18 Things You will Really Need During Your Disney College Program

18 Things You will Really Need During Your Disney College Program

The must have items, excluding the fun ones!

The first Disney College program that I took part in was one of the first times I was ever on my own. It was terrifying and I had absolutely no clue as to what I was going to need to take care of myself. Now the program does offer you some items to accommodate your apartment if you are staying in housing (silverware/fridge/etc.). However, there are several other items that you are going to need as a participant that, I myself, had no idea would be so much of a lifesaver to making life easier as a participant:

What you really really need to bring:

1.A Car

If you are able to, absolutely bring your car! It cuts down travel time compared to using the bus systems, to and from work, and it makes going grocery shopping much easier.

2. More than one charger for any electronic items you plan on bringing and multiple outlet plugs

Always better to be safe than sorry.

3. Travel size fan

It can get hot at whichever program you're going to, the apartments come with their own air and heating system but this will ensure that it won't get to hot in your room.

4. Power Strip

You forget how many electrical items you own, but then you also don't want to be the outlet hog when using them. With the power strip it'll ensure that you're not taking up to many of the plugs while still powering up your own devices.

5. Router

The apartments come with their own wifi but sometimes it can get pretty slow with up to 6 or more people using it in the same room. If you plan on working on online school work during the program using your own router can ensure that you will be able to get your work done on a stable and fast working network.

6. Coffee Machine/Tea Kettle

The apartments do not come with one of these babies so if you need your daily caffeine fix, it's best to look into getting one.

7. Toaster/Toaster Oven

I never realized how regularly I use the toaster until I didn't have one. Luckily I had very nice roommates who brought one on both of my programs and I was saved. It's always good to have one of these if you are in a hurry for work and need to make a quick breakfast.

8.Water Filter with multiple back up filters

The tap water in housing is not the best and purchasing water bottles can be very costly. Bringing a water filter gives you nice clean water that's free!

9. Tupperware, Reusable Water Bottles, Lunch Box, and Snack Bags

Odds are you are not going to be be buying lunch everyday or eat all of your meals in one sitting. It's better to have nice containers that you can conserve and carry your leftover meals in, than to throw them away.

10. Lot's of Towels, Washrags, and Dish Rags

You don't want to use your personal shower towel for every spill or mishap, if you bring multiples this will make cleaning up messes easier while making sure you have something to use when you shower later.

11. Storage Containers

Preferably long rectangular ones that you can use to squeeze under beds, or bulky square ones that can fit in closets. Yes the apartments do come with drawers but if you're a cautious packer like me that packs for every type of weather, then trust me when i say you won't be able to fit everything in just the drawers.

12. Calendar

This will help keep track of your important dates and shift times.

13. Backpack

Instead of bringing a purse or satchel (Indiana Jones wore one, so it's not a purse!) bring a backpack with you for trips to the parks. With a backpack you are able to carry everything that you need for the day and easily stow things that you pick up on your adventures. Will you look like a slight nerd? Yes, but you will be a prepared nerd!

14. Coat Hangers

An item that is also not provided with the apartment, so you will needs these if you have extra clothes to store. Also they come in handy when the dryers don't work and you need to air dry your clothes somewhere.

15.Semi Formal/Business Clothes (6 outfits at least if you are taking classes)

First impressions are important, so impress everyone with your nice clothes during the first couple training days of your program. Not to mention you are also supposed to wear your best business attire for any classes you may be taking with the program.

16. Standard Stationary Equipment (Notepad/Pens)

During the first couple of days you might want to take notes, plus I always seemed to need a pen at least once every day.

17. A First Aid Kit

For any klutzes out there, this is something I'm sure you will all need.

18. Tissues

For the happy times, the sad times, the sick times, the allergy times, or if you just happen to have Kristen Bell levels of emotion.

Cover Image Credit: Odyssey

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Hey Juniors: Here's 8 Tips On Having The BEST Juniors Abroad Experience

From packing to memory-making, here's some ideas to make the most of your trip.

Alright juniors: it's almost time to take the trip you've been waiting for all year. I know you still have finals to survive, but I'm guessing you're already trying to figure out what to bring and how to pack and if you really need to just pack in a carry on.

I'm no world traveler; Junior's Abroad was the longest time I've spent traveling and only the second time I've ever been outside of the US. Regardless, I think I have some tips for you to make the trip (especially the packing part) a whole lot easier.

You'd be surprised at how different a traveling experience can be if you don't pack well. Sure, most of your memories will be of the day trips, meals and cool sites, but every night you will still have to come back to your lodgings and have to deal with the mundane parts of life.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your travel experience, from the packing to the adventuring. You know yourself best, but I hope I can at least help you think past what you've learned in the class so far and really make the most of your trip.

1. Packing cubes. Did you hear me in the back? PACKING CUBES.

I can't talk about these things enough. I'm by no means a neat packer, and the last thing I want to do when I'm traveling is worry about my suitcase. These packing cubes make it so easy to keep track of things, make the most of your suitcase space, and really cut down on repacking time. While there are a wide range of price options on Amazon, you can invest $10-20 into these things and save yourself so much tim and inconvenience. I never take a trip without my packing cubes anymore!!

2. Pack for flexibility and variety.

Let's be real here: you probably won't wash your clothes more than once (maybe twice) on the trip. That means you either need to pack a TON of clothes, or bring clothes that are really versatile and will stay nice for several wears.

Before I packed anything, I laid out all the clothes I wanted to take on the floor. Then, I removed anything that couldn't be worn with at least one or two other things (i.e. pants that clashed with my shirt color, or sweaters that didn't layer with all my shirts). I took five shirts that could be worn alone or with a sweater, could work with my one skirt, and matched my two pairs of pants. That's right: for a three week trip I only took three bottoms and five tops. I also included one reliable dress, a raincoat, and a sweater. Oh, and two pairs of shoes.

Not every trip is conducive to this strategy. The weather in May varies greatly across the world, and you should look at predicted weather patterns before packing. Wherever you are going, take into account the culture there; think about the fact that bare shoulders/ knees for women or sport shorts and tennis shoes for men aren't universal norms. Also keep in mind that you'll be going for 8-10 hours and maybe walking 5-10 miles a day, so comfort will really help you enjoy the activities.

This is a side note, but don't forget that you can get travel sized items for almost anything you need. Things like microfiber camping towels or mini deodorant sticks save space and still get the job done.

3. Don't waste space things you don't really need.

Magical bags aside, you don't really have much extra room for a trip like this. Not to mention that you'll want to save room for souvenirs and gifts. While I could make a list of unnecessary items to take (more than one pleasure book, hair dryers/tools, that *nice* pair of shoes) you know yourself best. If you're taking something with the thought "I might want to have this at some point," you probably can leave it at home.

4. When you get free evenings, explore.

This sounds obvious, but I really encourage you to not do too much planning in your free time. The best memories I have of my Juniors Abroad trip are all of wandering around in Barcelona, Madrid or Lisbon with a group and just seeing what's there. While you should never go out alone (there's a reason its a no-exceptions rule for these trips), you learn about a city a lot faster by going out into it with no plan. This works a lot better if at least one person in your group is good at remembering directions ;) but keep a map with you as well, just in case.

5. Try to get off the tourist paths.

Look, we're all guilty of wanting to buy souvenir keychains or cheap scarves when we travel. This makes sense sometimes, but there are local artisans in every town who could really use the business and support. It's often hard to tell which stores are just catering to tourists and which are legit, but in general flashy stores with lots of variety/quantity in the merchandise are probably designed for tourists.

My favorite souvenir is art: often you will find artists near famous spots who have many hand-painted works, and are probably even painting while you walk by. They produce tons of art, but it is definitely their work. However you can also find many places that sell local ceramic ware or woven/ sewn items. Just don't bite at the first colorful stall you see.

6. Eat ALL the food.

This is not the time to start a new diet or try and lose weight (although you'd be amazed at how fast your body metabolizes food when you are active all day). Food is a core part of every culture, and boy am I glad for it.

Do your best to find local restaurants (usually easiest to find by wandering around the streets and getting out of touristy areas) and order things you haven't heard of. I always assumed I didn't like seafood, but paella and fresh rockfish completely changed my mind.

That said, don't be mad at yourself if you end up not enjoying local foods, or really just need something familiar. While I still encourage you to go out and try new things, three weeks is a long time to eat unfamiliar foods without break. If you need to go to a McDonald's once (or twice), that doesn't make you a failure!

7. Appreciate the scheduled events, too.

I know after a while the schedule group events (museum visits, day trips, historical sites) can start to feel exhausting and maybe even boring. But remember that your profs put a lot of time and thought into the itinerary, and probably know the country/area better than you do. While it's understandable that the fifth museum you go to will feel really similar to the first, don't let yourself become sullen or disconnected from the trip.

That might be why the journal you keep on the trip is valuable: it helps remind you that you won't be traveling forever; one day you be an old senior like me, remembering your trip and wishing you could go again even if it meant scheduled activities all day. Give yourself the gift of staying present and taking everything in!

8. Find a group that will have about the same interests as you.

You're going to spend a lot of time with your whole group, but in the evenings people usually break into smaller groups that go out and do different things. It can really make your trip more enjoyable if you establish a group that has roughly the same goals/interests so that you can explore together. Obviously there will be some change as the trip goes on, but you don't want to end up stuck alone at your hotel/hostel because your one friend is already out with a group.

Also, try to include others. This may seem like an obvious statement, but no one likes to be alone or left out. If you see someone in your group who seems uncomfortable or like they are unsure where to go, invite them to go with your crew.

You'll be talking about this trip for years, and be looking back at the pictures over and over (even if you're not nostalgic). Preparation is great, but no matter what remember that your attitude and perspective can make or break the trip! If you choose to have fun and see it as a learning experience, you will have plenty of great memories to choose from. Safe travels!!

Cover Image Credit: Abby Buckles

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5 Must-Haves On A Plane

Summer break is right at our fingertips!

I just came back from failing my CSE 101 exam. As I sit in my room thinking about what a failure I am (it's okay, I'll get over it!!), I was thinking, 'What could possible make me a happier person?' Well, I also just found out that I'm traveling to Korea this summer, so I thought about that and it immediately made me happy! What should I pack? What should bring back? When do I need to start losing weight?

A lot of people ask themselves these questions before they travel, so here are my top five travel essentials!

1. Skincare

If I could only bring one item on the plane, it would be skincare product(s). It sounds extra and unimportant, but getting off a plane without using skincare products is a tragedy. The plane literally sucks all the moisture out of your skin on the plane and to compensate for the dryness, oil replaces all the moisture. Which is gross. My suggestion? At least a face mask and moisturizing facial mist. That way whenever your face is feeling dry you can just spray and you're good to go.

2. Headphones

I know this is a bit obvious but it is extremely important. Especially these beats by Dre. They block out most noises and they help keep your ears from popping. Not to mention they are wireless AND make any airport outfit look poppin'!

3. Melatonin/sleep essentials

This is essential for any flight longer than 5 hours. Without these two things I have no idea what I would do on my flights. Most of my flight is going to Korea, which is a 13-14 hour flight. Not only do I get very bored, I also get extremely nauseous, to the point where I don't eat on the plane or else it's coming back up. With one Melatonin pill, I sleep at least six hours which is basically half the ride!

4. Book(s)

This may sound silly, but I only ever bring one book, the same book, on any flight I've ever been on. No matter how many times I've read it, I always bring it on the plane with me. Which book? "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." What an odd book to bring on a flight, I know, but this book for some reason gives me wanderlust and gets me excited for wherever I go. Not to mention, it's such a good book time that goes by super fast!

5. Slippers/fuzzy slippers

Lastly, for comfort: slippers. Or anything to make your feet feel comfortable. Unless you are riding first class for each flight, I suggest you bring some comforting slippers because boy, is it squished in there. With slippers you can easily take them off when it gets a little hot in the plane, and simply put them back on when it's cold. With shoes, it's much more complicated because not only is it uncomfortable to put them on and take them off, there is also a risk of them smelling!

Cover Image Credit: BBC

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