Ready? Set…Takeoff!

Catherine Camara - profile picture new

Author: Catherine Camara
Program: International Business
Study Abroad Location: Bavaria, Germany

Participating in an exchange can be an exciting and fun experience. The few weeks leading up to it on the other hand – not such a good feeling! You’ll have a lot of last minute errands so it’s good to plan extra time to get things done. Here are some key things to keep in mind the few weeks before your departure.

Call your bank– Just do it. Let them know where you’ll be and for how long. You’ll be glad you did.
Organize– If you’re like me and travel is your passion, then you probably planned some sort of trip on the way to your exchange country. Have all of your travel documents in order. (itineraries, visas, confirmation invoices, tickets, acceptance letter, proof of residence abroad, etc.) Do not procrastinate.
Know your escape– You can come home at anytime you want, so don’t be too scared!
Say good bye-Its important to say it. So get it over with.
Foreign Currency– Take out enough foreign currency to last you a week in your host country. This will be enough to last you until you reach an ATM and figure out how to go about setting up a bank account.
Create a playlist- This can be something you can always plug into.

I had no idea what to pack. Bathing suits? Winter jackets? Flip flops? I had to get organized. Making lists and sticking to them I managed to get 6 months’ worth of clothing into one suitcase and a carry-on. Here are some items that you didn’t think you needed but will probably get the most use of.

Portable Charger– Haven’t stopped using it since I bought it.
Book– I recommend a pocket booklet of your study countries language, and a good book to read on weekend trips.
Towel– You will always need a towel. I recommend quick dry towels as they take up very little space.
Portable luggage scale– Whether it be for short trips or taking home souvenirs by the end of it all; you will get use out of this one.
Flip flops– This one should be a given, but leaving home without a great pair of slip-ons is a great mistake. They come in handy for shared bathrooms in your hostel stays, or hanging in the common room in your student residence. You’ll be thankful your feet are covered.

All this being said, it is important to do your own research. Read up on travel blogs and learn from others and their experiences. Doing this will help you gain different outlooks and opinions on what is important to take with you on your exchange. I hope these lists have helped you! Ready? Set, take off!

Catherine Camara

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