By Anna Geannopoulos
A quarter abroad in Lacoste or Hong Kong might be on your to-do list, wishlist, or in your near future. Since going to live for two and a half months in a foreign place can be daunting, here is a small checklist of things to do regardless of which campus you’re going to:
1. Figure out your money situation before you go. Exchange some money to take with you so you have legal tender in the country you’re going to. When you arrive, take note of when you find an ATM that takes your card. In some smaller cities they can be hard to find, or non-existent so it’s good to always have a backup plan so you’re not left stranded, in another country, with no money.
2. Learn some basic words. True if you’re going with SCAD you’ll be learning in English, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get lost or interact with the locals. Knowing a few phrases and what is socially acceptable in day-to-day situations is always helpful when traveling to new places.
3. Pack light. Not only will you probably not need half the things you think you do, but, you’ll probably want to buy things where you are. Also, no one wants to be lugging around a bag full of five pairs of shoes when really you probably only needed two. Instead of thinking in outfits think in items: One jacket, two pants, two shorts, five shirts. Less is more.
4. Learn something about the place you are going before you go. Not only will you feel more comfortable and excited about your trip but you’ll be able to appreciate it all the more. Either you see a giant decrepit building or you see the place where the Marquis de Sade once slept.
5. Have an open mind and a “just go with it” attitude. Usually, it’s not what happens that makes a trip but how you choose to deal with the things that happen. You simply cannot plan for everything, the only thing you can have complete control over is your reaction and state of mind.
To all the SCAD students traveling abroad this fall quarter, have fun, be safe and don’t rub it in too much. If you’ve already studied at either of the two campuses feel free to comment below with more specific advice.Contact Anna Geannopouols.