Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Pre-Academic Program


to the University of Kansas Applied English Center.  Congratulations on your award of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship.  We are looking forward to meeting you and working with you during your time in Kansas. 

Your program will provide necessary English language training, and academic, professional and cultural orientation to assist with your transition into U.S. academic and professional settings.  Through structured and informal learning activities, you will enhance your English skills, deepen your understanding of American society and the parameters of research activities, and get to know the American Midwest and its citizens.

To assist you in your adjustment to the American cultural reality, cross-cultural awareness and an appreciation of the dimensions of cultural diversity in the U.S. will be a component of the program.  You will also have opportunities to meet a variety of members of the university faculty and local community in support of this intellectual and personal adjustment.

We hope the information on this site will answer all of your questions.  If you need more information, please email your question to

Expect to be busy, learn a lot and have fun in


This eight-week English and orientation program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE). Only participants selected by the sponsor are eligible for the program.


Travel Information

The Pre-academic Program arrival date is June 2, 2018.

It is very important that you arrive on time for your program.

As soon as you receive your itinerary, please email a scanned copy of your complete itinerary to Geri Lamer at

Arrival at Airport 

  • Once you have gotten off the plane, an AEC staff member will be waiting for you at the gate with a sign that reads: UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS WELCOMES SUMMER HUMPHREY FELLOWS.
  • The staff member will help you find your luggage and catch the next shuttle to Lawrence. In some cases, you may need to wait at the airport for an hour or so.
  • The staff member will have a welcome packet full of information for you and will be happy to answer any questions you have while you wait.
  • If you have a delay at any point on your journey, please contact Geri Lamer at 785-764-2781. She will reschedule you on a later shuttle and make sure a staff member meets you when you land.
  • There will also be an AEC staff member at the residence hall where you will be living to help you get checked in when you arrive in Lawrence.

We hope your journey is a safe one and we look forward to meeting you.

Housing and Meals


Fellows will live in Downs Hall on the University of Kansas campus.

Each Fellow will have a private bedroom with a shared bathroom.  Amenities include the following:  furnished with bed, desk and chair, dresser and closet; wireless internet in room and common areas; laundry and vending machines; bus service; large-screen TVs in central living rooms; 24-hour staffed main desk; 24-hour card swipe security.

You will be provided with bed linens, a pillow and a towel.


  • Fellows will have a Breakfast/Dinner meal plan and will eat their meals at the South Dining Commons. South Dining Commons features “food court-style” service, where different stations offer specialized items such as pasta, salads, sandwiches, a pizzeria, and a grill. Diners can choose from 8-10 different entrees at each meal.
  • You will be provided with Dining Dollars on your KUID cards so that you will be able to eat lunch on campus. There are several restaurants available on campus and, for our Muslim Fellows, there is one that provides Halal dishes.
  • For those observing Ramadan
    • Unfortunately, South Dining Commons does not provide meals with Halal meat though they will have vegetarian options at every meal. There is, however, a Housing dining facility where your meal plan will work called Mrs. E's and halal meals are available there. During Ramadan, AEC staff will drive you there to pick up a halal meal for you to have after sundown.
    • The Islamic Center in Lawrence is very close to Downs Residence Hall and will be an easy walk on Friday evenings for the breaking of the fast if you would like to join the Lawrence Muslim community for that meal. 
    • Also, for your information, summer days in Kansas are quite long!  During the time you are here, the sun will rise before 6:00 a.m. and set around 8:30 p.m. 

In case of sickness, you should first go to the Watkins Student Health Center on campus.


  • As a student at the Applied English Center, you will be eligible for the full services offered by the Watkins Student Health Center at KU. You must have your KUID with you to receive medical treatment.
  • There is a charge for many services, including medications, x-rays and minor surgery. You or your health insurance company must pay these charges.
  • Prescriptions filled at the Student Health Center are not free, but they are less expensive than other pharmacies.
  • Dental care is not available at Watkins.

Regular office hours are:

  • Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 6:00pm
  • Saturday: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Sunday: Closed

During student breaks, hours are:

  • Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 4:30pm
  • Saturday: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
  • Sunday: Closed

Appointment Line: 785-864-9507
Pharmacy: 785-864-9512
Automated Line: 785-864-9500
Emergency: 911

Health Insurance

You will be covered by KU student health insurance.

As a student at the AEC, you will be able to see a doctor for free while you are at KU.

Any medical tests, medications or treatments you receive will be partially covered by your insurance but you will also be responsible for part of these costs.  The exact distribution of charges will depend upon which tests, medication or treatments you require but, in general, insurance covers about 80% of your medical charges. 

Medical Check-in

In order to be enrolled at KU, you must have:

  • two (2) Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination
  • one (1) Meningitis vaccination
  • a Tuberculosis questionnaire

If you have an official vaccination record that shows you have already taken the MMR and/or Meningitis vaccinations in your home country, you can bring it with you. The record must be in English, show the date you took the vaccination, and be signed by a doctor. 

If your vaccination record is not in English, you can print the form found at this link and ask your doctor to fill it out and sign it.

In the US, the MMR vaccination contains three vaccines – one each for Measles, Mumps and Rubella.  In your country each of these vaccines might be given separately.  Your records must show two vaccinations for each disease.

If you do not have the correct vaccination record, you will be required to take the vaccinations here. 

  • Your insurance will cover the cost of these required immunizations. 
  • If you think you have had these vaccinations but don’t have a record, the staff at Watkins will offer you the possibility of taking a blood test (called a titer test) to check your immunity levels. 
Communicating Effectively in Professional Academic Settings

This course focuses on skills in (1) professional presentations, and (2) communication and discussion in a variety of contexts. You will develop and practice professional presentation skills as well as hone pronunciation and oral fluency using seminar and group discussion formats to practice common forms of oral exchange in professional contexts. Topics will be drawn from Fellow's disciplines and TED Talks.

Reading Strategies in Professional Academic Settings

This course prepares you for reading demands in U.S. higher education. The course introduces theories behind rhetorical reading. You will practice effective pre-reading, reading and post-reading strategies.

Writing Effectively for Professional Academic Settings

The final project for this course will be to produce a 7-10 page research paper. To that end, you will study argument development and support, American organizational schema, cohesion techniques and hedging language. Building academic vocabulary and honing written fluency and accuracy will be emphasized.

Research Skills for Professional Academic Settings

Using a workshop format in the University's library computer instruction center, you will be introduced to research process principles and best practices. You will learn how to identify a research topic, gather and evaluate sources from an academic library database, and then import them into a reference manager to synthesize research into a research question. Important topics of avoiding plagiarism and conducting ethical research will also be addressed.

Computer Skills Workshop

Using a workshop format in a university digital computer lab, you will be introduced to a variety of internet search engines. To prepare for final presentations, you will learn customary accepted guidelines for PowerPoint slide formats in U.S. academic settings. The instructor will also include projects in digital literacy concepts such as using social media effectively and email netiquette. Introductions to requested software programs will be included as time permits.


Guest Speaker Series

Sample Calendars

Field Trips
Trip to Topeka
  • Topeka is the state capital for Kansas.  While in Topeka, you will visit the Kansas History Museum which is the state history museum. It presents Kansas history from the prehistoric to modern eras in 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) of exhibits. The galleries feature a train (Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe locomotive with two cars), full-sized tipi in the Southern Cheyenne style, a 1950s diner, and many other large features. Major topics covered in the main gallery include Native American tribal history, westward movement on the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails, early settlers, the Bleeding Kansas and Civil War eras, and populism at the turn of the 20th century.
  • You will also visit the National Historic Site commemorating the Brown v Board of Education case.  The story of Brown v. Board of Education, which ended legal segregation in public schools, is one of hope and courage. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) is one of the most pivotal opinions ever rendered by that body. This landmark decision highlights the U.S. Supreme Court’s role in affecting changes in national and social policy.
Trip to Kansas City
  • The National World War I Museum and Memorial of the United States is located in Kansas City, Missouri. Opened to the public as the Liberty Memorial Museum in 1926, it was designated in 2004 by the United States Congress as America's official museum dedicated to World War I. The National World War I Museum tells the story of the Great War and related global events from their origins before 1914 through the 1918 armistice and 1919 Paris Peace Conference.
  • The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is internationally recognized for its outstanding collection of more than 33,500 objects. From ancient times to modern day, this encyclopedic museum is one of the best in the country, offering visitors the opportunity to explore civilization through the eyes of painters, sculptors, craftsmen, and many other artists. The Nelson-Atkins is free to all visitors.
  • The Plaza's popularity and reputation has been recognized around the country. The entire 15-block district, with more than 150 shops and dozens of fine restaurants, makes The Country Club Plaza Kansas City's premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination.
US Independence Day
  • On the 4th of July, you will have a chance to see how Lawrence celebrates US Independence Day.  After dark, you will join Lawrence families by the river for an ice cream social and a fireworks display with lots of patriotic music and fun.
Day at Clinton Lake
  • You will visit a local lake for a relaxing day. You will have a picnic, play volleyball and soccer, and have a chance to go for a swim in the lake.
Optional Activities
Contact Information

The office is open from 8:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday. You may call the office to contact Aaron Huerter or an AEC instructor during those hours. During the evenings or weekends, if you need to speak with someone from the AEC, you should call Geri Lamer.

Geri Lamer (Contact for emergencies)
Office: (785) 864-1321
Mobile: (785) 764-2781

Mindy Van House
Office: (785) 864-1496

Aaron Huerter
Office: (785) 864-5316

Margaret Coffey
Office: (785) 864-1307

Pre-arrival Information

Climate and Weather

Lawrence experiences four distinct seasons. Temperatures during spring (March to May) and fall (October and November) can be quite mild, with more extreme temperatures on each end of these seasons. Summer (June to September) temperatures can be quite hot, and winter (December to February) temperatures can be cold, dropping below freezing on a regular basis.

Please keep in mind that the weather in Lawrence can be quite varied, with large temperature changes from day to day and even during the same day.

When packing, you may want to pack clothing that you can layer based on the day’s weather – and don’t forget an umbrella!

Below are some links to help you identify average temperature and precipitation patterns as well as see the current weather forecasts.



Different Systems


The United States is one place that does not use the metric system.

There are numerous websites to help you with that.

There are even apps for iPhone and Android that you can download and keep on your phone.

The mathematical formulas to convert temperature are:

Fahrenheit to Celsius: (⁰ F – 32) ÷ 1.8 = ⁰ C

Celsius to Fahrenheit: (⁰ C × 1.8) + 32 = ⁰ F

Here is a website that includes a quick temperature equivalency as well as a converter and other useful information:

Here are some charts for common measurements:

Here is a website where you can convert between the metric system and the units of measure used in the U.S.:

And finally, here is a currency converter:

Electrical power supply

The electrical current used in the United States is 110-125 volts AC (alternating current), 60Hz (cycles per second). This is different from that of many other countries.

If you bring appliances from home, you may need an adapter to make sure your appliances work properly.

Chargers for cell phones and computers may work on multiple power systems.

Make sure to check any electronic devices (computer) or appliances (hair dryer) that you are thinking about bringing to the US to see if you will need an adapter.

It is often easier to purchase an adapter in your own country. Even if you have an adapter or a device that works on both power systems, you will probably need a device that adjusts to the American outlet shape.

Here is a link for more information: .

Coins and currency

Like other countries in the world, the U.S. issues their own coins and currency. The coins, in particular, can be somewhat confusing because of their size and special names. Below are the common coins and bills you will see. (Note: There are additional coins and bills that exist but they are not common.)

Coins ¢


Currency (bills) $


Portion of dollar



1 dollar

1 cent




5 dollars

5 cents




10 dollars

10 cents




20 dollars

 25 cents

¼  or 25/100



50 dollars





100 dollars

If you would like to see the coins and bills you might see in the U.S., please visit the following websites:

Coins: Currency:


The standard address format for mailing items to and within the U.S. is as follows:


Street Address

(Additional information for the street address, if needed)

City, State (2 letter code)  zip code

On an envelope or package, you should include the sender’s name and address in the upper left hand corner in case the item needs to be returned to the sender.

The recipient’s name and address are in the center of the envelope.

If you would like to see what an addressed envelope should look like, you can visit:

IMPORTANT – Return Address Needed

Whenever you are sending a letter or package, you should ALWAYS include a return name and address on the box or letter. The return name and address should go in the upper left hand corner and the name and address to which you are shipping the package should be placed near the center of the package or letter. 

If a problem occurs during shipping and there is no return address, the letter or package will be lost and you will not be able to get it back. This could cost you a lot of money. If you are shipping a letter or package less than one week before you leave, you may want to use the office address as the return address. Use this format:

Your Name
C/O Mindy Van House
Lippincott Hall, Room 204
1410 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS  66045



Feeling unwell in a different country can be one of the hardest parts of travel. It is difficult to know how to treat various pain or illnesses without familiar medications or natural remedies.

Medications in the U.S. are tested thoroughly and are generally safe. Many common medications, such as pain relievers, stomach medicines, and allergy and cold medications are even available without a prescription.

Some medications can seem expensive to visitors from other countries. Other people prefer more natural remedies, which may or may not be available in the U.S. Still others need prescription medications for chronic medical conditions.

It is possible to bring medications into the U.S., but you need to do thorough research on your particular medication before bringing it.

Some general guidelines, which may or may not apply in your situation, are:

  • The item should be in the original container.
  • You should only bring enough of the product for personal use during your program. No more than a 90 day supply is allowed.
  • Prescription medications are often not allowed unless the medication has been approved for use in the U.S. or is for a serious condition for which there is no treatment available in the U.S. (there are many requirements for the latter)
  • If you have a prescription medicine, you should bring a prescription or doctor’s note in English about the medication and why you need it.
  • Natural remedies or medications which have ingredients from animals may be banned.

You can also start a more thorough search at:

Currency Exchange

The airport in Kansas City is small and does not have any currency exchange kiosks. If your first stop in the U.S. is at a major airport, you may be able to exchange money there.

It can be difficult to exchange money once you reach Kansas. Although there is one bank in Lawrence that will exchange money, it can be a difficult and time-consuming process.

It is recommended that you bring either a bank card so you can withdraw money from an ATM (automated teller machine) or bring traveler’s checks (in U.S. dollars). Although both will likely involve some fees, these are the simplest and safest methods for accessing money.

Although it is a good idea to bring some U.S. currency to Kansas with you, it is not recommended that you carry large amounts of cash with you.

Once you arrive in the U.S.

What to expect when entering the U.S.

When entering the U.S., you will need to show your passport, visa, and KU I-20 (if F-1) or DS-2019 (if J-1). Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your arrival.

You may be fingerprinted, photographed, and an entry stamp may be placed in your passport. You may be asked to go to another line where they will look at your documents and ask additional questions.

Do not be scared. This is all normal.

This may take 2-4 hours or longer to complete. Allow enough time between flights to complete all steps.

Your arrival will be registered electronically.

What to expect in Lawrence


The U.S., and the middle of the country in particular, has a car based culture. Most Americans who live outside of major cities have a car and bus systems are either unavailable or not as extensive or convenient as they may be in other countries around the world.

Lawrence does have a bus system. It is free to ride with a KU ID card. However, there is no service on Sundays and service in the summer, during university breaks, in the evening, and on Saturdays is limited.

Unfortunately, transportation to places outside of Lawrence, such as Kansas City, is very limited and can be expensive. Taxis, Uber, and shuttle services are all available but must be arranged ahead of time. Sharing the costs of these services with several other people can make them more cost-effective.

The K-10 Connector is a bus service that runs between Lawrence and Johnson County Community College (JCCC) in Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City. From JCCC you should be able to take Kansas City buses into downtown Kansas City.

The K-10 Connector is primarily a commuter service and only operates Monday – Friday from about 6 am until 6 pm, with a couple of buses Monday – Thursday evenings. More details will be listed in the Handbook you will receive when you arrive.


As a KU student, you will be able to connect to the internet on your cell phone or computer using the free Wireless internet available in all campus buildings and residence halls.

Computers are available for use in the KU libraries and in several computers labs on campus.

Printing is available but does cost additional money - $0.08 for each black and white page (1 sided) and $0.48 for each color page (1 sided). Printing is connected to your KU ID card and can be purchased via credit card or cash. See your handbook upon arrival for more details on how to print on campus.

There are no public or pay phones on the KU campus. There are also no landline connections in the on—campus residence halls. To speak with your family and friends you will need to use an online phone service such as Skype, purchase an American cell phone, or have U.S. service set up on your cell phone from home.

One of the first 12 intensive English programs in the United States
Each semester year, the AEC enrolls about 250 students representing more than 35 countries on six continents.
Start working on your degree now! You can take university classes for credit at the same time you are taking English classes.
Earn university credits now! You can use 9 AEC credits as elective credits toward your KU degree in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Business, and Architecture.
Fulfill a university requirement! Completion of your English proficiency requirements means you have finished your foreign language requirement at the University of Kanas.
CONNECT with the AEC