Most MIT global programs have orientations to prepare you for your trip, but it never hurts to think ahead.
Do these 6 things and you’ll be ready for some serious adventure.
- Apply for a passport. You don’t need to wait until you have a specific destination. U.S. passports are valid for 10 years and the application process can take months. For instructions visit the U.S. Department of State website.
- Do some research on your potential travel locations. Wikipedia is an alright starting point, but the U.S. Dept. of State website is better. Learn more about the culture, currency exchange, local transportation, risks, and sights to see. Talk to someone who has been there or is from the area if you can.
- Research visa needs for countries you plan or want to visit. Visa applications can take a while, but some visas are only valid for a short window of time. Since this can make for sticky timing, it’s good to know this in advance.
- Figure out your housing. The MIT Housing Office will help you cancel your housing for while you’re away, and secure housing for when you get back.
- Meet with your financial aid counselor. Talk to someone from Financial Aid and Student Financial Services about how your plans affect any aid you may have – and how to apply it to your travel, if possible.
- Review our Health and Safety tips and advice. Where would you go if you got sick abroad? What would you do if you lost your passport? Or a major storm hits your region? Or the political situation deteriorates suddenly? In every case, MIT is still here to help you. Educate yourself about what to do and who to call on if things don’t go according to plan.