After countless hours of worry and work, you are now abroad and embarking on a life changing experience! While you are abroad, enjoy yourself, push yourself, and seek out cultural opportunities that are both fun and educational.
- Find a local cafe where you go and read the newspaper everyday or chat with the local servers.
- Join a student organization or sports group where you get to explore the region and meet people from the country where you are studying.
- If you are in a non-English speaking country, find a language partner and meet weekly to discuss current events and practice your language skills.
- Go to see a local band, a movie from your host country, or art exhibit.
- Find a local Rotary organization in your host country and ask to attend a meeting.
The list of things and experiences that await you are endless. You are in the driver’s seat - - the roads you take and what you get to see and do are up to you!
As Soon as You Arrive
- Contact home to let family and friends know that you have arrived safely.
- Notify the Global Education Office via e-mail, of your safe arrival, at your earliest possible convenience.
International Office at Host Institution
The International Office at your host institution is there to provide assistance and guidance for your semester abroad. Please contact them with questions. If your concerns are not getting addressed in a satisfactory manner, please e-mail the Director of the Global Education Office.
Host Institution Orientation
Host institutions offer various degrees of orientation, ranging from one day to one week. On-site orientation should include guidance and directions on:
- Course registration procedures and general academics
- Campus or university life
- Student clubs and activities
- Banking options
- Internet/phone availability and options
- Medical services and facilities
- Tour of town or city
Safety Concerns While Abroad
If a health or safety issues arises while you are abroad please notify your host institution and Washington College right away. You can contact the Global Education Office (410-810-7470) during office hours, and Public Safety after hours (410-778-7810). Every student studying on a Washington College sponsored study abroad program has access to ACE Travel Insurance. Details on how to access the ACE travel information and medical health insurance were distributed during pre-departure orientation.
Tips on being safe while abroad:
- Review safety information provided on the U.S. State Department’s website.
- Register with the U.S. Embassy in your host country through the Smart Traveler Enrollment system. If you are a non-U.S. national, please review your home country’s Department of State for a similar service.
- Carry a photocopy of the front page of your passport.
- Avoid locations known to be common gathering points for U.S. citizens (including bars, restaurants, nightclubs, etc.).
- Avoid public demonstrations and other civil disturbances.
- Don’t travel alone at night. Don’t use short cuts, narrow alleys or poorly-lit streets.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
Carry the following phone numbers and email addresses at all times:
- Family at home and work
- Host institution’s International Education Office contact and phone number
- Washington College: Global Education Office 410-810-7470 and Public Safety 410-778-7810
- U.S. Embassy and/or local Consulate in any country you plan to visit
- Local police and fire service
- Your roommate, host family, and or host national friend
Be Informed: Know the local laws. When you are in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws. Monitor and assess safety issues in the region and country. Periodically check the U.S. Department of State Consular Information Sheets and Travel Warnings. Read local newspapers and guidebooks.
Information from Washington College
You will receive email correspondence throughout the semester from Washington College. Email is the only way that communication will be sent, so please make sure to check your e-mail regularly. You will receive correspondence regarding the following:
Housing at WC for the semester you return: Room draw information in the spring semester or room choice in the fall semester. You will be in correspondence with Residential Life regarding your housing.
Course Registration at WC for the semester you return: Please be in touch with your Academic Advisor regarding course selection for the upcoming semester. You will choose your courses, be in email correspondence with your Advisor, and then register on-line. If you are concerned about internet connections while abroad, please reach out to your Academic Advisor regarding course registration.
Resources for While You Are Abroad
- STA Travel: You must purchase an International Student ID Card to utilize services through STA. Cost: $25.
- Student Universe
- Ryanair: For affordable travel within Europe.
- All Subways HD app: Allows you to download subway maps.
- XE Currency Converter: Check the latest exchange rates.
- Voltage Valet: Check the voltage in your host country.
- HiConverter App: Convert shoe and clothing sizes, distance, weather, and more.