Adapters & Converters
Your electronics also have to adapt to a new life abroad
Don't forget adapters and converters before leaving the US. Here at WSA, we go by the philosophy of, "if it needs a plug, it needs an adapter." Check your appliances to see if they need a converter before you hit Europe.
As students prepare for their semester abroad, I often hear them frantically asking if they need a converter, adapter and even transformer. Transformers don't exist in this sense of the word! Read on for a simple breakdown between adapters and converters, and relax.
Converters 'convert' the electrical current so it doesn't blow out your electronics.
Take a close look at whatever you're trying to plug in (computer charger, hair dryer, phone charger etc.). If you see 110-220V, you're golden, you don't need an electrical converter. If you only see 110V, you'll need a converter to downgrade the electric current to something your appliance can handle.
Here's a short list of things for which converters are NOT necessary:
- MacBook Pro
- Sonicare toothbrush
- Most cell phones
- Basic point and shoot cameras (and SLRs)
Adapters 'adapt' your American plugs to physically fit into European outlets.
There are two different types of adapters for Europe, which depend on location: Continental Europe and the UK (England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales). The continental adapter has two round prongs, and the British has 3 rectangular prongs. They do nothing more than allow your American plug to fit into a European outlet.
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