Olivia spent her Spring 2012 term at John Cabot University (JCU) in Rome, Italy. Upon her return home, she became an SAI Ambassador at her home school, Suffolk University. Below she gives us some helpful tips for traveling on a budget.
Europe is an incredible continent in which to study abroad. SAI chose cities with great care to be sure that students would have an immersive experience into a thriving study away culture. By studying in Europe, students have another incredible advantage: the opportunity to travel throughout both their home country and those across Europe.
After having studied abroad in Rome, Italy through SAI’s John Cabot University direct enrollment program, I collected the following student budget travel advice:
- If traveling around Italy, use www.trenitalia.com to find affordable train fares. When searching for trains, be sure to select “Tutti I Treni” when entering your search parameters. This will search all of the trains running to that city rather than just the high-speed trains.
- Be sure to check EasyJet and Ryanair for cheap flight fares. If you choose one of these airlines, carefully read the flight guidelines. Be attentive to those guidelines. A cheap flight is not worth the money saved if you are trapped by additional fines!
- If you are traveling with a larger group, explore apartment rentals at https://www.airbnb.com/. Renting an apartment can be more inexpensive than hostels in the more costly cities!
- Don’t be afraid to travel on your own! You’re on an incredible study abroad adventure, take advantage of every aspect of it.
- When staying in a hostel, do not forget to pack the essentials: a padlock, shower shoes, and layers. Lots and lots of layers, especially if you are traveling midwinter.
- When leaving your study away country, be sure to alert your home bank! If you don’t, your debit card may be locked after use.
- Complete the “Travel Form” SAI provides with every trip you go on. This is for your benefit and only takes a few minutes!
- Take advantage of free tours in the bigger cities. Some companies such as Bus2Alps and Weekend Student Adventures will sometimes have free tours that rely solely on tips. Be sure to tip these tour guides!
- Peruse your friends on Facebook for those studying abroad at the same time as you! During my time abroad, I visited a friend I had not seen since high school and we had the opportunity to show each other our study abroad homes. Visit and reconnect!
Go somewhere you never anticipated visiting! Go on an adventure! The opportunities are endless. However, do remember that you chose to study abroad on your specific program for a reason. Do not travel so much that you lose sight of that.
Have fun and be safe!