In our 40-plus years coordinating study abroad, we've picked up some simple tips that will help ensure your travels are safe, fun and fulfilling.
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 and airline-compliant toiletries
All important documents (e.g., plane ticket, visa and passport)
You are required to obtain a cell phone for your time abroad. Check with your own cell phone company to see what international plans and add-ons they offer. You may also opt to use internet-based services like Skype, iMessage, FaceTime, or WhatsApp, which may be more affordable options for calling and messaging.
Electrical currents and plugs in foreign countries are often different from what is used here in the US and it is likely that you will need to purchase a plug adapter and/or currency converter to use your electronics abroad. You can find more information about the current and plugs used in the country where you will be studying here.
We recommend you travel with:
An ATM card
A small amount of foreign currency, which you can order through your bank prior to your travels
A major American credit card - know your pin and alert the company of your travel plans before you depart the US
A small amount of American dollars
As a Manhattan College student, you carry your Manhattan College liability insurance while abroad. However, we advise that you carry additional medical insurance that covers routine care, emergency care, and medical repatriation. First check with your insurance carrier to see if you are covered under your policy for out-of-country travel. Otherwise, you can purchase supplemental international health insurance for the duration of your program. Some additional insurance companies that offer insurance to students abroad are:
In addition to your usual wardrobe, we suggest you include:
A dressy outfit (for receptions and evening activities)
A sewing kit
A small flashlight
Battery-operated alarm clock
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. Certain countries also require a visa; 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 after your return. If you need to apply for a passport or visa, allow ample time to apply for these documents. They can take up to two months for processing.
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.
Pickpockets are often more common abroad than they are in the US. Be aware of your belongings at all times, especially on public transportation. Carry your wallet and ID in 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. In addition, leave photocopies of all important documents with family or a friend at home in the US.