Arranging International Transportation
Most students participating in study abroad programs (with the exception of certain faculty-led programs) are required to make their own flight arrangements.
Here are some tips when making your flight arrangement:
We do NOT recommend that you purchase your ticket until you have received your final acceptance from both Lawrence Tech and your host institution.
Check with your host school to see if there are specific arrival dates on which you must arrive (this is often included in the acceptance letter/packet).
The cheapest option is not always the best option. It is best to find a flight that has the least amount of changes and connecting flights. Depending on where you will be studying, your travel time could be anywhere from three to thirty hours. Each additional stop along the way increases your chances of missing your connection or losing your luggage.
You should plan to purchase a round-trip ticket. Many countries require proof of a return flight and they may not issue your visa or allow you to enter the country without this proof. One-way tickets are also very expensive.
Check the refund and change of date fees. It is very common for students to change their travel plans after a few weeks in their host country. Purchasing a ticket with a low change-of-date fee will allow you greater flexibility.
Shop around! Spend some time checking with different travel agents before settling on a ticket. Like any big purchase, you want to make sure that you are getting the best deal. Some websites to get you started are STA Travel (www.statravel.com), which works in conjunction with your ISIC, and www.studentuniverse.com.
You will be able to travel within Europe on inexpensive intra-continental flights by Ryan Air (www.ryanair.com) and easyJet (www.easyjet.com). These are "no frills" airlines that offer low-cost prices. Please be aware that they fly out of local/regional airports and NOT major international airports. Typically, they also have lower baggage allowances.
Trains and buses abroad are very convenient for travel, although in certain countries they can be expensive. Here are some tips that may help you with rail travel.
You may need to reserve a seat, in addition to purchasing a ticket in advance.
Limit the amount of luggage you take with you. You may have to make a connection with a limited amount of time. Limiting the size and weight of your luggage will help to ensure that you do not miss your connection.
For information on European train schedules and fairs, visit: http://www.eurail.com/
While rail passes such as Eurail and BritRail are very popular, they may not be the most cost-efficient. It is recommended that you check the cost of train tickets between the locations that you want to visit to determine if the rail pass is more cost-effective than purchasing individual tickets. Please note that you can only purchase these rail passes from within the U.S., so you will need to do so before your departure.
Each country implements its own traffic regulations that may not be familiar to you. Driving in a country where you are not familiar with the roadways, traffic laws, and traffic patterns can be very hazardous. Some countries will not allow you to drive with only your U.S. driver's license.
If you to decide to do some independent traveling during your time abroad, you will want to do some careful planning ahead of time. Hostels can be a less expensive alternative to hotels and are often geared toward the independent traveler. Each hostel imposes different rules and restrictions, from imposing a curfew to establishing strict check-in and check-out times. Some hostels require that you bring your own linen while others require that you have a Youth Hostel Membership, so be sure to check on regulations in advance.