Things to think about when Planning your Summer Abroad
Around this time of year, most students all over the world will be wracking their brains when deciding how to spend their summer. If you’re thinking of joining them and embarking on an amazing and once in a lifetime opportunity, you may want to consider a few things first.
But no fear, we’ve got it covered. We’ve compiled a list of what we think are the most important things to think about when spending your summer away from home, uni or your cosy student property in London.
Think about all of the options carefully
…And not just the ones that seem the cheapest outright. If you find a deal for a 5* hotel in Thailand for 6 weeks on the beach for £200 and think it’s too good to be true, chances are it probably is. Also, claiming you’ll just arm yourself with a backpack of supplies and figure the rest out when you get there also isn’t the greatest idea ever. Although some opportunities like Camp America can seem quite pricey at first, considering their prices cover everything, it could actually work out a lot cheaper than sorting it all out yourself individually.
Other great opportunities that may be slightly more rewarding than spending July and August serving in a bar in Malia (though it would be incredibly fun) include volunteering in poor countries. You can find loads of different things to do, from helping with community projects in Zambia, to preserving wild life conservation in Costa Rica, or coaching football in India. Some of these may also be quite pricey, but as it’s for a good cause, you could even raise the money before you go in the form of sponsors.
Get clued up on the country/area
No matter what you’re doing or where you’re going, it’s always a good idea to get a general idea of the country’s customs and rules, to avoid getting into trouble or committing any social faux pas. Of course, you won’t be able to know every last detail about wherever you’re headed, but knowing things like how much to tip, simple greetings and how their health system works can be really useful.
Try and familiarise yourself with the local area too if possible, using apps like Google Maps so that you have a visual idea of the surroundings you can expect. It will also help should you ever get lost, too.
…Both mentally and financially. Being away from home for as long as 12 weeks can be a strange experience to get used to and it’s worth trying to prepare you for not being near your family and friends. If you do suffer with homesickness, sign up with Skype and have your loved ones do the same so that you communicate regularly and easily.
Also make sure you have more than enough money to see you through until the end of your adventure. No one wants to have to call home and ask for spare flight money, and we can guarantee your mum and dad won’t be impressed.
Additionally, make sure you leave with all of the correct and up-to-date important documents that you need. If possible, make copies of vital things such as your passport, health insurance and any booking information, should any problems occur.