tips to get ready for study abroad
Google your new town
. You can find more information on their holidays, their weather, and their population. Use Google Street to get a real life view of the towns streets. Its good to picture yourself walking there, imagine yourself smiling and having the time of your life.
Get the insider info
. Try to contact a previous participant for your program or a student from the foreign university. Offer to buy them a coffee and ask them any questions you might have about the school and town. Do not forget to ask about the clothing suggestions they might have or any good phrases and traditions to remember.
Purchase any items of clothing you might need
. A great example would be for a Californian to go to Sweden in the middle of winter. You will need a lot of unusual gear to survive the winter or even the summer. Make it part of your research to determine what is something you will absolutely need. Maybe snow gloves, maybe even a new bikini. Try not to buy a whole new wardrobe since you could use the money to travel abroad or the luggage space but buy the essentials.
Bring something small from home
. Sometimes even pictures, a small toy, and your favorite candy does the trick. You can always have someone send a care package with any other goodies you suddenly realize you absolutely need. A good tip is to have someone fill a $15 international 4lb flat rate USPS box with trinkets from home. You have to remember most American items tend to run pretty pricey compared to being purchased in America. A good example is peanut butter, which is pretty
Pack thinking about mix and matching
. Do not pack something you can only wear twice during your stay. Make sure you take at least a whole week's worth of outfits and think of at least two ways of combining those to create a new one. You will have a whole three weeks of outfits that way. Try to make your combinations so they can be used once in winter and once in summer. Do not take super expensive clothing since you will be using it A LOT and it will deteriorate or get lost but make
Take a little bit of cash to last you until you can go into an ATM
. Some countries are very cash based and will not take a credit or bank card. Some countries will not take foreign cash from the street since it could be counterfeited very easily. It is a good idea to obtain at least $100 in their currency until you can encounter an ATM or get a money transfer (moneygram sends money in 15 minutes). It is also good to take a good credit card, let them know you will be abroad and make sure it is universally accepted
Install Skype on your computer and keep your Facebook updated
. Set up Skype dates with your friends once in a while to get over the homesick. When you talk, talk about your new town and experiences not how much you wish you werent there. Sometimes we get hit with culture shock or loneliness and its understandable to feel overwhelmed. Remember you will be home eventually though and you have to make your own experience enjoyable. It doesn't automatically happen.
Understand how your travel insurance works
. so you will not stress when you need it most and live in a place you find comfortable not just convenient. It's not a hotel, it is your temporary home so be comfortable, safe and happy.
Be safe o not do something you would not do if you were home
. Just because you are in a foreign country, you are not except from rules and morals. Learn the local rules and practice good common sense. Take advantage of your opportunities, open yourself up but do not make yourself vulnerable. Always let someone know where you will be or bring a new friend with you!
When you arrive treat your jet lag if you have any Then go ahead and explore the town
. Try to practice your language as soon as possible, learn their traditions. You can always ask why someone does something a certain way and be prepared for people to ask you things they find strange in your country. It is an exchange so be a good representative of yourself and your country! Do not be rude and understand everyone is different.
Buy a travel book for your new country/town or about the continent
. so you can analyze your weekend possibilities and provide with more information you might need quickly in your own language.
. SMILE, you are traveling,Do try to blend in but still understand you are unique among them,Learn where your embassy is, your banks outside of the US number, the closest health center and your foreign school representative. Keep it somewhere you will easily access it,Accept your own foreign identity and teach others about yourself,Meet other people in a safe environment,Keep as positive as you can,Remember it is temporary and you have many people
Pick a Place that is Relevant
. Study Abroad programs are not about going and having a permanent party, they are about learning a new culture and experiencing new things. For this reason, you want to make sure that the area you are going to is relevant to your studies. This is very important, the more relevant that it is, the more you will get out of the experience. If you do not know where you should go to study, ask a guidance counselor to help you pick out a few great destin
If you don
. If you are heading someplace like France or Mexico, where they generally speak their own language, you need to know at least some of it. Do not go there if you do not know the basics. You do not have to be fluent, that is part of the experience of going there, but you need to go with a general idea of the culture and the language so that you arenot totally out of your element. It is very important to know at least some of the language of the coun
Be Open to New Things
. One of the biggest things with a Study Abroad program is that you need to be open to what is going on. Be ready to experience things that you havenot before, you are going to see things that you havenot before, and it is going to be neat. Do not be nervous or scared, make the most of those experiences, you will be able to have much more fun on your Study Abroad experience. Make sure that you are willing to try things that may be out of your comfo
Find student accommodation
. Arranging student accommodation is your foremost responsibility. In my view it is better to arrange a temporary place to live before departing from your home. After all, you donot want to get stuck at the airport without at least a drop-off point when you arrive. A lot of real estate websites can help in this regard. Moreover, you can also ask your educational institution to arrange something for you.However, I would say do not go for a long-term
Set up a bank account
. Once you are done with organizing a place to live, the next step is to set up a bank account. Apply for a debit and credit card so as to avoid the hassle of carrying cash everywhere.
Get familiar with your routes
. You will probably be able to choose from a range of transport options tubes, trains, trams, buses or your own private vehicle but before that you must get well acquainted with the routes. I started by taking a couple of initial visits around the city with a colleague, and then dared to make an individual trip the next time.Was I successful? No! I got lost and wandered about the streets, but that had its own charm as I kept on exploring new pl
Find a student job or volunteer
. I would strongly suggest you try to find a student job while studying. This will not only help you earn some money, but also increase your confidence. If earning some casual cash is not your immediate concern, try to look for opportunities to volunteer. This will make you meet a lot of new people, test your abilities and expose you to different environments, which helps a lot in the settling down phase. It will also garnish your r
Make new friends and be sociable
. Well, if you are arranging accommodation, setting up your bank accounts, travelling all alone without any fear, and working too, you might not need to look at this section. You will probably already have made a lot of friends along the way, and if not you will make them soon. You have the potential and the personality to be with and among the people.
Be determined and persistent
. The other side of the grass is always green. There will come times when you will feel low on remembering your loved ones, disheartened at not attaining any of your goals, extremely nervy on being unable to adjust to the new environment but do not lose hope and curse yourself. Be determined and persistent. Failures and adversity are part (read the spice) of life. In some cases they are actually better than success because failures are more valuab
Do your homework
. Not all study abroad programs are alike. Neither are student exchange programs. Start a file, on paper and online. Learn everything you can about the global exchange program. Check out the fine print. Compare program features with other student abroad or exchange programs. You want to make sure the program is well-established and has a good reputation with students and host families alike. A little bit a research goes a long way in making sure yo
Choose carefully Make sure the program is a good match for your son or daughter s academic and personal goals
. Ask the right questions. How does this study abroad or exchange program enhance your son or daughters education and know how? What kind of enrichment will it provide? Is it a good fit academically, socially and otherwise? Are there other programs that would be a better fit? Just because a high school or college sponsors something does not mean the program connects to what your student needs in terms of global experience.
Get the paperwork
. Well-administered programs offer fine-tuned descriptions of their programs, application requirements, timelines, cautionary notes, and more. These exchange programs usually have a sizeable web presence as well as well-organized, printed materials. Start a file and keep all the paperwork together. You'll be surprised how many times you refer to this material before and during the trip ahead.
Figure out the money
. Financing this expedition is more art than science. First, you will want to make sure that the cost of the program matches what other programs require. Skip programs that are run on a dime because steep discounts can mean big trouble for your son or daughter abroad. Pay attention to financial deadlines. Often, you can put deposits down on your student's study abroad or youth exchange program in advance of the travel itself. This really helps you
Get the right travel documents
. Generally speaking, your student will need a passport to visit and study abroad. Depending upon how long your student intends to stay, a visa may also be required by the host country. A visa may also be required if your student is transferring planes within host country territory. Make sure your student signs the passport and provides the emergency information requested. Check with the global exchange or study abroad program for more details on w
Invest in smart travel strategies
. If your students planning to travel in Europe, invest in a Eurorail Pass. Its a wonderful parting gift and will make transit between cities and countries that much easier for your son or daughter. Buying a pass is a more economical option than purchasing train tickets abroad. If your students planning to fly overseas, sign him or her up for an airline Frequent Flyer program. If your students planning to stay in hotels that are part of major hospi
Determine the best way to communicate and do this well in advance of the trip
. Students who have access to computers and free or low-fee or program-affiliated WiFi networks may want to arrange calls home at predesignated times via Skype, Google Voice, MSN Messenger, or others. Smart phones can also help you to communicate, but international plans can be costly. The best way to keep costs down is to arrange for an international plan that places limits on voice and text messaging. And, its important for the student to turn of
. You need to approach packing like a military operation. Rule of thumb? Less is more. Develop a checklist for what you absolutely-need-and-nothing-more. Distinguish what you'll carry onto the plane and what will be checked with the airline. For checked bags, put a limit on the number of pants, shirts, shoes, socks, and other items to be placed in the bag. Toiletries can be checked, but make sure everything is placed in a plastic or see-through bag
Discuss safety and emergency plan
. Of course, you will hope this trip will be as routine as a car ride to the grocery store, but it may not be. So, plan accordingly. Make sure your student knows what to do if he or she (1) loses travel documents or identification; (2) gets sick; (3) needs more money, or, (4) experiences problems with the host family, school, etc. Your student should carry on an envelope that contains photocopies of all travel documents, identification, including d
Stay positive do not panic
. This study abroad or foreign exchange program is an important step for your student and young person. But, it can also be stressful for everyone involved. Things can and do happen, so its important to stay calm, and draw upon the knowledge, experience and resources you have developed along the way. By planning ahead, troubleshooting as needed, keeping calm and organized, and staying positive, you and your student will be well-equipped to deal wit
Study and Travel Abroad Programs
. Of course, application to study abroad or participate in global exchange is typically accomplished through schools, communities or non-profit organizations. For example, the 1.2 million member Rotary International reports that it sends about 8,000 young men and women to 80 countries each year. Why so popular? Rotarys network of 32,000 clubs keeps costs down as it matches students with local chapters and host families. International Student Exchan
Learning the Ropes of Global Exchange
. Recently, our family participated in an exchange program with a sister city organization in our town. Little did we know all of the planning that goes into sending a son or daughter to another country. We learned a lot along the way, and so will you. Its all about planning, making good decisions, and keeping everything organized and ready to go. Travel documents. Itinerary. Local currency. A contingency plan. These are just some of the essential