Here at A magazine, we encourage our readers to participate in study abroad, immersing oneself in a beautiful culture and surrounding yourself with new adventure.
Living in a foreign country for five months — where you might not even speak the language — is a great opportunity that may get tougher to do once graduated.
With all the study abroad opportunities Kent State offers, finding a program that matches your interests isn’t a problem. What you do need is a little guidance, so you don’t make the same mistakes as those before you.
Here are A magazine’s approved study abroad tips:
Don’t Buy; Bring
Let us set the scene. You have just traveled 16 hours on a direct flight; you’re exhausted, hungry and in need of a shower. You get into your dorm room, only to realize you have nothing — no bed sheets, no towels, nada. You were planning on just buying everything when you landed. The only problem is you don’t know where to shop.
Avoid this scenario, and bring the essentials you’ll need for the first few days including bed sheets and a towel. That way you can fall into a blissful nap after your long day of traveling with a piece of mind.
Print/Make Copies of Important Documents
This is especially important! Make sure to email these documents to yourself and save them to your phone, so you can access them at all times even without internet.
In case of losing your wallet or purse, make copies of your debit and credit card. Keep them in a safe place so that you won’t be without access to some form of money.
Get an International Sim Card
Don’t be the person who lands in a foreign country only to then realize that your international phone plan doesn’t actually work. Save your parents some stress from not being able to contact you and get an international sim card right when you land. You can usually purchase them at the airport. Make sure to check which one you need beforehand, because there are different kinds.
Put Together a Capsule Wardrobe
By putting together a capsule wardrobe, you’ll save yourself some suitcase weight and will only bring the pieces you actually love with you abroad. Have no idea what a capsule wardrobe is? No problem check out blogger Caroline Joy from Un-Fancy and her journey in creating a capsule wardrobe.
Connect with People
Add your fellow international students on whatever social media platforms they may have. Remember, this may be the only time you have the opportunity to be around so many people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds. Plus, with everyone out of their comfort zone, it’ll be easy to make friends.
Go on the School Organized Travel Trips
Yes, the trip will cost a bit more than if you traveled to the destination solo or in small group, but it is worth it. You may get a tour guide who will not only show you the best spots of your location, but they will also provide you with the history as well. And often times, big groups get big discounts. You might be able to get nicer perks, like eating in a better restaurant at a cheaper price than if you traveled in a small group.
Get a Rewards Card
Chances are your debit card probably has a foreign transaction fee. Avoid this by getting a credit card and research to find the best card without tedious fees. If you get one that rewards you for purchases, you’ll be able to make money, points, miles etc. on the things you already need to purchase. We recommend either Visa or Mastercard, since they are the two most accepted cards worldwide.
Set Up a Local Bank Account
Avoid constant ATM fees by setting up a local bank account where you’ll be able to withdraw money charge free and also be able to wire money to yourself from your home bank.