Preparing for Abroad
Many stressful questions come up when you decide to study abroad. Some are about money, traveling, food, safety, and clothing. I know I had a million. My best mode of discovering the answers to these questions was asking people who have been. I asked friends, family, and people online about how to prepare. These are some things I picked up
1. Plan things ahead. Nothing is more stressful then getting to your country and not being able to do the activities you wanted to do because there isn’t any space available. Look at the schedule of your program as well to see when you have free time and search online to find popular things to do in your city. Don’t be afraid to be a little touristy!
2. Make a budget. Studying abroad is expensive but you also don’t want to go to your country and realize you have no opportunity to do anything besides class. Budgeting weekly also helps prevent over spending. If you know what you want to do every week, then you know how much you’ll be spending and can prepare.
3. Ask your parents about your card situation and your phone situation. You don’t have to get a phone plan if you just want to rely on WiFi. It’s useful to have data for GPS though. Also it’s good to have minutes to call in case of emergency. Concerning your card, find out the transaction fees, withdrawal fees, and availability of use. For some people it’s better to take out cash and exchange it in the country or you can simply use your card at restaurants or shops (many places also give you the option to pay dollars or native currency, so ask your bank which works better). Don’t forget to tell your bank that you’re traveling!
4. Go shopping for clothes before that you don’t mind losing. There is nothing worse than bringing your favorite outfits and then ruining them in dryers, with ice cream, or while tumbling down a hiking trail. Also you’ll probably buy clothes at the place your staying so it’s good to have clothes you can donate and make room for the new clothes. Try not to stand out with baggy t shirts and Nike shorts either. Research clothing style in your country before the trip and hit the mall! Dress for the weather!