Are you excited to set off on your study abroad adventure but not sure how to get ready? Preparing for such a journey can be daunting, so we’ve compiled a few tips for the best international experience. From what essentials to pack and keeping track of finances, here are our suggestions when it comes to prepping for studying abroad courses. Firstly, find an ideal program that aligns with your goals and objectives. Then, ask yourself which items should you take with you.
1. Passport and Visa Applications
When planning to take a trip or study abroad, a valid and unexpired passport is an absolute must. It’s best to double-check the status of your current passport to make sure it won’t be expired within 6 months of your return home trip. Additionally, travellers who have already travelled internationally should confirm that their passports have sufficient empty pages for additional stamps.
When applying for a passport, there are certain items to remember to bring. For instance, first-time applicants should bring their birth certificate, two passport-sized photos (available at many photo printing locations), proof of identification such as national ID, the passport application, and an accepted form of payment. For those who are renewing their passports, they only need to submit their expired document in lieu of their birth certificate.
When planning a study abroad trip, obtaining a visa may be necessary. It’s important to research the country you are intending to visit and its associated regulations. The Government Department website is a good place to start, but don’t forget that speaking with the local embassy or consulate can also give insight into special travel restrictions. This process typically requires several months of preparation and possibly physical and background checks, so plan accordingly!
2. Insure Yourself While Travelling
At times like these when you’re studying overseas, having a dependable health and accident insurance policy is vital. That way, in the event of an emergency such as evacuation or repatriation – let’s hope not! – there will be coverage for you.
Your health insurance may provide some security when abroad, however, there are a few things your travel insurance will cover for you that your standard health policy won’t. These include flight delays/cancellations; lost luggage; stolen personal items; and medical or natural disaster evacuations.
3. Research the Customs of Your Destination
Spend some time preparing for your international trip. Knowing about the nation’s culture, politics, geography, economy, and anything else related to it will safeguard you from any blunders and provide a better overall experience. To get the most out of your stay abroad, do research on the country and its customs. Additionally, try to chat with individuals who have already been there as well as watch films or read literature that provide insight into their society. Furthermore, be mindful of any behaviours that may seem offending in another part of the world like pointing with your thumb or not slurping your noodles while dining.
4. Consult a Doctor
Prior to your journey, it’s essential that you visit your doctor for a checkup and carry a copy of your medical records with you in the event of an emergency. Moreover, make sure you are aware of the immunisation requirements for the host country and consider getting any necessary vaccinations before departing. Most clinics should have information about this, but it is also wise to speak with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention for updated disease data.
5. Compare Plane Tickets and Book Ahead
It takes some skill to find an affordable plane ticket nowadays. Factors like when you are flying, as well as the source of your ticket, can greatly affect the cost. Skyscanner is a great place to start; it will give you an overview of low fares for whatever dates you prefer. Student travel agencies can be a cheap option too, with their flexibility and great deals for students abroad.
Before making your booking though, make sure that date changes are feasible so that you don’t have to purchase a new ticket simply because you decided to extend your stay overseas. Usually, airlines allow changes for a small extra charge plus the difference in cost; some tickets even come with no-cost adjustments. To avoid any delays or inconveniences, we suggest taking time to research before arriving more than one or two days prior to the commencement of your programme.
6. Improve Your Language Abilities
If you are planning to study abroad, improving your language abilities can be incredibly beneficial. Not only will it help you communicate effectively with locals, but it will also make it easier for you to navigate day-to-day activities and immerse yourself in the local culture.
One way to improve your language abilities is by practicing consistently. You can do this by setting aside time each day to read, write, speak, and listen in your target language. This could involve reading books or articles, practicing with language exchange partners, or even watching TV shows or movies in the language you want to learn.
7. Get Your Finances Ready
Having an online bank account is the most practical way to administer your funds when you’re out of the country. Most often, global travellers use their ATM/debit or credit cards to get money in the local monetary unit. Furthermore, ensure you own a credit card with zero international transaction charges since these can quickly pile up when used for daily expenditures.
8. Tell Your Bank About Studying Abroad
Notifying your present banking company and creditors about your plans to study overseas is imperative; otherwise, you might be unable to have access to any of them while being away from home (accounts can be flagged as fraudulent).
Carry some extra cash on hand to cover expenses during those initial days or in case of an emergency.
9. Copy Important Documents
It’s important to always be prepared with essential documents like passports, insurance information, and credit card company details. The best way to ensure you’re covered is to keep both digital and hard copies of them stashed away in different places. For instance, keep a paper version at home with a family member and carry a digital copy with you in an easily accessible place like your email inbox or cloud server.
Excitement should be overflowing as you prepare to go abroad and study, particularly when it’s your first international trip. Even though packing can seem endless, don’t forget to take the opportunity to celebrate this incredible journey with a joyful dance – after all, that’s why they were created! Doing so will make sure you not only remember all the things you have to do before taking off but also appreciate every moment of this extraordinary adventure.
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