“What to prepare when studying abroad?” This is quite a headache for those who are preparing to study abroad. Studying abroad is an exciting adventure filled with memorable moments. But before you can master the language and integrate into the local way of life filled with memories, there’s a whole lot more to the way than just getting a passport and a suitcase.
Before doing anything else, make sure you have enough money to pay for the trip – including how much you will spend during your time abroad. Experience shows that you always spend more money than you planned. It’s best to have some cash in small denominations, along with a credit card for larger expenses and longer trips. More carefully, you should tell your credit card company where you’re going and how long you’re staying – that way they won’t block your card while you’re shopping.
2. Arrange airport transfers
If you want more comfort, let your study abroad consultant arrange a pick up from the airport to your residence or school.
If you prefer to have a private pick-up or take public transport, make sure you research the different options well in advance – it will save you a lot of time and energy, especially after a long flight.
Once you’ve got everything sorted at your destination, keep in mind that you’ll also need the same transfer to get to the airport before you fly back.
3. Buy insurance
A study abroad consultant will be an ideal person for you to discuss study abroad insurance, because of their knowledge and experience.
Don’t take insurance lightly, because study abroad insurance is much more important than you think.
If you are unfortunate enough to be ill or have an accident, an accident, study abroad insurance will help you a lot in financial matters! (You know how expensive it is to stay in a hospital abroad.)
You can also contact your health insurance provider to see if there is a special offer for you while you are abroad.
4. Back up important documents
This is a very important step in preparing to study abroad. You should have both soft and hard copies of all your important documents – passports, insurance, credit card company information – and keep them in different places. It is best to leave a copy at home or send to friends and keep a soft copy and a hard copy.
The soft copy should be somewhere safe but easily accessible, like your email inbox or on a cloud server.
5. Research where to stay when studying abroad
Learning about where you’re going and what you can do, is perhaps the most important part of preparing for your trip.
You can buy a travel guide or just google from afar to see what the other side has to offer.
I know it’s a little different when you arrive in person, but getting an overview in advance will help you plan more appropriately, making the most of your time abroad.
Don’t forget to read through any customs regulations, local customs and traditions carefully, it will help you feel like a local without wasting time.
6. Packing (done!)
First, check the weight and size regulations of the airline you’ll be flying with. Then, read our blog posts to know how to organize your clothes, essentials to carry, a power adapter for your computer…
A few clothes you should put in your hand bag, just in case your luggage you are late. If you’re staying in one place for more than a few days, buy toiletries at the destination and only bring small bottles of body wash for the first shower after you land. When it’s all packed, make sure you put a name tag on each thing.
7. Learn a few words in the local language
Since you are reading on our blog, it shows that you intend to learn a language abroad. But why not prepare a little in advance? Traveling becomes much easier if you get used to the sounds of your new language and even know a few sentences in the local language. (Long flights are a good opportunity to learn some basic vocabulary.)
8. Keep any necessary prescriptions
If you regularly take prescription medications or use contact lenses, make sure you pack enough for the whole trip or else make sure your medications can be found overseas. (Check with your insurer for coverage terms.)
9. Record what’s important
In the age of cell phones, we hardly remember any phone numbers – or passwords. If you go abroad, you may have to buy a new phone or log into the school computer. Be sure to remember or write down an important phone number and password (or password hint), so you can recall and log in without getting stuck.
10. Plan your cell phone usage
Depending on how long you will be abroad, you should purchase a SIM card at your destination. Before you depart, check with your mobile phone carrier about roaming costs and data plans, so you don’t end up with a hefty phone bill when you return. You can catch Wi-Fi (free) in many places – like school, home, and even in public places – to access when you are not near a hotspot.
11. Say hello to your host family
If you are going to choose homestay (living with a host family) or roommate and you have their contact information, introduce yourself to them first. They may be as curious about you as you want to know about them, so saying hi would be a nice gesture. Everyone loves presents, so why not score a few extra good points by giving them a small souvenir from your home country, they would make the perfect icebreaker, wouldn’t they?
12. Cheer up
There’s a lot to think about and do before you study abroad, especially if it’s your first trip. No matter how many times you’ve opened and closed your suitcase, cheer up for the unforgettable adventure you’re about to embark on – as if the happy dances are just around the corner!