Like many BC juniors, I’m preparing to go abroad in the spring. I’ll be off to Rome, Italy, to take classes, live with other college students, and experience Europe. One of my pre-Thanksgiving goals is to be on the right track to leave in January. If you’re leaving for the spring (or thinking about going abroad in the future!), here are some essential steps to be sure you’ll be ready to go!
Step One: If you’re living off campus, find a subletter. Lucky for me, one of my best friends is currently studying abroad, so he’ll be moving into my room in my apartment once I leave. Make sure you hammer out all the details, like how your subletter will be paying rent and how much they’ll be paying, or you’ll end up with some angry friends!
Step Two: Pick your classes! Picking classes to take abroad is SUPER exciting! Make sure you meet with your adviser beforehand to make sure that everything will transfer over and that you’ll at least fulfill some requirements (whether for the core or your major). There are so many fun classes, and you really get to delve into the culture of the place you’ll be studying. All five of the classes I’ll be taking next semester are centered on Rome or Italy.
Step Three: Schedule your visa appointment and make sure you have your passport! You have to get a special student visa from the consulate of your abroad country in order to be able to live there for 5 months. You have to schedule an appointment at the consulate a few months in advance, so be sure to do that ASAP! Your passport also has to be up-to-date, so make sure you’re all set with that, too!
Step Four: Make a list of places/sights you absolutely MUST see. Do some research. Ask people who’ve been where you’re going. Figure out on your own what’s on your bucket list. In order to keep all of this in order, make sure you write it down. Whether it’s as broad as countries you’d like to see (for me, that includes Germany, Spain, and France), or as specific as a museum or a tourist attraction (say, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam), make this list! You have tons of free time while you’re abroad, and you should absolutely spend your weekends traveling!
Step Five: Make a packing list. You can’t bring as much abroad as you can to BC, so be ready for that. Plus, you’re going to want to have some room in your suitcases for all the souvenirs you’ll be buying! Consider that the climate of your abroad home may be different from New England. You also have to take airline restrictions into consideration. Again, do some research.
I will certainly be creating a checklist to help me get ready go abroad, and these 5 things are at the top of my list!