Travel Tips for Students Abroad

Written by Jacob June 8, 2015

After three weekends of traveling I am still far from an expert on getting around Italy, but I have found some things useful that I’ll share for any future CIMBA students looking for advice when they come to study in Paderno del Grappa.

Travel Tip #1

Download the app “City Maps 2 Go” made by Ulmon. This app allows you to download a city map and save it to your phone for later reference. The app also allows the option to download city guides which include brochure like information on various attractions and popular places in the city. Perhaps the best thing about the app is that you can use it for directions without using your cell phone service. You can locate yourself on the app and watch it follow your movements as you make your way from the train station to your hostel or from the Statue of David to the Piazzale Michaelangelo in Florence. My only caution with the app is not to become dependent on it. You’ll find that wandering around lost in a city you don’t know leads you to come across things you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

Travel Tip #2

Plan ahead! As best as you can it’s important to plan ahead before you travel on weekends. Train rates, hotel/hostel costs, airfare and pretty much anything else you can pay for or book in advance is cheaper the further out you can book it.  Planning ahead will help you to see and do everything you want to.  Don’t forget to budget in time to do things you didn’t know about. While you can also have some fun showing up somewhere with no plans, from my experience this is somewhat stressful and isn’t as economical as planning ahead.

Travel Tip #3

Talk to the students and staff at CIMBA about what they did when they visited your destination. The staff are a great resource and very helpful in giving you answers to questions regarding best routes and method of travel as well as fun things to do in each city. Also chances are that after your first weekend, somebody will have gone to your next destination already. Find out what they enjoyed doing and what they could have done without. Nobody’s an expert and nobody wants to see all the exact same things so also be sure to look online to help determine your plans. I’ve also found it helpful asking local people or other tourists about things they’ve seen or done while I’m in another city. Often times the locals will know about special events or have certain tips most other travelers wouldn’t be able to offer you.

Travel Tip # 4

Don’t make your travel decisions lightly. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post we spend a good amount of time in class on meaningful lessons. One of the most important lessons has been on decision analysis in international accounting. Dr. Shaftel had us apply his method to choose our destinations for our time in Italy. This forced us to consider all of our reasons for wanting to go certain places and his method has definitely helped reinforce my decisions for travel. Consider the reasons you chose to study abroad and the reason you’re looking to travel on the weekend. Then compare those reasons to what the destinations have to offer and the best matches will be where you should visit. You’ll only have a limited time in Europe and to get absolutely everything you want accomplished unfortunately isn’t always a possibility. Be intentional in your decisions and the reasons behind them!

I hope these tips are helpful and safe travels!

– Jake