Get ready to start your study abroad experience. Plan ahead and make your transition abroad a smooth one.
To travel abroad you need an identity card or in certain cases a passport. Your passport must be valid for six months after your return date home. If you do not have a passport, or your passport will expire soon, you should apply as soon as possible to avoid any unforeseen delay. A visa is a stamp or attachment in your passport that allows you to study in a country for a certain period of time. Each country has its own regulations and fees. Check with the consulate of your host country what kind of documents you need.
Purchae your airline ticket as far in advance as possible in order to have the best selection of fares and broadest availability. It is highly recommended that you research the country and location where you will be studying before you go.
Make your medical conditions and medical needs known before you leave. Read through your medical insurance coverage in your program packet to be aware of what is covered and what is not. Resources and services for people with disabilities vary widely by country and region. If you have a disability or special need, identify it and understand ahead of time exactly what accommodations can and will be made.
There are no required immunizations for most of Western Europe, Australia, and Latin America. It is a good idea to make sure all of your shots are current. If you are concerned about possible health problems, seek medical advice before you leave.
When considering how much money you will need for your time abroad, it is difficult to make guidelines — you will likely spend as much as you take. Check your program description to see what items are included in the program fee. You will need to bring funds to cover all other expenses. The amount needed for incidental expenses will depend to some degree on your lifestyle, as well as local costs. Take a close look at your current expenses and prepare a budget for yourself based on the estimated expenses. It also might be a good idea to check the currency conversion before you go.
Students typically use a debit card to access their money while abroad. Cash machines are abundant abroad, so cash in the local currency is readily accessible. ATM's offer a competitive exchange rate and are the recommended means of handling your money. You will want to make sure that your debit card will work abroad and to verify the international transactions fees with your bank before you go.
In most countries, people dress quite formally, even to go to class. In addition to clothes for day-to-day activities, you will want to bring an outfit or two for going out in the evenings or for special events. An ideal travel wardrobe consists of coordinated clothes made of easy-care, drip-dry fabrics that can be layered and mixed and matched for different temperatures. For touring and exploring, we suggest clothes you are comfortable walking around in, such as a pair of jeans and comfortable shoes.