The Study Abroader’s Post-Christmas List

Advice on Post-Christmas spending for study abroad students

Study Abroad iPodNow that the holidays are coming to an end, you probably have a nice wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket. If you’re going to be abroad next semester, here’s a list of things you might want to consider investing in:

  • The Ultimate Study Abroad Guide: The title pretty much says it all.  Everything I’ve learned and researched about studying abroad all in one easy to download e-book.
  • The Amazon Kindle: When you’re traveling about, you won’t have room in your back pack to carry textbooks, travel guides, etc. The Kindle takes up the space of a small notepad yet can hold up to 3,500 books, can last a whole month on one charge, and has free 3G wireless.
  • Magic Wand Portable Scanner: Where I went to school, the library had something called a short loan system where important books could only be taken out for 4 hours at a time. That was tough if you needed to read more than a chapter. The solution? Scan the pages that you need to your computer with the magic wand, return the book, and go read in the comfort of your own room.
  • iPod Touch: As Gary Arndt calls it, the “Swiss Army Knife of Travel Gadgets“.  An alarm clock, wifi finder, notebook, photo album and web browser all in one. And of course you can listen to your entire library of music and watch videos.
  • Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack: They call it backpacking for a reason. It’s a lot easier than wheeling around a suitcase and it meets most low cost airline baggage size restrictions. Great for both weekend and week long trips.
  • Webcam:  Video messaging is the cheapest and most efficient way to keep in touch with friends and family back home and with new friends you’ve made abroad. Get one ahead of time so when you land and are finally settled in, you can let your parents know you’re alive.
  • Travel Adapter Plug: I can’t emphasize it enough. You don’t want to be stuck without the ability to charge your laptop, phone, or any other electronics that you need to function in life.
  • Passport Protector/ Boarding Pass Holder: If you’re studying abroad, or even just doing some weekend traveling, you’re going to want to keep copies of your passport, visas, plane tickets, hotel info, etc. with you while you fly. You’ll probably need them at the check-in counter, before you enter your gate, when going through security, and when you board the plane. Life is always easier when you don’t have to dig through your carry on just to give the flight attendant your boarding pass.

I usually suggest buying a lot of things once you’ve gotten to your study abroad destination in order to save a little space in your suitcases, but these are a few necessities I would try not to leave without.

If you have any other questions or comments please feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you!

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