Tag Archives | travel

Studying abroad: Let’s talk about legal requirements

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Your application has finally been accepted and you have been admitted to the university of your choice. Although you have already settled all the entry requirements, such as application forms and recommendation letters, you are not quite done. There are still some legal requirements that you need to fulfill before you leave for school to secure your future life as a student living abroad. No matter where you are planning to spend the next couple years of your life, here are some legal items you should sort out as soon as possible.

Passport – without it you won’t get very far

A passport is an essential document when traveling abroad. While crossing a border, you will be asked to present your passport to the border guard who will examine it. Make sure that your passport is neither torn nor shabby as to avoid problems.

Along with using your passport to explore other countries and cultures, it can also be used as identification, in case you forget or misplace your ID. Before setting off, check the expiry date. Usually, a passport is valid for five or ten years.

Proof of age card as an ID

Instead of hanging on to your passport as identification all the time, apply to get a proof of age card. This small card usually contains your name, date of birth and a small-sized photo. It can really come in handy for confirming your identity in a club or a bar and you needn’t bother with carrying your license or your passport. The inconvenience of losing your passport is far greater than if you lose this card. Check out the application forms for an age card – it differs from country to country.

Copies of your travel documents

Wherever you travel, you should always have copies of at least two of your travel documents. The best way would be to entrust someone with one copy while you are away from the country and keep the other one with you. By doing so, if your documents get lost or stolen, you will not have a hard time obtaining new ones. This may sound a bit over the top, but one can never be too careful. If you don’t have a copy with you, the procedure to get new ones can take a while.

Visa and copies of visa

A visa is an extremely important document that lets you stay in a country for a longer period. To apply for a visa, you need to fulfill requirements such as having a residence in a foreign country, a passport, an acceptance letter to study abroad, visa fees, etc. These requirements may differ from country to country. If you need to get a student visa, it’s probably better to consult immigration lawyers and agents. They can advise you about student visas and which option is best for you.

A health insurance ID card is a must

Another crucial document to consider when preparing for your trip is your health insurance ID. In case of an emergency, it’s good to know that you can get medical help right away. A number of study abroad insurance plans will ask you to print your card, while other insurance plans may mail you a physical card. When it comes to your health, dress warm and carry your health insurance ID wherever you go.

International Certificate of Vaccinations

Image by Pixabay, pexels.com

Before you depart for foreign countries, you will need to meet medical requirements and get vaccinated against some diseases, after which you will receive a certificate that will also enable you to enter a foreign country. This certificate is available in a travel agency or at a local health department. If you need to bring medication with you, make sure you ask your doctor for a letter of prescription.

And don’t forget to bring:

Image by Miguel Constantin Montes, pexels.com

In the end, don’t forget to bring your positive attitude. Sorting out all the papers seems like a tedious and endless job that you really don’t want to undertake. Indeed, it is. Keep in mind that it’s only temporary. Without the right documents, you cannot enter a foreign country, even if you got accepted into a foreign university. And when you’re there, replacing lost or stolen documents isn’t easy. Bureaucracy should be the last thing preventing you from studying abroad. Sort your paperwork out on time, make enough copies, and you’re ready to go!

This article was contributed by guest author Cate Palmer.

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7 Best Travel Destinations for Students After a Stressful Year

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

You need to get out of here for a while! You’ve worked hard all year and barely survived crushing exams. It’s time to take a vacation and celebrate your successes – as well as take your mind off of all the things that have stressed you out. Call up your friends and pick a destination, because it’s time to let loose.

1. Cancun

Cancun is the place to go if you want to experience the best of Mexico. Of course there are tons of coastal bars and eateries, and you’d be a fool not to try as many different tacos as possible. While the food is great, there’s way more to Cancun. There’s an underwater museum – yes, an underwater museum – beneath the sea. This art exhibition of statues on the ocean floor is designed to encourage the growth of coral. It might take a while, but it’s on its way to becoming the most fascinating reef in the world.

2. Amsterdam

Bike riding, beer tasting, and tours through history are all part of everyday life in Amsterdam. You’ll have to try raw herring from the many herring carts that line the street – it’s their most popular street food, and it’s more delicious than you think. Visit the historic Anne Frank house, and gain some valuable insights into the past.

3. The Australian Islands

Cruises are a popular way to take a break. Most people cruise to Alaska or the Bahamas, but you can break the mold. Hop on one of P&O Australia’s cruises from Melbourne, and cruise the Aussie islands. Hit up Kangaroo Island for some fun explorations, and more importantly, some awesome kangaroos. You won’t be able to have an experience quite like that back on the mainland!

4. Las Vegas

Everyone should go to Vegas at least once. It’s best to go when you’re over 21 – that removes a lot of the age restrictions imposed by many of the attractions on the Vegas strip. Las Vegas isn’t necessarily a very expensive place to be. As long as you don’t gamble too much, you’ll be able to stick to your budget. There are plenty of places to eat and drink for free or cheap, and you’ll find them if you play your cards right.

5. Brazil

Brazil is a very adventurous place for the brave and athletic to visit. There are mountains and waterfalls everywhere. Climb, swim, run, explore, and set your spirit free. If you’re brave enough, you can go rafting or hang gliding across the landscape. If you need a little mental stimulation, Brazil is really big on their history. Explore the Paratay Historic District, or view the artifacts at the Instituto Ricardo Brennand.

6. New York

If you’ve never taken on the Big Apple, now’s as good a time as any. People come from all over the world to visit New York City. Every pizzeria in New York claims it serves the best pizza in the world, and you can be the judge of that. Many national brands have their flagship stores or headquarters in New York, so the shopping is great. Treat yourself to something you’ve always wanted – you’ve busted your behind on schoolwork.

7. Scandinavia

When most people travel to Europe, they stick to London, Paris, and Dublin. If you’re looking for a more unique European vacation, think outside of the box. Stockholm, Oslo, and Copenhagen are waiting for you. Scandinavia isn’t like the rest of Europe – the architecture, scenery, and way of living are all very different. It’s a breath of fresh air for the traveller who wants to experience something new.

It’s time to call up your friends and peers and ask them what they’re doing for the summer. It might be hard to pick a place that everyone can agree on, but there’s always next year as well!

This article was contributed by guest author Rachel Jackson.

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How to Save Money as a College Commuter

Commuting to college can be a quick, cheap, and easy experience, or a relatively pricey and time-consuming challenge. Where you live and what your living conditions are can have a big impact on the costs associated with travel to and from school each day. Here are some tips on how you can save money while safely travelling to campus.

Consider Your Public Transportation Options
Your travel options depend heavily on the area you live in. If you live in a city, you likely have more types of public transportation available than you would in a rural location. If you have a bus stop near you, riding the bus can be a reliable and easy way to save money. Similarly, in some areas you can ride the train. Using a train to get to college can be useful for longer commutes and for avoiding the heavy traffic often typical on freeways in large cities.

Use of these options comes with the added benefit of saving you money on parking fees at school, and avoiding the hassle of hunting down a parking spot every day. You also eliminate the risk of getting into a car accident and potentially needing to hire an attorney.

Is Carpooling an Option for You?
Sharing a ride and dividing the cost of gas can be a great way to save money when you live in a dormitory with other students, or have students in your neighborhood looking to carpool with someone. Even if you live at home, you might be able to ride to school with a family member or friend who commutes to work near your college.

Walking or Riding a Bike
If you’re one of those people lucky enough to live near your campus, you can save a lot of money and get some exercise by walking or riding a bike to school. A dormitory located very close to school creates the ideal situation to walk.

If you have a bit more distance to cover to reach campus, but still not far enough for a drive, riding a bike is the cheapest and most efficient way to commute. Not only do you save money on gas and parking, you get exercise that can help wake you up for those early classes and you’ll be traveling in an environmentally friendly way. Be sure you have a bike lock and a place to lock up your bike as well.

As a college student, you likely have a limited budget and need to make the best of the funds you have available. Before you start school, make sure to consider your living situation and plan ahead to meet the costs associated with frequent travel to school. Knowing and investigating your travel options early can help keep your mind off the commute and focused on your classes.

This article was contributed by Eileen O’Shanassy.

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How to save money while studying abroad

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So you finally made it! Brand new place, brand new degree, brand new you. You get to explore a different country, all while getting the knowledge and skills you’ll need to succeed in the workplace. You’re studying abroad, so congratulations!

Everyone you’ll meet will be incredibly happy for you; they’ll pat your back and envy you for all the adventures and challenges you’ll go through. You already know the benefits of studying abroad, but face it, you can’t really have many adventures and explore the world if you’re broke.

Studying abroad can be extremely expensive, even more so if you’re doing a master’s degree. Whichever degree you are getting in whatever country you are in, you may find that it’s difficult to manage your budget. So we’ve asked some former study abroad students to guide us through a few actions you can take to save money. Here’s what they had to say.

Get a scholarship

This is not something specific to just studying abroad, but it is one of the most important ones. Unless you’re in a country where tuition is free, such as Germany, you’ll notice that your biggest expense is paying for classes. So go to your financial aid office and find out as much as possible about getting a free or cheaper degree, as well as information on merit scholarships. You could save anywhere from $500 to your entire thousands-of-dollars tuition. Then you’ll have more disposable income to explore and have fun in your new home.

Learn some cooking skills

Different culture, different cuisine! Many students are excited to try the new food their new country has to offer. Each country is so diverse in terms of food, that you might just discover your new favorite dish there. No one says you shouldn’t try the local delicatessens and desserts, but overdoing it will leave your wallet as empty as your kitchen fridge. So stock up on ingredients and find some good recipes online. It’s time to put your cooking skills to the test.

Cooking food on your own doesn’t mean you’ll never get to eat out, it just means that at least a few times a week, you won’t spend a ton of money on restaurants and fast food chains. Not only will you be healthier, you’ll save a fortune, which in student terms means a few hundred dollars a month.

Invest in a bike

Biking is healthy and with all the new food you’ll be trying in your study abroad home, you’ll most likely need the exercise. Plus you’ll save a bunch of money avoiding public transportation, cabs, or Ubers. Make sure you get a reliable bike, one that won’t leave you in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire or broken brakes. Try to stay out of the way of cars, and if possible, stick to the bike lane. Unless public transportation is free for students, make sure you know that you don’t have to spend the extra dollars getting to class, when you can do it just as well for free on a bike.

Curb the alcohol

And finally, the cherry on top of the cake. Drinking! Yes, drinking a bit here and there is part of the whole student experience. You know what it’s not good for? Your liver, obviously! But also your wallet.

Alcohol is expensive in any country you go to and if you drink too much, a hangover won’t be the worst feeling you’ll experience. Not drinking too much will keep you healthier and will save money you can use to further your experiences in the new country you’re living in.

Travel Cheap

We all know staying at a 5-star hotel is a nice experience. You get all the perks and comforts, and you also get all the costs. When you study abroad, you’ll want to travel around, and that costs money too. The best way is to go about it smart and save a little. Use cheaper transportation methods, stay with friends, couch surf or book a low cost hostel. Also, if you don’t travel alone, you can share the costs with your travel mates, and you’ll have saved enough to afford another trip.

So here you go! Scholarships, cooking, biking, avoiding drinking and travelling cheap are definitely tips that will get your financial situation out of a rut and have you feeling like a millionaire.

This article was contributed by Liv Luget.

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When Vacations Go Wrong: How to Survive Setbacks While Traveling

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There’s nothing more enjoyable than having the vacation of your dreams planned and added to your calendar. Especially if the trip has been well thought-out, fully paid for in advance, and is coming up in the next few weeks. But sometimes, even with the most well thought-out plans, there still may be a hiccup that absolutely ruins your otherwise perfect trip. This is even more horrifying when something unexpected takes place when traveling internationally. If you have an upcoming vacation planned, the information below may be helpful to you.

Your Credit and ATM Cards Stop Working

Usually, credit cards and ATM cards don’t work for a couple of reasons.

  1. You may have exceeded your daily spending limit.
  2. Your bank or credit card company does not recognize where the charges are being made and consequently may consider it fraudulent activity.

You can overcome this type of setback by simply informing your bank and credit card company when you will be traveling, and request that your daily limit is increased. If your card stops for any other reason, be sure to have a reserve of cash on hand to handle these setbacks.

A Lost or Stolen Card or Wallet

If your wallet becomes lost or stolen, there are two things you can do in advance to overcome this obstacle during your vacation.

  1. Do not keep all your money in one place, so you’ll have some cash readily available should your card or wallet become lost or stolen.
  2. Contact your bank and credit card companies ahead of time and be sure to get travelers insurance that covers lost or stolen cards and wallets.

You Become Ill During Your Vacation

If you become ill while in another state (or another country), obtaining travelers insurance ahead of time will allow you to get the health coverage you need for any unexpected medical issues.

Political or Civil Unrest

If you experience political or civil unrest while traveling abroad, it’s important to contact your state’s US Travel Department should an evacuation need to take place. For the best results, register with your state’s travel department prior to your departure to allow time to contact your local authorities at the time you are faced with any unforeseen political or civil unrest.

Missing Your Schedule

Your itinerary will most likely be filled out before you leave and you probably have a few scheduled stops, tours, or trains to catch. If you miss one, it can seem like the end of the world. If this does happen, the first rule is to not panic. Take a deep breath and remember that you can get refunded, re-scheduled, or re-routed in most instances. If you miss a train, calling a cab, or renting a car might be a better option and could get you where you need to be faster.

Language Barriers

Language barriers can lead to miscommunications that can sometimes result in uncomfortable and even dangerous situations. The best way to overcome this setback is to merely turn to your nearest electronic device and Google what it is you’re trying to say or understand, then have it translated. Carry a dictionary with you and be sure to study the language at least a little before going.

Generally speaking, the best way to survive setbacks while traveling is to plan for them in advance. You can do this by performing the necessary research and positioning yourself for setbacks before they occur.

This article was contributed by guest author Eileen O’Shanassy.

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Top 10 Reasons To Experience Education Abroad

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Everyone dreams of traveling abroad. What better way to complete that dream than to make it part of your education? You can not only see the world and experience different cultures, but also have a taste of different learning activities. You’ll get a different perspective, which gives you a better outlook on the educational world. Certain MBA courses require an admissions essay with newly developed skills to give you a good head start in your competitive future. To make it more reasonable, here is a list of the top 10 reasons to experience education abroad.

1. A good addition to your CV: Your CV looks really good if you have a degree that’s not local. With a degree from an MBA program abroad, you are likely to receive a superior class of preference. Unless you’re unqualified for the position, you will always be within the top candidates.

2. Language improvement: Your language is more likely to get polished if you have influence from people across the world. Skills like drafting, reading and essay writing, as well as your communication, ways of interaction, personality will be influenced.

3. A different experience: Having a good time in a foreign country is a dream holiday. You can have the experience of a lifetime with unforgettable memories when visiting a new place. When you add education to it, like MBA programs abroad, your experience is brought to the next level and you’ll come home with a degree that will help you in your career.

4. Meeting new people: With new places come new people. Meeting new people is always fascinating, especially when it comes to sharing different cultures. If you are someone with a friendly attitude, you are more likely to find your abroad trip very exciting.

5. A different approach towards learning: You can learn a lot of things from different cultures. Not only is your verbal communication likely to develop, but you’ll notice yourself adding a different perspective when drafting, giving presentations, or writing essays.

6. Feel independent: The more you’re on your own, the more comfortable you’ll be making new friends. You’ll also grow more comfortable making your own decisions.

7. A new look at your own culture: When exposed to new cultures, you’ll automatically have a different view of your own. You will be the spectator as you get to know what others think about your culture and traditional beliefs. You will learn a lot of things and will have a chance to experience something new about your culture from a different point of view.

8. A strong portfolio: There are certain skills that employers look for in candidates. Among those skills, drafting and communication are top of the list. In an MBA program, these skills are also top of the list.

9. Appreciate the little things: The only way to understand the value of little things is to get some separation. When you’re away from your usual environment, you will start to care more for things that you never considered important when they were easily available to you.

10. Working outside of your comfort zone: Working outside of your comfort zone will help you understand your possibilities and limitations. You will understand what’s important to you. You will know what you need to change in order to develop your personality; something very difficult to do if you are in a place where everything is easily achievable.

There are many reasons to take part in an educational career abroad. You will come back independent, active, understanding and more mature.

This article was contributed by guest author Diane Webster.

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7 Ways Studying Abroad Will Prepare You For an Internship

Image by kychan, unsplash.com

Image by kychan, unsplash.com

Last January, I embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. I packed up my bags and moved 6,074 miles away from my college in San Diego to study at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. During the four months that I studied in Milan, I traveled to 11 different countries and 22 different cities. While I was abroad, I experienced and learned something new almost every day. I did not recognize at the time that my experiences abroad would eventually help me in my career.

I am currently interning for eREACH, a marketing consulting firm in San Diego. My time as an intern has made me realize that I am a better employee because of how I apply the life lessons I learned abroad to my professional life. While there are countless reasons I’d recommend studying abroad to any college student, here are seven ways that studying abroad can give you a leg up in your internship:

1. You’ll Be Pushed Out Of Your Comfort Zone
To say I was terrified of moving to a foreign country is an understatement. I was so afraid of traveling alone that I had multiple anxiety attacks leading up to my departure. Today I am so grateful that I did not let my fears hold me back. If I had given up and stayed in San Diego, I would’ve passed up on the best four months of my life. Today I continue to push myself out of my comfort zone. I was nervous to apply and interview for my internship, but I didn’t let that stop me from doing so. It is completely natural to be afraid and feel anxious about trying something new – but don’t allow your fears to stop you from going after what you want.

2. You’ll Learn To Keep An Open Mind
One of the best parts about traveling is having the opportunity to try each country’s specialty foods. However, what some countries consider to a “delicious delicacy” might seem repulsive to the average American. I am absolutely nauseated by snails – but while I was in Paris I kept an open mind and I tried escargot (also known as cooked snails). As it turns out, escargot was one of my favorite dishes that I tried while I was abroad! Some of the best experiences in life can be the most unexpected. For this reason, I make an effort to keep an open mind at work. I listen to the ideas of my co-workers and I am always willing to try something new. It is easy to think that you always have the best ideas, but two collaborative minds are better than one.

3. You’ll Develop More Effective Communication Skills
One of the most difficult challenges I faced abroad was learning to overcome the language barrier. It was easy to get flustered and frustrated when I couldn’t communicate with the cashier at the grocery store or ask for help when I was lost. I learned that if I first made an effort to speak the native language and then ask for help in English, the locals were much more willing to assist me. There are also many other methods of communication including hand gestures, facial expressions, and body language. If one form of communication didn’t work, I would try to utilize a different method. This experience taught me that not everyone communicates the same way – and that’s okay. If I feel that a coworker and I are experiencing miscommunication, I make an effort to reach out to them in a way they can understand.

4. You’ll Improve Your Time Management Skills
Traveling to eleven different countries in four months requires a great deal of planning. From purchasing plane tickets, to planning transportation to and from the airport, to booking hotels – all while being a full time student in Milan, I became an excellent time manager. I learned that the key to time management is staying organized. It is now easier for me to balance school, work, and my personal life with my newfound organization and time management skills.

5. You’ll Learn To Be Flexible
Not everything went exactly as planned while I was abroad. I traveled to Santorini to see its famous sunset, but it was overcast the entire time I was there. I was supposed to visit the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, but the line was a five-hour wait in freezing temperatures. Experiences like these taught me to be flexible and go with the flow. Sometimes at work my ideas are rejected or a project doesn’t go as planned. Instead of getting overly upset, I’ve learned to be okay with plan B.

6. You’ll Be Re-Inspired To Learn
Before moving to Milan I was feeling burnt out on school. I no longer had the passion to learn new things – I just wanted to get my degree. Living in Europe exposed me to a new kind of hands-on learning. I studied art by getting a first-hand look at the works of greats like da Vinci, Michelangelo, Degas, and van Gogh. My history lessons included visiting Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin and the colosseum in Rome. After being re-inspired to learn new things, I am much more engaged at work. I inquire about things I don’t understand and I genuinely want to learn about and understand the world of marketing much more than I did before.

7. You’ll Gain More Self-Confidence
At the end of my four months in Europe I was no longer nervous and afraid of everything that made me almost bolt off of the plane back in January. I learned that I am capable of so much more than I had originally thought. My new self-confidence has translated into my professional life in a number of ways. I am able to interview better because I am confident in my skills and abilities. I am also not afraid to speak up about my ideas at work. Most importantly, I’m not afraid of failure. I treat my setbacks as learning experiences and I choose to grow from them. After moving 6,074 miles away from home, nothing else seems quite as intimidating anymore.

Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience that can benefit you for a lifetime. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and start learning!

This article was contributed by guest author Alissa Young.

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Packing Tips For Studying Abroad: How Much Should You Take?

Image by Ashim D’Silva, unsplash.com

Image by Ashim D’Silva, unsplash.com

The excitement building as you get ready to study abroad can be one of the best feelings, until you think about how you’ll pack all of your “stuff” to take with you. For those planning any type of extended trip overseas, it’s important to take a step back and ask: “Do I really need this?” Simply, you can’t (and shouldn’t) take everything you own with you, but you’ll want to take what’s necessary and beneficial to your trip.

The Association of International Educators notes that 304,467 U.S. students applied for credit while studying abroad from 2013 to 2014. That’s a 5.2 percent increase from the previous year in individuals going overseas for their education. There’s no doubt that studying overseas is valuable and desirable. But how will you pack to get there?

Don’t Carry, Ship It
One of the best ways to get most of your necessary items overseas is to ship them rather than carry them with you. Using a courier can save you a significant amount of money. Most airlines charge baggage fees that quickly add up. If you know where you are going, arrange for a local resident, perhaps whoever you are staying with, to accept your luggage and packages via a courier shipment. Be sure to send it at least a week or two in advance of your arrival.

Get to Know the Area
Perhaps one of the most important steps to take is to learn what you really need when you visit. Here are some considerations before you pack a single item:

  • Is there a dress code you’ll need to follow?
  • What are the weather trends in the area where you are traveling? Pack clothing to match those trends and save room by eliminating what you don’t really need.
  • Will you have laundry facilities? If so, try choosing a few basic bottoms that match up with numerous tops so you can mix and match. Then, launder items frequently, reducing the amount of clothing you need to bring.
  • Don’t forget the shoes. Research the best type of shoe for the area. It’s nearly always best to bring comfortable shoes that can handle a lot of walking.
  • Bring clothes you’ll feel comfortable and confident wearing. What’s more, be sure you’re willing to wear those items more than once.

Pack Essentials You Can’t Forget
A number of items are must-haves when traveling overseas no matter how long you plan to be gone. These are items that are hard to replace if you forget to bring them or lose them once you arrive in the location. Here are some must-haves:

  • Medications (be sure to talk about getting refills from overseas providers if necessary)
  • Legal documents including your identification and passports. For items such as birth certificates and copies of your transcript, make digital copies to store online so they don’t get lost.
  • Electronic items such as your mobile phone charger are important. Note that some countries use a different electric outlet, so you may need an adapter.

Pack Sensibly
Be sure to pack in a way that’s going to be highly efficient. Instead of just one piece of luggage, pack a couple of smaller bags. This way, if one gets lost, you still have some backup. Ship what you can and then pack a few smaller bags to take with you on the plane.

Here are some must-haves to include:

  • Undergarments and socks
  • Enough clothing for a week (if you can launder it)
  • Jackets to match the climate
  • Clothing to sleep in, work out in, go to a formal event in, etc.
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Gear for any type of trip you plan to take (hiking into the mountains or skiing)

There’s a lot to plan when it comes to overseas travel. The good news is, most schools offer the help you need to get ahead of the game. Take some time to talk to your counselor as well as any family you may be staying with to learn what they’ll be providing. Remember, you’ll probably be able to replace most of what you need locally – so don’t panic if you forget something.

This article was contributed by guest author Susan Burger.

Sources
www.nafsa.org
www.internationalstudentinsurance.com
blog.cengagebrain.com
www.hercampus.com

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Travel Tips For Young Professionals

Image by fdecomite, Flickr

Image by fdecomite, Flickr

With the fast paced world of technology progressing at an alarming speed, face-to-face meetings are happening less often than they used to. They are being replaced by Skype calls and web conferences. However, they have not disappeared completely yet, and are still an important part of many people’s job descriptions.

For younger professionals, they are a chance to not only win their superiors’ favor but to also rise higher through the ranks in the company frame. So for those of you looking for tips on how to prepare for work-related travelling, here are some important points you need to remember when leaving on a business trip.

What You Carry

Try not to carry too much with you. Whatever you need for the duration of the business trip will easily fit into a carry-on bag, and that includes all your work wear and any essentials. It is an unrequited obstacle to carry luggage that you will have to wait for at the airport. The less you carry, the less the hassle.

Practical And Easy

The easiest and most practical way to organize your belongings in your suitcase is to put the heavier things by the wheels and the lighter ones towards the top. So if you’re carrying extra shoes, those will be by the wheels, while your folded, ironed shirts will be at the top. Also, another way to stop your ironed, tailored dress shirts from wrinkling is to pack them into plastic bags and squeeze them between the pants and the blazers. In case they wrinkle anyways, leave them on a hanger in the shower and let the steam clear away any remnants of the creases.

Carry your toiletries in your laptop case to avoid the hassle of taking them out of your suitcase at every security checkpoint. What you do not need, do not take with you – that’s the basic rule of travelling light. Extra equipment for any kind of exercise must be avoided, though you can afford to carry a swimsuit with you in case you’re in the mood for a dip in the pool.

The Essentials

Take extra special care of your important documents and try not to lose them. Your passport, ID, and other important documents must be stay with you throughout the trip in your laptop bag. In case of any loss, make hard and soft copies of all your documents. Store the hard copies among your clothes, while you store the soft ones in an online medium so that they are within your reach at all times. Having a reliable backup in the event that anything could go wrong is absolutely necessary.

This article was contributed by guest author Emma Jenifer.

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My Summer Abroad: Oxford, England

Image by Liana Ramos

Image by Liana Ramos

This past summer I packed up my bags and participated in a Summer Abroad program with my university. I travelled to Oxford, England to take a Shakespeare course at Oxford University. Two of the best aspects about the program were that I completed a full year course in one month, and that as the course was taught by an instructor from my university, I didn’t have to worry about transfer credits!

Oxford is a small town with beautiful historical buildings. (The picture above is of the Radcliffe Camera, which is a part of the Bodleian Library.) It was such an incredible experience to be immersed in a new culture. I often found myself gazing around as I walked down the street because of the newness of it all.

Completing a full year course in one month was intensive – even though I was overseas, I wasn’t on vacation. There was a lot of work to do, just like in a regular course (readings, assignments, a mid-term, and an exam). But it was an enriching experience because I got to see the material I was studying brought to life. Studying abroad allowed me to experience integrated learning. I got to see plays at Shakespeare’s Globe (in London) and the Royal Shakespeare Company (in Stratford). I love reading Shakespeare, so being able to see his work in action was great for my learning because it allowed me to understand the material better.

The Summer Abroad program is, of course, mainly revolved around academics. However, there was time for fun and to explore. Classes were on Monday to Thursday mornings, so that left Monday to Thursday afternoons, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as free time (although there was a lot of studying to do during those hours!). Some people took trips to different countries within Europe because travelling is much cheaper there. I chose to spend a few days in London, exploring the typical tourist attractions such as Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.

I would recommend pursuing a summer abroad or any international study experience. However, there are some aspects that need to be realistically considered first. It took almost the entire school year to fill out applications, attend orientations, and prepare myself for going abroad (both financially and mentally). It’s a big investment, but many universities have scholarships and bursaries for students wishing to pursue international travel. Before my Summer Abroad trip, I had never travelled internationally before (much less alone!) and I hadn’t been on an airplane in eleven years! But I leapt into this opportunity because I knew it would be an amazing experience. I made some new friendships that will last a lifetime, and this has been my best summer (so far)! Let’s see if I can top it next year.

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