Participant Resources

Pre-arrival Information
Climate and Weather

Lawrence experiences four distinct seasons. Temperatures during spring (March to May) and fall (October and November) can be quite mild, with more extreme temperatures on each end of these seasons. Summer (June to September) temperatures can be quite hot, and winter (December to February) temperatures can be cold, dropping below freezing on a regular basis.

Please keep in mind that the weather in Lawrence can be quite varied, with large temperature changes from day to day and even during the same day.

When packing, you may want to pack clothing that you can layer based on the day’s weather – and don’t forget an umbrella!

Below are some links to help you identify average temperature and precipitation patterns as well as see the current weather forecasts.

Climate:  http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/lawrence/kansas/united-states/usks0319/2016/1

Weather:  http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/lawrence-ks/66044/weather-forecast/328846

Different Systems
Measurements

The United States is one place that does not use the metric system.

There are numerous websites to help you with that.

There are even apps for iPhone and Android that you can download and keep on your phone.

The mathematical formulas to convert temperature are:

Fahrenheit to Celsius: (⁰ F – 32) ÷ 1.8 = ⁰ C

Celsius to Fahrenheit: (⁰ C × 1.8) + 32 = ⁰ F

Here is a website that includes a quick temperature equivalency as well as a converter and other useful information: http://www.mathsisfun.com/temperature-conversion.html

Here are some charts for common measurements:  http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/metric_conversion_chart.html

Here is a website where you can convert between the metric system and the units of measure used in the U.S.:  http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/conversions.html

And finally, here is a currency converter:  http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/

Electrical power supply

The electrical current used in the United States is 110-125 volts AC (alternating current), 60Hz (cycles per second). This is different from that of many other countries.

If you bring appliances from home, you may need an adapter to make sure your appliances work properly.

Chargers for cell phones and computers may work on multiple power systems.

Make sure to check any electronic devices (computer) or appliances (hair dryer) that you are thinking about bringing to the US to see if you will need an adapter.

It is often easier to purchase an adapter in your own country. Even if you have an adapter or a device that works on both power systems, you will probably need a device that adjusts to the American outlet shape.

Here is a link for more information: http://www.howtogeek.com/168564/what-you-need-to-know-about-power-outlets-and-voltages-when-travelling-internationally/ .

Coins and currency

Like other countries in the world, the U.S. issues their own coins and currency. The coins, in particular, can be somewhat confusing because of their size and special names. Below are the common coins and bills you will see. (Note: There are additional coins and bills that exist but they are not common.)

Coins ¢

 

Currency (bills) $

Value

Portion of dollar

Name

 

1 dollar

1 cent

1/100

penny

 

5 dollars

5 cents

5/100

nickel

 

10 dollars

10 cents

10/100

dime

 

20 dollars

 25 cents

¼  or 25/100

quarter

 

50 dollars

 

 

 

 

100 dollars

If you would like to see the coins and bills you might see in the U.S., please visit the following websites:

Coins: 

https://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/circulatingCoins/index.html Currency:

https://www.moneyfactory.gov/uscurrency.html 

https://uscurrency.gov/seven-denominations

Mail

The standard address format for mailing items to and within the U.S. is as follows:

Name

Street Address

(Additional information for the street address, if needed)

City, State (2 letter code)  zip code

On an envelope or package, you should include the sender’s name and address in the upper left hand corner in case the item needs to be returned to the sender.

The recipient’s name and address are in the center of the envelope.

If you would like to see what an addressed envelope should look like, you can visit: http://www.nhcs.net/parsley/curriculum/postal/envelope.html.

Services

Medications

Feeling unwell in a different country can be one of the hardest parts of travel. It is difficult to know how to treat various pain or illnesses without familiar medications or natural remedies.

Medications in the U.S. are tested thoroughly and are generally safe. Many common medications, such as pain relievers, stomach medicines, and allergy and cold medications are even available without a prescription.

Some medications can seem expensive to visitors from other countries. Other people prefer more natural remedies, which may or may not be available in the U.S. Still others need prescription medications for chronic medical conditions.

It is possible to bring medications into the U.S., but you need to do thorough research on your particular medication before bringing it.

Some general guidelines, which may or may not apply in your situation, are:

  • The item should be in the original container.
  • You should only bring enough of the product for personal use during your program. No more than a 90 day supply is allowed.
  • Prescription medications are often not allowed unless the medication has been approved for use in the U.S. or is for a serious condition for which there is no treatment available in the U.S. (there are many requirements for the latter)
  • If you have a prescription medicine, you should bring a prescription or doctor’s note in English about the medication and why you need it.
  • Natural remedies or medications which have ingredients from animals may be banned.

You can also start a more thorough search at:  http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm484154.htm

Currency Exchange

The airport in Kansas City is small and does not have any currency exchange kiosks. If your first stop in the U.S. is at a major airport, you may be able to exchange money there.

It can be difficult to exchange money once you reach Kansas. Although there is one bank in Lawrence that will exchange money, it can be a difficult and time-consuming process.

It is recommended that you bring either a bank card so you can withdraw money from an ATM (automated teller machine) or bring traveler’s checks (in U.S. dollars). Although both will likely involve some fees, these are the simplest and safest methods for accessing money.

Although it is a good idea to bring some U.S. currency to Kansas with you, it is not recommended that you carry large amounts of cash with you.

Once you arrive in the U.S.

What to expect when entering the U.S.

When entering the U.S., you will need to show your passport, visa, and KU I-20 (if F-1) or DS-2019 (if J-1). Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your arrival.

You may be fingerprinted, photographed, and an entry stamp may be placed in your passport. You may be asked to go to another line where they will look at your documents and ask additional questions.

Do not be scared. This is all normal.

This may take 2-4 hours or longer to complete. Allow enough time between flights to complete all steps.

Your arrival will be registered electronically.

What to expect in Lawrence

Transportation

The U.S., and the middle of the country in particular, has a car based culture. Most Americans who live outside of major cities have a car and bus systems are either unavailable or not as extensive or convenient as they may be in other countries around the world.

Lawrence does have a bus system. It is free to ride with a KU ID card. However, there is no service on Sundays and service in the summer, during university breaks, in the evening, and on Saturdays is limited.

Unfortunately, transportation to places outside of Lawrence, such as Kansas City, is very limited and can be expensive. Taxis, Uber, and shuttle services are all available but must be arranged ahead of time. Sharing the costs of these services with several other people can make them more cost-effective.

The K-10 Connector is a bus service that runs between Lawrence and Johnson County Community College (JCCC) in Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City. From JCCC you should be able to take Kansas City buses into downtown Kansas City.

The K-10 Connector is primarily a commuter service and only operates Monday – Friday from about 6 am until 6 pm, with a couple of buses Monday – Thursday evenings. More details will be listed in the Handbook you will receive when you arrive.

Computers

As a KU student, you will be able to connect to the internet on your cell phone or computer using the free Wireless internet available in all campus buildings and residence halls.

Computers are available for use in the KU libraries and in several computers labs on campus.

Printing is available but does cost additional money - $0.08 for each black and white page (1 sided) and $0.48 for each color page (1 sided). Printing is connected to your KU ID card and can be purchased via credit card or cash. See your handbook upon arrival for more details on how to print on campus.

There are no public or pay phones on the KU campus. There are also no landline connections in the on—campus residence halls. To speak with your family and friends you will need to use an online phone service such as Skype, purchase an American cell phone, or have U.S. service set up on your cell phone from home.

Optional Activities
Contact Information

The office is open from 8:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday. You may call the office to contact Geri Lamer or an AEC instructor during those hours. During the evenings or weekends, if you need to speak with someone from the AEC, you should call Geri, Aaron or Mindy.

For emergencies:  785-521-5944

Margaret Coffey
Office:
(785) 864-1307

Aaron Huerter
Office:
(785) 864-5316

Geri Lamer
Office:
(785) 864-1321

Mindy Van House
Office:
(785) 864-1496