1. Should I chose credits for ESS 402 or for ARCTIC 387?
You should enroll in FSTDY 500 for 5 credits. You should not enroll yourself in ESS 402 or ARCTIC 387 as otherwise you will be charged Fall quarter tuition for these credits, when for study abroad classes they are already included in the fees. What you need to do is indicate to me on the planning sheet what credit distribution you would like and when I assign grades at the end of Fall quarter I will fill in the credits for ESS 402 or ARCTIC 387 based on your choice.
2. What is a sleeping bag needed for and how warm should it be?
The sleeping bag is primary to be used for two nights on the coastal ferry when we have “couchette” (bunk) accommodation and sheets/blanket are NOT included. (A pillow without a pillowcase is provided on the ferry.) It is also to make sure that you have another layer in case the blankets provided at any of the hostels are not warm enough. The sleeping bag will only be used inside and the best is if it can pack small. Please let me know if you do not have one to use/borrow.
If you do not have a small sleeping bag to bring there is an option to purchase sheets/blanket for use on the overnight ferry for 150 DKK (~$25). Please let me know if you prefer this option.
3. I couldn’t make the first pre-departure session and missed hearing information from Katherine at Study Abroad — what information did she share?
A condensed version includes the following points:
* You are required to get travel insurance, read carefully what it covers and does not cover.
* You must submit all required information before the June 1 enrollment deadline to Study Abroad. Start filling this out now.
* Check that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after you plan to return to the U.S. Submit a scan of your passport and any other documents to Study Abroad.
* Let Study Abroad (and me) know of any medical conditions and serious food allergies. Fill in the self-disclosure form that is seen only by those responsible for your well-being when abroad. Talk to us about any concerns.
* 5 credits of FSTDY are converted to ESS 402 or ARCTIC 387 at the end of Fall quarter. The 5 units from this course are distributed as part of your Fall quarter load. You can use these 5 units to your advantage in Fall quarter by enrolling in minimum 10 units as a full-time student. Please ask Study Abroad with any questions about how this can work for you.
* Since this is an early-Fall start there are some ramifications for Financial Aid distribution. The Financial Aid support will only be available during Fall quarter, sometime in October. If you needed some of this to purchase airfare, cover travel costs, etc. then you can apply for an interest-free short-term loan of up to $2500 as long as you submit for this loan in a quarter that you are enrolled and pay it back in following quarter. If you are not enrolled in summer quarter you will need to go for this in Spring quarter and apply for repayment extension. Talk to Study Abroad with any questions.
* Can drop by Study Abroad with general questions during weekdays or online chat is also an option.
4. What access to prescription / over-the-counter medications can I anticipate?
Apparently Denmark (and presumably Greenland) have limited access to even “standard” over-the-counter medications. Medications will require prescriptions from a doctor in Denmark or Greenland. Bring everything you anticipate needing and for required medications bring a copy of the prescription, especially if you are bringing a one-month supply into the country. If you need a refill you will likely have to see an in-country doctor. I will pack some basics like ibuprofen and tylenol in a simple first aid kid, but bring anything with you that you plan to take. Please share medical conditions with Study Abroad so that we can best help you if needed.
5. Should I carry cash, credit card, debit card, …?
It is your responsibility to make sure you have a debit card that you know how to use abroad (most likely with pincode through ATM access). If you have a credit card you’ll need to know if additional fees are assessed when abroad. Also, you may need to tell the credit card that you will be using it out of the country so that they don’t put a hold immediately as you try to use it in Denmark or Greenland. You may need a pincode attached to a credit card in order to use it at certain machines abroad, though typically they can offer you to sign instead. It is a good idea to write down the phone numbers of the credit card and debit card in case the cards are lost or stolen (or know who you can call who has those numbers written down). Typically there is a fee per ATM transaction so you will probably want to plan on taking out a few hundred dollars worth of Danish Kroner at a time to receive lowest fees possible — but, again, check on how this works with your bank and that the card is part of a network that is available internationally.
6. How often will we be able to do laundry?
I’d guess at least once or twice on the trip, as needed. Here is what is available at the places we are staying:
Copenhagen Downtown Hostel: Listed as available on their website services and should come with our reservation but there may be only one machine or area to use; or, Copenhagen will have laundromats
Ilulissat Hostel: Laundry available for 20 DKK (~$3) per load
Aasiaat Seaman’s Home: They have only a laundry service, where a small bag is 135 DKK (~$21) and a large bag is 185 DKK (~$28), where drying and folding is included. No self-service machines are available.
Inuk Hostel: [ still confirming but unlikely ]
Kangerlussuaq Science Support Building: Laundry available and I believe it is at no cost
7. How do I get from Copenhagen airport to the hostel? And what do I do when I get to the hostel?
Fill in the planning sheet with you arrival information so I know when to expect you, and so that you can see if others are arriving at a similar time and you can try to meet up and transport together. Here are suggestions from the hostel on how to get there: http://www.copenhagendowntown.com/contact
It is a 10-15 minute walk from the metro station Norreport, or you can transfer from that station to a bus line that connects right to the hostel. Or, you could take a taxi from Norreport station. It is similar walking distance from the central train station, which connects to the airport. You can check into the hostel after 2pm and the reservation is under Michelle Koutnik/University of Washington with reservation number 323477.
You will only need to show ID upon arrival (do not give your credit card) and the hostel has rooming assignments so you can get into your room after 2pm.
8. What are the luggage restrictions on Air Greenland?
It is strict at check in that your one free checked bag weighs 20 kg (or less), which is around 44 lbs. You are also allowed one carry-on bag that weighs up to 8 kg, which is around 18 lbs. Here is information from their website: https://www.airgreenland.com/travel-info/before-travel/baggage
It is your responsibility to make sure your bag is not overweight. Fees for overweight bags are assessed per kg and per flight leg.
9. But, I am concerned about weight from the extra food that I want to bring. What should I do?
It is not cost-effective to check an additional 20 kg bag but if some students have less weight it is allowed to balance against some students that may have more weight. We can’t plan this in advance but please talk to me with any concerns. Otherwise, carry on (especially wear) your heavy items — hiking boots, book, electronics, etc.
10. Do I need a towel?
I am confirming exactly when this is needed, but definitely on the overnight ferry a towel will not be provided. Towels should be provided everywhere else, including in Copenhagen hostel because we are a group booking. If you have a travel towel it may come in handy, otherwise you won’t need it at most places we are staying.
11. Do I need a travel pillow?
Everywhere we are staying will provide pillows. On the overnight ferry they provide a pillow but no sheets or blanket, that is available for purchase onboard for 150 DKK (~$25). Otherwise, you can put your own pillowcase or something else with you on the pillow provided on the ferry.
12. How many nights is a kitchen (cooking) facility available?
While we are primarily staying in hostels that will have a kitchen, there are some places that do not have cooking facilities. Here are some notes on when cooking at the place we are staying will NOT be an option (everywhere else this is an option):
* August 24, 25, and 26 when we stay in Aasiaat Seaman’s Home (there is a cafeteria and food in town, as well as grocery store)
* August 26 and 27 when we are on the ferry (only cafeteria food is available for purchase)
* Limited kitchen (fridge, hot plate, hot water) in Nuuk August 28-31 but should have more options at grocery stores and in town compared to other places we will visit
For those with dietary restrictions I suggest packing some dehydrated meals (or other) for enough nights so you feel comfortable given these limitations. For example, backpacking meals (REI sells a variety) may work for you, or simply noodles. I anticipate that the grocery stores will offer options to meet all needs when we can cook our own food, though you may want to have supplemental food (or spices, etc.) on hand depending on your needs. It is also good to brainstorm simple food you like to cook. And, there may be options in towns to eat out but I cannot guarantee that. I don’t want there to be surprises and I can’t be responsible for the diversity of needs — other than to try and help and provide you with enough information now so you can pack what you might need. I understand it can be a challenge!
13. I really don’t think everything I want to bring will fit in my backpack or suitcase, what should I do?
The way that I pack light is try to have things that layer, and have minimal bottom and top outer layers, but multiple shirts. Things that are black or materials that can be worn multiple times work well. Take as few pairs of shoes as possible. It really won’t matter if you are dressed nearly the same everyday! For example, hiking pants may be light but I have long underwear that can go underneath and rain pants that can go on top (not only for rain but also wind, or warmth, if needed). I try to avoid anything bulky that only works for one occassion, for example a really big coat. Best if a fleece or sweater can layer with a jacket and then with some kind of shell, again as an example. Use hats, gloves, scarves, etc. for added warmth — we should have the ability to go inside if you get cold.
You can wear your hiking boots or shoes for the plane and if they just don’t fit mine can attach on the outside of my backpack.
Using small stuff sacks or something else that compresses clothes (especially small clothes) can help.
If you can’t fit the sleeping bag there is the option to get sheets and blanket on the ferry for $25 and everywhere else there will be sheets and blanket provided. If you are cold somewhere we could always ask for another blanket. So, this is an option too if your sleeping bag isn’t very small.
Towel also isn’t required and should be available everywhere except the ferry.
I’m not sure that helps! If you were considering a backpack and that is small then taking a rolling suitcase is another possibility. There will be some dirt roads but we have transportation organized most places so you really won’t have to carry it or pull it very much on non-paved surfaces. I think a backpack is easier but that is really your preference and for what options you have to pack in.