Study Abroad: The Necessities

 

With new semesters come new opportunities and in my opinion, one of the greatest opportunities a university offers is study abroad! Now, I know study abroad is a daunting and nerve-racking experience, but it is also one of the most rewarding and eye-opening. Taking short trips to the cities you’ve always dreamed of visiting in definitely one of the top perks of studying abroad, so here are some tips on what to definitely bring with you on your travels!

 

  1. A reusable water bottle – free water at restaurants is a luxury many of us in the United States take for granted, but in other countries, water is not free. Filling up your water bottle when you can will not only save you money, but will also keep you hydrated throughout your long days of trekking through the cities!

  2. A map app that does not require wifi – Unless you are some sort of geography genius, you may experience some times where you do not know where you are. I definitely recommend an app that does not rely on wifi so you can always make sure you are getting to the sites you want to see. Maps.me is the app I used and all I had to do was download the city I was traveling to when I had wifi and then I was set!

  3. Camera – This could very well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so take in all that you can! Pictures are a great way to remember the incredible journeys you went on and allow you to share your adventures with others. Whether it be your phone or an actual camera, snap away!

  4. Portable charger – Now I do not recommend being on your phone 24/7, I mean you are traveling the world here, but phones do generally seem to lose their battery faster abroad. You definitely do not want to be without a communication device, so make sure that you always have a charging backup with a portable charger! You and your friends will thank you.

  5. Towel – One of the girls I traveled with had a microfiber towel that folded up super small and, let me tell you, I was beyond jealous of her. Towels have so many uses – blanket, pillow, pillow covering, and of course an actual towel. Especially in hostels, where towels cost money, towels are a necessity. You do not necessarily know the state of the room or your travel situations, so it is better to be prepared with items you bring that you know are clean.

  6. Lock – Big advocate for the lock! When traveling, lock your luggage! Look for a backpack with zippers that allow for a lock. Many hostels offer lockers or drawers to put your belongings in, so if you are sharing a room with people you do not know, it is safest to lock your belongings. You may also have to leave your backpack in a storage room if you do not want to walk around a city with it, so a lock is an essential.

  7. Patience – There is a good chance that you do not know the native language of the country you are traveling in or have never been there before. That is totally fine and the point of discovery, but you will need patience. Everyday tasks become more difficult and that does take some getting used to, but will ultimately teach you value skills. Do not get frustrated and take a break if you need to. Traveling should be enjoyable, not stressful.

 

Have confidence in yourself and step outside of your comfort zone! Traveling is truly a life changing experience (as cheesy as that sounds). Safe travels!!

Marketing student at Western Michigan University with a passion for fashion and sports. 

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