So, you’re ticking off the days on your calendar, and that heart of yours starts racing, butterflies are having a party in your stomach, and you’re practically holding your breath. Sound familiar? Yep! The big trip you’ve been dreaming of is just around the corner – you’re finally off to language courses: new pals, new spots, cool people, a program packed with adventures, and a boatload of feelings. Congrats! Now, how do you keep from forgetting something crucial in all this excitement? Check out our handy-dandy checklist.
Get Your Docs in Order
Gather a folder with all your personal documents– that includes your banking details, passport, insurance, confirmation of payment and enrollment in language courses, and make sure you’ve got the right visas and make copies of essential documents.
Pro Tip: Scan all those documents and save them on your laptop, the one you’re taking along. Also send copies over to your email.
Get Hip to the Local Money
Make sure all those plastic cards you’re planning to swipe in the new country are working like. If necessary, notify your bank about your trip to avoid having your card blocked due to unusual transactions.
Pro Tip: Have some cash in the local currency – stash about $100-300 in your pocket. You never know when that might come in clutch.
Prep Your Phone Game
You’re not gonna forget your phone, no worries there. But do a quick double-check to make sure you’ve got your charger in your carry-on. Keep it handy, don’t stuff it in your checked luggage – ’cause Murphy’s Law says your phone will die at the worst possible moment. Flip on that roaming so you can contact your family, friends, or the airline if things go sideways. Clear out some space on your phone, upload the messengers and apps you’ll need for a smooth ride.
Pro Tip: Most airports and train stations around the world have spots where you can grab a local SIM card and score a sweet data plan.
Check Your Tech and Adapters
Chances are you’re bringing your workhorse laptop, maybe even a tablet for kicks, a fancy camera or a trusty point-and-shoot. Whatever floats your boat, just make sure you’ve packed all the chargers and adapters you’ll need.
Pro Tip: Adapters tend to get lost or damaged, so take two. One stays in your carry-on for that airport layover Netflix binge, and the other can chill in your checked luggage as a backup.
Build a Basic First Aid Kit
Abroad, medicines are usually sold by prescription, so bring along your usual remedies for colds, headaches, surprise allergies, food mishaps, and such. If you’ve got a doctor’s prescription, take that along too.
Pro Tip: Keep a couple of allergy pills, an anti-nausea med, hand sanitizer, and a Band-Aid in your carry-on. You never know when they’ll come to the rescue on your journey. And don’t forget to pack a travel toothbrush and toothpaste while you’re at it.
Get the Scoop on Local Eats and Grocery Stores
In the internet age, it’s a piece of cake to dive into the food scene, customs, and traditions of any country. Before you jet off, do a quick online search to see what’s hot on the menu in your destination. Check if they’ve got your favorite munchies, like buckwheat or sweet condensed milk, and where to snag them. Also try to get information about specific cultural matters, such as tips, punctuality, formal or informal address, or any other country-specific things that may come handy in the end!
Pro Tip: Save those store addresses in your phone’s notes – you’ll be grateful when you’re hunting down your go-to snacks.
Sniff Out the Deals and Discounts
In lots of European countries, they’ve got some sweet deals for students, including the international crew. Before you hit the road, scope out what extra goodies your language school can hook you up with. It might mean cheaper rides on public transit or pocket-friendly museum tickets. Also check out if there are some local festivities during your stay, and try to gather as much information as possible about it. Locals will appreciate your interest in their culture!
Pro Tip: Ask your language school for a letter saying you’re there to study. In many European spots, that piece of paper can score you discounts on touristy stuff – a cool way to hang out with your new buddies.
Grab a Notebook and a Pocket Dictionary
Stuff from the office aisle can get pricey abroad, so make sure you’re packing the essentials for your studies. Brace yourself for a whole bunch of new words and a new lingo environment. Keep a log of cool phrases and words you pick up, and make a game plan for your day so you’re on top of your game.
Pro Tip: If you are more into digital stuff, download study apps to help you make flashcards, mind maps, and work efficiently. Check out these cool tools:
- StudyBlue: It’s your go-to for sharing class study stuff, making digital flashcards, and quizzing with your study buddies.
- Evernote: Think of it as your digital notepad for all things – web clips, photos of receipts, even audio files. Perfect for those times when you can’t find that pesky handwritten note.
- Oxford Dictionary: The mobile version of the Oxford English Dictionary, because who doesn’t need a dictionary on their phone?
- Office Lens: This Microsoft gem snaps pics of anything – documents, whiteboards, even that magazine article you want to keep. Plus, it’s a pro at cleaning up glare and shadows.
- myHomework Student Planner: Your digital sidekick for keeping track of classes, homework, tests, and projects. Say goodbye to missing assignments!
- SimpleMind: Get your ideas organized and thoughts in order with mind maps. It’s like a brainstorming buddy in your pocket.
- Google Drive: Store all your documents online, so even if your laptop goes kaput, your work is safe and sound. And you can team up on projects with your classmates, even offline.
Refresh Your English Skills
Sure, they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you’ve still got time to brush up on your English skills before your language course. Enroll in one of our crash courses and tackle those tricky grammar areas.
Pro Tip: A grammar-focused intensive will finally help you figure out which tense to use and make it second nature. That’ll boost your confidence using the language and make you less worried about goofing up when chatting with native speakers!
Pack Something Special
Coziness isn’t just about the stuff; it’s about what’s got a special place in your heart. Toss in your fave book, a plushy toy, or a comfy pillow – heck, even bring along your lucky blanket or a framed snapshot. Having a little piece of home with you will bring some comfort to your new digs and give you that extra push to ace your studies.
Pro Tip: Make sure to snag something special during your time abroad that you can take back home with you. A sweet souvenir will be a rad reminder of your epic journey and a one-of-a-kind language trophy.
Have a blast on your trip!