As you’re getting ready to study abroad it can seem like there is a ton of information you need to keep track of and if you don’t have one piece of the information then they’re not going to let you into the country or something else horrible is going to happen. To keep track of all of the information when I was studying abroad I decided to create a Google Drive folder that I could upload everything to. This way everything was in one place and I would be able to access everything no matter where I was as long as there was a computer. This provided extra assurance in case I were to lose my laptop or something and couldn’t access the documents on it. An extra bonus of it being a Google Drive folder is that I was able to share any of the documents with my family so they could stay in the loop on everything. I thought this system proved to be really helpful so I thought I would share with you guys eight things I recommend including in your own Google Drive folder. Below you can find the eight things in pink along with an important information google doc template at the end.
Probably the most important thing that you pack when you study abroad is your passport. It lets you into the country you’re studying abroad in, serves as your main form of identification, and lets you travel around. Since it’s so important there is always the fear you’re going to lose it, so just in case include a scan of your passport in your folder.
Program Acceptance Letter
This is one of those things you just never know when you’re going to need it. For example, which I was abroad my school’s financial aid office asked for a copy and so it was great to already have the scan of it in my Google drive and could just send it over to them.
Credit Cards Scan
Scan both sides of all your credit cards you are bringing with you. This way you have the numbers for them and contact information for the companies. If you happen to lose your wallet while abroad you’re going to be thankful you did this because then you have all of the information you need to call and let them know to deactivate your cards.
This one isn’t super necessary, but it can’t hurt to have a scan of it since it’s another form of identification and proof of age.
If you need a Visa to study abroad, make sure to include a scan of it in your folder since it’s pretty important. If you’re like me and instead have to get a residence permit after you arrive make sure to include all of the documents you need for it in your folder because it’ll be a hassle trying to get your parents to email scans of the things you need if something happens to the paper copies you brought with. Once you get your residence permit you can include a scan of it in your folder as well.
I got a bunch of information about my program before I went and while I read through most of it when I first got it, I had to look back at it a few times when I had questions. Since most of it comes in pdf format anyway, I recommend adding the important stuff to your folder so you can refer to it when you need to and know exactly where to find it.
Health Insurance Details
My study abroad coordinator probably told us a million times how important it was for us to know our health insurance information and how to use it. While I never had to use it, after being in a country where I don’t speak the native language I understand how if I was sick it would have been a mess trying to find a doctor if I didn’t know how my insurance worked. I recommend adding everything about your health insurance to the folder, and definitely make sure you have the phone number you should call with questions about your insurance.
Important Information Google Doc
Basically put down everything else that is important but doesn’t have it’s own document into a Google Document. I recommend details about your study abroad school, contact information for your program coordinator, your housing information, flight information, and contact information for your friends and family. I created a Google Doc template that has all of the information so you can just fill in all of the blanks and then add anything else you see fit. You can access the template here or by entering your email in the form at the end of this post.
P.S. If you’re looking for more study abroad tips and advice make sure to check out my study abroad page