Travel Advice for Students

This travel advice is primarily directed to students participating in Professor Bailly’s FIU Honors College España, France, and Italia, Study Abroad programs. It is intended to help twenty-somethings explore, seek adventure, and truly immerse themselves in a culture. The goals are to travel affordably, travel safely, and live like a local. Always remember,  however, that what works for some, may not necessarily work for you. Ultimately, your decisions are your decisions.

The Faculty Director for España, France, and Italia Study Abroad is John William Bailly. Bailly is an artist with an MFA from Yale University. He has organized, budgeted, and led FIU Honors College study abroad programs to Europe since 2010.

“My family lived in four cities, and travelled to Morocco and Turkey before I was ten. The love to explore the essence of lands and cultures was born in me. As Faculty Director of three study abroad programs for Florida International University, I have the unique opportunity to explore España, France, and Italia in depth. In addition, I have developed a notion of what tends to work for university students and what does not.”

The Program and Teaching Assistant for España, France, and Italia Study Abroad is a former FIU Honors College student. The study abroad program assistant will be your greatest resource. They will help you orient and organize yourself. They have been selected based on their discipline, empathy, and street smarts. But their role is not only to assist you, but also to keep you focused and on time.

In España, France, and Italia Study Abroad students are given a specific date that they are required to meet in Paris, Rome, or Madrid respectively. Read More

The balance between looking fabulous, traveling lightly, being comfortable, and your safety (pickpockets) is a delicate one. The first day of the program everyone is straight out of Vogue. By day three everyone is in leggings and t-shirts. Bailly’s hiking zipper pants are infamous for their ugliness, but they are great for a day of walking and provide excellent safety from pickpockets.

A consideration of attire is flexibility. The program calendar is established a year in advance. Many reservations do not offer flexibility. Students must be ready to adapt to all weather conditions. Rain will not stop us from visiting Alhambra, Pompeii, or Versailles. Read More

Expenses while abroad vary greatly from student to student.  Read More

FIU Honors College student Isabel Brime kept a detailed expense report for one person on France Study Abroad in July 2022. France Study Abroad Expenses 2022.

One student chose to keep a detailed expense report for TWO people on Spain Study Abroad 2017. Review their expenses here: Spain Study Abroad Expenses.

Data is required for all students! We communicate through WhatsApp while abroad. You will not need to make many phone calls. What you really need are text messages and data. Some US providers (T-Mobile, Sprint) provide affordable plans that offer unlimited data and texts. Read More

An integral idea of Honors College study abroad programs is cultural immersion. Study abroad aims to look behind the tourist facade and find the authentic nature of a place. You should want to go out of your comfort zone.
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Have all your documents in order as soon as you know you are going abroad. Passport particularly take a long time to renew. Read More

All three courses are physically active endeavors. We walk all day; it is the only way to experience Europe’s cities and monuments. Be ready. Read More

Eating authentic Italian gelato, Spanish tortilla, or a French baguette is one of the greatest pleasures on being abroad. Avoid places close to a tourist destination, with too great a variety on their menu, or a menu in English. Go where locals go.
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Free days are yours; however, students should be cautious of making concrete plans on free days. Unexpected events (weather, strikes, pandemics) can force the class to reschedule an event on to a free day. Students can travel to other countries and/or spend the night outside of FIU Housing, however there are many FIU rules, regulations, and conditions attached to this. Read More

There are slight variations in the Housing Accommodations in each country. Read More

It is strongly suggested students travel lightly. Most products are available in Europe. Read more

Lily Fonte of Italia 2019 chose to record herself packing for Italy study abroad. See her video here: Packing for a month in an Osprey Fairview 55 Liter.

Thanks to the digital age and the euro, managing your funds has never been easier in Europe. But this is entirely a personal decision – what works for some, may not work for others. Read More

Many students are concerned with safety in Europe. Statistics show that violent crime is far lower in France, Italy, and Spain, especially when compared to Miami and US. But pickpockets abound close to tourist sites and on metros. Read More

Every year, individual students earn scholarships to study abroad. The earning of the scholarships is a result of personal research, ambition, and dedication. Read more

Electricity in Europe operates on 220 volts (110 in USA). Most US devices (from phones to cameras) are designed to accept either charge (check with manufacturer). But the shape of the plugs in Europe are different. You may or may not need a converter (I don’t for my Apple devices), but you will definitely need an adapter. Or you can simply purchase a European charger.

One of the most dramatic differences between living in Miami and European cities is the use of public transportation. You will not be in a car for a month. Europeans almost universally use metros and busses. Read More

Traveling within Europe is very easy. I suggest, when convenient, to take the train. Train stations are generally in the center of cities: airports are in suburbs. For trains, you only need to be at the station 30 min prior to departure; flights require 2 hours. Read More

Walking lectures in urban settings are a defining feature of Bailly’s classes. You will learn the history of a city by retracing the steps of the figures that created the very history you are studying. Open this page to read specifics on how to prepare. Read More

John William Bailly  09 November 2022

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