4 Things You’ll Forget to Do Before Going Abroad
This blog is written by our Campus Ambassador, Mary M. from Quinnipiac University. She is a Junior Marketing/International Business Major who found her passion for traveling after studying abroad in Rome. Mary aspires to one day work internationally with the US Olympic Committee on a major sports campaign. She loves being involved in her campus community and experiencing college to the fullest.
You’re going abroad! You’re going to experience a new culture, food, social scene, sights, countries, EVERYTHING! You’ve got your visa, your passport is all set and you leave in a few weeks. Everything is just PERFECT!
What happens if you get pickpocketed on Via del Corso in Rome? Or your credit card gets shut off for “fraudulent use” once you get to London? Or you lose your passport after an insane night in Barcelona?
Fear not interns. Almost all of these things (and then some) happened to me when I went abroad last spring. Here are the top 4 things you completely overlooked—
- Get personal property insurance: My dad was obsessed with getting personal property insurance before I left for Rome. I couldn’t understand why… until I got pickpocketed and lost my iPod Touch. After an interesting conversation with the Carabinieri (I barely speak Italian) and a few forms to fill out through my insurance company, I got a beautiful check for the full value of my iPod. You must be thinking right now, “Okay Mary. And how much did it cost for this ‘insurance’? A few hundred dollars?” I believe I spent about $70 total for the 4 months that I was away and EVERYTHING (from lost luggage to my computer to my iPod) was covered. Ask your program or school if they recommend any providers.
- Call your credit card company to tell them you’re going away: I can’t even tell you how many people I know whose cards got turned off within the first week of arriving in Rome because they didn’t give their banks a heads up that they were leaving the country. I experienced it firsthand about 6 hours before leaving for Paris. Call them before you arrive in your home country and call them every time you leave to go to another country for a weekend trip. Better safe than credit card-less.
- Talk to your school or program to see if they’ll cover your plane ticket: My program covered my $2000 round trip ticket to Rome and I had NO idea until a friend told me. Talk to your study abroad office to see the costs that they cover and even ask for a breakdown if possible. You never know what you’re paying for until you ask.
- Know where your city’s American consulate is located: The most unbelievable (and true) story I’ve ever heard about losing a passport includes a runaway train, a Slavic country and accidentally falling asleep. Moral of the story—figuring out how to get to the American consulate will literally save your life in some countries.
So have you learned any good traveling tips? Do you have any questions about studying abroad? Let me know in the comment section below!
Happy travels interns!