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Presentation on theme: "+ STUDY ABROAD PRE-DEPARTURE MODULE FIRST TIME TRAVELERS Presented by: Study Abroad Office."— Presentation transcript:


2 + The First-Time Traveler You’ve signed up for a study abroad program, and you’re getting ready to go… but you’ve never been abroad before. Now what? Set aside your anxiety, get excited about your upcoming trip, and make a checklist of things to remember. “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Lao Tzu, Philosopher

3 + Passports & Visas All about Passports An official government document that every US Citizen must obtain to travel abroad and to re-enter the US First-time applicants must apply in person at an approved passport office (check for locations at You must bring proof of citizenship, identity, 2 identical photos, and a completed passport applications There are additional special requirements for those under 18 years old – find out more online Passport card is also available for land travel to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean only Fee to obtain a passport book is $135 Fee to obtain book & card is $165

4 + Passports & Visas All about Visas A visa is an additional documentation required for US Citizens to travel and live abroad for an extended amount of time Types include student, work, and tourist visas You obtain a visa through the host country’s embassy or consulate here in the US Embassy/Consulates are the host country’s offices here in the US Each country has specific requirements for visas Visit and click the link “Americans Traveling Abroad” for more country-specific info

5 + Passports & Visas Before you leave Be sure your passport is valid throughout your dates of travel and 6 months after If necessary, apply for and obtain a visa from the host country’s embassy or consulate here in the US Make copies of your passport, visa, and other important documentation to leave with your family Enroll the US Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), that keeps you informed of travel updates, warnings, alerts, and other information on your journey to your host country (sign up at

6 + Passports & Visas While Abroad Keep your original documents safe in a consistent, secure location where you are staying Bring original documents with you when traveling around the country or to other countries Keep multiple copies of your documents in separate locations - with your belonging, with a trusted person in the US, with International SOS Secure Travel Locator Know the location of the authorities and the US embassy, consulates, and American presence posts in case of emergencies (including lost passport, visa, security issues) Visit to find the closest US embassy or consulate to you

7 + International Travel Travel comfortably & wear comfortable shoes – you will be walking a lot Pack light and pack smart – leave room for souvenirs, bring versatile clothes, you may be dragging your bags a long way Consider the weather of your target destination when you are packing. Consider the culture of the country when packing – are jeans and t-shirts acceptable, or is nicer clothing appropriate? Fight jet lag – try to stay on the new country’s time schedule and get plenty of water, sunlight, and rest at night

8 + International Air Travel Review airline baggage limits and overage charges, e.g., 50lbs or 75lbs per piece of luggage, $25 for each additional 25lbs Prepare for unplanned layovers and delays by having a way to contact your host site coordinator and family Airport Security – In carry-on luggage, liquids must be in 3oz bottles or smaller, placed in 1-quart zip-top bags, with only 1 bag allowed per traveler Take out laptop computer and remove shoes to place in scanner Have passport and boarding pass in-hand and wait for TSA security guard to instruct you through the metal detector Be prepared to claim newly purchased items at customs when returning. Some items, such as food and medication, are not allowed back into the US – visit for more info

9 + Living Abroad Home Stays or Dormitories/Residence Halls Contact your family or dorm beforehand to set an arrival time and place Plan to take a taxi or bus if no one will be picking you up from the airport or train station Ask what home supplies you will need: linens, pillows, etc. Public Transportation Study the public transit system before you arrive Consider cost, methods of payment, and active hours, as well as local resident recommendations

10 + Electronics Power/Voltage Converters Not all power plugs are created equal! Purchase plug convertors in the US or in your host country Purchasing home wares Consider purchasing basic home appliances and linens when you arrive Alarm clocks, hair dryers, linens, pillows, clock radios may all be available at basic local stores Some items may be available from your on-site coordinator from previous students

11 + Money Inform your bank that you will be traveling Currency Exchange Different countries use different forms of currency. You can exchange dollars for host currency in the country. Bring some cash to exchange in the airport Be aware of exchange rates and ATM fees Visit currency exchange sites online like Traveler’s Cheques They can be useful for emergencies and to exchange, but they are not always accepted in all situations Have a reserve Keep a credit card and a reserve of money for emergency situations

12 + Communication Cell phones Not all cell phones can be used internationally Review your provider plans before you leave Confirm that you can use your phone abroad and what the charges will be while in the host country Consider getting a pay-as-you-go phone Internet Determine if your home stay or residence hall will have internet provided, either via ethernet cord, wifi, or dial-up Internet will be your main source of communication with your family and friends at home Skype calls are free or inexpensive ( Don’t spend too much time communicating with home or you will miss out on your study abroad experience

13 + Other Advice Make sure your shots are up to date –UT’s University Health Service offers travel immunizations. Visit their Travel Health website at for more info Review the CDC, SOS, and CIA World Facts websites for other travel health and safety recommendations Use guidebooks or a map Research the culture and the language of the country Talk to other students who have been to the host country Learn a few phrases in the local language Be open to new ideas and experiences

14 + Personal Stories from students and staff

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