Pre - Departure Information

Pre-departure orientation sessions are organized for students on their way to the foreign destinations following receipt of their student visas. These Sessions give students a taste of what life is like in the foreign, both academically and culturally.

- If you have been admitted to a program of study in a Foreign college, you should bring with you any syallabi, catalogs, bulletins, course descriptions or other relevant materials issued by the secondary school or university you have attended most recently."

- "When travelling abroad, it is important to carry all important documents on your person. Do not put them in a suitcase. Do not loan or give them to anyone unless that person can show you some form of identification that he/she is authorized to receive them."

- "Keep in mind that it may take several weeks to have funds transferred from your bank at home to a bank in the foreign- even with a Demand Draft".

- "Host Family Programs pair a foreign family with a foreign student for the purpose of friendship and culture sharing. They provide for student visits to a family home for meals, esp. During occasions like Thanksgiving or Christmas.

- "For festive occasions, bring a traditional dress and accessories from your country. You may also want to bring any musical instruments you play, pictures of your home, recordings of traditional music and examples of arts and crafts of your country."

- Carry some books on Palestinian Culture and religion. Be prepared to answer questions, often in depth, say on your religion.

- Palestinians tend to stick together when in foreign shores. While this is helpful in getting used to a new place, you tend to lose out on learning about new cultures and countries. Try to make friends from other countries too.

- British Airways usually allows students to carry an extra piece of luggage, over and above the mandatory 2 suitcases and a handbag. If you haven't already chosen your airline, go for BA.

- Keep your identification on all your luggage, inside and outside. Missing luggage isn't as rare as you expect it to be. For this reason, it also helps if you keep all important papers and cash in your handbag only, not in the suitcases.

- Don't carry $100 bills. People do not usually have change for a 100 in cabs and most shops. It is preferable to carry $10, $20 notes instead. Also do not carry more than $200 in cash if you can help it. Use a credit card, ATM card or travellers cheques. Less chance of loss or robbery this way.

- Even an international demand draft usually takes about 2 - 4 weeks to get cashed. Carry enough money with you to last you for the first month or so.

- Get an International Driving Permit if possible. It is needed to get a driver's license in foreign . A driver's license is an important identification card in abroad, right after your passport. Since you do not want to carry your passport everywhere, it makes sense to get a license. You will need one for cashing a cheque, even issuing one, for renting a car or a house, in fact for most transactions. If you do not know driving, you can even ask the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue a non-driving license to you, used only as an ID card.

- Learn to ride a bicycle in case you do not already know it. Students on most campuses ride bicycles - they're cheaper and healthier than cars. An old bike costs about $50 - 60, while a new one will set you back by $90 or more.

- Keep a day's change of clothes in your handbag. This way, if the airline screws up real bad and loses all your luggage, you will not have to buy clothes immediately.