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The #1 thing I wish I would have been told before I left is how to pack for this trip. I had a vague idea, but most Web sites list items that are certainly not needed in England. After all, it's not a third-world country. Airlines institute strict weight limits for luggage and there is a hefty fine for going over. Be as smart as you can, and I hope my list will help. A reminder, however, is that everything is nearly twice the price in England. Our dollar has about half the value of a British pound. For instance, a McDonald's meal that costs 5 pounds is costing nearly $10.

With that said, I have some advice for how to raise money for the trip. The UF program costs about $5,000, not including airfare and spending money. The airfare is about $1,000 and I would suggest about $300 dollars per week of spending money.

First, apply for the UF scholarships. Some money is set aside just for this program. When I went to Cambridge there were 10 scholarships for $750. The generic scholarships are usually worth $1,000 and any program can apply. Here is the link-- UF scholarship site.

However, I think the best idea is to visit local businesses. Many businesses will sponsor you for $50, $100 or sometimes even $500. Especially if you know the owners. Some ideas for that include you dentist, hairdresser, doctor or any other business you or your parents frequent like accountants and insurance agencies. Another suggestion is to pull out your old high school yearbook. There should be pages and pages of ads in the back. The larger the ad, the more they paid. That also reflects how likely they are to help you. Also think of the type of business your hometown specializes in. For instance, my hometown is near Kennedy Space Center. Therefore, there are a ton of tool and die companies that are pretty much supported by NASA.

British pounds and Euros

Ok, so now you are ready to visit local businesses. Well, I would suggest that you do not go empty-handed. Make up a letter that tells what you are planning to do, why it is so important to you and why you need the money. It would also be good if you can provide some kind of proof you are a UF student. I personally copied the UF at Cambridge flier and put it onto the back of my letter.

I hope this little tutorial helps you, now go check out places you should visit once you get all this money!

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