Keeping Up While You’re Abroad

Studying and working abroad are great ways to experience other countries’ cultures for cheap. Studying abroad typically doesn’t even cost more than normal tuition! You’ll pick up foreign languages and slang, get to taste and appreciate new foods, and meet tons of new people. Along with everything “fun” going into your suitcase, it’s extremely important to have a plan for many things. You need to make sure all of your affairs are in order, money or otherwise. Here are some tips on how to do that:

Rent and bills

Consider subleasing your apartment for the time you’ll be away. If you do, make sure it’s to someone you trust not to totally mess your place up. Ensure that they know the landlord and understand the lease, because you don’t want to come back from a great trip just to find out your new tenant got you evicted. However, having a subleaser will also take care of your bills. If you don’t want to sublease your apartment, pay your landlord completely in advance for the time you will be absent.

Keeping Up While You're Abroad

Calvert Woodley Apartment Building – Image via Flickr, user Mr. T in DC

Medication

This is an extremely important note that many people forget to do until the last minute – or later. Most of the time it’s not a problem, especially if you’re a student. Finding a doctor through the school is pretty easy and painless. However, if you’re working abroad for an extended period of time, it’s not that simple. Doctors might recommend that you have surgical procedures like having an IUD inserted so that you do not have to go through a gynecologist in another country to obtain birth control. Do keep in mind that the popular IUD brand mirena has been linked complications, you can see if the mirena complications will affect you to ensure safe and happy traveling. Talk to your doctor before you leave – maybe they even know a doctor where you’re going or will have some ideas. Many airlines will allow you to bring medications on board but it’s always important to make sure ahead of time. However, if all else fails and you forget, make sure you set up a doctor’s appointment following your arrival. You should also plan to research medications, because often US medicine and other countries’ medicine are different. Side effects of birth control in the US may be less, or more, severe than side effects in other countries.

Keeping Up While You're Abroad

JFK clinic in St. Louis. Satish Chandraprakasam, MD; Nikole Forget, MD – image via Flickr, user Mercy Health

Relationships

This is a tough part about going abroad. It’s important to set up rules with your significant other and know what you’re getting into. If you both want the relationship to succeed, it will. Both parties must make an effort in order for this to work. Consider Skype dates, watching movies “together,” and even snail mail. Other relationships are important too – like family and friends. Make sure to see them before you leave and spend quality time with them, especially if you won’t be seeing them for several months. If you have pets, hire a pet sitter you trust or leave them with family or friends while you’re gone.

Keeping Up While You're Abroad

Long Distance Relationship – image via Flickr, user Andy Purviance

These are just a few tips. What do you always make sure to do before you study abroad?

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