Following are some general tips assembled to assist in preparations for your upcoming study abroad experience.
- Confirm that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the end of your program.
- Research visa requirements for your planned dates of travel.
- Make a budget for your time overseas and stick to it!
- Acquire a 4-digit pin number from your bank in order to access your U.S. checking account overseas.
- Take $50-$100 in local currency (€ or £) with you overseas for cab fare or pocket money for the first few days of your program.
- Know the exchange rate before you go and try to practice converting dollars into Euros or Pounds.
- Write down important financial information like credit card numbers and customer service numbers. Leave a copy with family and take one in your suitcase.
- Give the ACCENT Study Center address (your mailing address while overseas) to family and friends. See your pre-departure student handbook for the appropriate Study Center address.
- Have a plan to call home as soon as possible upon arrival so you can let family know you’ve arrived safe and sound.
- Set up a free web-based email account to keep in touch with folks at home.
- Pack 50% less than you think you need. Taking a mix-and-match wardrobe with a few basic dark solids helps lessen your load and the amount of time you spend in the laundromats overseas!
- Take a sufficient amount of prescription medications to last at least the length of your program.
- Keep all medications, prescription or over-the-counter, in their original containers to ease your transit through customs.
- Bring pictures from home to share with new friends and remind you of home.
- Take extra water for the plane ride and avoid caffeine or alcohol, which will only exacerbate jetlag.
- Upon arrival overseas you should do whatever the locals are doing at that time of day no matter how tired you feel. This will help your body acclimate to the new time zone.
- Know that cultural adjustment is a part of travel even for seasoned travelers and try not to see cultural differences as negatives.
- Make a list of reasons you chose to go abroad and things you don’t want to miss while overseas (local monuments, museums, etc.). Pull out the list whenever you feel homesick or experience the highs and lows of travel. It will help you remember why you’re overseas.
- Read about your host culture and brush up on your U.S. history and politics. Europeans are generally well-informed about the U.S. and may ask your opinion on a variety of topics.