Variety is the spice of life and studying abroad adds that bit of excitement that can only come from adventure and reaching your English language learning goals. Oftentimes we tend to focus exclusively on the destination and not much of the preparation, but ensuring a good time is had requires organization and planning. However, it does not have to be a drag! Here are some helpful traveling tips to remember when you study at Stafford House:
Make sure your passport is valid before you go to the airport or embassy. It is highly advised to always carry with you your passport or otherwise some form of legitimate government ID. Travelers worry about the security risk in carrying your passport, but should something happen, you want that authorities have no doubt you are who you say you are. For those of a legal drinking age, remember that bars or club will typically require an ID to gain access.
The currency of convenience
In this hyper-accessible world, credit is definitely king and as such carrying credit cards is highly advised. Most shops, restaurants, and taxis (especially in the United States and Canada) accept credit cards. It is much easier and convenient to carry these thin bits of plastic than it is to stuff bank notes in your wallet. At the same time, it is still recommended to bring a little bit of cash with you in the event there is some issue with your card. It is certainly not the rule to accept credit, however so keep in mind some places may be cash-only.
Plane to trains, bikes, and automobiles
When in Rome (or Paris or New York), do as the locals do! This includes going by public transit whenever possible. Part of your research should involve discovering what options exist for public transit, the costs involved, how will these options connect to the places on your list to visit, etc. Public transportation can be a great option for budget-conscious students. Also, there is so much fun in travelling by train, bus, or bike than private transport—try it for yourself!
There are few fates worse than suddenly finding yourself without Internet connectivity! If you plan to study for an extended period of time, you are best served purchasing a prepaid card in order to have full utility of your phone whenever you want. A prepaid card will reduce your phone bill costs as well as make you WiFi-independent.
Don’t blow a fuse
So, you have brought along your shiny gadgets only to find that they are not working! This is usually down to difference in wattage between the device you are using and the electrical setup of the place you are plugged into. Know the difference—and pack an universal adapter.
Enjoy the sights and sounds (and tastes and smells)
For an authentic travel experience, you will want to talk to the locals! Who knows best about the most choice places to eat and drink, where to have a good time for cheap, and how to avoid tourist traps than someone from the city you are visiting? Also, as a student, find out if your school offers planned activities or excursions and take the opportunity to sign up. It is the best way to forge lifelong friends and make your adventure truly unforgettable.