Pre-Departure Information

Airline requirements

Each airline has their own requirements for the size/weight limits and fees for luggage. Please, check with your airline operator what is your allowance before packing your stuff, because overweight fees are usually very expensive. In the case if you are using more than one airlines, please, make sure to check both. The luggage allowance for the international flights is usually higher than in the flights within the country. Note, budget airlines, such as Ryan Air and Easy Jet are incredibly strict about luggage allowance and will charge even if your luggage is slightly overweight.

Luggage Delays

Some of the traveller’s face luggage delays. It can take about 24-72 hours to get you luggage back. Therefore, to avoid inconvenience, please, put the following items into your carry-on bag:

  • extra clothes
  • essential personal items (toiletries, medicine, etc.)
  • phone charger
  • your local address abroad
  • last minute check list

Shipping Packages abroad

We don't recommend you mail packages abroad, unless it is not something urgent, as it is very expensive, because you will be required to pay a custom. If you decided to send something, you will be asked to provide following information:

  • Complete customs form and declare the value of your parcel (The higher the declare value the higher the tax will be.) 
  • There are some of the fastest and most reliable companies we would recommend you: DHL, FedEx, UPS.
  • Note, you are responsible for all your packages.  Neither Student Semester, your host family, accommodation or your university will accept packages for you to pay if you absent. Items will be just shipped back and that will be your responsibility.

Money & Budgeting

Debit card

Multicurrency debit cards (pay as you go): If you are travel abroad your parents can top up your account online. In the case if you lose it, you can call up the supplier and they can cancel it. You can get one in the USA, you can obtain one at the airport when you arrive to France or Student Semester can take you to Travelex office, when you arrive to France). 

NotePlan your money and budget ahead (Many students face a problem of overspending in the first weeks). We would recommend you open a checking account with the U.S Bank at least 3 weeks before departure.

How to get cash abroad?

We would not recommend you use your U.S. Card. Withdrawals with your ATM card will provide you with high exchange rate, then U.S. Cash or checks. Please, note many banks in France charge 3% foreign transaction fee on debit/credit purchases. 

We would recommend you use Western Union if your parents want to send you cash from the U.S. You can receive money in any currency. In many occasions, the exchange rate for U.S. Dollars may be very favourable.  

IMPORTANT:

  • Please, notify your bank that you will be using you card abroad. In the case you do not do that, they may consider your transaction abroad a fraud and will cancel your payments and block the card.
  • Buy some euros in cash (approximately 50 Euros) before your travel, so you will have some cash in hand in the case of any accidents.
  • Students are required to bring with them both an ATM and credit cards (they may be needed in the case of emergency).

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