Studying abroad is something every university student should try and take part in as part of their degree. When I started MUN four years ago, I had my mind made up that it was a must. Now, here I am in my fourth year nearing the end of my degree and I am doing just that, as I embark on a program offered by the Political Science department this fall at Memorial’s Harlow Campus.

However, let’s be honest—before you jump on a plane and head out into the sunset for exciting new adventures abroad, there are things you need to do beforehand. It is not as simple as just booking your ticket and jumping on the plane. Instead, there are some very important things you need to consider first and take care of.

The first thing is to find a program abroad that you’re interested in and most importantly, will count towards your degree. At Memorial, there are several programs though the different departments, ranging from Business to Biology to English to History, that all offer programs at the Harlow Campus on an annual or bi-annual basis. There is also the option of taking part in a program at another university that Memorial has an agreement with. As a Political Science major, I know the department has an agreement with universities in Ireland and Sweden, for example.

You will also want to think about your finances before you go. For example, ensure you have your program fees paid before you. At Harlow or another partner school, you only have to pay the same tuition you pay at Memorial, which is a huge perk to such programs. You’ll also want to contact your bank or credit card company to let them know you are traveling abroad. As well, the obvious, make sure you have enough money to cover all your costs.

Another couple of things to think about before you go is some medical related planning: seeing your doctor to arrange for any refills on medications you might need, contacting MCP to fill out an out of province coverage form, and even check with your health insurance company to make sure you have enough coverage for being abroad. We have all heard horror stories about health issues abroad, and nobody wants that.

Lastly, without sounding like a cliché, you need to enjoy it. Travel as much as you can. As long as you do your research, plan in advance, and watch out for your fellow classmates—you will have a fantastic time!