None of the following information is intended to be an endorsement or guarantee of any product or company mentioned below. The information is intended merely to make the student aware of various options utilized by students in past classes.
Language and Culture
Invest in or borrow a general guidebook and phrasebook. German, Italian and Croatian will be helpful to you during the program.
The Sommerhaus Hotel (also known as the Raabheim)
A 4040 LINZ
Tel: 0043 (0)732 / 2457 – 376
Program fees do not include accommodations for other trips. Look into online booking sites (e.g. http://www.Hotels.com or http://www.tripadvisor.com , etc.) for hotels/hostels in our destination cities.
You may find up-to-date travel information at the U.S. State Department website. For specific information on the countries you will visit during the SAIICA program, click below:
We will be staying in the Sommerhaus Hotel in Linz. A number of facilities and amenities are available to you:
In-room internet connection (ethernet cable needed)
Limited power access in lecture room
Kitchenette (stove top, sink, small refrigerator and freezer)
Laundry Room (coin-operated)
Workout area with indoor pool
Nearby, you will find grocery stores, a pharmacy, various restaurants, a print shop, and a drycleaners. In the center of town are more restaurants, shops and larger stores such as Woolworth's and H&M. We will take a tour during the first weekend in Linz.
In general the dress is casual for classes during the program. However, for visits to the arbitration courts professional dress is required (i.e. “court clothes”). Northern Europe is generally cooler than Atlanta particularly in the evenings but can also get quite warm during the day (especially in Venice). Pack layers. A sweater or warm jacket would be a good idea, as well as rain gear (folding umbrella, rain coat).
Note: So far this year, Germany and Austria have had a cooler than normal spring. So while there are no guarantees, it is a safe guess that it might be also somewhat cool in May. Keep an eye on the weather in Linz as it gets closer to your departure date.
For our trips to the courts, professional dress is required (suits for men and equivalent for women). But remember that we may be doing a fair amount of walking before we get to the court. High-heeled shoes might not be the most comfortable or best option; try to find shoes that go well with your suit but in which you can still walk good distances (even over cobblestones).
We will have classes in the morning and be leaving for trips even earlier in the morning. Bring some sort of alarm device that you will both wake up to and get out of bed for!
Power converter and/or plug adapter
See the power converter and plug adapter tips section.
Although the hotels have internet access, an ethernet cable will be required to hook your laptop into the network.
Extra laptop battery
If you have an extra laptop battery, consider bringing it with you. The lecture hall has a limited power supply and access, so a backup may come in handy.
It is rather expensive to exchange dollars for Euros in the U.S., so it would probably be best to exchange only a small amount (for taxi, train fares, etc.) either at the airport before leaving or at the airport of entry. For larger amounts, it usually less expensive to exchange currency at banks away from the airport. ATMs are also a good way to acquire cash and often less expensive. Just be sure to check with your bank about PINs and transaction fees. (With respect to fees, it is usually best to make fewer but larger withdrawals rather than several smaller ones.)
Here is a useful currency converter: http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic
ATM and Credit Cards
Most U.S. credit and ATM cards will work in Europe. Be sure to confirm with your bank, however. Also, it is a good idea to notify your credit card company that you will be travelling abroad. Often, credit card companies will see the foreign transactions and lock the account until they can confirm with the cardholder that the transactions are not fraudulent.
There are many options for mobile phone usage in Europe:
Many students have maintained contact with home by using Skype. If your laptop does not already include a webcam, consider purchasing one to use Skype to its full potential. Also consider purchasing a headphone/microphone set to reduce long-distance echoes. Students have used the following products successfully on previous trips:
Logitech Premium Stereo Headset with Noise-Canceling Microphone
Logitech ClearChat Comfort USB Headset
Cyber Acoustics AC-201 Stereo Headset / microphone
A4 Tech PK-835 Notebook Clip-On ViewCam (webcam)
Logitech QuickCam Deluxe for Notebooks
Microsoft LifeCam NX-3000 for Notebooks
Logitech QuickCam Pro for Notebooks
If you will be bringing electrical devices, check to see what kind of power requirements they have. The US works off of a 110V standard, while Europe uses a 220V standard. This means if you plug in your standard 110V electronic device in Europe without converting the power, it will overload. Adapters and Converters can be purchased online, at travel stores (like REI) or even Target. A good option is Radio Shack; unlike Target and most other stores salespeople at Radio Shack usually are knowledgeable and can answer your Converter/Adapter questions.
You can purchase your adapters individually for each country or simply buy a set that contains adapters for most of the world. For example: Eagle Creek 5 Piece Adapter Set
Plug Adapters v. Power Converters
Plug adapters allow you plug into a foreign power socket. They do not convert the voltage! The power converter alters the voltage that reaches the device from the outlet.
For Austria, Germany and Croatia: You’ll need a “US to Northern Europe” adapter. (Or a US to Continental Europe adapter. Some adapter kits don’t distinguish between Northern and Southern Europe).
For Venice and Milan: In theory, you should be able to use the same adapter as for the rest of Europe. Some students last year, however, had problems in their Venice hotels; the Northern Europe adapter were slightly too large, but the “US to Southern Europe” adapters worked perfectly. (See above about the Continental Europe adapter- hopefully this will work in both Northern and Southern Europe). The Eagle Creek 5 Piece Adapter Set mentioned above has the “US to Southern Europe” adapter.
When should I use one or the other?
As a general rule, many technological devices already have a power converter (the big block on the power cord). Devices that include the power cord converter will only a plug adapter to ensure that the plug will fit into an international outlet. Check your user's manual to be sure!
Hair dryers and other appliances usually require a power converter and the plug adapter. If the hairdryer is dual voltage, however, you will only need a plug adapter. Beware of flat irons: these can be tricky and often overwhelm power converters, ruining both flat iron and the converter. Try to avoid bringing devices that require Power Converters. The converters are somewhat bulky, and, more important, can be unreliable.
Several rail companies are accessible where you will be traveling.