Travel Advice for Students

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Corey Ryan of FIU standing where El Greco stood in Toledo. (Photo by JW Bailly CC BY 4.0)

TRAVEL ADVICE FOR STUDENTS
This travel advice is primarily directed to students participating in Bailly’s FIU Honors College France, Italy, and Spain study abroad programs. It is intended to help twenty-somethings explore, seek adventure, and truly immerse themselves in a culture. The goals are to travel affordably, travel safely, and to live like a local. Always remember,  however, that what works for some may not necessarily work for you. Ultimately, your decisions are your decisions.


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FACULTY DIRECTOR

The Faculty Director for France, Italy, and Spain Study Abroad is John William Bailly. Bailly is an artist with an MFA from Yale University. He has organized, budgeted and lead FIU Honors College study abroad programs to Europe since 2010. “My family lived in four cities, and travelled to Morocco and Turkey before I was ten. The love to explore the essence of lands and cultures was born in me. As Faculty Director of three study abroad programs for Florida International University, I have the unique opportunity to explore France, Italy, and Spain in depth. In addition, I have developed a notion of what tends to work for university students and what does not.”

Sofia Guerra of FIU with Harlan Levey of Harlan Levey Projects at UNTITLED Miami Beach © Liliana Fonte (CC by 4.0)

PROGRAM & TEACHING ASSISTANT
The Program and Teaching Assistant for France, Italy, and Spain Study Abroad is Sofia Guerra. The study abroad program assistant will be your greatest resource. She will help you orient and organize yourself. She have been selected based on her discipline, empathy, and street smarts. But her role is not only to assist you, but also to keep you focused and on time.

AIR TRAVEL
In France, Italy, and Spain, students are given a specific date that they are required to meet in Paris, Rome, or Madrid respectively. Read More

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ATTIRE
The program calendar is established a year in advance. Many reservations do not offer flexibility. Students must be ready to adapt to all weather conditions. Rain will not stop us from visiting Alhambra, Pompeii or Versailles. Read More

BUDGET
Expenses while abroad vary greatly from student to student.  Read More

One student kept a detailed expense report for TWO people on Spain study abroad.  Review their expenses here: Spain Study Abroad Expenses.

COMMUNICATION
Data is required for all students! We communicate through WhatsApp while abroad. You will not need to make many phone calls. What you really need are text messages and data. Some US providers (T-Mobile, Sprint) provide affordable plans that offer unlimited data and texts. Read More

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CULTURAL IMMERSION
Read More

DOCUMENTS
Have all your documents in order as soon as you know you are going abroad. Read More

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FITNESS
All three courses are physically active endeavors. We walk all day; it is the only way to experience Europe’s cities and monuments. Be ready. Read More

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FOOD
Read More

FREE DAYS
Free days are yours, although students are required to stay in the country the program is taking place. You can do as you wish: go to a new museum, visit another town, sleep, or wander the European streets.  We just need to know where you are going, so just make sure the Honors College knows where you are and how to get in touch with you. Read More

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HOUSING WITH FIU
There are slight variations in the Housing Accommodations in each country. Read More

Review the lodging accommodations of the three study abroad programs: Read More about Study Abroad Lodging.

HOUSING IN EUROPE
If you wish to extend your stay in Europe, you have the choice between renting an apartment and staying in a hotel.

If a few of you will travel together in France, Italy, or other European countries, I suggest renting an apartment. If you plan on arriving early in Rome or extending your stay in Venice, I recommend staying in the same locations. I recommend the same thing for arriving early in Madrid or staying longer in Barcelona. 

If you prefer a hotel (better for stays of 1-2 days), there are several affordable, clean option throughout Europe. Read More

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LUGGAGE
It is strongly suggested students travel lightly. Most products are available in Europe.
Read more

MONEY
Thanks to the digital age and the euro, managing your funds has never been easier in Europe. But this is entirely a personal decision – what works for some, may not work for others. Read More

SAFETY
Many students are concerned with safety in Europe. Statistics show that violent crime is far lower in France, Italy, and Spain, especially when compared to Miami and US. Read More

SCHOLARSHIPS
Every year individual students earn scholarships to study abroad. The earning of the scholarships is a result of personal research, ambition, and dedication. Read more

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TECHNOLOGY
Electricity in Europe operates on 220 volts (110 in USA). Most US devices (from phones to cameras) are designed to accept either charge (check with manufacturer). But the shape of the plugs in Europe are different. You may or may not need a converter (I don’t for my Apple devices), but you will definitely need an adapter. Or you can simply purchase a European charger. Read More

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TRANSPORTATION
One of the most dramatic differences between living in Miami and European cities is the use of public transportation. You will not be in a car for a month.  Europeans almost universally use metros and busses.
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TRAVEL IN EUROPE
Traveling within Europe is very easy.  I suggest, when convenient, to take the train. Train stations are generally in the center of cities: airports are in suburbs. For trains, you only need to be at the station 30 min prior to departure; flights require 2 hours. Read More

AUTHOR(S) AND LAST UPDATE
Stephanie Sepúlveda & John William Bailly  15 February 2019
COPYRIGHT © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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