We’ve done a decent amount of traveling and have made some classic travel mistakes in our time. Be smarter than us by following these tips!
- I know we’ve mentioned this before, but tell your bank and credit card companies that you will travel abroad. Make sure they won’t block your accounts when they see international charges, and ask for phone numbers to call from abroad in the event you have any issues. The 1-800 numbers on the back won’t always work from overseas.
- Do not plan to use your blow dryers and flat irons that you use here in the US. Even with a plug adaptor and converter, the higher voltage can destroy (as in burn to a crisp!) your appliances and could potentially knock out power in entire buildings, which isn’t a great way to make friends abroad. If you’re not willing to forgo the blow dryers and flat irons for a few months, then it’s best to purchase local versions that operate on 220 volts once you get abroad.
- Bring a small weekend-size bag/backpack/collapsible duffle bag for trips you’ll take during your time abroad. Pack it with everything you’ll need for the first few days of your trip and bring it as a carry-on on the plane, so you’ll be ready in case your baggage is delayed.
- Don’t forget that you cannot bring more than 3 oz. of any liquid in your carry on for your flight overseas. Airport security can be very stringent. Make sure you follow all the rules when it comes to flying!
- If you follow a special diet (vegetarian, kosher, etc.) don’t forget to inform your airline ahead of time. It’s horribly unpleasant to be hungry and thirsty while you’re on a plane and they control when you get meals, so bring some snacks (stay away from fruit, especially if you have a layover in a European airport, as some countries don’t want you to bring perishable food into their airports). And make sure you have your own water on the flight (though, remember, you can’t take any through security).
- Make several photocopies of your passport ID page and credit/debit cards to leave with a family member or someone you trust. That way, if these items are lost or stolen, they’re much easier to replace.
- Set up a plan of communicating with your family members while abroad—we recommend calling or e-mailing them only once or twice a week while abroad. Your parents will ALWAYS want to talk to you more often than that, but remember that part of studying in another country is putting some distance between you and your old life. You’ll be better for it!
- Buy a journal. Study Abroad is a profoundly personal experience and Facebook updates alone won’t capture the spirit of what you are doing. Keep a journal that is meant to be just for you.
In order to have a successful semester away, you should be prepared to experience different ways of interacting with the people and culture of your new city. GlobeSmart is a web based tool that provides quick access to knowledge on how to communicate effectively with people from over sixty countries around the globe, as well as links to research about American stereotypes, cultural and ethical relativism, and tips for maximizing study abroad.
Learn more about creating and understanding your cultural profile here. You can access GlobeSmart once logged into NYUHome on the left-hand side.
You should have now largely completed your study away to-do’s. As one last recommended to-do, we would like to challenge you to think about how you will document and reflect on your experience away.
Your 3-4 month journey will go by with the blink of an eye, but you will create memories that last a lifetime. Consider creating a blog, both for your own benefit and as a way to share the experience with your family and friends. If you haven’t already, keep in mind joining the team of students blogging for ThisIsNYU throughout the Global Network.
Here is information on how to sign up.
Departure time is almost here! Students at this point should have received their electronic notification of visa approval which is digitally attached to their passport number. You will not receive a physical visa sticker prior to traveling to Australia. Any last minute visa/immigration questions should be directed to email@example.com
Two important reminders for best practices when traveling abroad:
- In order to board your international flight you will need your passport. You should have copies of your passport elsewhere. OGS recommends keeping a color copy of your passport and visa separately in your carry on luggage. You should also have access to a digital encrypted copy of your passport and visa online that can be obtained from any computer (for example in NYU File 2.0). Additionally, you may want to leave a copy of your passport and visa with a parent or guardian, or whomever you trust and would call in an emergency. If your passport/visa is lost or stolen having a copy of such may help expedite getting a replacement.
- After you arrive at your study away site, you should register with your local Embassy or Consulate. U.S. citizens can register with the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which will automatically alert the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate to your presence in country. Non-U.S. citizens should register with the relevant home country Embassy or Consulate abroad.
If you are interested in obtaining cell phone service in Sydney there are a number of pre-paid options available to you. A variety of companies sell pre-paid local and international calling plans. The three most popular network providers are Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, but there are also a number of smaller organizations offering similar products.
On Tuesday, August 26 a representative from a Sydney based company Phoneinc will be available at Urbanest with a variety of pre-paid cell phone plans for you to purchase. Cheap phones will also be available.
If you bring an unlocked phone to Sydney you will just need to purchase a local sim card and a talk/text plan. If you don’t currently own an unlocked phone you can buy a cheap phone in Sydney for approximately $30 AUD.
Phones and pre-paid plans are available at the Sydney airport; however, these options are often quite expensive.
NYU-Sydney is not affiliated with Phoneinc. A representative from Phoneinc has been invited to Urbanest for your convenience. All transactions are between students and Phoneinc directly. Sim cards and pre-paid plans are also available at supermarkets and other cell phone stores throughout the city.
Attached are links to phone plans that are currently available. I have attached these links to give you an idea of the types of plans available. If you are interested in knowing more about the products Phoneinc offers just click on the link below.
You should have received an email with access to our Pre-Departure Survey, and are now able to submit feedback regarding your experience.
NYU’s Office of Global Programs strives to provide students with the best possible experiences and services as they prepare to study away, and your input will help us tremendously as we prepare for future semesters. Please take a few minutes (really, it will only take a few minutes!) to the complete the survey before you depart.
Thanks so much for your assistance!
Don’t leave for Sydney without your Sydney Arrival Cheat Sheet Fall 2014! It contains helpful information about navigating the airport, getting to your housing assignment, and NYU Sydney contact information. Please provide a copy of this document to your parents.
You’ll be on a plane before you know it. Take a minute to look through this final checklist to make sure that all of your bases are covered:
- For students who are required to obtain an entry visa prior to arrival, ensure this is complete
- Register for 12 – 18 credits; this does not include any waitlisted courses
- Pay your NYU e-Bill
- Register for HTH and print out the confirmation card
- Register with the Moses Center if applicable
- Submit Medical Forms to the Health Center
- Submit your Flight Details to NYU Traveler
- Notify your bank and credit cards that you will be abroad
- NYU Students: Bring your NYU ID!
- Have all medications you may need for the full term & bring a copy of prescriptions (medication, eyeglasses, etc.) and carry it with you in your carry on
- Make photocopies of your passport/visa, ID, and cards (bank, credit card). Leave one copy of this packet with your parents and bring a set with you in your carry-on
- Bring your flight confirmation print-out to the airport
- Check the luggage restrictions for your airline before you pack
- Have some cash on hand to get you through the first few days (you can exchange at the airport if needed)
- Pack a carry on with all important paperwork, phone numbers, medications, and a change of clothes in case your luggage arrives late
By now you should have received an email from NYU Student Insurance/HTH Worldwide with your certificate number and instructions about creating your HTH profile. This was sent to your NYU email address only. Please register and bring your health insurance card with you.
If you have studied on an NYU program in a past semester, you should log in to HTH as you have in the past (you do NOT need to re-register) and check to see that the details/dates of the plan are correct. You can also print out your new ID card reflecting your updated coverage.
As a reminder, all students are expected to maintain valid domestic health insurance over the course of the semester. HTH is valid only for the dates of your study away program.
Please notify firstname.lastname@example.org if you did not receive an email from HTH Worldwide to ensure it is resent. Be sure to check your spam folder first, as they sometimes end up there.
By now, you should have already:
Please make sure you’re on top of your to-dos!