About the cover image:
“Morning Rain” is the winning photograph from the “People” Category in the Fall 2013 International Education Week Photo Contest. It was taken by Associate Professor, Justine Tutuska, in Uganda.
TABLE OF CONTENTS 1 4 8 11 13 15 16 18 21
STUDY ABROAD: Where to Begin
How to Select a Program, 1; Who, When, Why and Where, 2
PREPARING FOR DEPARTURE
Obtaining a Passport, 4; Renewing your Passport, 5; Registering your Passport While Abroad, 5; If your Passport is Lost or Stolen, 6; Visas, 6
HEALTH AND SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS
Immunizations, 8; Medications and Prescriptions, 8; Insurance, 9; In Case of an Emergency, 10; Top Ten Health and Safety Tips, 10
Arranging Transportation, 11; Arriving Early or Staying Past the End of the Program, 11; Independent Travel, 12
WHAT TO BRING
Packing, 13; Shipping, 14; Coming Home, 14
The Best Way to Reach You While Abroad, 15
Financial Aid, 16; How Much Money Should I Bring? 16; ATMs and Credit Cards; 17; Exchanging Money, 17; How to Receive Funds from Home, 17
CULTURAL IMMERSION AND ADAPTATION
Cultural Immersion, 18; Cultural Appropriateness, 19; Cultural Sensitivity, 19; Cultural Adjustment, 20; Reverse Culture Shock, 21
Pre-Departure Checklist, 21; Helpful Websites, 22; Financial Aid Opportunities, 23; Study Abroad Funding, 27
Global Programs Office 4380 Main Street • Amherst, New York 14226 • 716.566.7837
Study Abroad: Where Do I Begin?
How Do I Select The Correct Program?
Several of the primary factors in selecting the right program include the subject you will study, the language you will be taught in, and the academic credit available for the course. Many people are looking for courses either to expand their knowledge of their primary field of study or to expand their knowledge of a particular language. Most people also want to earn credit that will count at their home university. If these are not concerns for you, then you will have more freedom in selecting a program. The next set of factors will probably be location, timing, and duration. Location is a logistical issue, but it tends to have a direct impact on the language and subjects available. If you want to study in Germany because you want to explore your German heritage, you may have to work a little harder to find a program offered in English. However, if you are willing to be a little flexible and work to find options, you can study almost anything anywhere in the world. Timing and duration are decisions related to how much time you can take off from your program at home as well as what programs are offered that meet your needs. In order to find the perfect program, you need to know the answers to the following questions: • • • • • • • • • • • • Where do you want to go? Why? What are your goals? What do you hope to learn from this experience? How would this experience fit in with your career goals or life plans? What do you want or need to study while abroad? Do you want to earn credit while abroad, or would you be able to do a non-credit program? Are you fluent enough in a foreign language to take classes in it, or would it be necessary for you to take some or all of your coursework in English? How much time can you afford to spend abroad, in terms of academic time and financial resources? How structured or open of a program are you looking for? Do you want to live in a dorm with other Americans, stay with a local family, or have some other housing option? How much money can you spend on tuition and fees? On housing and food? On transportation? Will you need to apply for financial aid? Is it available? Do you have any special needs? Study abroad is still possible for people with disabilities; however it requires extra planning and arrangements.
Who, When, Why and Where
All Majors Can Study Abroad. However, you must plan accordingly. Some majors have strict requirements for upper division. You will need to meet with your advisor to discuss your plans. Additionally, you must have a GPA of 2.5 and the approval for your department and the Global Programs Office. We strongly encourage students with disabilities to also consider an international experience. Please see the Global Programs Office and Mobility International (www.miusa.org) for further information.
Any time after your freshman year including the summer after you graduate. If you plan appropriately, some students are able to go the second semester of their freshman year. Students are able to go for a year, a semester, over the summer, during intersession or spring break. Often students participate in more than one international experience.
Top Ten Reasons to Study Abroad 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. It will help you develop skills and provide experiences a classroom setting lacks. It allows you to get to know another culture first-hand. It is the optimal way to learn a language. It provides the opportunity to travel. It affords you the opportunity to make friends around the world. It helps you to learn about yourself. It expands your worldview. It gives you the opportunity to break out of your academic routine. It enhances employment opportunities. It can enhance the value of your degree making you more competitive in your job search.
Daemen College offers a variety of study abroad locations. Please note that the programs below are not your only option; you are free to study anywhere in the world.
Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Italy, Poland, Qatar, and more! Australia, Brazil, Peru, New Zealand, England, France, and more! Argentina: Córdoba
API: Academic Programs International AIFS: American Institute for Foreign Study Spanish Studies Abroad: Universidad Nacional de Córdoba University of Botswana CNAS: St. Francis Xavier University CNAS: University of Northern British Columbia Beijing University of Chinese Medicine South China University of Technology Sichuan University Spanish Studies Abroad
• Year • Semester • Summer • Winter • Year • Semester • Summer • Year • Semester • Summer • Semester • Semester
Sophia Ng email@example.com apistudyabroad.com Sophia Ng firstname.lastname@example.org aifsabroad.com Sophia Ng email@example.com spanishstudies.org Dr. Joseph Sankoh firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Brenda Young
Botswana: Gaborone Canada: Antigonish, Nova Scotia Canada: Prince George, British Columbia China: Beijing China: Guangzhou China: Sichuan Cuba
Dr. Brenda Young
• Year • Semester • Semester • Year • Semester • Summer • Semester • January Term • Spring Break • January Term • Spring Break • Semester • Fall • Spring (Germany only) • Summer • Semester • Summer • January Term • Semester • Summer
Ann Robinson email@example.com Dr. Laura Sommer firstname.lastname@example.org Ann Robinson email@example.com Sophia Ng firstname.lastname@example.org spanishstudies.org Dr. Greg Shutts email@example.com Sophia Ng firstname.lastname@example.org csadr.org Ann Robinson email@example.com Dr. Kathleen Murphy firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Kathleen Murphy email@example.com Dr. Denise Mills firstname.lastname@example.org
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
Students Without Borders Community Service Alliance
East/Southeast Asia Ireland/Germany/ Finland Ireland: Athlone México: Mexico City
Interdisciplinary Consortium for Global Health University of Trier; Central Ostrobothnia Polytechnic Athlone Institute CNAS: Universidad LaSalle
CNAS: Universidad de Guanajuato
Ann Robinson email@example.com
Bethlehem Parent School
• January Term
Prof. Justine Tutuska firstname.lastname@example.org Andrew Wise email@example.com Sophia Ng firstname.lastname@example.org spanishstudies.org Sophia Ng email@example.com spanishstudies.org Sophia Ng firstname.lastname@example.org spanishstudies.org Dr. Mary Fox email@example.com cielearn.org
• Year • Semester • Summer • Year • Semester • Summer • Year • Semester • Summer
Spanish Studies Abroad: Universidad del Sagrado Corazon Spanish Studies Abroad: Universidad de Alicante
Spanish Studies Abroad: Universidad de Sevilla OR Universidad Pablo de Olavide CIEL Partners
• Year • Semester • January Term • May Term • Summer • Semester • Summer
Worldwide: Nepal, Botswana, Ecuador, and more
Preparing for Departure
Obtaining a Passport
A passport is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies the identity and nationality of the person carrying it. A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to issue United States passports. Apply early for a U.S. passport. Processing an application takes about four to six weeks, and even longer during peak travel season and changes in travel requirements. To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to selected post offices or one of the passport agencies of the U.S. Department of State with an application, two photographs of yourself, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as a driver’s license. The ten passport locations closest to Daemen College are:
Facility Name Amherst Branch Post Ofc UB Law Library Central Park Post Ofc Cheektowaga Branch Post Ofc Williamsville Post Ofc Kenmore Post Ofc Getzville Post Ofc Tonawanda Post Ofc Buffalo Post Ofc Buffalo West Side Sta Post Ofc Street Address 5500 N Bailey Ave 211 O’Brien Hall 170 Manhattan Ave 125 Galleria Dr 5325 Sheridan Dr 3014 Delaware Ave 2655 Millersport Hwy 96 Seymour St 1200 William St 465 Grant St City Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Cheektowaga Williamsville Buffalo Getzville Tonawanda Buffalo Buffalo ZIP Code 14226 14260 14215 14225 14221 14217 14068 14150 14240 14213 Phone 831.8651 645.2204 834.3217 681.4523 632.0421 874.7017 689.8874 693.4560 846.2301 883.8032 Distance 0 2.1 2.6 3.8 3.8 3.9 4.3 4.4 5.8 6
The cost of a passport is a total of $135: $110 for the application, which is paid to the U.S. Department of State and a $25 execution fee paid to the facility that handles your application. You can also expedite your application for an additional charge. However, we encourage you to apply as soon as you begin to think about studying abroad and not at the last minute. Please note that passport fees are expected to increase in the near future. For current passport fees, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s Passport Fees page at: travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/costs For application, processing times, and further information, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s Passport homepage at: travel.state.gov/content/passports/english Once you have obtained your passport, check it over to be sure that the information is correct.
Renewing Your Passport
If you have a U.S. passport that will expire in fewer than six months after the end of your program, you will need to apply for a new one. You may be able to apply by mail. Use the following checklist to see if you are eligible: 1. 2. 3. 4. I can submit my most recent passport AND I was at least 16 years old when my most recent passport was issued AND I was issued my most recent passport in the last 15 years AND I use the same name as on my most recent passport or I have had my name changed by marriage or court order since my passport was issued, and can submit the proper documentation to reflect this name change.
If you answered NO to any of the four statements above, you are not eligible to apply by mail. You may request a passport renewal application from your nearest passport acceptance facility.
Registering Your Passport While Abroad
Once abroad, you can register your passport with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website (step.state.gov). Registration will make your presence and whereabouts known in case it is necessary to contact you in an emergency. In accordance with the Privacy Act, information on your welfare and whereabouts may not be released without your express authorization. Remember to leave a detailed itinerary and the numbers or copies of your passport or other citizenship documents with a friend or relative in the United States. If your family needs to reach because of an emergency, they can pass a message to you through the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-5225. This office will contact the embassy or consulate in the country where you are travelling and pass a message from your family to you. Remember consular officers
cannot cash checks, lend money or serve as your attorney. They can, if the need arises, assist you in obtaining emergency funds from your family, finding an attorney, finding medical assistance, and replacing a lost or stolen passport.
If Your Passport is Lost or Stolen
If your passport is lost or stolen while you are abroad, report the loss immediately to local police authorities and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. To report your passport lost or stolen, visit the U.S. Department of State’s website for details: travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/emergencies/lost-or-stolen-passports-abroad It is always wise to keep a photocopy of your passport in your luggage or with your on-site program representatives. If your passport is lost or stolen, a photocopy will expedite the renewal process.
Different countries have different rules regarding how you can enter and leave their country. Some require a visa and others require a payment at the airport or proof of a round-trip ticket. To find out what the entry requirements for each country are, visit the State Department’s travel page (travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country) and click on the country that you are interested in. A visa is written permission to visit a country granted by the government of that country at a consulate or embassy here in the U.S. Your program should provide information on whether or not a visa is required and which type of visa is needed for your stay. If you plan to study in a country for an extended period, you may need a special student visa. The process of obtaining a visa can be fairly complicated, so plan on dealing with bureaucratic red tape and then you can be pleasantly surprised if things work out easily. Don’t leave this important step to the last minute as there are many things that can go wrong and delay the process. For some countries, the visa process requires more than two months to complete, while in other countries you may obtain the visa as you enter the country by paying an entry fee at the airport. Other countries may require applicants to obtain a residency permit prior to granting a visa, which adds another complicated step. Ask about the amount of time that you should allow for processing and plan accordingly. Some consulates require that you apply in person, while for others you can accomplish the task by mail. If applying by mail, you should use an overnight courier service or another method that allows for tracking the package since it will include your passport. Make a photocopy of your passport and everything that you send. If the application process requires that you apply in person, this means you must go to one of the country’s consulates or embassies. All countries have consulates based in New York City, attached to the United Nations. These are the closest consulates to Daemen College. Please note that many consulates keep limited hours, typically from 9:00 AM to 12:00
noon. They often close for both U.S. national holidays and holidays in their own countries. Most have a complicated voice-mail system and it can be difficult to talk to an actual person. Some may have a web-site where you can download the application forms and obtain instructions. Be patient and always polite, it is their country and they make the rules about who can enter. A consular officer can’t deny you a visa just because you are rude, but they do have power over the process and may make requirements more difficult for you if you become impatient. This may be the first place that you notice cultural differences! To keep this in perspective, this process is becoming increasingly challenging for international students who wish to enter the U.S. Ask a Daemen international student about their experience at the U.S. Embassy in their home country. The following is a list of items that may be required to obtain a student visa (please note that this list is only provided as a sample of documents that are commonly required, yet every country is different and each has varying requirements): • • • your passport, good for at least 6 months after the program’s end date passport-sized photos a letter from the university or program you will be attending, written on official stationery, stating that you have been accepted as a student for a specified period (the letter must list the beginning and ending dates) proof of sufficient funds to finance your stay abroad – this may be a copy of your financial aid award or a bank statement showing that you have adequate funds (or your parents do) for your support while in the country proof of insurance coverage (sometimes this will need to be translated into the host country language) proof of your health status (an increasing number of countries have established regulations requiring AIDS/HIV testing, some require a tuberculosis test or other screening tests) a copy of your airline ticket to provide proof of the date that you intend to leave the host country an application fee
If you have limited time for processing a visa, there are services that can expedite the visa process – for a fee, of course. You will still need to assemble the necessary documents but most services are based in Washington, DC with contacts at the various embassies that allow them to have a visa processed more quickly than is possible at some outlying consulates. If you would like more information on these services, check with a travel agent for reputable agencies. If you are traveling to other countries before or after your program you will need to check requirements that are specific to those particular countries. IMPORTANT NOTE: The visa process may require you to submit your passport to a consulate for an extended period and this could impact travel options before your program. Since you cannot travel abroad without your passport, other travel plans over the winter or summer break may not be possible. If you are planning to travel prior to your semester abroad, be sure to check with your program sponsor and/or the consulate to ensure that the timing of the visa process will allow for pre-program travel. You will not be able to participate on your program if you do not have the proper visa.
Health and Safety Considerations
The immunizations required for entry into each country will vary (as well as other countries along your route) so you should consult your program sponsor, or the consulate for each country that you will visit for specific details. The more developed countries may not have any risk factors for various diseases and thus will have little or no requirements. Developing countries may have several immunizations that are required and many others that are strongly recommended. For updated information, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta provides a toll-free Traveler’s Health Hotline at (877) FYI-TRIP (394-8747). Information from the CDC can also be obtained via fax by calling (888) 232-3299 and on the web at: www.cdc.gov/travel/content/study-abroad Contact your doctor or county health clinic for information on immunizations that are recommended, even though they may not be required for entry into the country, and to set up a schedule for your shots. You should have all immunizations recorded in a yellow “World Health” booklet or “International Certificate of Vaccination” that will be available from your doctor or health clinic. Some immunizations come in a series that may take weeks to complete so check the requirements early. Two local clinics are: Travelers Health and Immunization Center 297 Spindrift Dr. Ste. 200 Williamsville, NY 14221 Telephone: (716) 631-0929 Fax: (716) 635-0151 UEMS Occupational and Travel Health 462 Grider St. Buffalo, NY 14215 Telephone: (716) 898-4153
Medications and Prescriptions
Depending on which country you are traveling to, you might want to consider taking some over the counter medications from the U.S. with you. Some countries do not have equal access to quality medications. It is best to research this topic prior to departure. Additionally, make sure that you have enough prescription medication with you as you might not be able to get a prescription filled in your location. Per TSA regulations, prescription medications should be stored in their original container. Prescription medication labels should also match the name on the boarding pass. Make sure to put all necessary medications in your carry-on luggage.
MEDICAL AND ACCIDENT INSURANCE In order to study abroad, you are required to possess health and accident insurance that will cover full medical needs overseas. You must also provide information about your policy to the Global Programs Office.
Please note that your current insurance policy may not cover you while you are abroad or may only provide limited coverage for a brief overseas stay. It is your responsibility to be certain that your current policy does indeed provide full coverage during the entire program.
If your policy does not provide sufficient coverage, there are special policies that can be purchased for the length of your program. Daemen College does not endorse any particular insurance policy but we do have a file in our office that lists companies that provide insurance. You need to discuss the specifics of your study abroad program to ensure that you will indeed be covered. When speaking to any insurance company, be sure to ask the following questions: 1. Will the plan cover hospitalization for accidents and illnesses while I’m abroad (over a period of 3-6 months)? 2. Will the plan cover doctor visits and medication prescribed abroad? 3. Is there a deductible? If yes, how much? 4. Is there a dollar limit to the amount of coverage provided? 5. What are the procedures for filing a claim for medical expenses abroad? Do I need to pay for expenses up front and then submit receipts to the insurance company for reimbursement? (Make sure that you get full information from your policy about how to arrange for routine treatment, medical emergency procedures, and what is required to pay for or be reimbursed for a claim. Many overseas health providers will not process American insurance claims and will expect payment at the time of treatment, so students should have access to a minimum of $400, either by credit card or traveler’s checks, in the event that medical treatment is required abroad. Be sure to obtain a receipt to submit with your insurance claim for reimbursement upon your return to the U.S.) 6. What if I don’t have enough money to pay cash up front? 7. When does the plan begin and end? 8. What do I use as proof of international medical coverage (if I need to use the insurance or if the host government requires documentation)? 9. If I am not a U.S. citizen, will I be covered by your plan? 10. Does coverage include mental health needs? EVACUATION INSURANCE Daemen requires you to have insurance for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains. If your insurance does not cover these two aspects, please stop by the office to receive information on how to cheaply purchase coverage. TRAVELER’S INSURANCE You are not required to take out “Traveler’s Insurance,” but you may want to look into policies that cover travel delays, lost luggage, and replacement of expensive property such as cameras or computers if they are lost, stolen, or damaged. Some homeowner’s
insurance policies may cover your belongings while you are abroad, but you will want to check to see what the policy actually does cover. “Know before you go” is a good motto in this and many cases. Daemen College offers iNext travel insurance at a discounted rate should you need it. The iNext policy includes medical, accident, medical evacuation , and repatriation of remains. In Case of Emergency In case of an emergency, Overseas Citizens Services can provide emergency services such as the transmission of messages to citizens and their families. Assistance is available from Monday to Friday from 8:15 AM to 10:00 PM. Call within U.S. at (888) 407-4747 and outside the U.S. at (202) 501-4444. A duty officer is available for after-hours, weekends, and holidays.
Top Ten Health and Safety Tips
1. Be informed about safety issues in the country and city. Orientation materials and country guides can help you to better understand the countries and cities where you will be studying and traveling. Check out the U.S. State Department (www.state.gov) and the CDC (www.cdc.gov) for more information. Know where you’re going and what to do and not do once you get there. Be aware of local laws, for you will be responsible for your actions if you break them. Avoid high-risk activities. Certain activities like bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, mountain climbing, and shark diving adventures can put you in danger. If you choose to participate, make sure that you have adequate support and insurance. Be prepared to respond to emergencies. The more prepared you are for emergencies, the better able you will be to respond. Where will you go if you need to leave the country? What will you do if you are a victim of a crime or are injured? What if someone else needs help? Avoid crime and violence, including sexual harassment and assault. Be aware of the safe and unsafe areas where you are living and traveling. Use your safety skills from the U.S. while abroad: be aware of your surroundings, don’t travel or go out alone, avoid bad neighborhoods, and be more careful at night. Be aware of the foreign stereo types against Americans and understand local verbal and non-verbal communication. Make sure your mode of transportation is safe. Whether you are arranging your own transportation or you are being led by your program provider, look closely at what the safest mode of transportation is for where you’re going, what routes you’re taking, and at what time you’re traveling. The effects of alcohol and drugs can hurt you. Although the consumption of alcohol may be legal at a younger age abroad, its use and abuse is many times tied to being a victim of crime, violence, accident, or injury. Drug use abroad is a criminal activity and can result in severe consequences-plan on being treated as guilty (in jail) until proven innocent. U.S. Consular officers will not be able to help you. Be able to communicate at all times. Methods of communication for you and those that are trying to reach you are: cellular phone, regular phone, e-mail, and in remote locations, if available, satellite phone. Try to have at least one of these methods available to you at all times.
Take care of your physical, dental, and mental health. Prior to going abroad, get a physical, complete foreseeable dental work, and consider your psychological stability. Be prepared for the physical and mental challenges abroad. When you arrive, find suitable care and support facilities in the event that you need them. 9. Have adequate insurance and 24-hour emergency assistance. Types of insurance that are required: medical evacuation, medical transportation and repatriation of remains. Other types of insurance to consider purchasing include major medical (U.S. and abroad), and traveler’s insurance. 10. Choose a quality program provider. There are no minimum standards in the study abroad field. You need to carefully pick a quality study abroad provider, by considering both the quality of academics and student services. Along with costs and courses, find out about the safety problems faced by students in the past.
When making your own travel arrangements, there are several tips to keep in mind. Be sure to book your flight well in advance to secure the best rates and options, especially if you are planning to travel in the summer or holiday season, when airline travel is particularly heavy. Before finalizing your reservation, be sure that you have transportation from the airport to your housing. Be aware that most countries will require that you have a return trip ticket for you to enter their country. Round trip tickets can also be cheaper than buying two one-way tickets, but can incur charges if changing the return dates.
Arriving Early and Staying Past the End of the Program
If you plan to arrive before the start of your program, you should either ask if you can enter your housing early or make arrangements to stay elsewhere until your program starts. If you wish to stay past the end of your program, once again see if you will be able to stay in your housing or if you should find lodging elsewhere. If you are unsure of your return date, consider buying an open-end airline ticket, which allows you to select your return date at a later time. If you plan on traveling and are unsure of where you will be returning from, consider an open-jaw ticket, which allows you to return from a different location than the one that you arrived in.
While studying abroad, you may have the opportunity to travel, whether it is within your host country or to another country nearby. This can be a great experience to meet new people and see new cultures and ways of life. Here are some tips for making arrangement to travel on your own:
Rail: In most countries, transportation by rail is widely used since it is fast, dependable, and efficient. The best deal is to purchase a rail pass, which allows you unlimited travel through a specific country or set of countries, and during a set amount of time. These passes can be purchased at any time in the host country or before your departure from a U.S. travel agent. Car: Car rental is often expensive, especially due to the high cost of gasoline, but can give you the freedom to travel at your own pace. Driving a car in a foreign country requires that you possess a valid driver’s license. Sometimes a U.S. license is acceptable, but in some cases you will need to obtain an International Driver’s Permit. Contact your local AAA for information. Also, be aware that there are different driving rules in each country, so consult the Association of Safe International Road Travel at www.asirt.org for country-specific information. Air: Air travel is often the fastest way to go, although there are many more restrictions on travel especially in terms of luggage. Keep in mind that when using low-cost air carriers, you will probably use small airports outside of the main cities and will need to arrange your own transportation to and from these airports. Lodging: In many parts of the world, youth hostels are a popular choice for students looking to travel. Accommodations vary from dormitory-style shared living to single rooms, and can also vary in quality. Staying in a hostel can be a great way to meet many diverse people, however take extra care to protect your belongings from theft. A useful website is www.hostels.com, which allows you to search hostels, see guest ratings, and make reservations. Other lodging options include bed and breakfast inns or budget and chain hotels (many American hotel chains, such as Best Western, Comfort Inn, etc. operate in many foreign countries). Tips: Once again, try to make your travel reservations as far in advance as you can. This will ensure you flexibility in your planning and you may receive special “early bird” deals. When traveling in other countries, remember to check the travel advisory for specific information on traveling in that country. Try to learn as much as you can about the history, culture, politics, and customs of the countries you will be visiting, and do your best to abide by their manners and dress codes. It is important that you learn local laws and obey them. While you are in a foreign country you are subject to its laws, even if you are not a citizen there.
What to Bring
In your carry-on suitcase, make sure that you have all of your travel documents and other important items so that they are with you at all times. These include: • Passport • Visa • Plane tickets • Money (for taxi rides to and from airports, phone calls, emergencies, etc.) • Other official documentation, including in country contact information. • Prescription medicine (in official container) and a first-aid kit • Glasses • Valuables, such as cameras, laptops, and other electronic goods that could be stolen. • Fragile items You may also want to pack a few personal items in your carry-on to make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable. Consider packing items such as a book, portable music player, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and a change of clothes and underwear in case of flight delay or cancellation. Keep in mind that most commercial airlines have restrictions as to the size and weight of your carry-on baggage, as well as what you can or cannot pack inside of them. Sharp items such as razors and nail files are generally not permitted. Liquids are restricted to 3 ounce bottles, contained in a clear zip-top bag, with only one bag allowed per passenger.
Packing can be especially challenging if you plan to be abroad from a relatively long time. You want to have as many comforts as you do at home, however you can’t bring everything with you so you must prepare to make do with fewer things. Most airlines have strict weight restrictions for baggage and charge expensive fees for overweight or excess bags, so this will be an incentive for you to pack light. By packing lightly, you will have an easier time transporting your luggage around the airport, and will also leave space for any souvenirs or other items you acquire during your stay. The best advice is not to procrastinate. Packing takes planning, and you may need to re-pack your suitcases a number of times before you find the best arrangement. Do yourself a favor and do not wait until the last minute!