elasa

Minimeeting is back

We are pleased to give you an update on the planning of the minimeeting to be held here in Edinburgh in the Spring of 2010. Organisation and plans are evolving well and we are pleased to see the return of the minimeeting to the ELASA calendar.
For those of you who may be unaware we volunteered to organise the minimeeting at the Representatives meeting in Romania in the summer as unfortunately there was no minimeeting in 2009. So on a tighter time frame we have been working hard to arrange a stimulating, interesting and fun programme that will challenge you to in many ways.

For the moment this is an intro email to give you the basic details so you can see if the dates fit into your programme in what is I’m sure a very busy Spring/Summer semester. This year we have decided to make it a little earlier than in the past in order to try to avoid big clashes with exams and handins, of course though we realise this is a busy time of year and it is impossible to fit into eveyone’s timetable. So, the details below are the basics and are meant to allow you to investigate travel arrangements, visa arrangements etc etc to see what is available and necessary.
Of course we know that cost is a major factor and often the deciding factor for many of you, but I hope you can appreciate we are still in the process of calculating costs, seeking sponsorship etc so PLEASE DO NOT ASK US THE COST AT THIS TIME. We will not be able to tell you yet. Of course I hope it goes without saying that we will make is as low as possible.

We will aim to open the application in early February once details are clearer, the cost and more details will follow then.
Minimeeting will open/start the evening of Thursday 15th April
Minimeeting will close evening of Monday 19th April.

Accommodation will be available for the Monday night, it is expected participants will leave Tuesday.
The meeting will start and end in the city of Edinburgh, but expect to spend the weekend away from the city in a remote setting.
Below are a few suggestions for travel possibilities:
There are cheap flights to Edinburgh from all over Europe. See:

There are also options to fly to other nearby cities such as Glasgow (about an hour away) and other northern cities such as Liverpool (3.5 Hours from Edinburgh by train), Newcastle (1.5 hours by train), East Midlands Airport (nearest cities are Nottingham, Loughborough and Derby.
Of course most flights will go into London (Gatwick, Luton or Stansted, (maybe Heathrow but this is generally for longer distance flights) From London there are direct trains to Edinburgh (4.5 hours is the fastest). If you are prepared to spend hour on a bus from London you can get very cheap bus tickets. See http://www.nationalexpress.com/coach/index.cfm. The journey takes about 9 hours and costs about £35. There is also the megabus http://www.megabus.com/uk/ the journey also takes about 9 hours and costs about £14 (the earlier you book the cheaper it is)- Megabus is not as comfortable as the National Express!

For all train enquiries our main point of info is www.nationalrail.co.uk This will give to details of times etc. However in England the rail network is privatised so different companies are respopnsible for different parts of the country. The main provider for London-Edinburgh journeys is East Coast Rail (http://www.eastcoast.co.uk/ ) and Virgin http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/ (Glasgow). Cheap advance tickets on the train are normally released 3 months before and can be found on www.thetrainline.co.uk. There are very frequent trains between Glasgow and Edinburgh and the journey is only an hour.

If you visit the websites of the nearest airports (below) there may be other airlines that are useful

Airports:

Edinburgh:
http://www.edinburghairport.com/

Glasgow international:
http://www.glasgowairport.com/
Glasgow Prestwick:
http://www.gpia.co.uk/

Newcastle upon Tyne:
http://www.newcastleairport.com/

East Midlands:
http://www.eastmidlandsairport.com/emaweb.nsf#70

Note:
If, flying to Edinburgh airport, then take bus 100 (blue bus) to terminus stop; Waverley.
A return ticket for bus 100 cost £6 (travel journey is about 30min).
A taxi journey cost about £20 (can take up to 5 people).

For all train journeys you can make a big saving by purchasing a Young Persons Railcard if you are a student or under 26. They cost £26 but often your saving is much more so they can be worth it. You save a third on offpeak travel, they are also valid for a year and usable across the whole of the UK.

Phew, nearly there! We also aware that some of you may need a visa. Below is some useful information and where to look to check.

Home office website:
http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/passports-and-immigration/visas/index7fb8.html?version=3

This following interactive link tells you whether you will need a visa or not:
http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/doineedvisa/

For example:
purpose of visit is: Visit.
Nationality: Romanian.
what country are you living in: Romania
Answer: EEA member no visa required!


Note:
European Economic Area (EEA) citizens & Swiss nationals have the right of free movement & residence in the UK.
Find out whether your country is within the EEA:
http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/howtoapply/infs/inf18eeaswissnationals#Q1

For those who need a visa, you can apply on line:
http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/applyonline/

Note:
If, as part of the visa application you need an invitation letter, please contact us with your details and we will write an invitation letter to justify your attendance at the Elasa mini-meeting Edinburgh 2010.

So, have a look in your diaries and begin to think about it! We hope to announce the official opening of applications in early February to allow plenty of time for cheaper advance tickets and planning!

Happy New year to you all

The ELASA Edinburgh 2010 Team
PLEASE SEND ALL ENQUIRIES TO elasaedinburgh2010@gmail.com