Studying abroad is a fantastic opportunity to broaden your horizons and experience different cultures and customs whilst getting an education at the same time. If you have the chance to do this, seize the moment and go for it, but take time to carefully plan and prepare for your amazing adventure.
Picking Your School
If you are considering studying abroad, you probably already have a good idea of where you want to go and what you want to study. It is important to fully research your school of choice and familiarise yourself with the entry requirements, scholarship options, whether they teach the course you are looking for, and any accommodation provided.
Going through a study abroad program will help you prepare for this, as will websites like Pretest Plus which specialise in preparing students for entrance exams.
If you only speak one language, it may be a good idea to pick a school that has lessons in your native language, to make sure you can keep up. If you are choosing a school to help you with learning a new language, ensure your fluency is at a level you won’t fall behind in classes and will be comfortable in lessons.
However, a Dictaphone to record your lessons could be a good idea, which you could then listen back and translate at a slower pace in your own time.
Don’t Forget The Important Bits
You got in! Congratulations, now to think about the logistics. Travelling abroad involves a lot of important documentation such as:
- Travel/Health Insurance
- Plane ticket
This may seem obvious but to avoid any delays or issues at the airport, making sure these are all in the correct order is important. For example, is your passport in date? Will it still be in date up to 6 weeks-6 months on return, depending on your home country? Take into consideration also the time needed for a new passport to be issued and sent to you.
If this is your first time getting a passport, consider the extra time for an interview, for that to be reviewed and for your passport to then be issued.
A visa application can also take time to complete and be accepted so make sure this is done within plenty of time.
Travel and health insurance are so important. The chances are, the country you are going to will not have free healthcare and in the unfortunate case of an accident or illness, could leave you in severe debt.
Your plane ticket! Websites such as Skyscanner will quickly show and compare the cheapest flights to your destination.
Packing For Your Travel
Knowing what to pack for your year away can be confusing and overwhelming. Check with your airline provider the luggage allowance to make sure you don’t go over. Typically, one carry-on and a checked-in bag is recommended.
Check out some best travel bags to get an idea of what you might need. Consider the temperature of the country you’re traveling to; a winter coat may not be all that suitable for Australia or Florida, for example.
Other things to consider are plug adaptors for your important electronics such as your laptop and mobile phone. Also, some extra cash for an emergency is always a good idea.
All that is left then is the difficult task of saying goodbye to your loved ones. Huge opportunities like these can be daunting and scary, but with enough research and planning, you will feel ready and confident to take those steps, do something new, and enjoy yourself whilst learning.