Traveling, studying, and living abroad is best when you have done your research and know what to expect. While part of the adventure in living abroad is the unexpected, we’ve put together some of the most important tips you’ll need to be aware of when traveling abroad.
With the exception of some UNL Faculty-Led program participants, the UNL Education Abroad office does not purchase airfare for individual students. Students can purchase airfare from a trusted travel agency or online. Student travel agencies can often be a good option for students because they can offer discounts, flexibility for booking, re-scheduling, and cancellations. Options include Student Universe and STA Travel.
STA Travel's Airfare Deposit Program allows you to lock in your international ticket price by paying a $300 deposit. The final payment deadline is seven (7) days prior to departure. To learn more, find fares, and book flights, contact STA Travel and ask about the Airfare Deposit Program!
Train travel in many countries is a popular and efficient way to get around. A railpass can save you money by offering unlimited travel for specific time periods. There are several rail plans available for travel in Great Britain and 20 countries in continental Europe. These rail passes can only be purchased in the U.S. For more information or for the most current price go to http://www.raileurope.com/index.html
International Student Identity Card
This card entitles students to obtain free or reduced rates at theaters, museums, student hotels, etc., in many countries, as well as reduced rates on trains, boats and flights. There are two methods of purchasing a card. 1) You can buy the card online. 2) Cards are also issued at Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Office of Global Engagement, located on St. Paul Avenue here in Lincoln. You must schedule an appointment in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; please list 2-3 times you are available to meet. Bring your current student ID & Driver’s License, a passport sized photo (can be printed on regular paper), proof you are a full-time student (a print out of classes from MyRed is acceptable) and $25.
Hosteling International Membership Pass
This pass allows you to stay at any of the 4,000+ hostels which are part of the worldwide HI network for approximately $15.00 to $30.00 per night. Hostels can be historical or purpose-built buildings most often with a common area, dormitory style rooms, and cooking facilities. Make sure you do your research online and know what safety and security measures will be in place for each location. Passes can be purchased online. For further information: www.hihostels.com or www.hiusa.org.
Money and Budget
Careful budgeting, saving, and planning is extremely important before and throughout your trip. UNL Education Abroad staff can help you determine how much your tuition and program costs will be, but make sure to also consider the costs of airfare, health insurance, and the daily living expenses that you’ll incur while abroad. Another way to be financially prepared for your trip is by visiting the UNL Student Money Management Center. This gives you the opportunity to work with an advisor to learn how to best manage your financial resources, both at home and abroad.
Before traveling abroad, make sure to inform your bank where you will be traveling and find out what will be charged to your account each time your withdraw money. Some banks charge you a percentage of the total amount withdrawn, while others just charge a flat fee. Be aware of bank limits on daily withdrawals and make sure you know your PIN. ATM’s are very common worldwide and may be more convenient than traveler’s checks if you have a debit or credit card. Remember that ATM’s at your destination will give you money in the host country currency.
Traveling on a Budget
There are many ways to stretch your dollar while abroad. Although your cost of living will depend heavily on where you are in the world, the following ways to travel on a budget are universal and can be applied wherever you decide to go. Prioritizing beforehand where and how you will spend your money will ensure you are able to get the most of your money and do more of what you want with it, like traveling!
Using public transportation can be a great way to save money while experiencing a different side of the city or town where you'll be living. Public transportation outside of the United States can come in many different forms, be it buses, trains, ferries, or the metro. You'll find that people outside of the US generally use public transportation more often, however, the extensiveness, reliability, and quality of the transportation will differ considerably depending on your destination. It's important to remember that your safety is top priority, so never put ease or affordability over it. If you don't feel comfortable using public transportation, be it because it's night out, you're alone, or in an unsafe part of town, catch the nearest taxi.
Staying in hostels is not only affordable, but can be extremely rewarding. In staying at a hostel you'll not only save money, but also be able to meet other travelers from all parts of the world. Additionally, many hostels are centrally located in neighborhoods where hotels and other mainstream forms of lodging would be very expensive. You can start searching for hostels using sites like Hostelworld or Hostels.com. Quick tip: try to stay at hostels that include breakfast in the daily rate, and always bring a padlock and towel so you don't have to rent one!