Many programs have planned excursions and activities that may be considered mandatory. Plan to participate in these excursions. It is also possible for your program to have some free days, especially on the weekends. Each time you spend the night outside of your program's provided housing, make sure to fill out the non-program travel form and notify your on-site staff, the faculty leader, and/or your host family (if applicable). Share your travel dates and itinerary. You may also want to inform your family at home to avoid any unwanted worries, and to ensure that several people know where you are when you travel independently.
When traveling independently, you will likely use public transportation such as buses, trains, metros, and taxis. However, there are various safety tips that you should keep in mind. For example, be careful not to display money, jewelry, or other valuable items while traveling. You could also wear a money belt and keep it close where you can see it at all times in order to avoid pickpockets.
During travel, avoid train or metro cars that are empty. Upon boarding, locate the emergency equipment, and if someone is bothering you, inform the train or bus operator. Try to stay awake and alert during your travels so you do not miss your destination and avoid unwanted attention and confrontations.
Be careful when planning vacations over holidays. Check online for calendars that outline national holidays. Some, if not all, monuments and places of interest may be closed on major national holidays.
Storage of Belongings
You are responsible for the storage of luggage. If you plan to arrive early or stay a few days after the program end date, you should not expect to have access to early housing or luggage storage. Housing arranged by on-site staff begins on the first day of the program (arrival date) and ends on the last day of the program (departure date).