There’s no other way you can explain studying abroad other than it’s exciting. It has been one of the best times of my life and that can happen to you too. You gain unique experiences, make new memories and you get to meet people from different parts of the world. Although, you can find transition from comfortable living to being independent a little bit stressful and difficult if you are not properly prepared. Below are a few things you should know before studying abroad.
Pick Where You’ll Study
There are no two countries that are exactly alike just like people. While making friends, you will mostly find it easier to connect with people you are compatible with. You will have to spend adequate time doing research on a place you want to spend a significant amount of time studying and living. Firstly, get conversant with the country’s language, food, religion, culture and mannerism. This will make sure you are not flying in blind. Probably avoid going in without any previous expectations or conceptions. However, that is also okay. It is best to know what you’re dealing with prior so you do not make any regrettable decisions.
When studying abroad, having a phone plan is totally essential. You will find yourself in situations where you suddenly need to make a call at the airport, search for significant information like a taxi company or need to use data for Google Maps. Ensure your mobile phone provider has affordable international plans with the country you’re moving to. If they don’t, you will sign up for a mobile plan at the airport the minute you arrive. This will then become the least of your problems. Pack a cheap backup phone just in case something happens to yours, if possible. There is no such thing as being over-prepared.
Keep yourself informed with the current currency exchange
You have to consider daily expenses as a student. However, some of the cheapest countries to visit are the most unstable. The US dollar will not have the same value when you’re visiting as it did five months ago when you looked up the exchange rate. This is a mistake many people make, assuming everything stays stagnant. Be aware especially if your country has a volatile economy. The tiniest changes can make a big difference on your budget. Remember you are budgeting for months and not days.
You could find yourself using Western Europe money in what you assumed was a budget- friendly destination. Obviously, this is not something you pay attention to when you are under your parents but when abroad studying, you need to be aware of your monetary circumstances and budgeting. Make sure your bank is aware so they don’t refuse your payments when buying a donut or a cup of coffee. When studying in the Philippines, for example, you need to know the best USD to PHP foreign exchange rate to avoid extra charges. This will put you in a better position to make transactions while studying abroad.
Phones and laptops have become an absolute essential to most colleges. Nowadays, many schools have adapted electronics by introducing learning programs like Google into their system. It is difficult to type 1000- word essay on your phone screen or create a presentation on a tablet due to lack of a laptop. Make sure you know your school and course in order to carry the right equipment. Courses especially in sciences demand that you have several electrical appliances. Notably, these appliances can be cheaper in one country than another. In case the electronic product you need is cheaper in your country, you can buy it before traveling.
Watch The News For Any New Information On Your Destination
It’s good to know if the country you choose to study are experiencing major political issues, are in the middle of an epidemic, their metro system is falling apart or their economy is tanking. However, don’t panic over every little incident. Most of the best places to study are always in a political or economic flux. Just work new knowledge into your already existing plans. The worst case scenario can be if the country closes it’s borders and your study abroad trip gets halted all of a sudden. In events like these, student travel insurance has you covered.
Protect your housing, courses and flights
Most study abroad programs involve traditional coursework. However they are all unique. Be aware what classes you’ll be taking and the time they happen. This allows you to plan activities around that schedule. Also know where you’ll be staying. This determines your commute and the expenses if any. It’s great to travel before the semester begins. Just ensure a flight to your destination is booked. That’s the whole point of the trip anyway. Don’t leave it up to chance.
Getting an opportunity to study abroad can be a very exciting adventure. However, you might struggle to adapt to the new environment and lifestyle. Use the tips discussed here for an easy going abroad.