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Things To Know Before Going Abroad


As suitcases are packed away and the delirium of finals week subsides, reality begins to set in.  

Many of us can’t stop talking about it, some can’t stop stressing about it, and others can’t stop dreaming about it. But the day to depart from the life we know is fast approaching.
For a semester, we will bask in the marvels of the earth, immerse ourselves in new culture, and push ourselves outside our comfort zones. Studying abroad is the experience of a lifetime.

The idea of spending four months in a different country is both exciting and terrifying, but thankfully, many former travelers were willing to share the things they wish they knew before packing up, flying out, and settling in a new place.

 “I wish everyone knew how life changing your experience abroad will be,” said senior Lauren D’Onfro. “When I was trying to decide if I should go or not, I was really having a difficult time. I cannot fathom how disappointed in myself I would have been if I decided not to go.”

D’Onfro expressed that her time in Rome was the most empowering experience of her 22 years.
“If I could travel to Italy alone for five months, I can do anything,” said D’Onfro.

Her advice for future travelers is simple.

“Take notice of all the small wonders of the world: how the sun sets and rises differently in each country, the way people interact with one another, the busy streets.”

After spending a semester in Sydney, junior Leah Castrovince has gained some Aussie wisdom.  

“Bring enough makeup to last a semester,” said Castrovince. “Makeup in Sydney is almost three times the price of makeup in the U.S. ”

She also had a tip for students who will be traveling to any country this spring.

“Set a monthly budget allotted for grocery shopping, going out, transportation, and clothes. This will keep you on track so you won’t spend all of your money in the first couple of months. It will also help you set aside extra money for traveling, festivals, and other big outings for the semester.”

Senior Megan Leonard, who spent a semester in Paris, says to spend the entire first month getting acclimated in your new city.
“You want it to feel like home,” said Leonard. “Figure out your group of friends and get familiar with the local surroundings.”

Leonard said that when you do start traveling, it’s important to remember to notify the bank of the various countries you plan to visit.

All three girls were sure to mention one thing: these four months were the best of their lives.

So as the countdown of weeks turns into days, be prepared to jump into a new world, new life, and new experience that you’ll never forget!
Photo Credit:
Top: Morgan Billington
Middle/Bottom: Lauren D’Onfro

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