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You will most likely want to take advantage of the country and explore your new surroundings. Traveling by rail is one of the easiest and most affordable ways for students.
Eurail gives you access to reduced or free travel in Europe if you buy it in the U.S. before departing. There are a few different type of passes to choose from, depending on the amount of time you have and places you are visiting. The Eurail pass is the most convenient and popular. It allows you to travel on any day, for 15 days, 21 days or one-, two- and three-month increments. A consecutive-day pass provides unlimited rail travel for the duration of the pass, once it has been validated. The flexi-type pass gives the pass-holder a two-month period from the validation date to use the number of days they have purchased for their pass. The Selectpass allows you to choose the countries of travel. Once in Europe, rail-authorities will ask you to make reservations for your seats, so budget around fifteen euros for each reservation, although they will vary according to seat and country. Despite the inconvenience, you will be thankful for a guaranteed seat, especially in peak travel times. When deciding between first and second class, the deciding factor should come down to personal taste and who, if anyone, you are traveling with. Some countries offer only second class. However, first class in other countries includes meals and the most comfortable seats. Keep in mind your parents may not appreciate a lively cabin as much as friends your own age.
If you will be traveling or studying outside Europe, consult a travel guide for your host country or region to see if rail passes are available for your destination. Other countries, such as Japan and the United Kingdom, have discounted rail passes for students. The STA Travel Web site http://www.statravel.com contains information about methods of transportation on every continent.