Setting Up for Success Abroad


You are about to embark on a new adventure in a new place.

This experience can stir up a lot of different emotions.

Cora Schrlankler 5 Florence Italy 2022

Written by: Cora Schrankler - Fall 2022 Marketing Intern in Florence, Italy 

For instance, if you have never been out of the country before, traveling abroad can seem daunting; there is this feeling of the unknown, which may cause stress or create questions for yourself. However, it may also be mixed with enthusiasm for a new experience. It’s okay to be feeling all of the emotions, but rest assured, here are a few options that may help you feel more prepared before you land in a new country.


Will My Phone Work Abroad? What are my options?

International Phone Plans

Talk with your phone carrier to ensure how to activate your phone plan abroad. Discuss the different options and select the best that suits your needs.

Purchase a Sim Card Abroad

  • Before you plan on this option, make sure to check with your phone carrier that your phone is “unlocked” or else you will not be able to get a new sim card for your phone.
  • If your phone is deemed “unlocked,” there is an option to purchase a new sim card when you are abroad. This will give you a local number and plan, and it can be more reliable than an international plan depending on where you are located.

Download These Helpful Phone Applications:

Omio is a great way to find affordable train rides. It’s user friendly and provides a variety of options for its users. You can also locate buses and flights through this app as well.
This app is a wonderful tool to keep track of the different buses in your city and the different routes that are available to you. It informs you of the buses schedule and delays.

Duo Lingo is a FREE Language Learning Application. It’s a great way to start learning the language of your specific country destination.

Banking Tips

Notify Your Banks!

  • Alert your bank of the duration of time you will be abroad, as well as the location.
  • Alert your bank while you are abroad if you plan to leave the country or else your card could be flagged. This will create an issue when trying to make purchases on a credit card.
  • Ask what fees will be charged and when for international withdraws or charges.
What sort of Credit Card do You Want?
  • Talk with your bank about opening an international credit card. This will help wave oversea charges.
Debit Card
  • A debit card will work with any ATM abroad to withdraw money from your account. 

Preparing for Mishaps

Before You Depart:
Make sure to have a physical copy of your residential address. You may want to write it on a few slips of paper in the chance you lose one. This can be helpful if your phone’s battery is dead, there is a language barrier, or for emergencies. 

Phrases You Should Know:
 Since you are flying to a foreign location, the chances of them speaking another language is high. It’s important to have a few phrases in their native language learned before you go. Here are three that will be to your benefit:

  • Help!
  • Do you speak English?
  • Thank you.

Preparing Your Mindset

Be Open-Minded!
This is one of the most important mindsets to have when going abroad. If you are open to new experiences, your time spent abroad will be full of beautifully unexpected moments.  Be open to making new connections, trying new foods, trying a new activity, and more.

 Be Patient with Yourself!

If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed abroad, give yourself patience. There can be high emotions throughout your time abroad because you are experiencing a change in life; let yourself take the time you need to settle in. 

Be Flexible.

It can be hard not to set expectations when you are going abroad, but be flexible. Every person abroad will have such varying experiences, so go with the flow and don’t compare your experience to another. Make it your own and be flexible. Plans can go aerie and your experience may be different than you expected, but if you stay open and flexible - you’ll learn so much from this adventure.

Preparing for a New Culture!
Be curious!

Before going abroad it’s important to learn cultural etiquette. One way you can learn about your country's way of life is by watching videos or reading books.

  • Learn about dining etiquette.
  • Learn about communication etiquette.
  • What sort of dress do people typically wear there?
  • What is their history?
  • What are sustainable practices that I can utilize while living there?

Learning a language can be challenging, but it can also be really fun! There are videos you can watch and phone apps to download to help you learn the language ahead of time. Even if you are not fluent, that is okay! It’s important that the effort is there.

These are just a few of the ways you can prepare yourself before going abroad. Do your research on the country you are headed to and let yourself feel the excitement! This adventure is going to be one for the books and you are nearly there!

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