Tips For Studying Abroad

Studying abroad can be scary and exciting at the same time as well as extremely tempting – especially when it seems like a lot of people are participating in study abroad programs during their time in college nowadays. As much as you might want to go ahead and apply for a study abroad program before fully planning for your time abroad, it’s important to think of several planning logistics before, during, and after applying to a program as well as before leaving to go abroad. Check out some of the following tips for your time abroad!

  1. Find out if you need towels, bedsheets, and other basic necessities for your apartment or homestay while abroad
  2. How many people are currently in or applying to a program?
  3. How many people have done the program in the past?
  4. Do they have an orientation before the classes and/or internship starts?
  5. How long has this specific program been around?
  6. Have there been any serious injuries or problems during previous programs?
  7. Getting medications & vitamins while abroad
  8. How Far in Advance to Book Domestic/International Flights
  9. How to Plan a Trip with a Big Group
  10. Buying and bringing a portable phone charger with you to most places
  11. General etiquette & manners for the specific country and city that you’ll be studying in
  12. How to communicate with locals to avoid as much miscommunication as possible
  13. Stuff like knowing if sparkling water is preferred over still (aka tap) water (it might not seem important, but it is if you’re really thirsty, dehydrated, and in need of something refreshing)
  14. If you’ll need allergy medication or any other vaccine shots before leaving the country or after getting back
  15. Where all of the US Embassy offices are in the city/countries that you’re visiting
  16. General introductory knowledge of the country’s politics and economics (important to know in case of a possible riot or governmental collapse – rare, but still good to know beforehand)
  17. How Americans are viewed and treated as well as American stereotypes that people might believe
  18. Trip planning (booking hostels/AirBnBs, trains/buses/transportation, getting around on the local public transportation system, how to pay for them, if the places you’re staying in need identification when checking in & specifically what kind of identification that would be)
  19. Data plans for your phone & how to get them
  20. Budgeting and paying for your time abroad (trust me, you’ll want to make a budget before you leave the States just so you don’t end up spending way too much money)
  21. General weather during the months that you’ll be abroad (it helps when trying to plan what you’re packing for your time overseas)
  22. Will the program provide housing, or will you need to find your own housing?
  23. Will you be living and working/studying in a good neighborhood or a bad neighborhood?
  24. How safe is the city that the program is in?
  25. Are there emergency procedures in place for the program to follow in case something happens while the students are abroad? And, if so, what are they exactly?
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