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Sunday December 17th 2017

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Want to Go Abroad for May Term? Start Preparing Now

By Shelby Small–There are a few things you can do now to prepare for a 2017 May Term Abroad. First, attend an informational meeting held by those in charge of the trip you are interested in. There are several informational meetings being held this Spring and more will be held in the beginning of next school year. Useful information regarding trip costs and a preliminary itinerary will be provided at these meetings. The more knowledgeable you are about not only the location of the trip, but also the faculty and students going will help you choose the right trip. A great start to planning for you trip is to apply for your passport several months before your trip or know your passport expiration date.

Many countries require passports to have at least 6 months validity at the time of entry.  The U.S. Department of State has detailed guidelines on preparing your passport application as well. You can complete and print a passport application online or get an application from a Post Office location that has passport acceptance services. Post Offices may have limited hours for passport services. To be certain of service, call ahead and make an appointment.

While it is possible to take out a loan for the cost of a May Term trip and the cost of a passport, it isn’t the best option. Jeanette Frey in the Business Office explained that with loans, paying back interest can mean your trip costs much more than originally planned.

“So when taking out a loan for May term, your trip cost just got more expensive than that price tag you were quoted when repaying a May Term Loan,” said Frey. “Save, save, save is always the best option!”

While planning for your trip you might also consider applying for personal trip insurance. Beth Hinga, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, explains the college insurance policy offered to those who are travelling abroad.

“It covers major medical events, evacuation due to natural disaster or civil unrest, and even provides airfare for a family member to accompany a student in the hospital in a foreign country, in the event that a student becomes very ill or is seriously injured,” said Hinga. “Thankfully we haven’t had to use it on any May Term trips, but it’s a comfort knowing that it’s there.”

Frey also suggests looking into personal trip insurance for protection in the event that a student is unable to make the trip at all due to health reasons or a family emergency. This insurance would enable them to recover some or all of their trip costs.It is also recommended to read about your trip location as well.

Research your destination using your preliminary itinerary and plan where you would like to go during your spare time. Don’t return home only to learn you missed a famous landmark or entertainment experience. May Term trips are an amazing opportunity and being prepared well in advance will reduce the amount of stress you feel during the next school year.