Tips on Preparing for College Abroad
First and Foremost
Prepare, prepare, prepare.
Learn about the Country
Students who are traveling abroad should research the language, culture and local customs far in advance. Common phrases can be learned by listening to language lessons tapes, reading foreign language materials and by practicing speaking in the language. Culture and customs can be learned through research on the Internet, books and magazines. Also, ways to prepare for that country can be learned by talking to natives of the country that are friends, relatives or colleagues can be invaluable.
Pack Light and Easy
Traveling long distances can be tedious so pack smart by getting a lightweight set of roller luggage. Large size suitcases and smaller carry-on bags should be part of the luggage set. Take account that airlines and trains often restrict the number of carry-on bags to keep during travel. Also, make plans to accommodate for a computer and other technology gadgets like cell phones, PDAs and accessories such as batteries, adapters and carrying cases.
Pack Important Documents and Items
Use an accordion pocket folder that ties in the front to store valuable information that will be needed for the entire duration of the travel abroad. The accordion pocket folder can be locked up in a suitcase in the hotel room or dormitory. The following checklist represents some categories of items that need to be prepared for the trip.
Traveling to the Country
- Photo identification
- Contact information of US embassy and state department
- Plane, train tickets and airport information
- Hotel / housing information
- Traveler’s checks
- Credit card (Visa, MasterCard)
- Contact information for school
- Program registration information
- School calendar, timelines
- Medicines for existing medical conditions (allergies, Asthma, etc.)
- Eyeglasses or contact lenses
- Copies of satisfactory medical reports such as a physical exam
- Contact information for doctors, dentists