Tips while studying abroad in Europe


I am studying abroad for fall 2012 in Switzerland and it is an amazing experience. I would recommend going abroad if you can. I am assuming if you are reading this you have already decided to go abroad or want to travel. Since I was in Switzerland my post will apply more to those studying abroad in Europe.  While you are in Europe I am sure you will want to travel around everywhere so here are some tips.

Even if you are not traveling abroad you should consider signing up for student universe (it’s free). It gives you student discounts on air, hotel, and activities. For my flight back home to the US I paid 1/3 of what the airfare was on the company website. It is a significantly good discount sometimes, but not always so make sure to compare rates! Just make sure you give them enough time to contact your school to verify you are actually enrolled (your first booking only).  Airlines that have the best rates:

  • Student Universe (for both International and within Europe)
  • Easyjet (Buy in advanced 1-3 months)
  • Ryanair
  • British Airways
  • Luftansa

Train Passes: If you will be going to stay a semester or year in Europe you should look into the train passes in your area. Switzerland has a half-fare card (so you pay half fare for every purchase in Switzerland), as well as a 7 card, which means any travel before 7 am and after 7 PM is free. If you’re in Europe there are multiple types of passes. Multi-country as well as single country passes. Also if you do not plan on traveling that much many trains have a youth discount on tickets anyway (make sure when you are looking for tickets on their websites to do advanced search and put in your age). Where to stay: Hostels are a must in Europe; it saves you a lot of money because they are a cheap way to travel. They aren’t as scary as you would think if you find the right places. I personally like St. Christopher’s Inn Hostel chain (rated very highly), but there is also hostel world that allows you to look at reviews. The thing to remember with hostels is to make sure you look at the terms. Some do not have 24-hour service or free Wi-Fi, others do not provide a towel (but may for a cost), or require you have a lock for your locker (where you store your luggage). I hope this post helped you with some general and basic tips to traveling in Europe. Enjoy your time traveling!

Michelle Lewis, Chapman University
*Michelle Lewis is from Danville, CA and currently studying Peace Studies, Environmental Science and Sociology at Chapman University. 

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