This overview of frequently asked questions aims to provide you with detailed information on the application and admission process. Please feel free to raise any additional question or clarification by sending us an eMail to firstname.lastname@example.org
1) How much is the participation fee?
The participation fee is 199,00€. Our staff is working voluntary to organize the school to maintain a student-friendly price while offering a program that can compete with leading seasonal schools programs for political sciences students. Therefore, the paid amount will be spent directly on the program: venue, lecturers, workshop conductors, materials, etc. Next to these shared costs, it also includes individual costs for social events. Our events are organized from students for students.
2) Who is eligible to apply?
The majority of students are in the advanced undergraduate and master’s level, which also equals the core target group of IAPSS. Young professional and early PhD candidates may also join from universities all over the world based on the assessment of their motivation. Participants usually already have already a strong interest in the respective topic or contemplate to seek it as their academic and/or professional specialization afterwards. Based on our experience, participants were able to use our program to get clarity on their future career by finding a branch for future studies, a platform for publications or getting active in IAPSS itself. The possibilities are vast and individuality is a high value in our programs. Our staff will make sure that you gain most out of your experience with us.
3) Is the program too academically challenging for me?
Don’t underestimate yourself. Even a PhD candidate on geopolitics has maybe never dealt with political Islam, while you may already be an expert in the field as an advanced undergraduate, because you wrote your bachelor’s thesis and multiple course papers on this topic. Our didactical concept will enable a fruitful discussion beyond academic level. However, the selection process will be highly competitive. Our selection committee will take care of an adequate academic, regional and gender balance. And by the way: We will not be just sitting in a class room, but we will also explore Tunis as much as we can! Please also note: The program is highly interactive and requires the willingness to engage in group work. Every participant is obliged to participate in a lab format (research track or policy track) and is supposed to deliver a group output on the last day of the program.
5) Do I need to take part in a so-called lab format?
Yes, it’s obligatory. Don’t be scared! The aim of the lab formats is to gather people with the same interests in the Middle East and North Africa – only separate by the approach they are taking (research or policy). The coordinators on-site will guide you through the two day long group setting. The working groups are also an opportunity to experience an entirely new field and engage in co-creative processes.
6) What are the language requirements?
The program is entirely conducted in English. Student whose mother tongue is not English do not need to submit an evidence of English language, but we count on your self-evaluation. A well written motivational letter is already a good indicator to assess someone’s language skills. Our program has a limited amount of spots to offer highly interactive sessions with in-depth and fruitful discussions – good English skills are obligatory for successful participation. Participants are requested to ‘participate’ actively in the sessions and should be able to communicate sufficiently in English. If you have any official certificates or scores, feel free to mark them in your CV in the application process and/or upload them for us.
7) Is there an application fee?
No, IAPSS does not charge an application fee. In case any fraud cases come to your notice, please contact us immediately.
8) Is accommodation provided?
No, since the past has shown that different participants have different needs and budgets. We recommend to use ordinary booking platforms such as booking.com, Airbnb and hostelworld to browse for accommodation and book accordingly. In the month of February, prices for accommodation are modest. Also think about more social accommodation options such as couchsurfing. In your admission mail, you will find a link to a facebook group, where you can connect to other participants. Use this forum to seek fellows for a shared apartment – past experience has also shown that 10 people gather to rent an apartment and pay a very low daily rate.
1) How long will it take until I know if I have been accepted to the program?
Applications will be reviewed after the deadline within seven working days. Please note that we will only review complete applications including the required documents.
2) How will I be notified about the outcome of my application?
We will notify you via eMail as soon as a decision is reached. Please make sure that you are regularly checking your eMails in this period. There might be a small amount of people who will be placed on a waiting list and will be notified respectively with further information on this procedure.
3) I would like to travel and explore the city instead of attending lectures. Is this possible?
We will not coerce anyone to stay in the seminar rooms, if the person does not wish so. However, you will be investing time and money in this school, and attending the programm is an integral part of the experience. Based on admission, we will send you a link to a Facebook group, where you can get in contact with your fellow participants. If you want to travel around and explore, we recommend doing this before or after the school – use the Facebook group to find your travel mates. This always works out and a lot of long-term friendships have been established! Please note that the program does also include cultural and social events (tbd), so we will not sit in the seminar room all the time.
1) Do I need a visa to take part in the IAPSS Winter School?
To check whether or not you need a visa to Tunisia, please check with the Tunisian representation in your country.
2) Do I get a visa invitation letter?
An individualized visa invitation letter will be issued by IAPSS after successful payment via the IAPSS Webstore. The participation fee has to be paid beforehand, so IAPSS has a security against visa fraud cases. Students who require a visa are requested to pay the participation fee as soon as possible after admission to ensure a convenient visa process. IAPSS will offer help throughout the entire visa issue process.
1) When do I have to pay the participation fee?
It is recommended to pay the participation fee as soon as possible to guarantee your place in the program. The payment deadline is January 2nd, 2018 for those that have gained admission to the program in the first week of September. The usual time frame is five days after admission, please notify us if the payment process is delayed or you encounter any other financial problems. Please contact email@example.com with a reasoning in case you want to make a request for a later payment.
2) Can I pay with credit card?
Yes, we highly recommend using this payment method as it is quicker and more secure than other methods. All major credit cards are accepted. Other payment methods include PayPal, Sofortüberweisung, iDeal, etc. – choose the most appropriate for you. Please note that an small fee between 0,5%-3% is automatically charged for transaction fees by the provider of the respective payment method.
3) What should I do if my credit card gets rejected?
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org with a detailed description of the problem in order to identify any technical problem in your system before advising you to contact your credit institute.
4) I come from a country where PayPal is not available, and I don’t have a credit card. How can I still pay for my ticket?
Please note that we also accept selected Visa and MasterCard debit cards. In case you do not possess of either, please contact us at email@example.com for alternative payment methods (e.g. wire transfer or WesternUnion). We have members from 90 different countries in the world and have always found a way to make a payment possible.
5) Does IAPSS offer any financial help or scholarships for admitted students?
IAPSS is a voluntarily student-run organization. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer any financial assistance or specific discounts. Please check funding options already after submitting your application with the international office of your home university.
6) Can IAPSS provide me with accommodation?
No, unfortunately not. However, we encourage you to check airbnb or couchsurfing for a more authentic and cheap accommodation.
7) Can I cancel my ticket and get it refunded?
If, for any reason, you cannot attend the Convention, restitution of your participation fee (or a part of it) is conditional and subject to deadlines.
(a) If you cancel your participation after payment until, December 31st, 2017, IAPSS will refund 80% of the already paid fee. If you cancel your participation after this date you will only be refunded upon individual case decision.
(b) In case of a rejected visa application, reimbursement of your ticket will be decided upon on a case by case basis. The responsibility for fees and timely application for a visa remains with the participant, and IAPSS is not liable for any fees incurred by the participant due to a rejected visa application. If IAPSS sees that the visa application process was purposely delayed, we may not be able to reimburse the fee after December 31st, 2017. The past experience has shown that with our support, visa application are nearly always successful, if participant start their application as early as possible. Please try to settle to visa issue until December 31st, 2017, to avoid any financial damage.
After the program
1) What documents will I receive upon my successful completion of the program?
Participants will receive a printed formal certificate with a seal as well as a certificate supplement, which states the achievements and details of the participants.
2) When will I received the certificate?
The certificates will be awarded after the final group presentation, which is the final assessment of the school and marks its end. Certificates will be made electronically available on request.
3) Do I get ECTS credits?
If you want to have the IAPSS Winter School on the transcript of your home university, we recommend you to get in contact with your academic advisor to discuss the opportunity to do so. The organizational committee will provide you with any necessary information or document to support this process. The program will equal 75-80 hours of work including attendance of seminars, workshops and trips; preparatory readings and participation in a working group with a final group examination. This workload equals 2-4 ECTS credits depending on the regulations of your home university and the level of your studies. We are in negotiation with CIFE to issue accredited ECTS credits for every participants via a certificate.
4) Will I be able to access course materials after the program?
Yes, our eLearning facility will be permanently available after the program.