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.
I went to Rome with a few of my friends. Before we got there, our tour guide, Rhianne, sent us plenty of information regarding how to arrive at the hostel, and what our Itinerary would be like. She also made it a point to meet up with people the night before if their flight got in early so students would have something to do. Having a tour guide that lived in the city was amazing. It made me not have to stress about getting lost, and provided many opportunities to eat at the best restaurants, and, most importantly, the best Gelato places. By the end of the tour, I was good friends with each of the 14 members of the tour group, including our tour guide. I definitely recommend taking a tour through WSA because the guides make you feel like they actually care about each person on the trip. I knew that I could just relax, and enjoy my trip.Kyle Cook, Lebanon Valley College ~ Kingston University, London, Fall 2015
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