Traveling Internationally

AuthorTopic: Traveling Internationally
Infiltrator
Member # 3040
Profile #0
The day after tomorrow, I will travel to Budapest to study math. I will be there for four months. I have never yet traveled to another country without one of my parents. I mostly feel like I'm ready, but every so often I'll have a small feeling of anxiety, that I will have somehow forgotten something or will be unprepared in some way.

Have you traveled abroad on your own before? Either as a student or otherwise? What did you wish you had been told beforehand, and what were you told that was helpful?

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Posts: 508 | Registered: Thursday, May 29 2003 07:00
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #1
What, they don't have math in NY?

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 3441
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Yeah, but Romanian mathematicians are in a league of their own.

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BoaEdit
Posts: 536 | Registered: Sunday, September 7 2003 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 3040
Profile #3
quote:
Originally written by WiKiSpidweb:

Yeah, but Romanian mathematicians are in a league of their own.
I guess it's too bad I'm not going to Bucharest.

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Posts: 508 | Registered: Thursday, May 29 2003 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 8057
Profile #4
Good for you wz As and good luck!

You really shouldn't let anxiety about thinking you've forgotten something worry you, it's pretty natural. One way to beat such anxiety follows the most important piece of travel advice I've been given (repeatedly) and which I've ignore and regretted and so become a convert: TRAVEL LIGHT.

If you aren't carrying more than a change of clothes, your tickets, passport and wallets and a good book, there's not much for you to have forgotten and worry about. Especially if you're going somewhere for a while there's a tendency to overpack, and bring a heap of junk 'just in case'. Don't do it! It's a chore dragging it around and gives you less room to carry souvenirs and booty on your return leg.

When packing, it may help to assume, in Avernum tems, that you have 2 Strength (although don't let this allow you to think that 50lbs will leave you 'unencumbered') - for every thing you pack, ask yourself Do I need this? Can I do without? Can I not just get a replacement at the other end?

On the other hand, if you absolutely must have say A1 Steak Sauce with every meal, then it's probably best to bring along a case, as you mightn't find it where you're going.

Anyhow, that gnawing feeling in your stomach is the anticipation of what will be a great adventure for you, and an unforgettable experience. I believe Budapest is a wonderful city - my brother and his girlfriend spent Christmas there last year - and personally I love former Soviet countries (hmm, maybe there's something in the Avernum game's with a similar downbeat appeal?). I was bit very much by the travelling bug after high school, and happen today to be on my last day of work after 9 months in Mongolia, starting to get all those 'Have I forgotten something?' feelings before leaving my apartment here and heading back home. All part of the fun - Safe journey, and all the best!
Posts: 5 | Registered: Sunday, February 11 2007 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #5
quote:
Originally written by WiKiSpidweb:

Yeah, but Romanian mathematicians are in a league of their own.
More like Hungarian amirite?

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Master
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Profile Homepage #6
Oh, Budapest is a wondefull town. I have been there a year ago or so.

To answer your question: I have been plenty of times in an other country without my parents. In these acses, though, I was with friends and schoolmates, so I don't know if that really counts. I understand that anxiety, but it's much like Maudrin said, so don't worry to much.

Have a pleasant flight!

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Posts: 3029 | Registered: Saturday, June 18 2005 07:00
Guardian
Member # 2476
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You'll love your stay. This is a very beautiful old city with a very active modern night-life, so beware. ;)
Did you know that Budapest's metro is the oldest in continental europe? And it's just three hours by train to Vienna.

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Posts: 1828 | Registered: Saturday, January 11 2003 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 8057
Profile #8
I suppose you might come across a situation where some kind of bribe or 'gratuity' is expected from an official, but I wouldn't worry yourself with trying to find out when that would be - as with pretty much any country anywhere, you can generally assume that if you aren't breaking the law, you're not going to have any trouble with the law. The main exceptions to this are - 1) motoring in countries where bribery is rife - traffic cops are usually the worst (as they are anywhere) and 2) getting drunk, when you're much more likely to be a target of opportunistic police as well as criminals. Finally, supposing you were in a situation where the 'done thing' is to give a bribe, don't worry about needing to do it in a subtle way - the Police officer in question will come right out and tell you how much money they want - there won't be situations where you slip a bill into your driver's license or something.

It does make a lot of sense to be careful with where you keep your money, about what's going on about you and to be somewhat wary of the motives of people you meet - but it's foolish to extend that to a general paranoia or fear that everyone's trying to rip you off.

- Oh, one piece of advice applicable to the old soviet world: drink the vodka by all means, but if so, stay off the beer! Mixing it's a killer!
Posts: 5 | Registered: Sunday, February 11 2007 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 3040
Profile #9
Thanks for the advice so far, especially Maudrin and ef! Traveling light is definitely a good idea, especially as the apartments the program sets us up with are apparently furnished with sheets/towels/kitchen utensils/etc.

And ef, it didn't even occur to me to look up the bribing thing, but now that you mention it that sounds like a great idea.

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Posts: 508 | Registered: Thursday, May 29 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #10
Enjoy the trip, wz!

Being someone who's never really traveled abroad, I can't give much in the way of really pertinent advice, but I'll second the idea of packing light. Knowing that you have the basics makes you less likely to worry, in my opinion.

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Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
By Committee
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Profile #11
I've travelled quite a bit, studied abroad in Rome for a semester, and worked for two years as a study abroad program coordinator.

My advice: pack for the trip, and then take out half of what you packed. I promise you'll be able to do without it, you won't miss it, and it'll be that much easier to carry. Always wear your wallet in your front pocket, and walk around with your hands in your pockets! Pickpockets can't get what you have your hands on. On the same note, if you're walking around in public, especially touristy areas, it's helpful to have a scowl on your face - thieves tend to go for people who look like victims, so if you look a little pissed off and wary, then they'll leave you alone. Finally, if you have a significant other, be prepared for the relationship not to survive the trip. Love is great and all, but studying abroad is definitely a growing experience, and you'll likely find you're in a different place in your life, so to speak, when you get back.

That all said, have a great, great time! Don't be afraid to embrace the chance to try new foods, meet new people, and see new things. I envy you. :)
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 3040
Profile #12
Drew, your advice sounds very useful. I'm already packing light, and growing up in New York has fine-tuned my street scowl. As for the relationship, it ended several months ago when she went abroad. I've also already decided on using the ATM card for cash.

The passport-copying, however, had not occurred to me (though it probably should have), and I just went and made several copies before writing this reply. So, Thanks Very Much!

I leave tomorrow, and I think I'm ready.

(p.s. lots of posts! milestone thread soon...)

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Posts: 508 | Registered: Thursday, May 29 2003 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 7298
Profile #13
be careful about useing the atm though. Make sure their is one near where you will be moving too.

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Posts: 479 | Registered: Wednesday, July 12 2006 07:00