SEGL in Paris: Trip Information


Dear SEGL in Paris Family:

Your child is about to begin an extraordinary intellectual and interpersonal journey: a trip to Paris with The School for Ethics and Global Leadership (SEGL).

This is a journey that requires preparation. With that in mind, please read the following pages carefully. They contain important information about travel and packing, academic and residential life, student conduct and rules, and contacting our staff. Following these steps will help ensure that your child’s journey with us is safe, productive, and fulfilling.

This is a journey that also requires flexibility. Your child will encounter challenges and opportunities that are difficult to anticipate in a handbook like this: a roommate who disagrees, a teacher who asks new questions, food that is unfamiliar, a thunderstorm that postpones an event, a guest speaker who tugs at the emotions, an assignment that requires thinking in new ways. This means that part of her or his preparation must be internal: to imagine how best to take advantage of every moment—anticipated or unanticipated—in Paris.

We are confident that your child will have a wonderful time in Paris. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to call or email with any questions you may have.

We look forward to welcoming your child to Paris soon.


Noah Bopp                  Martha Golden
Trip Leader                 Trip Leader
SEGL Director

In order to reserve plane tickets, we need certain important information from you ASAP! Please respond to this email with your full name EXACTLY as it appears (or will appear) on your passport, your birthday (month, day, and year), and the major airport closest to your home.  Thank you for acting quickly to meet this deadline. PLEASE SEND FLIGHT INFORMATION BY WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2013.  Finalized flight information will come shortly after we reserve tickets, but students should expect to leave July 16 and return on August 1.

Please download and complete these forms and mail or fax them to us, along with a photocopy of your passport, by Saturday, June 1st:

Address: 1528 18th St. NW Washington, DC 20036
Fax: (202) 466-7346

According to the U.S. State Department, crime (other than pick-pocketing) is rarely directed against foreigners in France, but we will be taking a number of precautions to maximize the safety of our students.  Students will always travel as a group, accompanied by a chaperone (except in specific situations where we will permit them to explore a small designated area in groups of three, with faculty in the same area).

For more information about safety in France please visit the State Department website,  Of course, please call or email us directly with any questions. We have led six successful trips to Paris together in the recent past.

Parents/guardians will be notified as soon as possible in the event of any emergency.  If parents/guardians will be away from their regular number during the trip, they should notify the instructors prior to the program start date (or as soon as possible after it).  If parents need to notify students of an emergency or special situation at home, they should contact the SEGL in Paris staff by email.

You should discuss your financial budget with your parents before you leave home.  You will need money for lunches, souvenirs, laundry, optional activity fees (for example, if the group wants to attend a French film), and any personal items (such as toiletries).  We will spend a minimal amount of time shopping, but when we do, you should feel no obligation to buy anything!

Most students will find that $450 is enough money to budget for the program, and some will be able to spend far less than this.  Remember that the Dollar/Euro exchange rate is not in our favor these days—a dollar will often not go as far in Paris as it will in the U.S.

You MUST bring a money belt and wear it at all times from the moment we get on the plane to Paris.  Both Martha and I have seen pick-pockets in action; trust us, you are not more clever than they are!  We know they are not fashionable; on the other hand, by not wearing one you are risking heartache for you and your parents and delays for the entire group!

You should also plan to have a way of getting funds that is practical:

  • An ATM/Debit card or a credit card is by far the best method for this.  Check with your bank to make sure you can use your card overseas and to alert them that you will be traveling to Paris (otherwise your access may be frozen).  Make sure you know where and how to use your card in Paris (sometimes PIN codes work differently in Paris; at some locations you can incur a high international withdrawal fee).  Do not bring a card with a parent’s name on it; get one with your name.  Your bank may allow you to carry a card with a pre-set spending limit; this may help with your budgeting.  Please note that we cannot allow students to receive wire transfers while in Paris.
  • You should also have a back-up plan for getting funds.  Bring enough cash to get you through the first few days, and consider bringing traveler’s checks as well. Please do not use traveler’s checks as your primary way for accessing funds; this is time-consuming and will limit the amount of time we are able to spend enjoying in Paris!  Request that your traveler’s checks are issued in U.S. dollars.

Please see your acceptance email for information about the pre-trip readings. As we get closer to the leave date, watch for information about a pre-program online class.

We know that those of you who have attended SEGL have already filled out these forms; it is important that we have the most updated information and we appreciate your diligence in this regard.

Students are representing themselves, their families, SEGL, and their home schools/communities, and are expected to act accordingly at all times.

An important feature of our community is the idea that students and faculty enter into a “social contract” during the trip. This means that significant trust and responsibility is placed in students from the outset of their time with SEGL, and that an atmosphere of collegiality and collaboration prevails.

Each SEGL student signs the SEGL Ethics Pledge, and is expected to abide by the pledge while enrolled at SEGL:

I, _____________________, understand that if I enroll at The School for Ethics and Global Leadership, I automatically enter into a “social contract” that requires me to abide by certain ethical standards in return for membership in the SEGL community. With this in mind, I pledge the following should I enroll at SEGL:

1) Abstention from tobacco, alcohol (except when consumed as part of an appropriate religious ceremony), and other illicit drugs
2) Respect for the person and property of my teachers and classmates.
3) Communication about my whereabouts as required by the school
4) Honesty and forthrightness in all academic and interpersonal matters

I understand that violating these standards may result in immediate dismissal from the school.

Abstention from tobacco, alcohol, and other illicit drugs

The use and possession of alcohol, or any drug not accounted for on the student’s medical form (including use not specifically prescribed by a student’s doctor), is strictly prohibited for all SEGL students during their time with SEGL. A student found using, selling, distributing, possessing, or under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs (including prescription drugs) at any time during the trip will be subject to immediate dismissal from the program. A student found using, selling, distributing, or possessing cigarettes (and/or tobacco products of any kind) at any time during the semester may also be subject to immediate dismissal from the program, even if the student is 18 or older. Students who use tobacco are expected to quit before arriving in Paris. In rare cases involving addiction, a student may be allowed to participate in a parent/guardian-approved smoking cessation program while at SEGL.

Respect for the person and property of my teachers and classmates
Verbal, sexual, and/or physical harassment, fighting, reckless behavior that endangers self and/or others, theft, weapons possession/use, vandalism, and lighting a flame inside an SEGL-occupied building are all serious violations of this rule and may result in a student’s immediate dismissal from the program. In addition, students are expected to join the SEGL community with open minds, willing to engage compassionately with others who have different backgrounds and beliefs. Discriminatory slurs or taunts will not be tolerated. Deliberately poor or negligent academic performance is unacceptable and may result in disciplinary action.

Communication about my whereabouts as required by the school
Students are expected to be “on campus” or participating in SEGL-sponsored off campus events at all times, unless they are with guardians (or responsible adults whom guardians and the school have formally approved). Students must follow sign-out and opposite-gender visitation procedures when applicable, and must sleep in their assigned sleeping quarters each night. Guests who are not affiliated with or approved by SEGL are never allowed in the residential facility. Students violating the whereabouts policy will be subject to disciplinary action from the school, up to and including immediate dismissal from the program.

Honesty and forthrightness in all academic and interpersonal matters
SEGL holds its students to higher standards than simple honesty and expects students to be forthright and up front about all matters. Each student must do her or his own academic work and credit any sources (including family or fellow students who helped revise/edit work) appropriately. This includes homework assignments, tests, exams, papers, and capstone projects. Faculty will give students clear guidelines for citing sources and avoiding plagiarism at the beginning of each trip; students are required to follow these guidelines. When in doubt about issues of academic honesty, students should always ask. In general, SEGL follows guidelines set forth by the Academic Integrity policy at Princeton University, found at

Additional Rules
– Activity of a sexual nature is prohibited while students are at SEGL.
– Students are not allowed to use any vehicle (including taxis) without permission during their time with SEGL. Students are expected to walk and/or use Paris public transportation (except for arrival and departure). Any other transportation will be provided by SEGL.
– Students may not possess incendiary devices (including matches, lighters, and candles) while with SEGL.
– SEGL students are required to abide by the laws of the United States and (where applicable) France.
– Students are expected to abide by additional rules that SEGL staff announce as they arise throughout the trip.

Policy on Professional Conduct
SEGL is committed to providing a healthy school environment, without racial or sexual harassment, physical or verbal abuse, or other unprofessional or unlawful conduct. A student who feels that any person (adult or student) connected with SEGL has acted unprofessionally or unlawfully toward the student should bring her or his concerns to the attention of a faculty or staff member. All reports of unprofessional or unlawful behavior will be investigated and, if it is determined that unprofessional or unlawful behavior has occurred, appropriate corrective action and disciplinary measures, including dismissal or expulsion, will be taken.

The weather in Paris is generally beautiful in July, with averages around 75 degrees.  However, recently temperatures have been as high as 100 degrees or more.  Occasional thunderstorms are to be expected.

Parisian standards of dress may seem different than American standards.  In particular, leggings without shorts or a skirt are inappropriate, as are shorts or skirts than land much higher than the knee.  Please do not plan on wearing these items as they will likely bring unhappy attention to you and to the entire group.  Parisian women are more comfortable with low-cut tops, but we are not.  Put bluntly: leave any tops that reveal your midriff or cleavage at home!

Sturdy shoes are a must in Paris.  This means that flip-flops are not acceptable during our day excursions.  Parisians are notorious for refusing to pick up after their dogs, and on past trips intrepid flip-flop explorer toes have slid unhappily through this reality.  We have also had flip-flops fall into the gap between the Metro platform and the Metro train, cause students to cut their feet badly on escalator stairs, create nasty blisters that keep students from participating fully in activities, etc.   Please do not fight us on flip-flops!  We love them too; we just don’t wear them in Paris.

We do not recommend bringing computers (tablets or otherwise) as we cannot guarantee they will be secure during your stay.  We do recommend purchasing an international calling plan for your cell phone, but you should not plan on using your phone except for calling home (and as a morning alarm clock).  If you bring your phone, you should also purchase an adapter that will work with the outlets in Paris (which are very different from U.S. plugs).  We strongly discourage wearing headphones during our daytime excursions as listening to music detracts from the Parisian experience, limits our ability to communicate with you to avoid emergencies, and keeps you from interacting with the group.

Keep in mind that we will probably have ONE opportunity to do laundry during the trip.

1-2 nicer outfits for special events (skirts should not be much shorter than knee-length)1-2 pairs of comfortable shoes (athletic shoes are best)
1 pair of comfortable shoes for the dorm (sandals, etc.)
Shower shoes
Sleeping clothes
1-2 sweatshirts
1-2 long sleeved shirts
3-5 classy short-sleeved shirts
Lightweight jacket (for colder nights)
Lightweight rain jacket with a hood (if you don’t have a hood, consider bringing a compact umbrella)
1-2 pairs of pants/jeans
2-3 skirts/shorts (should not be much shorter than knee-length)
Bathing suit
Comfortable underwear

Other necessities
U.S. Passport (mail one photocopy with your forms)
Your student ID (if you have one)
International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
One extra passport-sized picture (for your Metro card)
Course materials: your book(s) and journal, a writing utensil
Sunscreen, lip balm, etc.
Sunglasses with UV filter
Spending money; ATM/debit card
Calling card or smartphone with international plan
Alarm clock (battery-powered)
Toiletries (remember current rules about the size of liquids allowed on airplanes)
Money belt
Small day-pack (you will wear this every day)
Glasses/contacts (bring a back-up of each and keep a copy of your prescription with you)
Prescription medication (should be accompanied by the appropriate form)
Allergy medication/epi-pen (please note this on the appropriate form)
Over-the-counter medication (consider: motion sickness, painkiller/headache, non-drowsy allergy, non-drowsy decongestant, anti-diarrheal, laxative)
Water bottle
Hand sanitizer
Camera, film

Do not bring alcohol, drugs, tobacco products, computers, weapons, pets, or a bad attitude!

Students will likely have limited opportunities to communicate with parents/guardians and friends at home; please do not expect to communicate frequently.  Parents should not expect to send students anything by regular mail, and students will likely only be able to check email once a day or so briefly.  Parents, please remember that no news is good news!  As we find out more information about our home base at the MIJE, we will give you specific numbers to call in case you want to send a message there.  We will also carry international cell phones and will give you this contact information closer to our departure.  Remember that Paris is six hours ahead of East Coast time.