The Lonely Londoner’s Arts & Culture Guide to Study Abroad, Part 1
So you’ve decided to study abroad. Congratulations! Now what?
I’m a writer headed for London to study abroad for a year (woo hoo!) and will be posting a series of articles on the arts and culture scene for Artzray, but I’ll also be sharing practical tips about the study abroad experience as a whole. Although it’s been fun spending my summer at home practicing my British accent and plotting my genius plan of tricking Prince Harry into marrying me, there are some technical nitty-gritty things to take care of here in the states before you jet off on your study abroad adventures.
Here are four really important steps to follow before you leave the U.S.:
1) Check Your Finances
Make sure you have all of your finances taken care of before you leave. This includes doing research on how you’re going to maintain and organize your finances while you’re abroad.
One important thing to do is to figure out if you are paying through the school or directly to the school that you’ve planned to study at. For example, I didn’t pay my home university’s regular tuition fee (Mount Holyoke) because I applied directly to my school in London (King’s College). Therefore, I had to pay King’s College’s tuition fee, since the program that I selected was straight through King’s College and NOT through Mount Holyoke. But sometimes, the school you’ll be attending abroad will be through your home university. If that’s the case and the program that you’re applying to is directly through your school in the states, then most likely, you would pay your home university’s regular tuition fee and not the tuition fee at your institution abroad. It is crucial that you verify the details on which tuition fees you pay to go abroad.
Make sure that your bank knows that you won’t be in the country for an extended period of time. This prevents them from freezing your account when they see that someone (whom they wrongly assumes isn’t you) is traveling around London with your card. To prevent this, you must open a bank account overseas.
FINAL TIP: Carry at least $300 in foreign currency on you when you head abroad. Use it for emergencies and basic costs like food and other necessities that you’ll need when you touch down in your destination.