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Travel Essentials and Financial Services

 

Air Transportation

Some program sponsors include group flights to and from the program site. Others require you to make your own arrangements. If you do need to arrange your own transportation, be sure to do so well in advance of leaving, especially if you plan to travel during the summer or any other period when air travel is heavy. Make sure you know what arrangements have been made for the arrival of students in your host country before finalizing your flight reservations. Often a designated meeting place and time are established so that program staff can greet students upon their arrival. Many countries list a round-trip ticket as one of their entry requirements.

 

Even though you may not know when you want to return home and you may have to pay a surcharge to change your return ticket; it is still cheaper to buy the round-trip ticket instead of buying two one-way tickets. Shop carefully to find a flight that best suits your needs. Compare the price of open-ended tickets, in which you return at any point within a specified length of time, with the price of a ticket bearing a stated return date. If you are planning to travel on your own after your program ends, you might want to investigate "open jaw" fares, which let you return from a different location from your point of arrival.

 

Council Travel is an excellent source of information about student travel. It publishes the Student Travels magazine which is distributed free to over 1,000 colleges and universities in the United States. With yourInternational Student Identity Card, you can sometimes get up to 50% off of commercial airfares through Council Travel. More information about Council and its travel services is available on-line at www.ciee.org. Another student travel agency offering airfare discounts is STA Travel.

 

Information is also available on-line at www.statravel.org. Free travel literature is usually available from the government tourist office, consulate or embassy of the country or countries to which you travel. You can also learn more about discount airfares from the following websites:

 

If you lose your airline ticket, contact the airline, travel agency, or other agency from which you purchased the ticket. If you bought your ticket from an airline, you will have to fill out a claim for a lost ticket and buy a new ticket. You'll be refunded the cost of the replacement ticket, minus a fee. The fee varies with each airline. It takes about six months to get your refund. If you purchased Student Tickets, issued by STA Travel and other agencies, you don't need to buy a new ticket; you simply pay a $25 fee and your ticket will be reissued.

 

Don't buy a one-way ticket, even if you don't know when you want to return home. Most foreign countries require visitors to have a round-trip ticket before they are allowed to enter.

 

Rail Passes

In many countries, rail travel is probably the most widely used mode of transportation. Buying a rail-pass in the United States prior to your departure can greatly reduce your costs. Rail passes, such as the Britrail Pass or Eurail Pass, can be obtained from most travel agents. These passes usually offer unlimited travel for a specific amount of time. Just as there are special aifares for students, there are also special rail passes for students available at Railpass.com and Eurail Pass.

 

Travel Light

Aim to travel light. Keep in mind that, for most international flights, you are allowed to check only two pieces of luggage. Some airlines have restrictions for the weight of each piece of luggage; check before you pack. If your program is a study-tour, you will have to carry whatever you bring, so restrict yourself to one or two moderate-sized bags and a small carry-on bag in which to keep valuables, passport, and camera equipment.

Insure your baggage and personal effects for the full period abroad. If you bring a camera, buy a lead-lined film bag. Contrary to posted airport claims, some X-ray devices ruin film.

Luggage for study abroad students.

 



 

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