Things to do before studying abroad: After many months of packaging the perfect application kit and ensuring the necessary funds to study, your final wait to head towards your dream university is almost complete. But your study abroad preparation does not just end in getting the offer letter from the university. In fact, for many students, it only begins here. Going to study abroad is not a mean task and you have to ensure that you have everything in the right place before you head out. In fact, there are many questions that can come to a soon-to-be international student’s mind. Will she be able to adjust in the new country? Will she make friends? What if she gets into any trouble? Well, the best way to answer such questions is to make all the necessary preparations before landing in the new campus.
In this article, Careers360 brings you a list of all the things that you should do before you study abroad.
Here are the 5 things to do before studying abroad:
1. Make sure you have checked all the items in your departure checklist
First things first. Get your departure checklist in place. A priority among the things to do before studying abroad, your departure checklist should include everything right from making travel plans to putting the documentation process in place. Some of the important items to take care of are Visa, insurance, accommodation besides booking flight tickets. Make sure you start the visa process well ahead of time as it might take anywhere between 2 weeks to 2 months to get your final copy as the Embassies face the highest rush during admissions. Regarding documents you should pack your academic transcripts and most importantly the offer letter sent by the university. Another important element here is arranging for accommodation before leaving for the study destination. You can choose either between on-campus or off-campus accommodation depending upon your budget. Further, most countries require that international students buy health insurance to cover and sudden health issues that might emerge during their study. An important reason behind this is that healthcare is, more often than not, costly in developed economies and international students could avoid any sudden medical costs if they are covered under insurance plans.
2. Learn about the country: Of course, you have done preliminary checks on the University and campus you are joining. But your study abroad research does not just end there. Among the things to do before studying abroad, it is very important that you get an idea of the country and city you will be moving to. What is the city like? What are the food habits of the people? What about the weather? How do they communicate? These are some of the basic questions that you have to find the answers to. In many cases, it also helps to understand the basic customs of the local people. In fact, it goes a long way in helping you to adjust in your new dwellings. Did you know that in Spain many people including university and high school students go out at midnight and hang out with friends until the wee hours of the morning? Sounds interesting? But you are expected to complete your studies before that and also get back to your classes at regular hours the next morning. So, you have the independence to enjoy. But how you choose to use it depends on you!
3. Get in touch with the international students' community in the college: This is one of the most important things to do before studying abroad. Most universities abroad have clubs specifically for students from the same country. Eg: Harvard has its Harvard India Students Group for Indian students and Oxford has its Oxford India society for graduate students from India. Why should engage with the international students’ group? Well, that is the easiest way to make friends as well as know people back from your homecountry. Best thing about being in touch with international students from your homecountry is that you are exposed to a huge alumni network and can receive necessary guidance regarding career opportunities. Interestingly, you do not have to wait to join the university to be a part of these groups. With the advent of social media, most of the international students’ groups can be found to be active of various platforms like Facebook, Twitter and as such. All you have to do is follow them and sent a request to join the group. Further, you can get a lot of information about the university campus and the locality from these groups saving you from any culture shock when to finally end up in the country.
4. Keep track of your emergency numbers: Remember, emergency contact details are very important. Collecting your emergency contacts is one of the most important elements in the list of the things to do before studying abroad. When you are going to live in a foreign territory; miles away from your family emergency contact details are a must in your pocket. Not just your family, keep track of your people from other parts of your life, too like friends, teachers. You never know whom you could need at any moment. Further, some you could have relatives or friends living in the country and best in your city where your university is located, itself. In such a case, it is best to keep their contact details with you all the time. Other emergency contacts could be your hostel administrator, hostel mates, professor and as such.
5. Make your travel plans: What travel plans could you make after booking your flight tickets, right? In fact, among the things to do before studying abroad, your travel plans only start with booking tickets. There are number of other plans to be made. Like what do you do once you land? Do you know how to commute to your university from the airport? How far is the university campus from the airport? Do you have to stay back at a hotel for the night? These are just some of the factors to be taken care of before you leave for your new destination. Further, if you are already going to be spending some time in a new country it is best that you actually go ahead and explore it. In fact, most students who go to study in countries UK or one of the European countries make it a point to go a euro tour. So, why wait for your semester break? Start making your plans right now!
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