Studying abroad is an important decision one has to make and most likely, it is a life-changing one in many aspects. This plan should not be spontaneous but well thought-out and organized. Moving to a new country can bring in a mixed bag of emotions, change of culture, harsh climate and language barrier. These can take a toll on your health and academics. To make sure your stay does not get hindered by unnecessary situations, here’s your guide to studying abroad where we help you plan and be well-prepared.
It is never too early to look for tips:
- The minute you know that you are going to leave the country, start drafting a plan. Jot down the necessities like accommodation, food, communication options, budgeting, and more. Talk to people who have studied or have worked abroad, if not in the same country as they would be able to give you some tips based on their experience and these would be things that you would not find anywhere on the internet.
- The first part of your plan should focus mainly on the essential documentation work as they take time to process. It can take anywhere from 20 days to a month to get your passport so start with that. It is the same with your visa and other documents.
Ace the visa interview:
- If student visa interview is not mandatory for the country where you would be travelling, you a definitely lucky. If there is one, prepare well. Research about the most asked questions and exude confidence. Carry all the important documents and present yourself well.
Mark all important dates on your calendar:
- Place the calendar at your work desk or in a place where you get to see it often, every day. Set reminders as it will save you the hassle of running around for things in the last minute.
Where would you stay?
- Any guide to studying abroad would probably start with talking about the arrangement for accommodation. If your course doesn’t come as a residential program, plan carefully by understanding available options. Once you get an idea of an average cost of accommodation and the type, start budgeting and shortlist all your options.
- Student forums and communities on the college page and the students’ chapter would also be able to help at times. Look for the student groups of the college on social media sites.
- Shopping and packing should be done way ahead. This is something that might take a lot of your time when it is not planned well. When you talk to people about the tips for studying abroad, ask about the climate in the region. This would help you buy clothes which are appropriate for the weather.
- In some countries, local shopping is cheaper. In such a case, you can travel light with clothes enough for a few days. The luggage segregation will depend on the actual flight in which you are travelling and the luggage norms.
- Find out about the best voice/data plans. It would be easy if you have internet connectivity easily available at your place of accommodation.
- When it comes to cell phone plans, there are some countries where you would have to open a local bank account in order to acquire a local cell phone connection. Researching about this in advance will save you a lot of time.
Know the country and the culture:
- Respect the country you are visiting and understand their culture. If you are interested, learning the local language of the country or the one that is widely-spoken will come handy.
- Knowing the local language would make it easier for you to get along with the locals, your neighbours and others. Start studying about the country on the whole and the traditions in the region.
Check out the insurance plans:
Medical insurance and other options would vary from one country to another. But make the best use of them. It would make it easier to tackle unexpected expenses.
While goodbyes can be hard, they’re a part of our journey. Think of all the adventures you will experience. Expect the unforeseen. While studying abroad, you will come across people with different concepts of time and personal space. Be ready to learn and observe these differences without being judgmental. Your journey will introduce a whole new world to you and have a positive impact on your life.
(Edvantage Point is India’s go-to platform for education-related products and services. We facilitate online admissions and recruitment services for schools, offer career advice and counselling services for students).