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Whether you're hosting a couple from Australia, Tripping with a family in Rio or meeting fellow travelers for a night out on the town, we're here to help you become empowered members of our community and stay safe wherever you go!

Hitting the road soon? Learn more about travel insurance from our partner World Nomads Travel Insurance.

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Student

Student Tip

How to Prepare for a Safe and Rewarding Semester Abroad

All of your semester abroad applications have been accepted - great! You’re about to embark on one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. With a little bit of smart planning, you’ll be able to hit the ground running.

Here are some tips we’ve put together to help you prepare for a safe semester abroad.

Make sure all of your documentation is in order.

Make sure your passport is valid for the entire time you will be studying abroad and that you have all of the visas you’ll need for your host country. While you’re applying for visas, it’s also a good idea to learn about the visa restrictions of any countries you may be interested in visiting during your time abroad.

Make copies of your passport, ID cards, prescriptions and insurance information to bring with you. It’s also helpful to email yourself scanned copies of your documentation so you can easily access them online.

Take care of your body.

Check to see if there are any recommended vaccinations for your host country and make sure you are up to date with all of them.

Ask your program directors if travel insurance is included with your semester abroad or if your school is partnered with a particular travel insurance provider. Travel insurance for students is usually pretty cheap and will give you and your family peace of mind while you’re studying abroad.

Schedule any regular doctor appointments or followups that you may need. When you see your doctors, let them know about your travel plans so they can work with you to ensure that you have all the prescriptions you’ll need for your trip.

Try to fill all of your prescriptions before you leave and be sure to ask your doctor and insurance provider for information about getting your prescriptions filled while abroad.

Plan your finances.

Money is the last thing you want to be worrying about while you’re on the road! Before you leave, take the time to think about how much money you’ll need for daily expenses and transportation. Compare this to what you’ve set aside for your trip so that you can better plan your budget for entertainment and extracurricular excursions.

Let your bank know that you will be traveling abroad and ask if they have any partner banks in the countries you’re traveling to - it could save you a lot of money on ATM fees as well as spare you from the inconvenience of your funds being blocked.

Prepare your technology.

Back up all of the data from your computer and camera before leaving for your semester abroad. (It’s also a good idea to regularly upload your photos when you’re on the road, just to ensure that none of your wonderful memories are lost.)

Before you leave, call your mobile provider and ask about international plans - having a phone while studying abroad can be incredibly helpful, but you don’t want an outrageous bill to wipe out your budget.

Be smart about what you pack.

Pack well but don’t use the important time that could be spent saying goodbye to friends and family on worrying about what to bring with you. Remember, you can buy most of the items you need abroad.

It is a good idea to bring a small backpack for day trips and a pair of shoes you already know is comfortable for walking.

Bring a guide or download the relevant maps and public transportation apps ahead of time so that you’re prepared when you arrive and for unplanned situations as they come up.

Take the lead from locals!

There’s no better way to prepare for a destination than talking with locals, and Tripping is the perfect resource to help you connect with people from the places you’ll be visiting. Before hitting the road, message some Trippers to get safety tips, advice on transportation or suggestions for fun things to do in their area.

Have a hobby or interest in a sport? Another great way to connect with locals is to sign up for a craft workshop or amateur sports league while you’re studying abroad. Do some research about the local offerings before hitting the road so you don’t miss out an an incredible opportunity to gain new skills, learn about local traditions and make new friends.

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