Preparing For Your Trip Abroad

Nicole Bagala Stirling, Scotland


November 18, 2022

So you’ve been accepted into Arcadia’s study abroad program. Congratulations! But before you leave for your designated country, you need to complete a few tasks first.

First off, check your emails regularly. Whichever email you submitted to Arcadia Abroad will be the email they contact, and it is important to see if they notify you of any updates that are available on the Arcadia Abroad Student Portal. You will need to complete the checklist items first, which are the Academic Preferences Form, Criminal History Form, Letter of Reference, Official Transcript and Study Abroad Approval Form. This will allow you to contact the necessary people to settle your study abroad items as soon as possible. Once you finish these forms, your position in the study abroad program will be more secured. In addition, after you complete those forms, you will be able to start the participation forms. These will appear periodically, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on your email so you know when they come out.

Second, check out the finances. If your college is partnered with Arcadia like my home institution, you may be asked to pay the deposit and program fees or Arcadia may bill your home school for some or all of the fees so you will pay your home school like normal. That is why it is essential that you look at the Arcadia Student Portal fees and payment section. Then you’ll know what the specific prices are, and you can find out if your college will pay the deposit fee and how your family can pay Arcadia.

Third, once you have looked at and/or completed these previous items, you’ll want to start planning your trip, so look at the travel information and resources tabs on your Arcadia Abroad Student Portal. These sections are very helpful when planning your trip, and they allow you to pick the best option for you. In addition, you should do the Arcadia Orientations Part A and B once they are available to you. They will provide you with a lot of useful information that will make your life abroad easier, like which currency and credit card to use in your designated country. And most importantly, make sure you find any and all emails from your study abroad institution. It will allow you to sort out your student account at that school, pick housing, and so much more!

Finally, when packing for your trip, use the Arcadia packing guide to help you figure out what to bring. For instance, make sure to pack a raincoat if you come to Scotland; it was one of the best clothing items I brought! Also, try to acquire a suitcase set prior and get the same colored ribbons to tie onto the suitcases. Having the same suitcase style with the same colored ribbons will make it easier for you to find your luggage at the airport when you land. However, because you’ll most likely be by yourself, try to take the two biggest suitcases so you can fit more stuff inside and you won’t need to ask for help with them. Also, try to get suitcases with wheels because they will make moving so much easier!! But you’ll likely need a carry-on bag, so use your backpack. I used mine, and it made me feel more secure because I had my valuables like my computer and important papers with me the entire trip. As for toiletries, pack them in a clear bag so they can be seen by airport security. That will make it easier for you at airport security, and pack any big liquid items you cannot live without in your checked baggage.

It’s normal to not feel fully ready to study abroad no matter how much planning you do. You could forget something, your plane might get delayed, you could lose something, or any number of scenarios could occur. But remember that despite how you may feel, you are not alone. The Arcadia staff is an email away, and they want you to have a good time abroad, so never hesitate to reach out. You’ve got this, and I promise it will all work out in the end!