Computers & Technology
As a service to castle students, the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) will offer students the chance to buy a cell phone during Orientation Weekend. The phone will cost approximately €15, including a SIM card. Our colleagues will find the best deal and purchase the phones before each semester begins. We will email you when it comes time to sign up for the phone deal.
The phone you can purchase during orientation weekend will be pre-programmed in English, have a European SIM card, and will be functional in all European countries.OSA will explain how everything works during orientation weekend. The phone is yours to keep. After return to Boston, you can pass it on to a friend who may be attending the castle program the following semester, if you want. The phone offered during orientation weekend will be an inexpensive option for those students wanting a phone for emergency purposes only. (Texting and talking for any length of time on this phone will be expensive.)
If you decide to purchase a phone for more extensive talking and texting, you should find a phone that can use low-rate, prepaid airtime for the countries you will visit. Make sure that the phone you purchase works in all countries you plan to visit, not just in the country where you purchased the phone. You should also ensure the phone you buy is sim-lock free. Most new phones purchased in the United States include GSM technology, but still may not accept a SIM card, the chip that activates local service from other companies, and the roaming charges can be prohibitive.
Some European providers you may want to check out:
Will My Current Cell Phone Work in Europe?
Three conditions you need to check on:
- Your mobile phone must be GSM. If your mobile phone is not GSM, it isn't going to work anywhere in Europe.
- Your mobile phone needs to be tri-band or quad band. If it isn’t tri-band or quad band, it won’t work anywhere in Europe.
- Make sure your phone accepts a European SIM card. Speak to your current phone company and see if they know which European SIM cards will work in your handset. You’ll need to swap your current SIM card (it's inside the phone, usually behind the battery) for the new one. Once you stop traveling, you can switch it back. Most new phones purchased in the United States include GSM technology, but still may not accept a SIM card, the chip that activates local service from other companies, and the roaming charges can be prohibitive.
Unless your home cell phone meets all three conditions, it won't work in Europe. You and your family should discuss which option works best for you.
To save money, use your phone as little as possible. You can talk to friends and family via computer if you establish an account with Skype. Try to encourage friends and family to use a Skype account to save money.
YOU CANNOT USE SKYPE TO DIAL 0900 NUMBERS.
Participants will need both an adapter and a converter for any electrical equipment they bring. Read these facts about electricity in Europe.
A converter, which converts American 110V to European 220V, can be purchased individually for a particular appliance or in a travel set.
The castle facilities manager recommends that you purchase a 1600-watt converter from Radio Shack. These seem to be the most reliable; some converters don’t even fit the castle outlets. Radio Shack is the best place to purchase these items. Employees should also be able to answer any questions you might have.
If the only piece of equipment you plan on bringing is a hair dryer, you might consider purchasing one in The Netherlands or buying a travel hair dryer with a built-in converter. We strongly recommend that you not bring an American hair dryer to the castle as it does present some danger of explosion.
An adapter adapts the American flat-pronged plug to the European round-pin plug.
- A small adapter with two round pins can be used everywhere in Europe, except England and Ireland.
- A larger, 3-pronged adapter is necessary in Great Britain.
For Mac Users
There is an Apple World Traveler Adapter Kit that can be purchased at an Apple store. Other adapters do not work well with a Mac. The Wonpro Travel Adaptor is very good. The Kensington Travel Adaptor does not work, so do not purchase one from that company.
DO NOT BRING A U.S. POWER STRIP WITH YOU; IT OFTEN GETS FRIED OR BLOWS FUSES AT THE CASTLE. IF YOU MUST HAVE ONE, YOU’LL NEED TO PURCHASE ONE IN WELL.
Computer Anti-Virus Software
You will need to install and run a software security suite on your laptop BEFORE you depart for The Netherlands. During orientation weekend the Facilities Manager will check each computer to make sure an anti-virus program has been installed on your MAC. Once the Facilities Manager confirms this, you will receive a network key, which allows you access to the Internet.
- Please ensure your computer is free of viruses and/or malware before arrival to Kasteel Well. You won't be allowed access to the castle’s network until your system’s “cleanliness” is up to par.
- For students with Macs: You will need to install and run a software security suite on your laptop before leaving for the Netherlands. The Emerson IT Dept. recommends Sophos - http://www.sophos.com/en-us/
If you have questions or concerns, or are uncomfortable performing the install on your own, call the I.T Help Desk at x8080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You will need to install and run a software security suite on your laptop BEFORE you depart for The Netherlands. During orientation weekend the Facilities Manager will check each computer to make sure an anti-virus program has been installed on your PC. Once he confirms this, you will receive a network key, which allows you access to the Internet.
For students with PCs: You will need to install a security suite before leaving for Kasteel Well. The Emerson IT Dept. recommends using a free one: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/security-essentials-download For your protection and everyone else’s, you won't be allowed access to the castle’s network until your system’s “cleanliness” is up to par. Once you install the security suite, make sure you download any updates or new definitions for it, and run a full scan of your computer. Security suites are acceptable as long as they include antivirus, firewall, and spyware/malware protection components. Make sure the subscription hasn’t expired and the virus definitions are up to date before you leave for Kasteel Well, or your computer could be exposed to the various maladies of the Internet. To ensure your PC is protected from the latest security threats, be sure you’ve run all Critical Windows Updates.
Remember, for your protection and everyone else’s, you won't be allowed access to the castle’s network until your system’s “cleanliness” is up to par.
In addition to security software, you should also check for updates to your operating system and other software. You can get more information at the Help Desk website. If you have questions or concerns, or are uncomfortable performing the install on your own, call the I.T Help Desk at x8080 or email email@example.com
Other Computing Essentials/Facts
The castle has a wireless Internet network you can access anywhere on campus. If you bring your own laptop, you’ll be able to send and receive emails and surf the Web every day, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
- The network has been upgraded, but it is very slow during hours when students tend to be online at the same time or uploading films and large files, or sharing documents.
- You can go to “De Bunn” in the village Well to use the free wireless service, if necessary.
12-networked PCs are available in the computer lab located in the Voorburcht, or forecastle. In addition to Internet Explorer, the PCs have Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, Adobe Photoshop, and FrontPage. The lab may also be used for Internet and email access. The lab is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, Internet access in the lab is from 8:00 am to 1:00 am.
- Bring your original software disks. If you have a hard drive or software issue while at the castle, you might not be able to fix it if you don’t have the software.
- Mac users should bring their own VGA adaptor if they think they might need to hook their laptop to a projector for a class presentation.
- There is no networked printer at the castle. To print a document you will need to use one of the computers in the lab. For this reason, each participant should bring some kind of portable data storage, either a memory stick or compact flash drive.
- If you bring your laptop computer to Kasteel Well, please be aware that you do so at your own risk. As your Kasteel Well Student Contract states, "7. Emerson College and the European Center are not liable for loss of money or valuables, or for loss of or damage to my personal property […] in the residence halls, dining halls, lounges on campus, or during European Center field classes and activities." Also, you are responsible for the operation of your own equipment. The Kasteel Well staff are not computer experts, and while they may be able to assist with connectivity issues, they cannot repair your computer if it is not running properly. However, you may still consult with the IT desk here in Boston via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are having problems.
- If you have any questions, call the IT Help Desk at 617-824-8080 or stop by the office on the 4th floor of 120 Boylston Street before you leave Boston.
A wireless network is available 24 hours a day anywhere within castle grounds.
Students working on photo assignments in summer program class