How the Brexit Could Affect Studying Abroad
If you’ve seen the news since the morning of June 24, 2016, you probably have heard about Britain’s exit from the European Union. This exit came as a surprise to much of the world, as the votes poured in and the exit was approved by a narrow margin on Thursday night. Immediately following the vote, stocks across the world plummeted and currency exchange rates fluctuated massively. Prime Minister David Cameron, who was in direct opposition of Britain’s exit, has also decided to step down from his post come October.
For many Americans (and Europeans alike) it was sort of unclear what this event would mean to them, and what effects it would have on both a global scale and on smaller day-to-day things. As many college students prepare for studying abroad in the fall semester, some of them might be wondering what Britain’s exit from the EU could mean about their travel, and what complications might pop up following the nation’s decision.
Here are a few of the things that could be affected by this event that students should know about before they travel:
The cost of flights to European countries has gone down.
In light of Britain’s exit from the EU, airfare to the UK in particular has dropped substantially, which could be a great thing for those students planning their travel on a budget. This might be a good time to go ahead and nab that airline ticket you’ve been saving up for, as it might be a lot cheaper now. If you are traveling to other European countries from the UK, you might find that prices on those domestic airlines could increase, as Britain’s exit from the EU could eradicate low fare agreements in place between EU nations.
You might have roaming charges on your cell phone in England.
The EU worked to lower roaming charges in recent years, with plans to completely eliminate them in 2017. But, after Britain’s exit, it may be possible that these rules could disappear if Britain does not make specific legislation to keep them in place. Students traveling to Europe, specifically to England, should make sure they know the charges that might incur should they use their mobile phones there later this year.
The exchange rates are looking a little better.
Right after the vote came through, the British pound dropped in value. In fact, it hit its lowest value in 30 years. This could mean good things for those traveling to Britain in the near future, as the US Dollar will go a bit further there now than it did before. If you have plans to travel to England later in the year, you might consider grabbing some British pounds now when the exchange rate is low.
You might get stuck in long customs lines.
Once Britain is officially no longer a part of the European Union, it’s possible that European citizens will have to pass through customs the same way that Americans and those from outside the EU do. This could lead to much longer wait times at customs in the UK.
If you have plans to travel to Britain or Europe this summer or fall, keep your eye on the news and make sure you are prepared for whatever changes might be in place by the time of your trip.