Travel Tips

In our 40-plus years coordinating study abroad, we've picked up some simple tips and travel-hacks to ensure your travels are safe, fun and fulfilling.

Baggage

Check with your airline for their specific rules and regulations on baggage. Any excess baggage charges are the responsibility of the passenger.

In case your checked bag goes astray, we recommend that you pack the following items in your carry on:

  • A change of clothing
  • A toothbrush
  • Prescription drugs
  • All important documents (e.g., plane ticket, visa and passport)

Cell Phones

It is required that you obtain a cell phone. Check with your own cell phone company to see what plan they offer. Your family should also check with their local phone carrier to see what short-term plans they offer for international calling. Skype, an internet service that allows you to make calls for free, may be a more affordable option.

Charging/Electricity

Electrical currents in foreign countries are different. Check the visitor’s website of the country where you will be studying.

Currency/Credit Cards

We recommend you travel with:

  • An ATM card
  • A small amount of traveler's checks (leave a list of the check numbers at home)
  • A small amount of American dollars
  • A major American Credit Card - know your pin and alert the company of your travel plans.

Insurance

As a Manhattan College student, you carry your Manhattan College liability insurance while abroad. However, we advise that you carry additional medical insurance (e.g., doctor or hospital). First check with your personal carrier to see if you are covered under your policy for out of the country travel. Otherwise, you can purchase the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). This card provides you with basic insurance. For details consult myISIC.com.

You can also purchase additional individual health insurance through Manhattan College. Please come to the Study Abroad office for information.

Some additional insurance companies that offer insurance to students abroad are:

Packing Suggestions

In addition to your usual wardrobe, we suggest you include:

  • A dressy outfit (for receptions and evening activities)
  • Comfortable shoes
  • A sewing kit
  • A small flashlight
  • Battery-operated alarm clock
  • Extra batteries
  • Pocket calculator
  • A raincoat or umbrella.
  • Ample prescription medication (if necessary)
  • Other personal toiletries (although they can be purchased abroad)

You may need to bring bed sheets and blankets. Check with your study abroad program. If you choose to bring linens, you might consider packing old linens that can be left behind at the end of the program so you have room in your suitcase for new purchases.

Passport and Visa

Everyone traveling abroad needs a passport (travel.state.gov). Certain countries also require a visa (nyc.gov). Check with the Study Abroad office as to what documents you need. If you have a passport, be sure that it will not expire while you are abroad and that it will be valid for at least six months upon your return. Allow ample time to apply for these documents. They can take up to two months for processing.

Responsibilities

Keep in mind that once out of the U.S., you are leaving American protection and laws behind. Once abroad you will be responsible for your actions. If a law is broken, being a U.S. citizen will not protect you. Breaking a law that you are not aware of (ignorance of the law) is no protection from the consequences. Use good judgment and common sense. Walk away from potential problem situations.

Safety Recommendations

  • Wear a pouch that fastens around your neck or waist and is worn under your clothes to protect yourself against pickpockets.
  • Secure your original passport and and all important documents in your room abroad.
  • Store photocopies of all important documents in your room abroad.
  • Leave photocopies of all important documents at home.
  • Take some extra passport size photos with you.
  • Leave all valuable jewelry at home.

Have fun, study hard and be safe!