That’s me by the way!
Preparing For Your Trip
You have made the decision, you’ve budgeted, and now for the exciting part, it’s time to start getting ready for your trip!! This was the part I enjoyed the most because you know you’re almost there! You have a million feelings running through your body and you have started counting down the days! One thing I cannot stress enough in the packing process is do not overpack on clothes!! You will buy clothes in whatever country you go to, trust me! Every country has a different style in attire, and a lot of the times, you’ll want to buy something to fit in. Below are some tips I found useful and would give to anyone in preparation for their journey:
- Try to limit your takings to one luggage, one carry on, and one backpack
- Most airlines limit the weight of your luggage to 50 lbs, try to stick to 35 lbs on your first flight of departure (you will buy things and that leaves an extra 15 lbs of room)
- Make a list of everything you’ll need before the packing and check off each item as you pack it
- Do not take any hair tools such as flat irons (you can buy them in the country you’re leaving to for a cheap price plus their outlets may be different from the U.S.)
- Buy a travel pack wallet to carry everything you need such as passport, cash, etc. (this is super cheap and was probably the best investment while in Europe, can be found on amazon)
- Buy an outlet convertor for whatever country you’re going to (to charge laptops, phone, cameras, etc)
- Take a camera! (whether it’s your phone or a professional one, you’ll need it)
- Pack comfortable shoes! (with all the walking and exploring to be done, you’ll need them)
- Learn the basic commands of the language to wherever you’ll be studying (directions, questions, greetings, etc.)
- Do some research on the culture (what’s offensive, what’s proper, etc.)
- Do not feel the need to look or stand out (don’t make yourself a target and wear expensive jewelry or designer items this avoids any potential conflicts)
Your study abroad advisors and coordinators will go into much more detail on how to prepare for your specific program and give you important information on the country. But I hope this was some insight and help to prepare you for your trip and excite you!
There is no better time to take on the opportunity of studying abroad. The experience and time spent is 100% worth it. Most will say “Once I’m done with school, I will travel,” but the reality is that most of us won’t. You won’t have the same resources available to help in the future and the truth is, most will go off straight into their career. After that comes family, and more responsibilities. Then by the time you retire, you’re too tired to travel or don’t have enough saved… We all want to focus on school right now and say later, but why not now? Tomorrow is never promised, so do it while you can and share your stories to everyone you can! Inspire people to live outside the box and the normal routines with your experience. Because, in the words of Leonardo Da Vinci, “Once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you long to return.”