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Welcome new WEST MA students! Some helpful information…

June 3, 2009

To our incoming MA students for the 2009-2010 school year:

Welcome to the West European Studies Master’s program at Indiana University!  This is Alison Behling, Graduate Assistant for Alumni and External Relations at West European Studies. I’ve met you all, either in person and/or through e-mail conversations, by now. I hope your summer has been going well, and that you’re excited to join us in WEST in August – we’re excited to have you!

Associate Director Amanda Smith mailed an official letter to you earlier, confirming your acceptance into WEST and including your student ID number.  This post, then, is intended to help prepare you for your move to Bloomington and to provide you with preliminary information about registration and advising. If you have a specific question not addressed in these materials, please do not hesitate to contact us at or call 812-855-3280 for further assistance. West European Studies (WEST) is located in Ballantine Hall, room 542. You can also write to me directly at any time, at


There are many housing options available to you as a graduate student. While some students live on campus, others prefer to live off campus. For on-campus housing options, please consult the Residential Programs and Services web site at

For off-campus housing options, first try the Graduate and Professional Student Organization (GPSO) website: This website provides much information about life as a graduate student at IU, including various social and outside-of-class activities; funding sources; health care; and finding housing. The GPSO site is a great first resource to browse through for several initial questions you might have about grad student procedures, amenities, and lifestyle here in Bloomington.

Along with the GPSO website, there are several other different online resources you can try to find available housing in Bloomington:

Language Proficiency & Placement Exam

As noted in the Graduate Bulletin, WEST MA students must demonstrate proficiency in depth of one approved West European Language plus reading knowledge in another European language.

One method students may choose to demonstrate reading knowledge is by taking the Graduate School Foreign Language Exam (GSFLE). This exam is administered by IUB Evaluation Services and Testing (BEST) and is available for French, Spanish and German. The exam is offered several times throughout the year beginning August 29, 2008. For more information about this exam, please visit the BEST website at

To take the proficiency exam for one of the other approved WEST languages (i.e. Italian, Portuguese, Greek etc.), please directly contact the corresponding language department. Questions regarding placement in the appropriate language course to match skill level may also be directed to the language department.

*French & Italian Dept.

Ballantine Hall 642

(812) 855-1952

*Spanish and Portuguese Dept.

Spanish, Portuguese & Catalan

Ballantine Hall 844

(812) 855-1157

*Germanic Studies Dept.

German, Dutch, Norwegian & Yiddish

Ballantine Hall 644

(812) 855-1080

*West European Studies

Modern Greek

Ballantine Hall 542

(812) 855-3280

Email & Student ID card

Student email accounts and Student ID cards are available after registration for classes. For more information about obtaining an email account, go to The website for information regarding ID cards can be accessed at

Student ID cards are available at one of the following Campus Card locations during their business hours, M-F 8:00 am-5:00 pm:

  • Eigenmann Hall, 1910 E 10th Street
  • IMU, Main Level Bookstore

Be sure to take with you a valid photo ID—either a state driver’s license or passport. The first card is free; there is $15 replacement fee for each additional card if lost or stolen.

IU Parking Permit

A parking permit is required for all individuals wishing to park on the IUB campus. All enrolled students may purchase an E pass, while students employed by the university, such as GAs, qualify to purchase a C pass. Once registered for classes, you may purchase the appropriate parking permit. Please see for more information. For the week of orientation, we will have a visitor parking pass for you. Instructions will follow indicating where you should park for orientation activities.

WEST summer events

If you will be in Bloomington over the summer, check out the film series offered by the National Institute for Summer Scandinavian Studies (NISSS) and the Summer Dutch Institute (SDI), two intensive language courses hosted by WEST this summer. These programs offer free film screenings on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings throughout June and the first half of July. All films begin at 7 pm in Ballantine Hall. For more information, visit their websites at and

Current WEST newsletter

Check out the most recent edition, and others, of the West European Studies newsletter by clicking on following link:

Finally, keep in mind that registration and WEST orientation events will occur in August during the week before classes officially begin on August 31st (so: the week of August 24th). This will include a WEST cookout and a separate orientation for all appointed GAs for the 2009-2010 academic year. We will of course keep you posted with the specific dates, times, and schedule of events once they are finalized.

We hope you find this information to be useful as you prepare for your move to Bloomington. So that we may keep you informed over the summer, please notify us should your contact information change.  If you have any other questions before your arrival here or before Orientation (especially questions related to grad student life with WEST and in Bloomington), don’t hesitate to send them our way!

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