There are many opportunities to be able to go abroad. One option would be to become an exchange student at an international partner of your school. You will be able to explore new places, taste new food and learn a different culture. Making new friends would also be something you can do while you’re there.
If you are lucky enough to be chosen as an exchange student or spend a semester abroad, what are the things that you would like to bring? Are you in the fence about what bag to use and what personal items to carry? Here are some easy packing tips for smart travel and be ready for a new adventure.
1. Check your electronic devices
It would be a given that you would bring your cell phone along with you to be able to communicate with friends and family abroad. You must first make sure that your phone carrier provides service where you are going. Now, if you are also planning on bringing other electronic devices like your camera, hair dryer, electric iron or laptop, you must check their voltage setting. It is important to know the voltage used in the country that you are going to. Since you will be spending several months to study there, it would be best to purchase a voltage converter. You can also use an adapter because some countries may have higher or lower voltage than yours. You can purchase this at your nearest electronic store.
2. Secure your documents
When you are abroad, it is best to keep a duplicate of your passport and other documents in case an emergency happens. You need to have credit cards in your own name if you are bringing them with you. If there are many ATM machines available where you are going, you can opt to carry a small amount of money and your credit card with you. It’s a choice between withdrawing a big amount and hope that you don’t lose it. There is also an option of carrying the burden of ATM transaction fees every time you withdraw so ensure that you only have enough in your wallet. Money belts can be pretty handy to secure your valuables. It is not easily pick-pocketed and it’s light enough to carry on your waste, your neck or your leg.
3. Use a collapsible bag
A collapsible bag is convenient. Once you’re done with it, you can just easily store it under the bed or in a corner of the closet. You can use a collapsible, rolling duffel bag for your trip. It’s easier to manage than a big suitcase and there are a variety of sizes to choose from. Once it is filled, it would be easy to carry (or drag along) with you because of the wheels. You may also be able to hook another bag on top where you can put your additional things in. You can also use it whenever you have sight-seeing trips during days off from class. A foldable tote bag is also a great thing to have with you when you travel. It’s economical if you use the canvas type and easily washable. You can use this when shopping or during market days.
4. If you don’t speak the language, bring a dictionary or translator
It’s a no brainer. If you don’t know any of the languages spoken in the country where you will be staying for a semester, then it would be best to try and learn the language. You would actually be able to learn faster since there will be a lot of people that can help you practice the language. You can carry a dictionary with you to help you translate. Since technology is more advanced now, you can also have an electronic translator. I recommend downloading a language dictionary or guide from the Play Store or the iStore for your phone. Some are free and easy to use. And if you have internet connection on your phone, you can also use a speech translator. All you need to do is just speak to your phone and it can translate for you in text. It’s pretty handy.
5. Keep a journal or blog
There are a lot of things to learn with just one semester abroad. There will be a lot of things to do and places to see. There are many delicacies waiting to be eaten. I’m sure that whatever experiences you will have during your study abroad, you will definitely treasure them. To help you in keeping up with the changes in your environment, it is important to keep a journal or you can start a blog about your new adventures. Once you have everything written down, it would be much easier to recall them. And if you have photos, you can just post them in your blog and have your friends and family from your country see them. Your blog will also help you share your thoughts and communicate with others.
Now that you have these tips for smart travel down pat, I hope you would be able to enjoy your time studying abroad. It’s a great experience to immerse in a different culture and to learn new things.