Just to briefly introduce myself, I’m Yekaterina and I’ll be blogging about my Erasmus experience
during my year abroad in France and Spain. Writing my first blog is quite exciting as it means that my year abroad is about to begin! I’d like to begin by writing about how to prepare for the Year Abroad.
Initially, it’s going to take some time to settle down and get used to a new environment therefore feeling a little bit anxious or nervous is fine. However, being well prepared is one way to overcome these feelings, sounds obvious but it’s so easy to leave your packing to the last minute and end up packing things that you don’t need or missing important things (trust me I’ve done it before).
What to pack for your Year Abroad- a small guide
- Clothing. Think about the country’s climate, will you be there during the summer, winter or both? Think carefully and take a variety of clothing, from coats to t-shirts, boots to sandals. In addition, if you plan to join a sports team consider what you may need ex. Swimwear (in France swim shorts are banned, check other places) etc. but do not over pack as space is limited and there will be washing machines abroad.
- School essentials. This includes textbooks in English that you may need (depending on the country, the books there may be in a different language). Notebooks, folders, dictionaries, phrasebooks etc. Stationary is also great to bring but remember this is something that can be bought abroad therefore it is not essential to pack.
- Gadgets. Okay this seems pretty difficult to forget but when bringing a phone, laptop etc. you must also bring chargers and adapters that match the country (make sure to check that the adapter fits the country).
- Receipts. This is extremely important in the case of an important gadget being lost or stolen. Make sure to take photos of yourself holding your gadgets (your face being visible) and the receipt if possible to emphasise that you own this item. The university will be able to help you a lot easier if you have this proof.
- Accommodation. Do some research on to what your accommodation provides, this would avoid packing items you don’t need. For example, my accommodation provides plates, cutlery, bed sheets and towels.
- Medication. This is vital, make sure to see your GP before travel, have any vaccinations done that may be needed and make sure that you’ve stocked up on any medication that you may need (as it may be difficult to find the exact product overseas).
- Documentation. Passport photos are always useful to take as you’ll most likely be buying bus passes etc. that may require a photo. Make sure to also make photocopies of passports, letters from your home university to prove that you’re a student, contracts etc. and leave a copy with your parents or guardian in case of the original getting lost.
Finally, to feel even more at ease research the town and country that you’ll be living in, look at a map, check to see where your campus (if there’s more than one) is and talk to students that have either been to your Erasmus university or are already students there. Always pack at least four days before travel to avoid those last-minute panics and that’s it, you will be feeling happy and ready for the Year Abroad!
I hope that this blog has helped you in some way, if you’d like to know more feel free to leave any comments or questions below. Bon voyage!!