The Struggles Of Preparing To Study Abroad
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The Struggles Of Preparing To Study Abroad

What needs to get done before you leave.

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The Struggles Of Preparing To Study Abroad
Chelsea Holdsworth

I haven't even left yet and this trip has been a mess. Studying abroad isn't as easy as getting on a plane and having a good time. There is a lot of paperwork, money and people involved in the process.

First you need to talk to the study abroad advisers from your school ASAP. They will help you through the process of applying for the class you want to take, and making sure those credits will transfer back to your school (if you are traveling with another party). Once you get approved, you then have to get a passport. Passports are not easy to get either. You have to get the proper passport photo, which can be done at Walgreens, CVS, Walmart or the post office. Make sure when you get your picture taken you are not wearing any glasses, my photographer made that mistake and I had to get a new picture taken. Pictures are are not cheap, I spent almost $14 on mine at Walgreens. That is why you have to make sure the picture goes by the right standards.

Once you get a picture you need a passport application. You can print one (make sure it is not double sided) or you can get one at the post office. Once you complete the application you have to make a copy of your license, and your birth certificate. Make sure you make a copy of the long version of your birth certificate or they will not accept your application (I also made that mistake). If you don't have your long birth certificate you can get it at the town hall of the town/city you were born in. When you go to get it make sure you have cash on you, my birth certificate was $10 cash only.

Once you have your picture, application, and all the copies of the different identifications you need go to the post office with everything and your original IDs. They will send in your application, your picture, the copy of your license and birth certificate and your original birth certificate. Don't worry you will get your birth certificate back. You also need a check written out to the passport services, make sure you check the website for the actual name. When I wrote out my check it was for $170, but that is also something you have to check the website for (or the post office can tell you). Once that is all set the post office worker will check it all over, read you an oath, you will have to sign the application when they ask you to and you will pay for it to be shipped. There might also be a post office fee, but I don't remember what that was (I think it was somewhere around $25).

Once you get your passport, you can then apply for a visa if you need one. When I did mine I had someone from the program send it out. What you need is a visa application filled out perfectly as instructed, your passport, a bank check (mine was made out for $140) and the second passport photo you should have gotten (when they take your passport photo they print out two copies). I sent mine to the program director who had to send it out to New York. It took a couple weeks so plan accordingly.

Lastly was the airfare. The longer you wait to book your flights the more expensive they are. I know people who got their tickets for $1300 (given I am going to China). I got my tickets for $1917.66 and I had to put a $124 protection plan on it. Once you have all that and your tuition is paid (mine was $2500) then you need to make sure you have everything packed and ready to go. Studying abroad is not cheap, but it will be worth it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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