EUROPE AS YOUR BACKYARD: ADVICE ON TRAVELING WHILE ABROAD

WRITTEN BY HANNAH VUOZZO, SPRING 2017

Students who plan to or currently study abroad often desire to travel to other places while abroad. For instance, students in Sorrento, Italy, anticipate the accessibility to nearby European countries such as Spain, France, Switzerland, Greece, and Malta. Without scheduled class time on Friday, a number of students plan to travel.

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Students from the Spring 2017 semester pose for a picture at Pompeii. (Courtesy Courtney Pittam)

While traveling throughout Europe is a tremendous opportunity, it can be riddled with unforeseen obstacles. Such difficulties are standard for traveling but current Sant’Anna students have advice for prospective ones:

Plan ahead.

This is perhaps the key piece of advice. Students who have not planned ahead have run into situations which could have been easily avoided. In fact, I missed a flight to France because I did not plan well enough in advance.

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Traveling with friends can be less stressful and more fun. (Courtesy snicky2290 via Pixabay)

Travel with a buddy.

Traveling alone may seem like an adventure but it can be unsafe and overwhelming if you have not traveled alone before. You should be prepared to travel alone and consistently update others about your plans. Over the weekend, I traveled alone to Copenhagen but it was only after I traveled with friends. Otherwise, I would not have been comfortable.

Keep others updated.

Even when you travel with other people, it is important to send word to family, friends, faculty, and staff. At Sant’Anna, students inform each other of their travel plans as well as their families and professors. This piece of advice may seem obvious but it is easy to forget to update others when you are in a new and exciting place. You should send a message to a professor or peer at Sant’Anna when you reach your destination and when you leave and, of course, it is good to inform them of your plans in advance.

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Even if your boarding pass or ticket is on your phone, print a copy just in case. (Courtesy Mtcv via Wikimedia)

Be over-prepared.

There is always the chance for something to go wrong but if you research and plan enough, you should be able to manage unforeseen conflicts. For example, airlines and transportation companies sometimes have strikes. If you have both a primary plan and a secondary plan of how to travel, the strike should not prevent you from getting to and from your destination. To be prepared, you should: double-check bookings; print all receipts, confirmations, boarding passes, and tickets; download an app for the city with a map; pack light but pack smart; and research about the place to where you are going.

Avoid distraction from academics.

Of course, if you have a lot of homework for the weekend, you should complete it before you leave, especially knowing that traveling does not always go according to plan. If you wish to travel but it interferes with class, communication with the professor before booking a flight or accommodations. Although living in Italy provided the prime opportunity for traveling throughout Europe, academics need to be prioritized.

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Take plenty of pictures. (Courtesy honey-bee via Flickr)

Have fun.

I suppose this is self-explanatory. I have met remarkable people in each place I have visited. Some of these people are ones with whom I will maintain contact. The experiences I have had will influence me for the rest of my life.

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There are endless opportunities to overwhelm your senses. (Courtesy Skitterphoto via Pixabay)

As a final note, some other resources for traveling are:

  • Skyscanner;
  • Classmates;
  • Faculty and staff at Sant’Anna; and
  • Alumni.

Buon viaggio.

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