Posts Tagged 'Rome'

Find Great Discounts Abroad

With exchange rates fluctuating daily there is no way to gauge how much you’ll spend while traveling abroad. This is why it’s important to take advantage of every discount opportunity. That International Student ID Card might really come in handy. In some places you’ll also find city specific discount books or coupons to help you explore museums, zoos, cathedrals, and other important sites. Before purchasing any discount cards, research a little to guarantee you’re getting a good deal. Here are a few to consider.


The I amsterdam Card provides a public transport ticket (GVB public transport system), a pocket guide, and dozens of free and discounted offers at major attractions and restaurants. The card is valid for 24, 48, or 72 hours and starts at €38. Your I amsterdam Card and Transport Ticket will automatically validate the moment each is stamped and/or after your first use. The I amsterdam Card is available at most Amsterdam Tourist Offices or can be purchased on-line.


Get a View From the Top in Brugge!

Get a View From the Top in Brugge!

Discover one of Belgium’s most beautiful cities- Brugge – at half the price!  The Brugge City Card offers discounts or free admission to practically every place in the city. Check out the Chocolate Museum, Belgium Fries Museum, or take a Canal Ride (closed during the winter). Want a breathtaking view of this medieval town? Hike the 366 stairs to the top of the Belfry Tower for an unforgettable experience.


If you’re under 26 years of age, you can explore any museum in Florence for an entire year, for €40. Adults over 26 can purchase a coupon card for €60. You’ll have free membership to such places as: The Uffizi Gallery, L’Accademia Gallery, Pitti Palace (Palatina Gallery & Royal Apartments), Bargello Museum and Medici Chapels (San Lorenzo) to name a few. You’ll also find discounts for other events, restaurants, and exhibitions around Florence. If you’re going to Venice, check out these coupon passes. Although most places in Rome are free to visit, the Coliseum and the Roman Forum are not. Make sure you pick up a combo package before paying full price.


The Sky is the Limit When You Find a Great Deal

The Sky is the Limit When You Find a Great Deal

Want to travel around Ireland? Look into a Local Discounts Card or the Emerald Discounts Card. These cards provide a minimum of 10% savings on hotels, restaurants, shopping purchases, transportation (including buses, trains, ferries and rental cars), golf fees, museum entrances and more. Each card costs €10 for a one-year membership.


Antsy to explore Japan? Then pick up a Grutt Pass (gurutto pasu in Japanese). The pass offers free admission to such places as the Ueno Zoo and the Tokyo Sea Life Park. The card is a great find if you live in Tokyo or plan to visit several museums, restaurants, and art galleries in the area. For some of the more expensive sites, like the Mori Art Museum in the Mori Tower, you’ll get discounts off admission. Here is a full list of places where you can use the Grutt Pass. The pass is good for 2 months.

National Emergency Can Strengthen a Study Abroad Experience

You’re sound asleep in your dorm room, hotel,  apartment, or  home stay.  Suddenly you’re jolted awake. What time is it? No, you didn’t oversleep-  It’s only three o’clock in the morning. What just happened?  Little do you know a massive earthquake has just struck in a nearby city. When you study abroad you take every precaution against getting your ID stolen; you pray for a safe flight; and you hope your housing doesn’t fall through.  It’s not natural to consider you might be caught in an actual emergency. In the wee hours of Monday morning, students near L’Aquila, Italy, a mountainous city northeast of Rome, felt one of the country’s strongest earthquakes. For some it was their first earthquake. Congratulations. Over the next few days, months, even years, students will discover the impact of the earthquake through their cultural interactions.  It’s a once in a lifetime experience to witness a culture, city, or country, rebuild itself after a disaster.  How do you, a student or traveler, prepare for something of this magnitude?

According to The New York Times the earthquake in central Italy has killed approximately 150 people, injured another 1,500, and left 40,000 to 50,000 homeless.  Fortunately, most American students are studying abroad in parts of northern Italy or Rome… and none of them were hurt.  As Italy mourns, U.S. Study Abroad Offices are contacting their overseas program supervisors to account for each student’s whereabouts. Places like Temple University, Georgetown University, and Northern Illinois quickly posted updates for nervous family members and friends about the condition of students in Rome – and other parts of Italy. Georgetown University is even assessing the future of its own Summer study abroad program in L’Aquila, the town most devastated by the earthquake. Natural disasters are rare – but they do happen. And students are not forgotten once they skip the country.  Is it possible to prepare for a natural disaster before going abroad?  You bet!

Being Prepared Gives You More Time to Relax and Enjoy the Ride

Being Prepared Gives You More Time to Relax and Enjoy the Ride

The easiest way to get ahead of the game is to get a cell phone.  In this case, study abroad students were far enough away from the earthquake that cell phone lines were not tied up.  Your family and friends will breath easier once they know you’re safe.  If you have access to internet- email, Twitter, and Facebook are the best places to start. Once you post an update, everyone and their mother will know your whereabouts. Within seconds the world knew an earthquake struck Italy.  Before you leave home, make sure you have all the emergency contact information for your home institution or program provider. Western Oregon University is one of many universities that posts emergency information online.  You may never need to use it, but again, better safe than sorry.

The Students Abroad U.S. Department of State Preparedness site provides students and travelers alike with emergency numbers for any country, evacuation procedures,  assistance for victims of crime, or help if you’re arrested. If your situation becomes unsafe and you have to leave you’ll be assisted by your program supervisors as well as the U.S. embassy and consulates. So let them do their jobs and chill out.

By no means should the rare chance of a natural disaster put a damper on your trip. There’s really nothing you can do.  Instead of panicking- learn from it.  See how the country and its citizens cope.  See what you can do – without getting yourself into more trouble.  In some cases, you might even be able to help out those who have been injured, but don’t do anything without consulting your program advisor.  Overall, have fun and let nature take its course!

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Gulliver helps students Study Abroad. Our blog covers: current issues in Study Abroad; featured posts by Study Abroad students; and Gulliver updates, news, and behind-the-scenes peaks. Thanks for reading!