With more than 80,000 college students studying abroad during each academic year, it is clearly an opportunity that some students find hard to pass. A majority of students who participate in study abroad programs do so in Europe; however, Asia, Australasia, and Latin America are also growing in popularity. These programs open up a new world of experiences for students such as exploring new locales, different cultures and learning new languages. Studying abroad can also help students to develop a sense of independence. Once the decision to study abroad has been made, it is important to take the right steps in order to make the best of their experience. The right steps will ensure that the student is prepared for his or her time spent traveling to, studying in and exploring the host country.
Research Your Location
The wisest thing that a student can do prior to leaving for a foreign country is to do his or her research. Researching the host country will prepare the student for what to expect in terms of laws, local customs, and culture, transportation options, and will even alert the student of any current travel warnings. The study abroad program that is sending the student will likely provide some of this information; however, the Internet is a valuable resource and students can further their research by reviewing country-specific information through the U.S. Department of State website or the Embassy in that country. In addition to researching the host country, students will also want to look into the limit on their credit cards, and check whether their health and personal property insurance policies offer coverage when traveling abroad.
Packing For The Semester
As crucial as research is, it is equally important to pack properly before leaving. Packing light is best to ensure ease of movement through airports and to minimize the risk of lost luggage. If taking medications, it is important to verify that they can be carried legally into the country, particularly if the medication is a narcotic. A doctor’s letter and copies of prescriptions should also be packed in the event that questions arise. When packing, a converter and a plug adapter may also be necessary for laptops and other electronics to operate safely, as many countries outside of the U.S. use 220-volt electricity, whereas the U.S. uses 110-volt electricity. Students will want to avoid cash and bring traveler’s checks and major credit cards instead. The traveling student will want to carry two copies of the airline tickets, his or her driver’s license, passport identification page, and credit cards in the event that any of these items are lost.
Dont Stick Out
While studying abroad, blending in is critical to one’s safety. To do this, students will want to avoid bringing unwanted attention to themselves or to the fact that they are American citizens. Ideally, they should avoid wearing excess jewelry, fanny packs, handbags or anything that may attract the attention of thieves or other criminals. One of the many reasons that students find studying abroad so appealing is the opportunity to meet new people and to take in the sites. While meeting new people can be fun, it is important to exercise caution as a new acquaintance can turn into a deadly encounter. Students should never drink or eat anything that is given to them by people that they do not know. They should also avoid going off alone or to secluded areas with new acquaintances. It is critical that students refuse to carry or deliver any package or item for any person that they might have met during their time abroad. Packages could carry illegal items such as drugs or weapons that will if found in the student’s possession, resulting in their arrest. Even if the student is not aware of the package’s contents, he or she will likely still be in serious legal trouble.
Consider Public Transportation
Students are often advised against driving, and most universities recommend taking local means of transportation. In most countries, local transportation includes taxis, buses, and trains. In some places, bicycles may also be a viable option. Driving laws are different in other countries and can be confusing for students. In addition, students who plan to drive will need to be appropriately licensed and insured before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Studying abroad is a great way for students to experience the world while in college. The exposure to a foreign culture and language could prove useful in their future career or may even influence a student’s choices of a career. While studying abroad, students will get the maximum benefit and enjoyment from their time by being both prepared and safe. With proper research a student’s time spent abroad can result in not only greater knowledge about the world outside of the U.S., but also a greater sense of confidence, independence, and memories that last a lifetime.
Please read the following links for further information on studying abroad.
- Top Ten Reasons to Study Abroad
- U.S. Study Abroad Programs
- Exploring Your Options When Choosing a Travel Abroad Program
- CDC Advice for Safe and Healthy Travel for Students
- Study Abroad Program – Why Study Abroad?
- A Safe Trip Abroad
- Pre-Departure Tips
- How to Pack Your Bags and Yourself Before You Study Abroad
- Promoting Safety in Study Abroad
- Tips on Packing and Traveling – Study Abroad Programs (PDF)
- Types of Study Abroad Programs
- Culture Shock/ Adjustment
- Students Abroad – Academics, Culture Adjustment, Travel
- Reasons to Study Abroad
- Tips for Studying Abroad
- Making Friends Abroad (PDF)
- Socializing Safely When Studying Abroad
- Twenty Most Popular Study Abroad Destinations
- Factbox: Five Top Host Countries for Americans Studying Abroad
- Study Abroad Accepted Students – Health and Safety
- Health, Safety and Security Concerns in Study Abroad
- Safety Guidelines
- Education Abroad Center – Tips for the First Time Traveler
- Trends in U.S. Study Abroad
- Health Safety and Security While Studying Abroad
- Staying Healthy Abroad
- Teens Health: Studying Abroad
- Cultural Adjustment
- Benefits of Study Abroad
- Language Courses, Lodging, Summer Jobs, and Internships in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia
Compare the Best Student Loan Refinance Rates
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Student Debt Relief Loan Refinancing Advertiser Disclosure
College Ave: College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.
1 – The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as the borrower or cosigner, if applicable, enrolls in auto-pay and authorizes our loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly payments from a valid bank account via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”). The rate reduction applies for as long as the monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
2 – $5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees. Information advertised valid as of 04/26/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
3 – This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
ELFI: Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. To qualify for refinancing or student loans consolidation through ELFI, you must have at least $15,000 in student loan debt and must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved post-secondary institution.
LendKey: Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
CommonBond: Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate.
Splash Financial: Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval.com
Earnest: To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest’s fixed-rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with autopay) to 7.89% APR (with autopay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with autopay) to 7.27% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms of 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 0.26% and 5.03% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 23, 2019 and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay Discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/23/19. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice.
Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 303 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.