A short study abroad stint enriches the minds of students, exposing them to new cultures, traditions, customs and languages. It gives them the chance to interact with other people and experience other forms of learning that can be invaluable to them. A study abroad trip can be costly, but there are still several ways and means to make it cost efficient and affordable if you know how. Here are some tips.
- Check out the various travel sites that specialize in discount student travels and compare prices. You may be able to get better package deals if there are a group of you who will be traveling together. There are also special discounts for teachers that can be availed if you plan to travel with them. Know the requirements for each mode of transport as well as the visas and inoculations needed prior to the trip.
- Look for low-cost rail and bus passes that can be purchased in advance. It will be cheaper if the students carry these transportation passes instead of paying in cash whenever they get on a train or a bus. Special packages are also offered and you can avail of bigger discounts as well as helpful travel information when you buy the passes in bulk.
- An International Student Identity Card for each student will help them get student flight discounts and other privileges and they are recognized around the globe in the countries that are participating in the study-abroad program.
- Coordinate with the school and community your students will be going to. Seek their help to find low-cost housing and cheap youth hostels for your students. Home stays can offer more to students than just room and board. They will get to experience living with a local family and get to know their customs and traditions as well as the language first hand at the faction of the cost. This can shorten your search for available accommodations in the area and you will be able to secure better deals if the locals will do the coordinating and booking. Some schools provide dormitories for a small fee to students that they take in for a short study term.
- Check local customs restrictions and security concerns to make your travel worry-free. Make sure all the students understand these restrictions. Check also local traditions and customs and ensure that you give your students the proper orientation to avoid getting in trouble later.
- Prepare your students for the journey. Devote some time for special lessons on traveling as well as giving them the necessary background information about your destination. It will help them greatly when then know the local times, local currency exchange rates, and local food and security issues. Caution your students about buying souvenirs and other items that cannot be found at home. These can cost money and may not even be allowed entry by customs when they go back home.
- Check out the short-term insurance policies that are available for students on a study-abroad program. See if you can find one the offers group insurance that includes emergency medical treatments and hospitalization benefits.
- Arrange for someone to take the students on a city tour to familiarize themselves of where to go, which train or bus to take for certain destinations as well as teach them how to get around generally - to the school and back, to a consulate or embassy, to hospitals and clinics, travel bureaus and police stations.
Planning the study-abroad trip well in advance will give your students huge savings on travel and accommodation that can be channeled into the student’s school budget. Traveling and studying abroad is costly and all forms of savings are welcome.