Final To-Do’s Before You Leave for 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. Most students find that studying abroad is most beneficial when the courses you take abroad count for credit at your home college or university. Not all courses may count, in which case, your time abroad is still valuable for other reasons, but it’s often best when your effort spent in the classroom is going toward your degree back home.

2. Look into a calling card that will charge your overseas calls to your home number. Better yet, download Skype and get a web cam. 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 three 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 ISIC with you.

7.  Consider buying a travel adapter plug. Not being able to charge your laptop when you finally land because the plug from your charger doesn’t match the local outlets is not a good feeling.

Here’s a link to Anderson Coopers 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.

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