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study abroad

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Summer Travel on a Student Budget

July 6, 2012

Backpack

Summer vacation is the perfect time for— well— vacation!  Whether it’s a getaway with college buddies or a reunion trip with old friends, travelling over the summer can be awesome for college students.  After all, exchanging last semester’s textbooks for sunglasses and a beach towel would likely feel pretty satisfying.  However, calculating costs for a summer trip is usually fairly dissatisfying.  It can be overwhelming planning a vacation while on a student budget, but if you consider these 5 simple tips, you’ll be on your way to saving some serious summer cash!

1. Book early
It’s always smart to plan ahead.  Have a vacation destination in mind?  Set a date with your friends ASAP!  The earlier you book, the less expensive it will be.  This goes for airplanes, buses, and more!  Be aware of any dates that might be particularly busy where and when you travel.  Maybe there’s a festival or concert in town; unless you’re attending, try to avoid going during that time.  Not only will it be more difficult to find lodging, but prices can be jacked up for transportation too.  Traveling mid-week and avoiding any holidays are usually good moves.  So do some research and plan ahead.  Not only will you save money, you’ll also have more time to prepare for the trip and to plan out an itinerary.

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The Best Locations for Studying Abroad Over the Summer

June 5, 2012

Stonehenge (VII)

While spending a semester abroad can be an amazing experience, summer is an equally fun and rewarding time to go abroad.  It can also be the perfect solution if your work schedule and course load make going abroad for a whole semester unfeasible.  Summer programs vary greatly—with some you’ll take a class or two, others are internship-oriented, and some are focused on volunteer work.  Whatever your preference, one decision you will definitely have to make is where to go.  So what are the best locations for studying abroad in the summer?

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Study Abroad: Why I’d Do it Again

June 1, 2012
Study Abroad: Why I'd Do it Again

Study abroad is a mix of emotions for a student. First of all, it involves leaving behind friends, family, professors, mentors and the university you’ve become to call home. Study abroad is not for everyone–it involves lots of adaptation, change and challenges. The money is different. The language can be different. The culture is definitely different. So with all of these things considered, would I have done study abroad the same (or at all)?

The answer? Yes. In a heartbeat.

I chose to stay with my own university, Boston University, for my study abroad in Madrid, Spain to ensure that I would receive the proper credits I needed for my minor in Spanish Language. Recently, Boston University’s study abroad program made headlines when three students were killed in a tragic automobile accident in New Zealand. These three students were part of a large trip that rented vans and drove the coast of New Zealand to visit the location where the Lord of the Rings movies had been filmed. This tragedy hit Boston University hard, and the three students who died will never be forgotten by the caring community at my alma mater.

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Studying Abroad: Risks to Consider and How to Remain Safe

May 29, 2012

The chance to study abroad can be one of the most fulfilling opportunities awarded to you while attending college.  Living and learning within the context of another culture can be a great experience: an opportunity to meet new people, to discover new customs, and to learn about yourself.  This being said, living abroad does not come risk-free.  With the recent tragedy involving Boston University students studying abroad in New Zealand, as well as the heavily publicized Italian trial of American student Amanda Knox a few years ago, the dangers of studying and living abroad are very real and present.  While not reason enough to forgo studying abroad, these examples do fuel the necessity for thinking through the challenges you may face and outlining courses of action so that you can confront any problems smoothly and efficiently should they arise.

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Insurance Needs for U.S. Study Abroad Students

May 28, 2012
Insurance Needs for Study Abroad

When I was a junior in college, I had the great fortune to spend a semester studying in London. Not only did I learn an enormous amount about the world and myself, I made friendships that endure even four years later, strengthened my resume and had the time of my life. I was fortunate enough to have a happy, healthy semester, however, the risks associated with studying abroad were all around me.

My eyes were opened to the danger of being in a different culture, of being far from home, and to the unexpected. Accidents do happen. Despite being in a wealthy, English-speaking country for four months, I saw situations unfold that reminded me that I was not home, and the risks of studying abroad became quite real during my time there. When a group of us traveled to meet some American friends in an unfamiliar part of London, my girlfriends and I were quickly shuttled into a cab when our guy friends were jumped by locals. Luckily, the worst injury was a broken nose, but the fear we all felt was a reminder that we were still in fact strangers to the city. My roommate slipped and fell on the rainy streets of London, hitting her brow bone and woke up the next day with her eye swollen shut, forcing her to wear an eye patch through our Easter dinner, and then waiting hours for medical attention in the backed up waiting rooms at the closest English hospital. Another friend got up during the night from her bunk bed (yes, we slept in oh-so glamorous bunk beds) and hit her head in the dark, which required stitches.

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Going Abroad this Spring Break

February 29, 2012
Going Abroad for Spring Break

With Spring Break just around the corner, you might be planning a trip to a fabulous, exotic location–maybe someplace you’ve never been before. Maybe you have friends who are currently studying abroad and you’ve decided to visit. Going abroad, even just for a short time, is a great way to check out another country’s cultures and customs. Plus you can try new foods, meet new people and get exposed to an alternative way of life!

Whether you’re going someplace cool and breezy or hot and sunny, check out our tips on how to stay safe if you plan on packing your passport this break:

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I’m Back from Abroad, Now What? Dealing With Reverse Culture Shock

February 1, 2012
Navigating Reverse Culture Shock

As I’ve mentioned before, study abroad is an amazing experience during college. It’s a fantastic opportunity to travel and learn about life outside of your everyday college campus. While abroad, your new life takes some adjustment. After all, you are living in a new country with different customs, food and possibly a foreign language. This period of adjustment is something everyone goes through. Coming back from abroad is similar as well.

Reverse culture shock is the feeling you have when you’re not quite used to being back at home or on campus in the United States. Often, reverse culture shock hits a few days upon return from study abroad. In my jet-lagged haze on the way home from the airport last spring, I remember staring out the window, amazed at seeing billboards written in English. I had gone so long looking at things in Spanish that it seemed weird to understand everything on an advertisement right off the bat! Reverse culture shock is also completely normal. Almost everyone who goes abroad experiences it.

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Going, Going, Gone…Abroad!

December 28, 2011
Study Abroad

If you’re in college, you’ve probably heard a lot about study abroad. Going abroad means being able to study in a foreign country (and sometimes in a different language) while also having the opportunity to travel, meet new people from around the world and explore a new culture. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to spend some time outside of your everyday college campus–there are study abroad programs across the globe. Even if your college or university does not offer a study abroad program in a place you’d like to see, there’s a high probability that another school does.

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Holiday Travel Tips for Students

December 22, 2011
Holiday Travel Tips for College Students

Planes taxiing ahead of us.

The holidays are finally upon us! Most students travel home to reunite with family and friends, and many families travel to come together from all over to celebrate. With Millions of Americans traveling during the holidays, things can definitely get a little complicated. Whether it is the large crowds or the winter weather, it is best to be prepared when planning your holiday trips. This season, the busiest travel days are expected to be between December 21 throughout December 23, December 26 through December 30 and January 2 and 3 as holiday travelers fly home, according to CNN.

Like every year, there is no good way to get around the fact that there will be traffic, and the airports will be packed. This season a projected 43.3 million air travelers will take flight during a 21 day period, according to the Airlines for America. Whether driving to your destination or taking a plane, here are a few steps to making an already hectic season, less hectic:

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Students traveling abroad, prepare accordingly.

June 16, 2009

Can you still hear your parent’s stern voice?

“Now, call me when you get there. I want to make sure you arrive safely.”

Whether you’re traveling cross country or down the block, this phone call  always seems to save your parents a few worry lines. Now that you are traveling abroad a phone call may still calm their nerves, but they will not be able to help you much should an emergency arise. The many horror stories USA Today has told of students traveling abroad is concerning. However there are preventative steps you may take to ensure your safety abroad. 

 

If you are traveling abroad, seriously consider the following before leaving the country:

 

1. Inform close friends and relatives of your travel plans and give them all the details. Provide your living arrangements, numbers you may be reached at (a cell phone is not enough), departure/ arrival dates and times, etc.

2. Discuss your travel plans with a physician. Within your doctor’s visit be sure you are medically prepared and have at least the following:

        -an up to date physical

        -immunizations required for your destination and any layovers you may have

        -sufficient prescriptions for the entirety of your trip

3. Research the area you are visiting. Chances are there is a part of town you should avoid, restaurants you should not even walk into, or water you should not drink. Knowing what to expect when you arrive will ease your traveling stress.

4. Not only should you dress for the weather, but dress for your destination. Dress conservatively, do not wear expensive jewelry or those designer jeans. You will look like less of a tourist, making your trip not only safer but more enjoyable.

5. Look into travelers insurance. As many insurance policies do not apply to overseas trips. Travelers insurance protects you should a medical emergency occur and your belongings should they be stolen or lost.

6. Make sure your passport and other travel documents are in order. The U.S. Homeland Security recently revised passport regulations requiring additional checks and new procedures. Be sure to check your passport will be accepted when you leave and re-enter the country.

7. Do not leave before you are certain you can afford the trip. Make sure you have a cushion in your bank account, accidents and hidden expenses are more common than you may think. Check that you will be able to access your bank account at your destination as well.

 

If you are a student traveling abroad enjoy yourself but please, prepare yourself accordingly.

The world is yours to conquer, don’t let it conquer you.