First the DVD drive. A colleague asked me the same thing re: a compaq laptop.
We looked around and to get an internal one was very expensive from what we saw so we bought an external one. Just about any should do the job, but ideally one that supports all the main formats i.e. DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW,DVD-RW.
RE: ISP, it probably depends a bit on usage. I used a 'trial' at clara.net for a few friends/family. You can set it up yourself on your connection, download the 'settings' file and then get it onto her laptop. Shouldn't matter if at home / uni as the dial-up number can be the same.
Let me know if any further q's.