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Everything You Need to Prepare for Studying Abroad

Studying abroad can be an exciting time for any Collegiette, but it takes a lot of time and preparation. Here are some tips to ensure that your travel prep goes smoothly.

Condense Your WardrobeThis is one of the problems that many Collegiettes come across while they’re preparing to study abroad. Unfortunately, there are only so many suitcases you can take. Make sure to include staple clothing items, and make note of the time of year you will be traveling. If you’re going abroad in the fall you won’t need as many cold weather items as those who’re studying abroad in the spring will. Don’t worry about repeating any items either. There’s only so much that you can fit, so make sure the ones you do bring are versatile in any type of outfit.

Get Your Documents EarlyIf you haven’t gotten your passport yet, don’t wait too long to do so. It can take a long time for your paper work to process, so it’s a good idea to send the documents in as soon as you can. Also, check with the study abroad program you are participating in to see if you need a visa. There are a lot of official documents and applications that go into applying for a visa, which can’t wait until the last minute.

Save Your MoneyIt’s never too early to start saving money. Many collegiettes who have studied abroad made note of how much money they spent during their time over seas. Remember, you’re going to be living in a foreign place for four months, so you’ll have to pay for things you may not have had to at home. Costs of living include food, drinks, gifts, personal items, and especially those weekend trips to other cities and countries. Plus, studying abroad could be a once in a lifetime opportunity, and you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities because you didn’t save enough ahead of time!

Make Preparations for CommunicationAny collegiette knows that communication with her friends and family is key, but being in a different country can make this tricky. Luckily, there are multiple options that phone companies offer. There are specific data plans for people traveling abroad, and apps that you can download on your phone so you can text people back in America. Look into apps like Viber or What’s App to see what will help you stay connected during your time abroad.

Plan Your ItineraryOnce your programs arrival and departure dates are official, make sure you figure out your flights. Look around at the closest international airports to see where the best deals are. The study abroad office requires your itinerary information, so check early for flight options. It’s always nice to have a travel buddy too, so if you know anyone else in your program, its definitely worth look into booking the same flights as them.

Make a Bucket ListOnce you’re abroad, you’re going to want to accomplish a lot of things. Make a list before you leave, and rank the items starting with the things you’ll want to cross off first. This can range from places you want to visit, to classic tourist pictures you need to take, to trying new foods. This will ensure that you don’t miss out on any bucket list items, and have the best time possible.

Attend Study Abroad MeetingsFairfield’s Office of International Programs will be sending out many emails, some of which will contain dates when your particular program will have meetings. Don’t forget about these meetings, because they’re very useful. You can go and ask questions, hear other students study abroad experiences, while also benefit from hearing your classmate’s questions as well. 

Hi! I'm Gabi, and I'm a Senior at Fairfield University. I'm an English major with a concentration in Journalism, as well as minors in Communication and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. My hobbies include singing, theatre and swimming, and my favorite animals are Lobsters!! You can always catch me reading, preferably by the ocean, or dancing like an idiot with my girlfriends. 
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