Q: Where can I buy the ISIC?
A: You can buy it (bring 2 small ID pictures) at the MTSU Study Abroad Office (898-5179)
Q: What does the ISIC provide to me?
A: Limited trip cancellation insurance and health insurance, discounts on admission to many attractions including museums, discounts shopping and meals at many restaurants.
Q: How much of the program is pre-paid and how much should I bring to cover other costs?
A: The program cost estimate does not include several possible expenses that you may incur while traveling in Europe. Meals in addition to the main daily meal provided, souvenirs, and other miscellaneous items that you may wish to purchase will have to be paid for directly as an individual, either in euros or in American dollars. You will need to bring a credit card, a debit card, or Travelers' Cheques to pay for these purchases.
Non-covered meals : I have estimated that a student wishing to purchase additional full service meals (i.e. breakfast or lunch) will need approximately 10€ per day for 11 days. . The estimated amount may seem high, and of course, what you spend will depend on your appetite, but please remember that full-service restaurant meals can be very expensive in Europe. I plan for most of my other meals to be "picnic" style or "take away" from the many small deli's, pubs, and focaccarias along the way.
MTSU tuition and fees: You will need to arrange payment yourself.
Q: Why can't I pay everything at once? I'm a little confused!
While it may appear to be easier to simply make one payment to cover every expense related to the trip each individual participant will have unique situations. For example, someone may have a free ticket available from a frequent flyer program, may be able to find discounted tickets, or may wish to stay longer than the program return date. Regarding meals, individual eating habits and preferences make it difficult (and sometimes unfair) to require everyone to pay for full meal service (3 meals daily) during the program. As an alternative, including one formal meal each day ensures that everyone will eat on a daily basis. Finally, tuition for the academic course must be paid directly to MTSU when required by the registrar and business office.
The result is that there are three types of payments that you will make.
1. fees paid to MTSU to cover the cost of the study abroad program,
2. tuition and fees paid to MTSU related to class registration,
3. expenses paid (in Euros) for personal purchases once we are in Europe.
Q: Can I use my check card or debit card in Europe for these payments or for gifts?
A. Yes! Visa Check Cards are accepted everywhere. You can also use ATM cards from your bank (a small fee will be charged to your account). A Visa credit card (known as Carte Bleue), is accepted everywhere. Although some places take American Express, I've never seen a sign for Discover. The best thing would be to have two different ways to obtain cash , such as a credit or debit/check card, as well as some Travelers' Cheques as a back up.
Q: What if I run out of money before the end of the trip?
A: Each student will give me $200 in Traverlers' Cheques that I will hold as an emergency bank until the last day of the trip. If you haven't needed the money, of course, you'll get it back then. (You can spend it in Rome!)
Q: How soon should I get my passport?
A: As soon as possible!!! Go to a large post office, get the form, and follow the directions. (In Murfreesboro you can also get the form at the Rutherford County Clerk's office.) You will need to have a special passport picture taken. Allow at least 3 months for processing.
Q: Are any visas or special vaccinations needed to travel to Europe?
A: No, just a valid passport.
Q: What about health insurance?
A: The ISIC card provides basic accident/health insurance. Additional coverage may also be purchased from AVI International (www.avi-international.com)
Q. What special things should I bring with me?
A. PACK LIGHT!!! I will not carry suitcases and we will go up and down some stairs! I recommend that you bring a single suitcase/duffle (The smaller the better!) with wheels. You should also bring a small backpack or daypack that can be taken on the plane and then be carried with you on our daily outings.
Plan to bring two weeks supply of any medicines you normally take with the RX label clearly printed on the bottle, comfortable walking and or hiking shoes, and a rain jacket or poncho just in case of rain. Do not bring fancy or formal clothing as we will not be going anywhere that is necessary. In Italy, it is considered inappropriate to enter a cathedral or church wearing shorts or with bare shoulders (tank tops). Temperatures can fluctuate over the course of the day so layers are the best way to go. Don't forget to bring shoes that you can wear in the rain. If rain is encountered (a definite possibility over the course of 13 days) we will continue our activities...be prepared. Further information about appropriate clothing will be provided at pre-trip orientation meetings.
Q. What do I need to bring for class?
A. Although we will not have "formal" class meetings while we travel you will need to bring one or more small spiral notebooks as you will be keeping a journal of your experiences and thoughts as we travel. You will also want to bring a digital camera.
Q. What's the weather like in Europe?
A. No single description will be accurate as we will travel in three distinctly different regions of Europe. The climate of Ireland is influenced primarily by the Atlantic Ocean and as a result is more moderate than many other countries at that latitude. As we travel southward toward Rome the temperatures will moderate even more. We will be traveling in early May and you should expect the typical fluctuations in weather in Europe that you also experience in middle Tennessee.