Studying Abroad: Do You Need a Step Up and Down Voltage Converter Transformer?

If you’re heading overseas for school, you’ve probably already thought about your wardrobe, got your passport, brushed up on your language skills, but you may not have considered your electrical needs. If you’re taking your computer, your cell phone, your alarm clock or any one of many other consumer electronics and appliances, there’s a good chance you’ll need think about voltage converters. One of your best bets may be to purchase a step up and down voltage converter transformer rather than a simple voltage converter. Here’s why.

In North America, electrical current is delivered from the wall outlet at 110 to 120v, and most of the electrical equipment and consumer electronics that you buy are designed to use electricity at that voltage. European countries, on the other hand, typically deliver electrical current to your appliances at 220 to 240v. Plugging your 110v appliance into a 220v outlet is strongly advised against. The usual result will be a shower of sparks or a fizzling zzzzt sound, and your hair dryer, coffee maker or computer will probably never work again.

Not all that long ago, students heading off for a semester or a year at a European college were advised to leave their electrical and electronic equipment at home and simply buy what they need when they reach their destination. For most college students, their “electronics” consisted of a hair dryer, a radio alarm clock, an electric shaver or perhaps a coffee maker or hot pot. Voltage converters were expensive, electrical devices were mostly cheap, and it just made more sense to pick up what you needed in the country where you’d be living.

Things have changed considerably since those days. Today’s student heading overseas for a semester of study is probably planning to take along a personal computer or a laptop, expensive cell phones, DVD players, video game consoles and high-end audio equipment. For a student already operating on a tight budget, replacing any of those pieces of electronics is an impossible expense. Luckily, even as the typical student’s investment in electronics has increased, the prices for voltage converters and voltage transformers has decreased, making it far more practical to buy a voltage converter than it is to replace all of your electronics.

A step up and down voltage converter transformer makes, even more, sense, especially if you’re likely to be making hops back and forth over the course of your overseas stay. Even the most advanced step up and down voltage converters are easily portable, so you can carry it with you. Having it will allow you to use all of your personal consumer electronics, no matter where you bought them and where you happen to be, and the better step up and down voltage converter transformers will automatically detect the current needed by the plugged in device and supply the right voltage to it.

The other thing you can do to make it easier for your electrical and electronics equipment to transition between home and your school abroad is to look specifically for dual voltage electronic devices. More and more, you’ll find 110 to 220 volts consumer electronics that eliminate the need for voltage converters entirely. Be sure to read the labels on the electrical and electronics devices you buy to figure out exactly what you need to operate them safely.

Julie O. McWilliams


Study Abroad For The Experience Of A Lifetime

There are many good reasons to study abroad. This means that as part of your college education, you would complete a portion of your work in another country. There are many places you can go for abroad study, just about anywhere you can think of. If you are interested in learning more about such an opportunity, there should be an advisor at your school who can tell you more about what is available and how you can take part in study programs abroad.

Many students from North America decide to study abroad in Europe. It’s no wonder, because the continent is a rich tapestry of diverse cultures and landscapes. An architecture student could travel to Italy and learn about ancient Italian architecture. A cooking student could travel to France to receive tutelage under fine French chefs. An art student could travel to Switzerland and paint idyllic mountain scenes. These are just a few examples of what may be possible. There are few limits to what you can do academically when studying overseas.

Sometimes you may travel as a group for abroad study, or you might go solo. There may even be an exchange program in place where a student from abroad travels to your school while you are at theirs. Education in the academic sense is just one benefit of traveling overseas for college study. You get to experience a whole new world, a new language, a new culture. You are able to see breathtaking monuments, landmarks and natural wonders that you may never see again, to walk in the footsteps of the ancients. And thanks to camera technology, you can capture your time abroad on film for everlasting memories.

If you want to study abroad, the first step is to find out what opportunities are available. As previously mentioned, there should be at least one advisor at your university that can help you. Then you will need to learn about costs and whether you can get financial aid for the trip if you need it. The matter of student travel insurance must be taken care of, as well as other legalities like any required vaccines and your passport. You should also find out about the college credits you will receive for spending time in abroad study. Once all is said and done, you are ready to embark on a grand learning adventure.