The Liberal Arts Undergraduate Council hosted a Study Abroad Student Panel last Tuesday, December, 4th. The goal of the event was to provide prospective study abroad candidates with practical advice from experienced students, such as what to pack and how to purchase a cell phone. The Career Enrichment Network staff also participated in the event, helping with questions regarding requesting enrichment funds and navigating the study abroad page of their website. Finally, Dr. Heather McCoy, a Study Abroad Adviser in the French Department, discussed the academic side to studying abroad: what classes to choose, how best to take advantage of them, and the transition process upon returning to Penn State.
For anyone currently preparing for a study abroad program next semester, or students just beginning to look into the process, here are some of the best tips from the night:
· Pack practically! Really try not to over-do it, and bring suitcases that you can handle yourself.
· Make sure to bring a carry-on sized bag for travelling while you are abroad.
· Pay-As-You-Go cell phones work well abroad. Your program will most likely help you purchase a phone upon arrival.
· Check out Smart Phone apps that allow for texting over wireless networks.
· Explore your bank's international fees before leaving.
· Research credit cards that don't charge for fees overseas--like Capital One.
· Work with both your advisor and an education abroad advisor throughout the process. This ensures you will get the most out of the classes you take, while still sticking to your academic plan.
In addition to all the helpful tips, a major theme of the Panel was the unforgettable experience studying abroad provides. Consider studying abroad!