Making Travel Plans

 

The Let’s Go Series and the STA Travel web sites are excellent resources for all sorts of travel information.

The International Student Identity Card is a great travel resource as it provides access to discount air and rail fares, proof of student status for lower admission fees, and emergency evacuation, travel and accident insurance. The card costs $22.00 and is available through the Bates Bookstore or online.

STA Travel and Student Universe provide a wide array of student travel services, most notably discount airline tickets and rail passes.  STA Travel has a “Book Now, Pay Later” program which allows study abroad students to reserve a ticket but not pay in full until 7 days prior to departure.  Contact STA Travel for the full details and conditions.

Hostels are great for travelers on a budget; check Hosteling International, Hostel World and Hostelz.com.


Country Information

All good study abroad students want to learn as much as possible about their destination prior to departure.  Here is a pre-departure challenge to help prepare you for arrival in your study abroad locale.  To find information about your study abroad destination:

For official facts and information, consult

To learn about current events in your destinations:

For more in-depth information:

  • the Lonely PlanetFootprintRough Guide and Let’s Go publications are useful
  • the Culture Shock series provides a good introduction to customs and etiquette in selected countries or cities (no web site; you can order through your local indie bookstore)
  • Planeta.com provides good information on Latin America and eco-tourism
  • The British Council provides advice for US students planning to study in the UK.
  • Budget Britain is a website created by American students for American students planning to study in Great Britain.

Currency

It’s advisable, prior to departure, to have a good sense of how the US dollar relates to the currency of the nation where you plan to study. Good currency sense will prevent rude financial awakenings later in the term. For a user-friendly way of determining exchange rates, refer to the currency converter.

The currency converter run by Travlang.com provides pictures of the currency you’ll soon be calling your own. Familiarize yourself with the different bills and their worth.

Credit and debit cards, used at ATMs, often provide the best exchange rate; try to get cards that do not charge a high transaction fee when you obtain cash. A debit card also allows your family to add to your account while you are away. (Before you leave, test your credit card and debit card.)

  • Locate ATMs that accept Visa cards abroad.