Passport and Visa
Everyone traveling abroad needs a passport (travel.state.gov). Certain countries also require a visa (nyc.gov). Check with the Study Abroad office as to what documents you need. If you have a passport, be sure that it will not expire while you are abroad and that it will be valid for at least six months upon your return. Allow ample time to apply for these documents. They can take up to two months for processing.
As a Manhattan College student, you carry your Manhattan College liability insurance while abroad. However, it is advisable that you carry additional medical insurance (e.g., doctor or hospital). First check with your personal carrier to see if you are covered under your policy for out of the country travel. Otherwise, you can purchase the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). This card provides you with basic insurance. For details consult myISIC.com.
You can also purchase additional individual health insurance through Manhattan College. Please come to the Study Abroad office for information.
Some additional insurance companies that offer insurance to students abroad are:
It is required that you obtain a cell phone. Check with your own cell phone company to see what plan they offer. Your family should also check with their local phone carrier to see what short-term plans they offer for international calling.
Also be sure to look into Skype, a computer program that allows you to make Internet calls for free.
Clothing and Packing Suggestions
You will want to pack a dressy outfit for receptions and evening activities. In addition to your usual wardrobe, we suggest you include comfortable shoes, a sewing kit, a small flashlight, battery-operated alarm clock, extra batteries, a pocket calculator and a raincoat or umbrella.
You may also want to bring personal toiletries from home. However, they can be purchased abroad. Be sure to bring ample medication (if necessary). You may need to bring bed sheets and blankets. Check with your study abroad program. If you choose to bring linens, you might consider packing old linens that can be left behind at the end of the program so you have room in your suitcase for new purchases.
Electrical currents in foreign countries are different. The electrical current in Europe is 220 volts AC. If your appliances already have a dual voltage switch, you will need a plug adapter with two round pins to fit the outlets. Check the visitor’s website of the country where you will be studying.
Check with your airline for their specific rules and regulations on baggage. Any excess baggage charges are the responsibility of the passenger. It is highly recommended that a change of clothing, toothbrush, all prescription drugs and important papers (e.g., plane ticket, visa and passport) be packed in your carry-on bag in case a checked bag should go astray temporarily. It is also highly suggested that good jewelry and unnecessary valuables be left at home.
ATM cards are highly recommended. As a back-up, you may wish to purchase a small amount of traveler's checks. Make a list of the numbers on your traveler's checks and leave them at home. You should also carry a small amount of American dollars.
A major credit card should also be available. You may access cash from automatic teller machines with major American credit cards. Take only the credit cards you intend to use. Know your personal identification number (PIN). Be sure to alert your bank and credit card company that you will be using your ATM and credit card out of the country.
To protect yourself against pickpockets and purse snatchers, we urge you to purchase a pouch that fastens around your neck or waist and is worn under your clothes. Please take along photocopies of your passport, credit cards and any other important documents. Secure your original passport and these copies in your room abroad. Also leave copies of these documents at home. Take some extra passport size photos with you. Leave all valuable jewelry at home.
Keep in mind that once out of the U.S., you are leaving American protection and laws behind. Once abroad you will be responsible for your actions. If a law is broken, being a U.S. citizen will not protect you. Breaking a law that you are not aware of (ignorance of the law) is no protection from the consequences. Use good judgment and common sense. Walk away from potential problem situations.
HAVE FUN, STUDY HARD AND BE SAFE!