Travel Tips for Study Away
There are a number of travel agents and websites from whom you can purchase airfare. Remember that many student visa applications require that you show proof of a roundtrip ticket, so check before you buy. Listed below are websites students have used in the past.
- Student Travel Association: www.statravel.com
- Student Universe: www.studentuniverse.com
- Cheap Flights: www.cheapflights.com
- Ryan Air (Europe only): www.ryanair.com
- EuRail (Europe only): www.eurail.com
- Packing for a semester or year can seem like a daunting task, but don't let it get you down! Just take a look at these packing tips, and remember... if in doubt, leave it out!
- Pack only enough toiletries for a few days
- Pack a comfortable pair of walking shoes
- Pack clothing you can layer instead of big, bulky items
- Pack enough of your prescription medication (including birth control) for the entire duration of your stay, along with a signed letter from your doctor explaining what the medication is for
- Pack a carry-on bag with toiletries and a spare set of clothes and/or pajamas in case your luggage is lost
- Do NOT lock your luggage; it will be opened by airport security
- Do NOT pack clothing with large logos featuring sports teams or U.S. name brands that will make you stand out in a crowd as someone from the United States
- Save room for some small mementos of home, such as photographs; you'll appreciate having them with you, and your new friends will want to see
Don't Leave Home Without
- Paying your bills (housing deposits, etc.)
- Researching your host country
- A valid passport
- A student visa from your host country
- Airline tickets
- Spending money
On the Plane
- Get a good night's sleep the night before you leave
- Keep your travel documents (passport, plane tickets) secure and close to you at all times
- Get up and stretch while in-flight; walk around the plane; get the blood flowing
- DO NOT put your documents in the seat pocket; you might forget them!
- Read the KSC Study Abroad Handbook or your National Student Exchange Handbook
The best approach to ensuring you have access to funds while abroad is to plan ahead and use a variety of methods. We suggest you use:
CashWe suggest you carry a small amount of foreign currency ($100-$200) with you to use for immediate necessities such as bus and taxi fare, phone calls, tips, food, etc., once you arrive in your host country. You can convert money at the airport before departure or upon your arrival abroad.
Travelers' ChecksWe recommend that students carry some of their money in travelers' checks. If these are lost or stolen, they are easily replaced. They can be purchased through American Express or from your local bank, and can be redeemed at any bank while abroad. There is usually a small fee involved in changing travelers' checks to cash.
ATM/ Debit CardsATMs are becoming more and more accessible abroad, and many foreign merchants are now willing to take debit cards from Visa or Mastercard. You should check with your bank for details on withdrawing cash from abroad before using your ATM or debit card. There will usually be a charge of $5 or more each time you use a foreign ATM. Unlike banks where you exchange cash or travelers' checks, Visa and Mastercard update their exchange rates daily.
Credit CardsMost major U.S. credit cards can be used worldwide. Many permit you to obtain cash advances at their abroad offices. Make sure that the credit card you carry is in your name and that the necessary PIN codes for cash advances have been activated. Check out the possibilities with your credit card company. Inform your credit card company that you will be traveling internationally so that your account is not frozen.
Joint AccountsYou may want to open a joint checking/savings account with a parent or guardian before you go abroad. If the account has an ATM card on a major network, it will be easy to have funds deposited into the account while you're away. Also, your parent/guardian can write checks on the account, which will help you keep up with monthly bills while you're abroad.
Local Bank AccountsIn some countries, students may be able to open a bank account locally. However, we recommend against this; there are many better alternatives that involve much less work and offer easier access to your funds.
DO NOT USE
- Personal checks
- Cashier's Checks
- Money Orders