Well, my name is Taylor Ramble and about one year ago I decided that I wanted to go abroad.
I am now one week away from starting classes in Oxford, England.
I leave for Atlanta in 6 days and I still don’t have everything I need. In the beginning I thought that bringing 30 days worth of clothes would be the most difficult part of packing but actually its that I may forget something(like socks) or how to travel/bring/operate the British Pound Sterling.
I am going to give you a few preparation tips that would have saved me a lot of aimless Google searching.
**Pre-prep tip Contact people who have already gone on your experience. There is going to be some article in UA news about past experiences, some bama blog or someone who knows someone who went. Check the bottom of articles…they usually include the email of the student**
First, money. I know you want to talk about fun, food and clothes but you must have your spending money in order before you go. I received a few scholarships from CIP and The Honors College to attend UA in Oxford. The last of which was enough to cover my spending money and a few expenses before I left. Instead of bringing a big wad of British currency I went ahead and ordered a wells fargo chip and pin credit card. With a monthly $600 limit I could use it at my leisure and pay the balance off online. This isn’t a suggestion to forget printed currency. I say leave enough in your checking to pay the credit card at your convenience and bring cash for other things.
other options(prepaid travel cards and debit cards).
Second, packing. Go ahead and pack early. I say this because it helps you make that list of “oh yeah, I forgot/need.” Pack and unpack twice so you won’t forget anything!
Things you’re bound to forget
2. Ethernet Cord
3. A few Tide pods in case you want to wash
4. A copy of your passport and itinerary
5. A copy of your passport and itinerary to leave with your parents
6. Laundry Bag/Trash bag (something to put worn clothes in)
7.Other students attending (What are your bringing that they’re not? Mix and match to save room)
8. School Supplies(Don’t forget why you’re going)
9 Contact. Bank, family members, cell phone company about your trip and to find out how they can make it easier. Setup. Skype for your tech challenged elders and your baby cousins
10. Relax! You are not going to the Sahara. There should be some small convenience store if you leave a q-tip or something.
Third point, classes. I know, its summer and you want to have fun! But that’s for a later post. Please don’t forget to do all of your readings and to bring school supplies. Get your books early! Do a little research so that you don’t spend down time catching up.
I am so honored to be a part of this program and I promise I’ll try to keep you guys updated every step of the way.