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Study Abroad Tips For College Students

Most colleges and universities offer students the option to travel overseas to study abroad with other institutions. These travels often prove invaluable for a student’s education and life experience.

Here are a few study abroad tips to use when getting ready to travel overseas for school.

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study abroad tips

You Need The Correct Documentation

The most important document you’ll need to take abroad is your passport.

The passport process normally can take weeks to complete, so try and get the application process going as early as possible: Make sure to fill out the correct forms and have a passport-specific photograph taken. You’ll get plenty of use from it because it’s necessary to present when:

  • Leaving the United States
  • Entering any new country

So don’t forget it. Also, you may need to have a visa too, depending on where you’re studying. Check with your student advisor about what documents you’ll need for the country you’ll be visiting.

Purchase Plane Tickets In Advance

Traveling abroad is costly, so purchase tickets ahead of time.

Trying to book a flight to Europe or Asia on short notice will be costly. So again, while getting your documents in order, start booking your travel arrangements too. However, don’t try and do it too far in advance.

Booking 6 months in advance or further can actually end up costing even more money than needed. The best time to book is roughly three months before you plan to leave when prices are usually much lower.

Be Mindful Of Valuables

Chances are good that you’ll be traveling with many personal valuables, keep a constant eye on them.

Besides school-related tools like your laptop, tablet, or phone, you’ll also likely have with you:

  • Passport
  • Money
  • Jewelry
  • Additional personal electronics

Because you are far away from home, it’s easy to get complacent with your surroundings because of the fun you’re having there. However, before leaving your accommodations, keep money on a money belt and lock away valuables in a safe place.

Bring Walking Shoes

Don’t underestimate the value of comfy shoes abroad.

Most Americans need to prepare for the constant walking that people overseas do. American culture is very car-centric, meaning that we often prefer taking a five-minute drive versus a 30-minute walk.

Overseas, especially in cities, walking is the norm. Plus, it’s also a good excuse to explore where you’re staying in depth. However, be prepared for cobblestone streets and city block walking. Bring thick-soled shoes for comfort and a dress pair for when you’re going out only.

Be Aware Of Your Embassy Location

If you get into serious trouble abroad, then be aware of the US embassy location.

If you get into an emergency then travel immediately to the available US embassy. Make sure to have its address and contact information on you at all times.

However, if you commit a crime overseas, then you are subject to that country’s laws. Don’t jeopardize your learning experience with spending time in jail! Do some research to be aware of basic laws to follow in your host country.

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Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Written by Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Prep Expert Founder & CEO

Shark Tank Winner, Perfect SAT Scorer, Dermatologist, & #1 Bestselling Author
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