The Institute’s classes will take place in the political science conference room on the second floor of Anderson Hall. Anderson Hall, home of the University of Florida’s Department of Political Science, is located within a short walking distance from your hotel. From the hotel, head West 0.2 Miles (0.32 Kilometers) along University Avenue. Anderson Hall is on the South side of University Avenue directly across from Chipotle Restaurant.
The Institute's administrative office and computer lab are also located in Anderson Hall:
State Department Institute on United States Foreign Policy
University of Florida
Department of Political Science
234 Anderson Hall
P.O. Box 117325
Gainesville, FL 32611-7325
Phone: (352) 273-2378
Fax: (352) 392-8127 (Attention: Laura Sjoberg and Steve Craig)
To find Anderson Hall on an interactive map of the University of Florida campus, click here. Note that Anderson Hall is abbreviated “AND.”
During your stay in Gainesville, you will each have a private room in the Holiday Inn-University Center Hotel, located at 1250 W. University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601. As noted above, the hotel is within a short walking distance from the Institute’s facilities. For information about the hotel’s amenities and location, as well as photos, please visit the Holiday Inn-University Center website.
If you are bringing electrical appliances such as an electric shaver or laptop, the standard electrical power system in the U.S. is based on 60 cycles, 110 volts, alternating current.
You will have the opportunity to try many different foods during your time with us. During the week, most of your meals will be taken on campus, where there are many options for you to choose from.
Near Anderson Hall and your hotel, you will find a mix of fast food restaurants including national chains (Chipotle, Subway, FireHouse Subs, Barista's Brews, Starbucks Coffee, McDonalds, Krispy Kream Donuts, and many others) and other specialized cuisines (Italian, Asian, Southern) as well as coffee, ice cream and pubs - all within walking distance of your hotel. None of our catering will include pork, and we will always have vegetarian options when meals are catered. Many restaurants cater to regular diners and those with special diets, such as vegetarian, low-sodium, and Kosher.
You will also have the opportunity to dine in unique restaurants in Gainesville and on our trips. Please let us know of any dietary needs. We will explain the system of paying for individual and group meals in more detail upon your arrival.
Being in good health prior to your departure for the United States will help ensure that you benefit fully from the Institute and make the most of your visit here. We advise you to consult with your doctor if you are currently under regular treatment for any illnesses or medical conditions. If you are taking any medication on a regular basis, you should make sure to bring enough with you to last for the entire duration of your stay. Please note that you should bring any medication with you in your carry-on baggage in the plane, in the event that your checked luggage is temporarily lost or delayed in getting here. If you wear contact lenses or glasses, we recommend that you bring an extra pair.
Each Institute participant will be provided with the United States Department of State Accident and Sicknesss Program for Exchanges> (ASPE)Health Benefit Plan. This is not an insurance policy, but does provide health benefits. Information can be found at the website of the administrator,Seven Corners. If you need to go to the doctor, the hospital, the emergency room, or an urgent care facility, you are responsible for a $15.00 co-pay. ASPE will cover the remaining expenses at 100% up to a policy maximum if the medical condition is not pre-existing. In other words, the insurance only covers problems that develop during the time you are in the U.S. on the program, such as accidents, appendicitis, etc. It does not cover doctor's visits or treatment for pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes or other on-going health issues. You have the option of purchasing additional health insurance or extending your insurance when you arrive. It is also advisable to bring evidence of your own health insurance if it includes coverage within the U.S.
Should you require medical attention during your stay with us,
we will provide you with transportation to the appropriate facility and
assist you throughout this time.
Gainesville is a relatively safe, small American city. However, it is advisable to take certain precautions that you would take in any town or city with which you are not generally familiar. You will be taken on a tour of campus on your first day here and will visit other parts of Gainesville your first weekend to help orient you to the city.
While you are on campus, the University of Florida Police Department offers an escort service, the Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol (SNAP). This service is available from 6:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 6:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. SNAP is available to students, staff, faculty, and visitors at no charge. SNAP can be reached from any campus phone by dialing 392-SNAP.
In the large cities we will be visiting, it is always wise to take the same general precautions that you would take in any big city throughout the world. These include not walking alone at night, avoiding parks and quiet streets after sunset, and keeping a close eye on your personal possessions.
While in residence at UF, mail should be addressed to you in the following manner:
State Department Summer Institute
c/o Department of Political Science, Anderson Hall
University of Florida
P.O. Box 117325
Gainesville, FL 32611
Please use the address above to receive parcels. Parcels are often times returned to the sender or may be lost when addressed to the hotel.
Try to arrange to receive all mail by July 20 since campus mail is slow and you will depart for the tour on July 27 and will not be returning to UF. Since we will be traveling a great deal during the tour, it is not recommended that you have mail sent to any of the hotels listed on our itinerary. Most hotels will not accept mail for individuals who are not currently registered. Fax and telephone numbers will be provided. Should mail for you arrive after your departure, we will forward it to your home.
Personal mail will be placed in your mail folders in the seminar room daily by 4 p.m. Packages will be placed on the shelf below the folders.
Please ask the Institute staff for instructions on mailing letters and parcels. We may be able to assist you or may need to direct you to a local post office.
International faxes may be shipped from the Institute office (see above address). The cost is $3 for the first page and $1 for each additional page. We will try to bring faxes that have been received at the office to the morning sessions. The office fax number is (352) 392-8127. Please make sure that each fax sent to you has “State Department Summer Institute” and your name clearly marked on the cover sheet or the first page.
You will each be assigned a UF computer account at the first Internet and e-mail session. You will be able to use computers in the computer lab at Anderson Hall, other computing facilities on campus and in all libraries. You will need your university identification card (Gator 1) to use these facilities. Our staff will assist you with obtaining these cards on your first day at the Institute.
The telephone system in the United States is different from that used in most of your countries. In addition, the phone system utilized by the University is unique. To help you navigate through the maze of trying to communicate via the telephone, below are instructions you will need to follow. Please, do not hesitate to ask any of the staff for assistance. This may be the most challenging aspect of your stay in the U.S.
You can receive unlimited phone calls in your room at no charge, so it may work best to have your family call you. There is no charge for local calls you make. However, you will incur a charge for long distance calls you make. It is best to use a pre-paid telephone card. We will provide you with a pre-paid telephone card with a $10 value on your day of arrival. You may purchase additional cards at most any supermarket or drugstore.
Making international calls: If you do not insist on the privacy of calling from your own room, making a call from a public pay phone is much easier. The easiest way is to use a pre-paid telephone card - you will not need the university access code. We will provide more detailed instructions on this and other communications matters at your orientation here.
With your Gator 1 you will have full access to the University libraries. You may wish to visit their web site before your arrival to get an idea of the holdings and resources available to you during your stay. In fact, you could probably spend your entire stay in our library system and still have missed things! To help you get oriented, we have arranged a tour of the main library for you in your first week. You will also find the first week’s sessions helpful in navigating the electronic resources available to you through the library system.
In addition to the library and bus system, your Gator 1 card can also be used to access the vast network of campus sports and recreation facilities. You can view complete details, including equipment, schedules, and more, at the Recreational Facilities web page.
You will be living just a few minutes’ walk from an Olympic-sized lap pool, campus running routes, Lake Alice (beware of aligators), soccer fields, dozens of fitness classes and much more. Although the weather will be hot and humid, many of the gyms offer air conditioned fitness and weight rooms for your convenience and comfort.
Please let us know before you arrive which activities interest you most so that we can personalize your welcome packages and help you hit the ground running—literally!
We have planned a variety of entertainment opportunities for you both here in Gainesville and on the road, but you also have plenty of free time to explore your own personal interests. Although Gainesville is a relatively small town, we have a diverse entertainment scene thanks to the University and our proximity to larger cities.
We will be posting entertainment listings daily in the Institute lounge, and will do our best to accommodate special requests made in advance.
The Gainesville Sun, our local newspaper, provides a comprehensive look at the opporunities both on campus and around town on their website.
Public buses leave directly from the Anderson Hall and your hotel for destinations all over Gainesville. Your campus ID card will get you unlimited free rides on the local bus sytem. We will provide you with maps and schedules of the public routes upon your arrival. These common destinations are within 20 minutes of your hotel:
- Oaks Mall with over 140 stores (visit their website)
- Archer Road with Target, Walmart, grocery stores and more
- Downtown Gainesville's movie theaters, restaurants, and clubs
We will be using the bus system extensively to go shopping, attend films and concerts, and more.