International Experience Resources
Did you study abroad?
We want to hear from past study abroad students to get their insights on their personal experience studying abroad. If you would like your photo and/or study abroad experience featured on our website please click HERE and submit your experience.
Interested in studying abroad, but need help covering the costs?
There are a wide variety of organizations and institutions that provide scholarships and grants for students wanting to study abroad from the United States. Below is a flyer with a list of scholarships that can be found on the San Jose State University Scholarship Portal.
Please note that due to COVID-19 certain scholarships that are normally offered may not be available this term.
What To Know Before You Go
BOOKING YOUR FLIGHT
Airfare is not included in the program costs of Faculty Led Programs. You are responsible
to book your own flight and make sure you have a valid passport before departure.
Students can use websites like Skyscanner, Google Flights, Priceline and Momondo to compare cheap flights. It is advisable for students to check airline websites for any student discounts, as well as sign up for different airline newsletters for potential deals that might come up. Secret Flying is also a good website to find flight deals online. Students should book their flights at least three months in advance. Keep in eye on the price difference between booking a flight on a weekday or a weekend, it is typically, but not always, cheaper to book on a weekday. Students should also make sure the site they are buying is secure and reputable. Make sure the dates, locations, and details are accurate before finalizing any payment. Most plane tickets online are nonrefundable.
Passports are required to travel to any destination outside of the U.S. To either obtain a new passport or renew one, you can visit the U.S. Department of State website.
To be prepared for a study abroad trip, you should apply for a passport several months in advance. The processing time to receive your passport takes 10-12 weeks, but keep in mind, it might take even longer to process and receive your passport. So, apply as soon as possible.
To apply for a passport, you may do so at any acceptance facility. It is important to know that applying for a passport will cost between $110 -$140 plus a $35 acceptance fee. You can also visit the Travel State Government website for detailed steps on how to apply and what necessary documents you will need on your application.
When accessing your money, put into consideration that there are various currency rates and foreign transaction fees. Aside from saving money and budgeting prior to your trip, you also have to consider how you spend your money wisely when abroad. Exchange rates and bank charges can add up. Some local businesses may not accept debit or credit cards, so make sure you have accessible cash at all times. Don’t forget to inform your banks and financial institutions that you are going overseas so they don’t report fraud or suspicious activity.
Most American dollars can be exchanged for foreign currency, but commission is usually charged. Make sure to have cash on you at all times, but don’t carry cash in excess amounts. Be considerate of how much money you withdraw and how many times because the commission on the exchange rates may add up.
Debit cards are one of the easiest and least expensive ways to get cash while abroad. There are many ATM machines available in most countries. Unlike a credit card, debit cards take money directly from your account, so you don’t have to deal with interest rates. Some ATMs only withdraw money from your checkings account, so put that into consideration if you have other accounts such as savings. Contact your bank or financial institution that you will be traveling out of the country.
Most major credit card companies are accepted abroad, but be sure to check with your specific financial service. Also ask of any foreign transaction fees. In Europe, Asia, and South America, the “chip-and-PIN” credit cards are only being accepted to avoid fraud. These cards are slowly being implemented in the American system as well. If you are using a credit card, just to be safe, make sure your credit card has the chip in it.
Lastly, make sure to verify all charges that are made on your card.
Traveler’s checks are check cards that have more security than cash because they can easily be replaced if lost or stolen. Although traveler’s checks aren’t as popular because of the accessibility of ATMs,, they can be useful for large amounts of cash.
Transferring money may be quick and easy, but the exchange rate may be pricey. You can send money through Western Union, MoneyGram, and Xoom.
Pack Light. Overpacking is one of the most common traveling mistakes. Focus only on the necessities and essentials. Put into consideration weight restrictions when flying abroad because they vary depending on the airline. Remember that you can always buy any necessary items you need abroad and leave room for souvenirs you might want to take home.
Bring an extra set of important documents. Make copies of your passport photos, passport, and any important travel documents.
Pack to dress appropriately. Take clothes that will help you fit into the local culture. Make sure to not stand out as a tourist. Put into consideration any weather conditions you may have to adjust to. Bring a variety of clothes for different occasions.
Have all medications and prescriptions readily available. Make sure all your medicines are in their original, labeled container and have them easily accessible in your carry-on luggage.. Have a copy of all your medications and prescriptions as well.
You are not allowed to have liquid or gel substances in your carry-on unless the individual containers are 3.4 ounces or less when going through airport security. Even though you may have a large container but only 3.4 ounces or less of liquid or substance, it is still prohibited. Be careful and conscious of the liquids you put into your carry-on. You can read more about what is or is not allowed in your luggage at TSA website.
Label your luggage. Make sure to label your luggage with your name, address, and phone number. Covered luggage tags help avoid becoming a target.
Leave behind unnecessary items. Don’t bring expensive jewelry or technological devices because it heightens the risk of them getting robbed or stolen.
Buy a converter. Your charger for your phone, ipad, laptop, may not work abroad without a converter. This may also come in handy when using your iron or hairdryer so check with your host country to see what type of voltage is used to buy the appropriate adapter or converter you need to plug your devices into the outlet. Check out WorldStandards.eu to see voltage requirements.
Additional information and tips/tricks about weather, etiquette, langague(s), popular foods, and types of transportation of common countries where FLPs are offered can be found below.
- Japan [pdf]
- Spain [pdf]
- Italy [pdf]
- France [pdf]
- Rwanda [pdf]
- Costa Rica [pdf]
- South Korea [pdf]
- Ireland [pdf]
- Taiwan [pdf]
- Thailand [pdf]
- Vietnam [pdf]
- Germany [pdf]
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