Before You Go
BANK AND CREDIT CARD REMINDER
If you haven’t already done so, contact your bank and credit card companies to let them know that you will be abroad. Also, if the pin number for a debit card you will be using abroad is longer than 4 digits, be sure to change it to one that is just 4 digits long before you leave. You should also ask your bank and credit card companies about any international transaction fees or affiliated banks.
It is also a good idea to make copies of the front and back sides of your important bank cards in case they get lost or stolen. Leave these copies at home with a family member. You should also have copies of your passport and visa that you bring along and a set that you leave with your other important copies.
CHECKLIST FOR YOUR CARRY-ON BAG
1. Your passport.
2. Your airline ticket/e-ticket confirmation.
3. The contact information for the program office and your housing information. If you encounter any significant travel delays, you will need to notify the program staff. If your baggage is lost, you will need to provide an address for delivery. The address of the BU Paris Academic Center is 3bis rue Jean Pierre-Bloch, 75015 Paris, France. Remember that upon arrival you should report directly to your housing in Paris; homestays will be expecting students to arrive within two hours of when their plane lands.
4. Team Assist contact info. As you know, all students participating in our programs will automatically be enrolled in a plan which includes emergency travel assistance coverage. This coverage is provided by Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and Team Assist. If you require assistance, your ID number is the CISI policy number: GLM N0498321A. You will need to reference this along with the name of the group (Boston University), your name and birth date when contacting them.
Team Assist Contact
1-855-327-1411 (toll free from the US)
1-312-935-1703 (from abroad)
5. Some cash in the local currency (Euros). We recommend that you bring $100-200 worth of the local currency with you for expenses you may have before you can easily access a bank.
6. Bank card and/or credit card(s). We recommend that you have more than one means of accessing funds while abroad, such as bringing an ATM card as well as a credit card that allows you to make cash withdrawals, for emergencies or in case something happens to your ATM card.
7. Prescriptions to last the duration of your time in Paris. It is also recommended that you bring a typewritten, generic prescription for your medication should you need to have it refilled.
8. Homestay gift (if applicable). While not obligatory, it is a nice tradition to bring a memento for your French hosts, often something that may represent where you are from.
FLIGHT & TRAVEL REMINDERS
Leave plenty of time to check in at the airport (3 hours). If you run into any problems at the airport and booked your flight through Advantage Travel, you can contact them at 1-800-788-1980.
Do yourself a favor and pack as light as possible. You should not bring more luggage than you can handle on your own. If you have any questions about baggage weight and size regulations, you should check directly with the airline(s)—for your domestic (if applicable) and international flights. For a refresher on what you can and cannot bring in your carry-on, and how to pack items, please go to www.tsa.gov.
STATE DEPARTMENT REGISTRATION
We recommend that all students carrying US passports register with the US State Department through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for their time abroad. With this registration you will receive safety and security updates regarding your host country, as well as better assistance in case of a lost passport or other emergency. Registration and other useful information can be found at http://studentsabroad.state.gov/.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
For more information about general health and safety precautions while abroad, please also visit the Health and Safety section of the BUSA website: http://www.bu.edu/abroad/apply-go/health-and-safety/.
TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL SEMESTER ABROAD
Students are encouraged to read the blog post “Study Abroad: 10 Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them” from gooverseas.com, to help you also prepare mentally for making the most of the challenging and exciting study abroad experience that awaits you in Paris!