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Planning Your Perfect Study Abroad Year

Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience, but preparing for your trip takes time and careful planning. Here is what you need to know about preparing for your year abroad, from applying for your passport to getting temporary storage in Mountain View for your belongings.

Apply for Passports and Visas Early preparing to study abroad

Getting the necessary passport and visas for your travel experience can be a lengthy process. If you have never gotten a passport before, you will need a birth certificate, two passport photos, a federal or state-issued identification card, a completed application, and your passport fee. To find out if you need a visa and what the requirements are to obtain it, visit the State Department website or contact an embassy of the country to which you are traveling. Getting these documents can take months, and you can’t travel without them. You can expedite the passport process for an additional expense, but you may not be able to expedite visa processing times, so plan accordingly.

Prepare Your Finances

For most destinations, you no longer need to convert large amounts of currency and can instead rely on debit and credit cards to make purchases and to withdraw cash in the local currency. However, you must notify all of your card providers that you will be traveling overseas and where you are going, so they don’t flag your international purchases as fraud and freeze your account. On the day you travel, bring a small amount of local currency with you in case you can’t immediately access an ATM.

Store Your Belongings

When you’re going abroad for a year, you can’t continue to pay rent on your room or apartment. When you’re in limbo in terms of having a stateside home, use a temporary storage unit to keep your belongings. Storage units are far more affordable than rent, and you won’t have to bug your family and friends to hold on to your items for you for a year. When you return home, all of your property will be in one location, ready for your next adventure.

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