7 things to remember before you leave for study abroad
This is actually a very basic list, however it should prevent any major mishaps during your initial time studying abroad. Every student has his or her own unique needs, so I would also recommend adding other items to this list and checking it all off as you go. To kick-start your preparation, here are 7 things to remember to get done before you leave to study abroad.
1. Talk to your academic advisor to discuss both the courses you will be taking abroad and those courses you will need to take when returning. Studying abroad will be a waste if the courses you take aren’t going to count for credit at your home college or university.
2. Look into a calling card that will charge your overseas calls to your home number. Better yet, download Skype and get a webcam. It’s probably the easiest and cheapest way to communicate with people from home, as well as people that you are abroad with.
3. Make travel plans including transportation from the airport to your university.
4. Make 3 photocopies of the INFORMATIONAL pages of your passport. Carry one in your bags but separate from your passport. Leave one in your home in the U.S., and leave one at your home abroad.
5. Start your trip with about $300 in foreign currency to get you through your first few days abroad. Exchange your money before you get to your country of destination. More often than not, local banks will give you the best exchange rate, and the lowest conversion fees.
6. Don’t forget to take a copy of your birth certificate, proof of health insurance, a calling card, and an International Student Identity Card.
7. And finally, I would think about buying a travel adapter plug. Not being able to charge your laptop because the plug from your charger doesn’t match the local outlets is the last thing you need after you land.
Most of this information came from the Pre-Departure Manual distributed by the College of the Holy Cross Study Abroad Program.
Heres a link to Anderson Cooper’s blog. His list is a little more in-depth and very practical for people traveling outside of English speaking countries: 28 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Traveling.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you!