A year in Russia
Just a brief post about some super useful items that you should bring with you to make your year abroad run a little more smoothly!
Seriously, pack one. In my room, I have one solitary plug socket but having an extension cable means that from one adaptor plug in one socket, I have 4 spaces. Such a simple and easy item to bring from home, so make sure you have one packed.
Travel Cash card
I’m certain I’ve mentioned these before but, purely due to how useful they are, I think they’re worth a second mention. This semester 3 of the other bath students are just using their normal bank cards. For one, he’s been able to pay a £10 (approx.) charge to his bank for unlimited withdrawals abroad. Another is limited to withdrawing 4 times per month (most cash points have a 6000 rouble limit but we have found the odd one allowing 10000 roubles per withdrawal which has made this much less of an issue) before facing a roughly €6 charge per use. The last is also unsure about charges causing some worry when needing to access funds which unsurprisingly happens regularly. Just to point out, our rent is paid in cash so if living with a family you already have 15,500 roubles to withdraw each month before any fun expenditure takes place. All these charges could be easily avoided.
Pascal and I are using travel cash cards (the multi-currency option) from www.mytravelcash,com. It costs nothing to get one other than adding £25 of cash to the card which you’ll spend anyway. It has an easy method of adding funds online, it’s chip and pin secure, works in all the ATM’s and allows free withdrawals. There are other companies providing these, but you’d have to do a search and comparison yourself. All I can say is these cards provide peace of mind as they’re not connected directly to your bank so less chance of fraud and even if someone does gain access, it’s only to the cash you’ve loaded onto the card not your entire bank account, and it takes away any need to consider bank charges.
All the prescription medication you’ll need
It sounds so obvious. I’m not saying you need to bring all the anti-hystamines you can lay your hands on, there are plenty available here. But the more specific medication you might need can be harder to find. If you use a specific prescribed eczema cream for example, bring enough to last the entire duration of your stay.
Last but not least, addresses of family and friends to send postcards! My Grandma showed the one I sent from Moscow to all her friends 🙂
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