Not sure if I told you guys this or not, but I’m actually studying abroad for all of next year.
With my departure creeping closer and closer, I thought it only fitting that I head to eBay and search for some dirt cheap essentials to take with me.
Whether you’re currently abroad, planning on going soon, or just enjoy sight-seeing in your home town (depending on where that is, it could actually be an extremely entertaining activity), all of these things are a worthwhile investment.
1. Nonverbal Dictionary
Did you know that sneezing at the dinner table in Ecuador or Venezuela is considered rude and disgusting? Or that not taking all of your clothes off in a Scandinavian sauna will actually make you look like a complete weirdo?
That’s why you could really use this nonverbal dictionary. It’ll help keep you from making offensive cultural gestures like the ones mentioned above, and it’ll do it for only a measly $3.49.
Unless you’re some kind of ninja assassin, it’s hard to creep on people without being all up in their business. So invest in these binoculars for only $3.25 to minimize awkward encounters and maximize your people-watching abilities. Or, just use them to do some long-distance sight-seeing that doesn’t involve spying on other people. (But where’s the fun in that?)
3. Picture Frames
Although you’re going to embark on many an exciting adventure during your time abroad, chances are you’ll probably get a little homesick at some point. Nothing honors your loved ones quite like a desk covered in photos of friends, family, and pets, so you’re going to need some semi-decorative frames to house said pictures.
Some sets of frames go for only $3 on eBay, and if you get these in particular, you’ll get the added bonus of having some of the most profound quotes in history floating above your pictures. “Live, laugh, love” just describes your dog so well, you know?
4. Adaptor Plugs
The food, language, and customs won’t be the only different things that you encounter during your time abroad. Chances are the electrical outlets are probably different too. That means that the chargers for your iPhone, iPod, iPad, iHome, and i-anything-else won’t plug into the walls of your new living space.
But never fear, all you have to do is invest in an electrical adaptor like one of these to solve all of your technology-related struggles. And with prices as low as $1 from a non-sketchy seller, you can still bring your standard 5,000 electronics and not break your bank account!
A study abroad blog is practically mandatory, but then again so is keeping a journal. However, journal shopping is no easy task: Everyone who considers himself/herself a “writer” will judge you based on the appearance and feel of the book.
A 3-subject notebook will net you 0 points for coolness, and that’s just simply unacceptable. Negative points if you invest in one of these (feigning uncoolness in an attempt to increase your cool factor just makes you look, well, uncool).
Instead, try something a little witty and go for a journal like this. It might not be formatted perfectly for writing down all your thoughts, but recording all the “wins and losses” of your time abroad will make you look cool and creative. It’s also pretty cheap at only $2.
Wish you’d bought “that one thing” before studying abroad? Let us know what it was in the comments.