Things to Look into Before Studying Abroad

by Dusty Rhodes on Apr 11, 2017  in 
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There are many great opportunities that the college experience has to offer students. For many, it is the first time to be away from home for an extended period of time. Not only that, but students get to meet new people and become involved with different organizations on campus.  Of course, let’s not forget the actual academic part of the experience.  New classes, long papers, group projects, and all-night study sessions soon become a way of life for most students.  For some, though, there is an extension to the academic side of their college experience that usually takes place off campus during an entire semester or over a break.  This popular extension is known as study abroad, and it can be both an exciting and worthwhile time in the life of a college student.  However, before you tackle this endeavor, there are certain things that should be taken care of in order to ensure the trip is nothing but a success.  Keep reading below for five must-have tips that will make your study abroad experience that much better. 

Get the Map Out- While we may now live in a world with Siri and many different GPS applications, it never hurts to make sure you know how to properly read an updated map for the city or area in which you will be studying.  This will help immensely when it comes to familiarizing yourself with landmarks, street signs, and side streets that your electronic equipment might not be able to recognize.  Not only that, but you never know when you will find yourself in a situation without digital access in a new place, so being accustomed to using a physical map can certainly come in handy. 

Call the Bank- When you go out of the country or overseas, always be sure to notify your bank of your travel plans.  To be more specific, make sure you know the exact dates of your study abroad experience.  This will let your bank know to expect charges and transactions on your credit or debit card from other countries during that particular time period.  Many times, if you forget to do this, any transactions made in other countries will be flagged by your bank and declined for your financial protection. 

Money, Money, Money- Yes, money may make the world go ‘round, but unfortunately money is not the same in every country around the world.  Make sure you have a very clear understanding about the currency values and exchange rates of the countries in which you will be traveling.  Becoming familiar with these values and rates ahead of time will help you be more certain that you have enough money to make it through your travels without issue. 

Learn the Language- Communication is a fundamental part of everyday life, no matter where you are.  With that in mind, it is very important to try and familiarize yourself with the native tongue if you will be residing in a country that speaks a language you are not accustomed to.  Many choose to look into online tutorials, while some take courses through their university that help prepare students travelling abroad to speak the language more fluently.  Going with the classroom option could also be a bonding experience for the students travelling abroad together.   

Make Arrangements Back Home- Before leaving on your great adventure, it is crucial to take care of any outstanding issues you may be leaving back home.  This could include making sure your car is taken care of, your residence is paid for (subleasing could be an option), and any mail you receive is collected by someone reliable.  One of the most important aspects is making sure your belongings are properly and safely stored while you are gone for a considerable amount of time.  Luckily, there are options available that allow for long-term storage at a flat rate for an extended period of time.  Your things can remain at a well-protected storage facility until you are ready to return to life and business as usual. 


The goal of every college student who embarks on a study abroad journey is to have a successful and unforgettable learning experience.  SMARTBOX hopes that the tips provided above will assist you in making that goal a reality.  If you have any further questions about our company or the services we provide, feel free to give us a call at 1-877-627-8269.  A member of our customer service team will be glad to speak with you!

Dusty Rhodes