Last Updated on June 21, 2019 by Elizabeth Martin
When signing up for the program, you are faced with an option to either book your flights through AIFS or to purchase your own transportation. Both ways are great and will ultimately get you to your final destination. However, I chose to book my flights through the AIFS Flight Package. Based off of my own experience, here are four reasons why you, too, should choose this option:
1. Transportation is easier.
Buying plane tickets can be extremely stressful. When you add bus/taxi arrangements, hotel reservations, food plans, etc., it can be a total nightmare. With the AIFS Flight Package, all of your transportation is taken care of, and you don’t have to deal with the fear of something not going as planned. If your plane is delayed, your AIFS representative will already be informed. If you’re on your own, you might have to deal with the chance of cancelations and extra costs. You’ll already be anxious enough to get to your new home abroad; it’s much easier to let them help you out with this part.
2. There is a two-day layover in another country.
I was fortunate enough to be able to spend two days in London, England, before I traveled to my destination. With this cost included in my package, it allowed me to be able to see and learn more. It was a rare opportunity to be able to travel to a different country that I might not have been able to see otherwise. To be able to experience more than one culture while I am abroad is something I couldn’t afford to lose. This whole trip is about expanding our minds and broadening our cultural horizons and going to London helped me with this cause.
3. It prepares you.
While abroad, you are going to be lost at least once or twice. Being in London gave me a chance to practice using a map and my surroundings instead of using my smartphone. Since I was able to get the practice of figuring out where to go there, it made things easier when I arrived in my new city and had to navigate for myself. With this practice, I felt as if I was prepared to take on new challenges, because I saw how I was able to overcome the differences.
4. You instantly make new friends.
Going abroad makes you come out of your comfort zone. That can be a terrifying thought, but when ten other people are forced to do that as well, it can quickly create close friendships. In London, no one is left out because everyone is depending on each other for company and companionship. You are able to see how strangers instantly become people you rely on and how eventually just want to hang out with them. I found comfort in getting to know my peers and traveling the country together. I now have several great memories, and I continue to make more with these same people. School, my apartment, and every part of this trip so far has been better because I have these people in my life. I can tell that because we were forced to get along with each other in London, these will be the people that I will remain friends with many months after we go home.
I highly recommend choosing the AIFS Flight Package option. The knowledge, memories, and maturity you receive in return is priceless. My trip would not have been the same without London, and I wish everyone to have the same great experience as I did.
This post was contributed by Elizabeth Martin, who is spending her fall semester with AIFS in Athens, Greece.