Study abroad program participation grew in the 2009-10 school year, according to the Institute of International Education. Colleges and universities modified and revamped programs to cater to where and what students want to study.
If your child plans to study abroad this school year, the excitement levels are likely pretty high as you get him packed and prepared for the trip.
You've already researched the climate, food, language, transportation and school where your child will study, so you have a good idea of what clothing, school supplies and personal items he'll need to pack. But you might not have considered some items which should probably be added to the list:
• Brand name products you must have. This is important if you're traveling to Africa, Asia and even South America. If you love to chew gum, use a specific brand of shampoo or deodorant or even prefer a brand of pain killers for headaches, chances are that the country you're traveling to won't carry that brand. So stock up on those products that you'll need to last you the entire time you're away.
• Travel assistance. You hope that medical, legal or even stolen document emergencies won't happen to your child while she's studying in a foreign country. Investing in On Call International for travel assistance can help give you peace of mind that if an emergency occurs, she will have access to financial, legal and transportation assistance. On Call International's memberships offer travelers help for medical evacuations as well as medical transport home after a hospitalization. The program also includes a 24-hour nurse helpline and worldwide legal assistance. Visit www.oncallinternational.com for more information.
• Current conversion kits. Foreign countries have different outlet shapes and electrical currents than the United States, which means if your son plugs his laptop or cellphone charger into an outlet while abroad, the plug won't fit. If he's planning on packing electronics, purchase an electric conversion kit for the county he'll be traveling to. Check with the travel abroad program about its recommendations for cell phones. It may be easier and cheaper for him to purchase a cell phone plan overseas.
• Review the policies on social networking sites, email and even cell phone use for the country your daughter will be visiting. There are some countries where the government controls usage of some communication methods, which could come as a surprise to many Americans. Consider packing a smartphone so she can also take advantage of helpful travel and safety applications.
With the right preparation, traveling abroad will provide many wonderful life opportunities for your child. It might not feel like time is flying by while he's gone, but when he arrives back home, he'll have so many stories to tell you and photos to share about all the fun he had while studying in a foreign country. n Courtesy of ARAcontent