5 things to do before studying abroad
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, it is just the beginning. Going to study abroad is not a small task and you have to ensure that you have everything in place before you fly. In fact, there are many questions that can come to a soon-to-be international student’s mind like how to adjust in a new country and many more.
In this article, Careers360 brings you a list of all the things that you should do before you fly to your study destination.
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. 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 in 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. You should pack your academic transcripts and most importantly the offer letter sent by the university. Another important element is arranging for accommodation before leaving for the study destination. You can choose either 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 leaving for your study destination is to get an idea of the country and the 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 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.
3. Get in touch with the international students' community in the college: 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. These are the easiest ways to make friends as well as know people back from your home country. Best thing about being in touch with international students from your home country 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 part of these groups. With the advent of social media, most of the international students’ groups can be found to be active at various platforms like Facebook, Twitter and as such. All you have to do is follow them and send 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 you finally end up in the country.
4. Keep track of your emergency numbers: When you are going to live in a foreign country, thousands of miles away from your family, emergency contact details are a must in your pocket. Besides the contact details of your family members, you should have the numbers of friends, teachers as well. You never know whom you could need at any moment. Further, some of you could have relatives or friends living in the country. In any emergency, such contact details will prove to very handy. Other emergency contacts could be your hostel administrator, hostel mates, professors.
5. Make your travel plans: Your travel plans only start with booking tickets. There are a number of other plans to be made. Like what do you do once you land in your study destination abroad? 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 like UK or one of the European countries make it a point to go on a euro tour. So, why wait for your semester break? You can hit the road early.
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