The opportunity to pack up your bags and follow your dreams to continue your education in another country is not one to be missed. If you have the chance to study abroad you should grab it with both hands!
Before you go though, there are loads of things you need to plan out and get organised. Here’s how to get your ducks in a row before you leave on your adventure.
Get Your Travel Documents in Order
First of all, you’re not going to get very far without a passport and visa. Your visa will need to be applied for a few weeks or even months in advance, and you’ll probably need documentation from your school in order to acquire it.
Start this process as early as you can to avoid chaos at the last minute and dreams being put on hold.
Get Your Insurance Organised
When you leave your home country, insurance can get pretty complicated. First, make sure you inform your existing insurance policies that you’ll be leaving and cancel whatever needs to be cancelled.
Then start looking for the insurance you’ll need abroad. Online, you can compare medical insurance plans, as well as take a look at travel insurance for your trip, in case of any emergencies related to your baggage, flights, etc.
Make Sure Your Accommodation is in Order
Naturally, you’ll need somewhere to live while you complete your degree. Find out whether or not you’ll be able to live in residence on campus, or if you’d need to find other accommodation (perhaps you’d prefer this).
Make sure whichever option you choose is ready for when you arrive to avoid paying exorbitant hotel fees while you figure out living plans.
Organise Your Travel Plans
Getting your flight tickets ready to go is next on the list. Usually, the earlier you book these, the cheaper you can get them. Therefore, the sooner you can have your decisions made, the better it will be for your pocket.
Make sure your dates are right and that you know what documents you’ll need on the day.
Make Sure Your Transport is Planned
These days, getting a lift from the airport is pretty easy thanks to ride-sharing services and public transport, but you’ll still need to make sure you know what’s happening.
Check out the public transport systems of the country you’re moving to, decide whether you’ll be using that, calling an Uber, or perhaps getting a ride with a friend if you happen to know someone there.
Figure Out Your Finances
Converting your currency can be more of an ordeal than you might expect, so try to get everything sorted out beforehand.
You have a few different options – an international credit card, switching out your currency, etc. Each of these options will have different fees and processes attached to them, so make sure you know what the best will be for you.
Prepare a Budget
If you’re going to be living abroad, being financially savvy is important. Figure out a budget for yourself for your daily life – living expenses, food, transport, some money for fun, etc.
Paying for tuition and other general expenses can add up to a lot, so make sure you plan carefully.
Consider Part-Time Work
Taking on a part-time job while studying abroad is a great idea for so many reasons – if the regulations allow for it.
This will help you to handle your money a little better, but also give you some work experience, teach your personal finance habits, help you meet new people and get you involved in your local community.
Find Out What Your School Expects of You
It’s a good idea to take a look at your school’s website or even reach out to a lecturer or staff member about what will be expected of you in your first week.
This will help you to not show up unprepared, but also show your commitment and interest in the academic year ahead.
Reach Out Online
If you can, find an online community that aligns with the region you’ll be moving to. This can be really helpful for not feeling alone!
Look for Facebook groups or other forums or platforms where you can connect with other students, other ex-pats in the area or just people who wouldn’t mind helping a stranger find their feet. Having someone to answer your questions or commiserate with you can be great for the mental adjustment.
Pack Your Bags
When it’s almost time to go, you’ll need to start packing and prepping for the big day. Come up with a handy packing list before you start and look online to help determine what’s worth taking and what isn’t.
It’s usually for the best to avoid overpacking, so always consider which items you’ll be able to repurchase in your new country for a reasonable price!