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OT: Advice for college student going abroad--
Deborah Rogers, Photographer
Bethlehem | PA | USA | Posted: 6:42 PM on 07.05.04
->> Folks:
My daughter will be spending a semester in Italy this fall. While thrilled for her, I am also apprehensive and would appreciate the benefit of your experiences abroad. Any safety tips? She's the joyful face in the thumbnail. I kinda want to keep her that way. Thank you so much.
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Rod Mar, Photographer
Seattle | WA | USA | Posted: 10:30 PM on 07.05.04
->> hmmm....she looks a little young to be traveling by herself. then again, if she's already in college at such a tender age, she's probably pretty bright.

(sorry, couldn't help it)

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Rob Kandel, Student/Intern, Photographer
Jericho | NY | United States | Posted: 10:31 PM on 07.05.04
->> Hey, I just got back from a full semester abroad in Sydney, Australia and I can honestly say it was the greatest experience in my life. I know my parents were also very apprehensive at first but realized how much fun I was having as well as what I was able to experience. All the people I know that have gone abroad have had an amazing time (not to mention great pictures). Safety does not seem too much more of a concern (at least in Australia) than in the US. Being smart = being safe. Hope that can put your mind at ease a bit.
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Matt Zimmerman, Student/Intern, Photographer
Walla Walla | WA | USA | Posted: 10:58 PM on 07.05.04
->> I spent a semester abroad in Botswana, Africa a year ago and had an amazing time. Safety there wasn't quite as common sense as most places in the US but like Rob said, being smart and well informed about things = being safe.
The most benificial thing for me the entire time I was there was keeping an open mind about everything - or at least as much as possible. Very different things will happen and some will be nice and easy to cope with, others more difficult. Well it's common sense keeping an open mind and being open to all kinds of new experiences makes a huge difference. Someone will probably write in about Italy specifically but if you have any more questions or concerns feel free to e-mail me.
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Austin Chow, Student/Intern, Photographer
College Park | MD | USA | Posted: 11:01 PM on 07.05.04
->> I studied for five months in France and spent a week in Italy visiting another friend studying abroad at the American University of Rome. If your daughter acts as security conscious in Italy as she would in a comparable city in the United States, she’ll be just fine. Things like knowing not to use the ATM (side note: ATMs are the best way to get money while abroad) late at night after a night out and keeping track of her possessions on the trains while she’s traveling around the country/continent.

I received some good tips in this thread I started a few months ago:
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Kirk Irwin, Photographer
Boulder | CO | USA | Posted: 11:03 PM on 07.05.04
->> I have to agree with everything Rob said. I spent a full year in Spain, and wouldn't change it for a thing. In fact I would love to go back. Italy is a great place, and she will no doubt have the time of her life. I wouldn't worry to much about saftey issues, myslef, and the othe people I was abroad with, had no issues. Enjoy the pictures and stories she brings back, and use it as an excuse to take a trip to Italy over the fall.
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Deborah Rogers, Photographer
Bethlehem | PA | USA | Posted: 11:03 PM on 07.05.04
->> Rod--Family man that you are, you picked up immediately that, though young, she is quite bright and even comfortable so long as she can take along her favorite Care Bear--.
Rob, it's wonderful to hear of your great time---
I am collecting the names of a few people in different countries she can contact in case of emergency.
Speaking of photos, she also needs a smallish digital. Since selecting that has also become my job, I am leaning toward the zoom cameras like canon 3.2 megapixel S1 IS or the Dimage. Any ideas?? She will be taking a film camera too (egads, a Topcon).
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Matthew Knight, Photographer
Cedar Falls | IA | usa | Posted: 11:24 PM on 07.05.04
->> I spent 5 months in Firenze Italy ( Florence ) During my final year in school. I can safely say it changed my outlook on life. My wife let me go while she stayed with our two children. ( yes everyone she is superwoman) I became aware of the fact that there is a much bigger world out there. Different cultures and customs as well as the fact that people are much the same. I was lucky enough to room with an Italian. This not only let me experience being there it also let me dive right into my language barrier. Some of the people I went with roomed together and I found they didn't really make an attempt to mix it up. It was easier to speak english with and hang out with other Americans. Point is, the experience is what you make of it. I can look back on that time and know that I was enlightened while there. I will be posting some more images from my stay there. ( I try to go back and look at my negs every year to remember)

Also it was said to act accordingly to a corresponding US city. This is so true. When in Rome do as a New Yorker!

One more thing, because she is able to spend so much time overseas she will probably start to she some of the ugly tourists who are disrespectful of the places they visit. I know I did and it made me sick.

tell her good luck and have fun.
email if you have any questions
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Adam Cairns, Photographer
Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 1:06 AM on 07.06.04
->> If she doesn't have a laptop with her or the correct types of computers where she's studying, film is a much better way to go. If she goes digital, she'll fill up a memory card in no time (not to mention how she'll charge the thing) and then what? You'd better check to see if she'll be able to burn CD's and that she has the right adapters. I studied in London for a semester just a couple years ago, and I had a hard time dealing with digital photos. The computers at the school I was at were nothing like what we are used to in the states (eek, Windows 3.1!). The internet cafes can get expensive if you're in there for a long time. Her film camera will be a lot less for her to worry about.

As far as any European tips... tell her to try to become one with the culture of where she's living. As the saying goes "when in Rome..." Common sense goes a long way too. You can never be too cautious. Thieves are rampant in Rome, so she should keep money and belongings as discreet as possible.

I'm jealous. She's going to have an amazing time.
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Jock Fistick, Photographer
Brussels | Belgium | | Posted: 4:24 AM on 07.06.04
->> Deborah: All the advice you have received here is good. I have been living in Europe for the past 4 1/2 years and feel much safer here than in most medium to large cities in the U.S. Nuisance crime is common in large cities everywhere so you have to do your best to protect against it - but since there are very few guns in circulation - usually the worst that will happen is that you will have a purse or back pack snatched as there is far less violent crime here compared to the U.S. And considering the current political climate where America is not at the peak of it's popularity - I have NEVER had some one dismiss me or diss me because of my nationality - Europeans in general will judge you on who you are - your character - not on where you come from or what kind of clothes you wear or the car you drive - which has been a refreshing change. Now if I ran around waving the flag or trumpeting George W. as the greatest leader the free world has ever known - then I might receive a different response from my European friends :-) Someone else here mentioned it - and unfortunately I've seen my share of ugly American tourists - people who get upset because things aren't the way they are at home - (kind of the point of traveling isn't it?) It is embarrassing behavior and should be avoided. :-)

So, using common sense when moving about and keeping a low profile will go a long way to having a pleasant experience while abroad. Your daughter will have a great time!!!
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Deborah Rogers, Photographer
Bethlehem | PA | USA | Posted: 7:19 AM on 07.06.04
->> What an amazing community this is! Thanks to Rod, Eob, Matt, Austin, Kirk, Matthew (and his amazing wife), Adam, Jock, and those who have just e-mailed your insights and advice. It sounds as if you all have had a wonderful life-altering, eye-opening, world-view experiences and Rachel is in for the roller coaster ride of a life-time.
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Thad Parsons, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 10:57 AM on 07.06.04
->> Deborah,

I am about to go overseas myself to study (Grad school here I come!). But on my trips to visit, I tried to do one thing that helped a lot - try to not look like tourist. Get your daughter in touch with someone that lives where she is going and find out the little things that will help her blend in.

But most of all ... have fun!
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Josie Liming, Photographer
Abilene | TX | USA | Posted: 3:49 PM on 07.06.04
->> some tips for your daughter's Italy trip. The bread on the table at restarants is not free(like in the states), if you want plain water be sure to order non effervescent, and be sure to eat a lot of gelatto! She'll have a great time. She may want to look into getting a Lonely Planet Phrasebook. It came in very useful during my three weeks there.
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Walter Calahan, Photographer
Silver Spring | MD | USA | Posted: 4:02 PM on 07.06.04
->> My wife studied in Italy for a month back in 1998. Of course I volunteered to be her driver so went along for the adventure. No better coffee or ice cream in the world. 2 hours lunches and 3 1/2 hours dinners were great too.

Your daughter will have a great time in Italy!

I too studied over seas as an undergrad. 6 months in London, England is my best memory of Syracuse NY.

Now my brother went to grad school at the London School of Economics were he studied Greek, not the language, the country 'cause he took all his vacations there.

The secret is blending in. Don't hang out all the time with Americans.

Your daughter is going to have the time of her life.
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Sarah Phipps, Photographer
Edmond | OK | USA | Posted: 8:43 PM on 07.06.04
->> Apply for an international student Id card. I am not for sure where to apply for them at, but I had one when I studied in London and it saved me tons of money.
Get a Eurorail pass to travel on the trains during breaks.
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Adam Cairns, Photographer
Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 10:04 PM on 07.06.04
->> Adding to Sarah's post... It's not possible to have too much identification. She can get the ISIC student ID cards from the Study Abroad office at her school here in the states. It's good for reduced admission to museums, shows and even train tickets. Here's the link to the official site:
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Deborah Rogers, Photographer
Bethlehem | PA | USA | Posted: 7:26 AM on 07.07.04
->> Down to the logistics...will check out the train pass and the international student ID today. Thanks. Nice to know the ID card saves $$$ so more goes to food and gelatto. Oh yeah, and wine.
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Juerg Schreiter, Photographer
Fort Lauderdale | FL | USA | Posted: 8:10 AM on 07.07.04
->> Deb, what age is your daughter ?
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Deborah Rogers, Photographer
Bethlehem | PA | USA | Posted: 4:07 PM on 07.07.04
->> Juerg--

Rachel is almost 20.
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Andrea Ranalli, Photographer
Rome | RM | Italy | Posted: 4:57 PM on 07.07.04
->> I Deborah, I think to be the only one Italian photographer on SportsShooter :-)
I live in in Rome, and I have to say that Rome is not a dangerous City, you just have to be careful like in any other big city in the world.
Where your daughter will go to study? If you need some information do not esitate to email me.

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Thread Title: OT: Advice for college student going abroad--
Thread Started By: deborah rogers
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