Classroom 224, Episode 3 “Study Abroad II”

Welcome to the third episode of Classroom 224. My name is Butler Cain, and I’m your host and producer.

This is a follow-up to episode two. On that edition, I talked about Study Abroad and some of the questions a student should ask when considering that kind of adventure. In this episode, I’ll focus on five things you’ll want to have while you are on your Study Abroad experience.

Number one – a carry-on suitcase. Don’t bring a standard-sized suitcase because you don’t need to bring that much stuff, anyway. There are several advantages to this. The carry-on size will fit in the airplane’s overhead bin, so you can grab it and go straight to immigration and customs. You’ll save a ton of time not having to wait at baggage claim first. You will also likely move from location to location on your Study Abroad trip, so you’ll really appreciate the small, easy-to-handle suitcase. Finally, it will force you to choose your travel items wisely. Veteran travelers will assure you that you don’t need those extra clothes and shoes.

Numbers two and three – a credit card and an ATM card. If you’re a college student who has not yet acquired a credit card, go ahead and get one. It’s a wise thing to have when traveling internationally, and it could be really helpful in a pinch. If you’re willing to pay an annual fee for a specialized credit card, some of them don’t charge conversion fees for purchases made in a different currency. As for the ATM card, cash works better in some locations, and I prefer to have a little bit of local currency on me at all times. I don’t bring dollars and exchange them at an airport kiosk. I prefer to wait until I arrive at my destination and, before I leave the airport, I find an ATM and make a withdrawal.

Number four – insurance. Personally, I think it’s a bad idea to go without insurance coverage while on a Study Abroad trip. Fortunately, there’s a good chance this has been taken care of for you already. At some universities, insurance coverage is included in the cost of your trip. If you’re on your parents’ insurance plan, it likely includes coverage while abroad. The lesson here is to confirm all of this long before you leave. If you learn that you have no insurance coverage at all, don’t fret. There are reputable organizations that offer short-term and long-term travel coverage, and you can easily find them online.

Number five – over-the-counter medication. Buy these before you leave, and yes, depending upon your destination, you can probably get them where you’re going. For me, though, this is about being prepared while on the journey. Suddenly getting an upset stomach while on a 9-hour flight is highly inconvenient. I suggest traveling with a few things you might need in a pinch: antacids, an anti-diarrheal, headache medicine. Once you get to where you’re going, you can buy a new supply or stock up on something else you need.

If you have a trip tip that has worked well for you, share it on this episode’s page at ButlerCain – dot – com. On the next episode, we’re switching out of the Study Abroad scene, and I’m going to share some strategies for interviewing that I think student journalists might find helpful.

The music you hear on this podcast was produced by Kipp Cain and is used with his permission.

You’ve been listening to Classroom 224, I’m Butler Cain. I’ll catch you later.

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