Information for CU Students going to MIT
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology admitted its first students in 1865. This event marked the culmination of an extended effort by William Barton Rogers, a distinguished natural scientist, to establish a new kind of independent educational institution relevant to an increasingly industrialized America. Rogers stressed the pragmatic and practicable, believing that professional competence is best fostered by coupling teaching and research and by focusing attention on real-world problems.
Today, MIT is one of the world's outstanding universities. Education and research - with relevance to the practical world as a guiding principle - continue to be its primary purpose. MIT is independent and privately endowed. It is organized into five schools that contain 26 academic departments as well as many interdepartmental programs, laboratories, and centers whose work extends beyond traditional departmental boundaries. There are more than 900 members of the faculty and nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
For further information on MIT see the MIT Facts booklet.
Academic support is provided on a course-specific, rather than collegiate or residential basis, hence students taking a course have access to the same "supervisory" staff, irrespective of where they live. At the same time, each CME student, like others at MIT, is assigned an departmental faculty Academic Advisor, whose role lies somewhere between a Cambridge college tutor and a Director of Studies. Your Academic Advisor will help you with your choice of courses, with registering you for the term, and with any other difficulties you may encounter. In some departments, an Assistant Advisor is also assigned to you. All academic departments at MIT have undergraduate offices and are staffed by administrators willing and able to help you with a range of issues and concerns. The Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education also offers help on matters related to academic work or career advising. Or you may approach some of your lecturers for advice or simply to chat, given the generally high degree of class interaction here. MIT Staff are your first port of call for support, however you may also contact the CME Coordinator or your DOS at Cambridge should it be appropriate.
MIT provides generous counseling and support assistance through the Office of the Dean for Student Life as well as the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education. The CME Office is available for the specific and particular needs and concerns of students in the exchange program.
Credit registration at Cambridge
At the end of each of your academic terms, MIT will issue a transcript of your grades for that term. At the end of your academic year, an official copy of this transcript will be forwarded to the International Education Office in Cambridge for distribution to your Senior Tutor and to your department.
Students at MIT have a variety of choices for where they will live during the academic year. In addition to traditional dormitories, there are smaller residences (usually under 50 residents) known as fraternities, sororities and independent living groups (FSILGs), most of which are off-campus. Just as each College at Cambridge has its unique identity each residence at MIT has something unique to offer.
There are four basic types of accommodation, see below
Fraternities: all-male living groups.
At MIT there are chapters of a number of national fraternities. They have names consisting of Greek letters. These chapters own houses for 20-50 residents both on campus and off campus in Cambridge, Boston and Brookline. Alpha Epsilon Pi , Delta Tau Delta, Phi Sigma Kappa, Theta Chi normally invite Cambridge students to live at their houses.
- Sororities: all-female living groups.
Independent Living Groups: co-ed except for WILG.
Unlike fraternities and sororities these groups have no national connection. While most house both male and female students, there is one that houses only women, the Women's Independent Living Group (WILG).
Dormitories: co-ed except for McCormick
There are currently 11 undergraduate dormitories. These range in size from about 100 to 375 residents. One dormitory, McCormick, houses only women. There is also the opportuntity to live in smaller cultural houses within one of these dormitories.
Visas, Insurances, Flights etc
- Passport and Visas
In general, unless you are carrying a US passport, you will need to
apply for a visa to study at MIT. US visa requirements change
regularly, it is best to consult the US Embassy in London Visa
Website for general information.
The MIT CME Office and the MIT International Students Office will provide assistance to generate the initial visa application. The first step in the process is to complete the CME Biographic Form and return it as soon as possible to the International Education Office.
Once you have submitted your form, you do not need to do anything else until MIT sends you your DS-2019 form along with information for completing the visa process. You will then need to make an appointment at the US Embassy, which can take up to a month. When you go to your appointment, make sure to take all of the documents required, including the special delivery envelope. You will have to answer a few questions regarding the reason for and length of your travel in the US before your visa application is approved. Once approved, you should receive your visa within a week by post.
Ensure your passport has at least 6 months to run after you return from MIT following the exchange
As an exchange student at MIT, you are eligible for coverage under the
MIT Health Plan and will be automatically enrolled in this
service. You will receive free access to the MIT Health Center,
which provides extensive GP service for both physical and
psychological health needs.
In addition, there is an “extended medical plan,” which provides additional coverage. The cost of the extended plan is approximately $1,600 (check for currrent rates) for the academic year and you may be reimbursed for the three summer months that you are not at MIT. The bursary provided by CME includes an element to cover these costs. Students who have adequate health care coverage and who choose to waive coverage under the extended plan are required to complete a waiver form from MIT Medical. Waiver forms are available at http://web.mit.edu/medical/p-waiver.html.
MIT will ask that you and your physician complete a medical report form (pdf) before you come to MIT. Prior to your arrival at MIT, you must visit your GP and begin your immunisation against Hepatitis B (this vaccination is usually administered over a six month period, so please see the special section below for further details).
- Travel Insurance
- Travel insurance is recommended because it provides valuable coverage in unforeseen circumstances, such as lost luggage or other possessions (any coverage you have in the UK will probably not apply in the US), travel delays and cancellations, legal fees, or having to return home for a family emergency. It is often combined with health coverage and is available through the companies listed above.
- If you sign up for the MIT Extended Health Insurance Plan, consider purchasing separate travel insurance as well. The options for travel insurance through the companies listed above are the same as those for medical insurance.
- STA has been recommended by Cambridge exchange students from previous years because it provides coverage for a wide variety of both medical and travel needs. If you decide to waive the MIT Extended Health Insurance, it can also be helpful to have your medical and travel insurance under one umbrella. STA has offices all over the US, including MIT's Student Center, so they are easy to contact.
- Be aware that sometimes travel insurance policies may become invalid if you return home during the year. Make sure that this is not the case with your policy, or else buy insurance to cover you for every trip to the US separately.
- Typically there is a limit on the value of the goods insured, and normally laptops are not covered (Endsleigh does cover laptops up to a certain amount).
- Flights As an exchange student you are required to arrive a week before term, precise time will be communicted to you by the CME Administrator in CUED, for orientation. As soon as you have booked your flight, please communicate your travel plans to the CME Administrator in the CUED.