will be responsible for any damage fees that might be assessed at the end of the program.

The UConn campus has wifi that will be available for participants to use.

There is a washer and dryer located in each apartment for participants to do laundry.

The average high temperature in Connecticut in July is about 85 F / 29 C and the average low is 63 F /15 C, as July progresses, the weather typically gets warmer.

The temperatures in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., where you will spend the last week of the program, will be slightly warmer.

Raincoat or other waterproof jacket (we have lots of rain during the summer months).

Flip-flops or shower shoes might be helpful.

Electric shaver, razors, or other grooming equipment.

Compact umbrella.

A pair of closed-toe and comfortable walking shoes.

Sunglasses – nice to have but not required

Layered clothing – Layering will allow you to adjust to the varying temperatures of going in and out of air conditioning/heating throughout the day. Layered clothing includes a shirt with a sweater or pull-over on top of the shirt.

Classroom and Community Service Attire– On days spent in the classroom or doing community service, the dress code is casual to business casual. No jacket or tie is required. Comfortable shirts, pants, shorts, skirts and shoes are acceptable.

Weekend and Night Activities Attire– Same as classroom attire.

Visits to Businesses– Business casual. Shirt with a collar, trousers and/or skirts. Casual or dress shoes. A sweater or pull-over can be worn over the collared shirt. Tie and jacket are not necessary.

Meetings with State Department representatives and closing dinner– Business attire or traditional clothes.

Backpack (ruck sack) for class and day trips – or any bag of your choice

Camera, if you want to take photos

Electrical adapter – the U.S. relies on alternating current, 60 cycles, 120 volts.

We will be providing meal cards for days when you will be eating meals on campus. When necessary, we will issue per diem (per day) cash allowance for meals not on campus and not part of a group meal, such as when you are off campus for volunteer service. When a group meal is served, there will be no meal card or per diem for that particular meal.

There are ATM (Automatic Teller) banking machines at four different locations on campus for easy access to cash. Locations are:

  • Bookstore
  • Student Union
  • Babbidge Library

If you do not have an ATM card, be prepared with cash in dollars.

Bring cash with you on the plane which you can exchange at the airport (enough for the first couple of days).

If you have a ATM or credit card and plan to use it in the U.S., you should call the company to alert them that you might be using your card in the U.S., to ensure service.  Western Union is not located nearby, so you should not plan on having family send you money during the middle of the program.

Cell Phones: The U.S. cell phone companies operate with SIM cards. If you plan to use your cell phone to make international calls, it is very expensive to make international calls. We suggest using messaging apps (WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, etc.) that use WiFi to make international calls or you could buy a calling card. SIM cards with a unlimited calling and texting to U.S. phone numbers and a small amount of data will be made available to all participants.

Internet: There will be wireless internet access throughout campus for you to connect to the internet from your own device if applicable. Also, there are also computers available in the Library with internet access. Participants are encouraged to use Skype and/or email to communicate with their families since these services are free of charge.

Calling Cards: Prepaid phone cards to call anywhere in the world from the U.S. can be bought at the 7-Eleven, located near campus. Calling cards are available in $5, $10, and $20 increments.

Local U.S. Contact Information:

The following contact information should be used for Emergency Situations Only:

  • Primary contact:
    Roy Pietro, Director, Global Training and Development Institute
    Office – 000 + 1 + 860 + 486 + 4252
    Alternate Office Number – (860) 486-0873
    Cell phone – 000 + 1 + 860 + 335 + 3057
    Email –
  • Mailing Address if you need something shipped to you:
    Participant Name
    c/o Roy Pietro
    Director, Global Training and Development Institute
    University of Connecticut
    368 Fairfield Way, Unit 4256
    Storrs, CT  06269-4256

In the United States, smoking is prohibited in public areas, especially inside buildings.  Most offices and organizations have a designated smoking area outside the building.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be available at on-campus dining halls. Further information on dining hall services can be accessed at

Participants will be covered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE).  This program covers medical expenses associated with each sickness or accident up to a limit of $50,000 U.S. dollars per occurrence, with a $25 U.S. dollars deductible for the first visit.

The ASPE program does not cover the costs associated with routine check-ups or with examinations or complications associated with pre-existing conditions.

Coverage begins from the time that you depart for the U.S. and continues until you return to home.

You will receive a copy of your ASPE identification card at the pre-departure orientation.  The actual card will be issued to you at orientation in the U.S.

Detailed information regarding the ASPE plan is available here

For true medical emergencies while in the U.S., dial 9-1-1 for an immediate emergency medical response to the situation.

If you do not feel well and think that you need to see a doctor or receive medical treatment and it is not an emergency situation, please contact Roy Pietro (using the previously listed contact information) to assist with arranging a doctor appointment.  There are doctors within 15 minutes of the University.

Bring what medicine you think you may need, since medicine is expensive in the U.S.

UConn is committed to providing all visitors with a safe and enjoyable experience. Full-time police and fire forces are located on campus. A campus escort safety service is available in the evenings.

For true emergencies while in the U.S., dial 9-1-1 for an immediate emergency response to the situation.

  • The university campus has its own shuttle bus system. The shuttle bus is free. Campus bus routes are available at and in the UConn Co-Op Bookstore store.
  • Most of the areas on campus that you will need to go are no more than a 10 to 15 minute walk from the apartment, but the campus shuttle is available, if you prefer.

All university campus services are within 10 to 15 minutes walking distance from the apartments.

Homer Babbidge Library: The main library on the Storrs campus.  The library is an excellent place to study.  It also has a café/coffee bar, computer terminals, phones, quiet study areas and study tables.

UConn Student Union: Home to a large food court, movie theater, sit down restaurant, ATMs, convenience grocery store, video game room, study lounges and center for many activities on campus.  Visit for more information.

UConn Bookstore: The official bookstore for the University of Connecticut. The campus store where books, study aids, university imprinted items such as sports wear and gift ware and other items of interest, living supplies and amenities, snacks, computer equipment, school supplies, and other items can be purchased. Visit for more information.

Recreation Facility/Field House: For individuals interested in fitness and athletics. The fitness center has a huge selection of workout equipment and athletic activities including a pool and indoor track. There are fees to use the field house equipment. Visit for more information.

Jorgensen Center for Performing Arts: Hosts plays, musicals, concerts and other performances throughout the year.  Some performances are free and some require purchase of a ticket. Visit for more information.

Because of the logistics involved with the day trips, everyone must stay with the group agenda. The program does not allow for individual travel before, during, or after the program.

This is a program of the U.S. Department of State, administered by the University of Connecticut.