Traveling While Abroad
Before I studied abroad in Germany, I had very little knowledge about traveling and using public transportation. Usually, I didn’t have to pay attention because I would be with my parents or with a group lead by other adults. When I arrived in Germany, I had to figure out all of it by myself. If you are a traveling novice like I was, here are some things to think about while you plan your time abroad:
- Take a friend! You will make plenty of friends at your university who will also want to travel, so plan a trip (or trips) together with people who have an interest in seeing the same places as you. This way you will have people to take pictures of you in front of castles or historical monuments, and you build friendships by sharing these experiences together.
- Studying abroad was one of the first times I had to use a map to find my way around. My parents used to use maps, but I never had a need for one since we have GPS technology. Now that I don’t have a fancy phone plan in Europe, maps are making a comeback (at least for me). Usually travel offices and hostels offer maps of the city for free.
- Be aware of your surroundings. This is something that I wish I remembered when I was traveling by bus in Ireland. Instead of thinking clearly at the bus stop, I hurriedly got off the bus, not realizing I had left my phone behind. Be aware of what is going on around you to prevent pickpockets from making off with your valuables.
- If you are like most college students, then you will probably be traveling on a budget. To keep costs down, check out hostels for good accommodation prices, buy group train tickets, get a train pass for more affordable transportation, and research free attractions in the cities you are visiting. Finding ways to cut costs will allow you to do more sightseeing.
I wish you safe travels and hope you have a great time!