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Preparing to Go

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Preparing To Go

In order to make the most of your experience abroad, you will need to spend some time prior to departure doing the research necessary to be knowledgeable and prepared for travel.
Some things to consider include:

  • Will I need a passport and/or visa?

  • How much money should I plan to bring and in what form?

  • Should I bring a laptop and cell phone?

  • What will the weather be like and what should I pack?

These are a few of the many questions you will need to answer prior to travel.  Please take some time to review the information we have provided in this section, in the Resources section, as well as doing some research on your own.

Undergraduate Pre-departure Orientation 

Students planning to enroll in a Babson Elective Abroad course are required to:

  • Attend the Pre-Departure Orientation

  • Attend faculty-led Pre-travel Academic Sessions 

Pre-Departure Orientation is an important way for the Glavin Office to:

  • Convey information that will be relevant to both pre-departure planning and time abroad, including intercultural concepts, career services pointers, logistics, and health & safety.

  • Answer any logistical/travel questions.

The date and time of the pre-departure orientation sessions are listed on the specific elective abroad course brochure.

CLICK HERE to access a listing of all undergraduate elective abroad courses.

NOTE:  Failure to attend the mandatory pre-departure orientation and submit all required supporting documents will jeopardize your ability to study abroad.

Students who have a scheduling conflict with the pre-departure orientation should contact their Elective Abroad Program Manager for additional instructions.

Travel Documents

  • Make copies of your passport, visas (if applicable) and other travel documents. Leave one copy with a family member/friend in the US. Carry one copy with you during your travels.

  • Make copies of flight itinerary, tentative schedule, Babson contacts, accommodations, etc.

  • Leave one copy with a family member/friend in the US.

  • Carry one copy with you during your travels.

If you are an international student studying at Babson on a F-1 or J-1 visa, be sure to:

  • Meet with ISSS to confirm your travel documents are in order.

  • Make sure your I-20 has the proper signature (please remember if you need a signature it could take up to 24 hours tor process.)

  • Confirm any other documents and travel requirements for travel outside the US have been reviewed.

Money Matters

It is important when traveling abroad to consider how you will handle your finances.

Below are some guidelines to assist with preparation for international travel:

  • Make copies (both front and back) of the credit/debit cards you plan to take with you. Leave one copy with family member/friend in the US. Carry one copy with you during your travels.

  • Call your credit card/debit card/bank to let them know you will be traveling abroad.

  • Give them the dates and locations of your travel

  • Confirm international customer service number

  • Ask if international fees will be assessed on your purchases

  • Research on exchange protocol of the destination country.If appropriate exchange some money prior to travel so you arrive with some cash in hand. Some options include: Traveler’s Exchange in the Natick Collection/Logan, Local Banks and Credit Unions, AAA offers a ‘debit card’ for international use to its members

  • Determine a personal expenses – check the budget sheets on the course brochure page for average perdiem amounts

  • Visit the Resource Page for additional information

Healthy and Safety

Taking time to prepare yourself for healthy and safe travel is essential especially when travelling abroad. Please visit both the Health & Safety information as well as the Resources information for more details.

Communication Abroad

There are many ways to communicate while abroad so it is important for you to investigate all the alternatives and make a decision on which method will work best for you.  Below are some suggestions to consider:

Cell Phone
  • Check with your phone carrier to determine if they provide service in the destination country. If yes, be sure to check:

    • If you can add a short-term international plan

    • If there are additional fees per minutes/data/text/roaming

    • If your phone will not work in the destination country, check to see if your carrier offers short-term international rental phones

    • Purchase a pay-as-you-go cell phone upon arrival in country, however make sure to ask about the rules/costs for international calls back to the US versus local calls

Calling Cards

  • Purchase an international calling card before you depart or once you arrive in country.  Make sure you understand the rules/costs with regard to international calls back to the US.
  • Check all calling options, while laptop to laptop calls are free there are other phone to laptop call options for a fee
  • Check with hotels to see if internet is available and if access is free for guests or if there is a charge
  • Set up a Skype account online and determine whether you will use IP to IP or IP to landline
It is also important to have a communication plan in place:
  • Develop a communication plan with family member/friends back in the US and make sure to follow it while abroad.  It is easy to get involved and distracted once you arrive and forget to communicate as planned and this can lead to unnecessary anxiety for those back in the US.  Do your best to communicate as planned
  • Know the emergency number in your destination country (a.k.a. “911” in the US)
  • Learn some of the local language, this will help you in getting around and will demonstrate to local residents your interest in their culture
General Packing
Below are some general guidelines with regard to packing when travelling abroad, please check the Learning Content section of your course for specific packing list for your course.
  • Put your name, address and telephone number on the inside and outside of all your luggage pieces
  • If you are traveling with your computer/other electronics, be sure you have the correct travel adapter or converter
  •  Pack light (in some cases you will be carrying luggage on and off buses in multiple cities - keep it simple)
  • Rain jacket/poncho/small umbrella for the occasional shower; layers for changing climates is always a good choice
  • ??Pack your carry-on like you will lose your luggage - it happens!
  • Check your airline for baggage regulations and fees (weight limit, # of suitcases, cost per suitcase)

If you have any specific questions with regard to your program please contact your Program Manager.

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