Maymester – Essential Travel Information

Booking (more info coming soon)

  • Ideally you should book a multi-city itinerary, as opposed to roundtrip. You should fly into Frankfurt/Main International Airport (FRA is the airport code; attention: Frankfurt/Hahn is very far away from FRA!!!). You should leave from Berlin unless you plan on staying in Germany/Europe after the program ends.

Packing

  • The Akademie and hotel will provide hairdryers, basic shampoo and shower gel, as well as towels and linens. You can buy inexpensive toiletries at Rossmann near the Akademie.
  • Bring a USB flash drive.
  • Bring at least one electric outlet adapter for use in Europe. It will be impossible to buy such an adapter in Otzenhausen, so make sure you you buy it in the state. An example of such an adapter can be found here: amazon LINK
  • Laundry: The Akademie has one washing machine and one dryer. These are a bit smaller than standard U.S. appliances. You can use them free of charge, and detergent is provided. You should plan ahead because the machines may not be available when you want them. Pack smart.

Packing suggestions

  • One pair of shorts and two pairs of pants
  • Several t-shirts or casual shirts
  • A light to medium jacket (ideally waterproof)
  • Sweater or hoodie
  • A pair of very sturdy walking shoes and/or sneakers
  • Underwear and socks for up to 2 weeks
  • Umbrella
  • Small bottle of sun screen
  • US-Europe electrical outlet adapter (3-prong)
  • Prescription medication if needed; bring a copy of the prescription with you

Important Travel Considerations

  • Arrival in Frankfurt: the group will meet at the specified time at the official meeting point (literally called “meeting point”) in Terminal 1. (Note, there is another meeting point in terminal 2, which is NOT the correct meeting point). The program directors will collect your flight information before you leave for Germany. They will try to monitor flights in case of delays. If the delay is too long, you may be responsible for finding your own way to the Akademie Otzenhasuen. You should contact the program directors and/or the Akademie Otzenhasuen as soon as you can. Make sure you have all relevant contact and travel information with you in your carry-on luggage.) If you plan to come to the Akademie directly (possible, but not recommended), you have to let both program directors know well in advance.
  • Be informed and mindful. Always know what our next destination is (in case you get lost). Make sure you have the program directors’ and other important phone numbers and contact information with you at all times
  • Bring a sturdy wallet, ideally with a zip-up pocket (rationale: it is easy to lose crucial documents; for instance; one student on the program lost his ticket because he didn’t properly stow it away; train ticket replacement cost will be over $100). Make sure you have your passport securely with you during trips and transfers. Make copies and/or scans that can help you get a temporary passport in case you lose yours or it gets stolen
  • You are responsible for your tickets, documents, passports, valuables, etc. If the program directors give you a ticket and you lose it, you have to pay for your own replacement ticket.
  • Do not travel with large luggage. You should be able to walk with your luggage for a mile in hot weather, and you should be able to lift it up and down over your head several times. While this may not be necessary, it can happen if trains or busses are missed, in case of travel emergencies, etc.
  • Bring a backpack for excursions; bring a refillable water bottle
  • If the Akademie or the hotel charges you for damage in the room, you will have to pay this charge out of your own pocket.
  • You are expected to bring a Wi-Fi-capable mobile device. Ideally you can access the cell network (voice, text, and data) as well. Please check your options early. Some carriers include international roaming or offer such plans for a surcharge. Please check with program directors if you have any questions. We use a group messaging service (currently groupme) to send important program and schedule updates and travel information. While there are lots of Wi-Fi hotspots in Germany, free Wi-Fi is not as common in Germany as it is in the U.S.
  • Always be punctual. Not being at the specified meeting point might make the group delay a trip. Or you might have to make your own travel accommodations (and pay for them) if the bus or train cannot wait. You are ultimately responsible for your own documents, travel, and ability to follow instructions.
  • If you get lost, it is your responsibility to contact the program directors immediately
  • Do not leave the tour group
  • Situations may arise during travel that cause sudden changes to travel plans. Students are responsible not only to listen to instructions and remain alert, but also to acknowledge that they are ultimately responsible to reach the destination independently if necessary.
  • Listen to program directors

Cultural conventions

  • You may find some cultural differences difficult to understand (e.g. beverages are often not cold; ice cubes are not widely available; water is often carbonated; some public bathrooms may coast up to 1 Euro). Part of world travel and study abroad is to learn to accept these differences without grievance.
  • Tap water is not available in many restaurants. If you wish to have a beverage you have to purchase one in a restaurant.
  • Tap water in Germany is safe to drink. The Akademie only sells carbonated water. You can purchase non-carbonated water at the grocery stores next to the Akademie. Bottled beverages will generally include a deposit fee; you can return your bottles to the store for store credit.
  • Putting up your feet on seats is not acceptable in Germany, which includes trains or coffee tables
  • Do not be loud in public or call attention to yourself

 

  • Bring some medicine for common ailments, such as headaches, sinus issues, allergies, and the common cold. While pharmacies are available, it may be difficult to purchase medicine on holidays, during travel, and when things get hectic. If you do get sick, please let the program directors know.
  • Bring sun screen or buy it upon arrival. Inexpensive sun screen can be purchased at Rossmann in Otzenhausen.
  • Bring an umbrella and/or rain coat/cape. Inexpensive umbrellas can be purchased at Rossmann in Otzenhausen.
  • Inform yourself about tick-bourne diseases before traveling to Germany. Purchase a tick spray (Zeckenspray – inexpensive, available in stores in Otzenhausen and Berlin) and check for tick bites in the evening, especially after stays in forests and nature.

Food (info coming soon)

  • Water
  • Beverage temperature
  • Fridge situation

Opening and closing hours

info coming soon (Holidays; Sundays; Hours; Gas stations)