Travel Handbook

Preparing to travel

This page contains advice on packing and electrical adapters/converters. Plus, find out what to do if your trip requires you to miss class.

Missing class

You may be required to miss one day of class if your trip departs on a Friday or gets back on a Monday. In this case, The Media School can generate an excuse letter and send it directly to the instructor of your missed class(es).

You must request your letter at least 10 days before your departure.

Request an excuse letter

It is your responsibility to communicate your absence in advance to your professor and arrange to complete any missed assignments. It is within the professor’s discretion whether to approve your absence, so it is in your interest to communicate clearly and early.

How to pack

Airlines' luggage restrictions vary, and they may be dependent on our group contract. You will be permitted a carry-on suitcase and a personal item, and in some cases, you may be allowed a checked bag. The student services program coordinator will communicate these specifics to you.

Pack as light as possible. Students often regret packing too much. Try carrying your luggage up a flight of stairs on your own and decide if you really need everything you packed. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage throughout the duration of your trip. Your luggage should fit inside the trunk of a small taxi. Avoid overpacking so that your bags can be easily opened and closed at security checkpoints.

Before you leave, start to follow the local weather and research seasonal temperatures and precipitation. Consider bringing a rain jacket and comfortable walking shoes.

Bring clothes you can mix and match. Consult your professor for specific dress code requirements.

Your program leader will let you know if a laptop or camera is necessary for your coursework abroad.

And don't forget to leave room for the souvenirs you will want to bring home with you. 

Be careful which items you put in your checked bag. Always carry the following onto the plane with you:

  • Passport and other documents you’ll need to present to border agents
  • Medications in properly labeled containers with your name clearly displayed
  • Keys
  • Empty refillable water bottle
  • Change of clothes and toothbrush in case your luggage is delayed or lost
  • Portable charger and plug adapter for devices to communicate with friends and family once you arrive
  • Valuables, including electronics
  • Any electronics with a lithium-ion battery, as well as spare lithium-ion batteries (most airlines do not allow these to be checked)

Check the Transportation Security Administration's "What Can I Bring?" page for information on restricted and prohibited items, including liquids.

Voltage and adapters

Many countries' electrical grids operate at a different voltage level than the U.S., and electrical sockets are often a different shape, which means you may need a converter and/or adapter to use electrical devices from the U.S.

An adapter enables you to plug in a device with an electrical plug that is a different shape than the socket. A converter changes the voltage of the electricity going into the device.

This online guide to electrical sockets around the world can help you determine what adapter you need.

You may or may not need a converter. Check the devices you're bringing. If it says "110-240V," it is dual voltage and does not need a converter. In that case, using a converter might actually damage your device.


Contact Eliza Erxleben, director of student services.