Preparing for a study abroad program can be as confusing as adventurous. Preparatory sessions, undertaking tests, filing documents, and adhering to all the respective deadlines can be overwhelming. So, we have made a quick list of all tips on what and when to do, to make this process easier.
One Year to the D-day
Start considering the program you wish to pursue abroad. Shortlist the universities and the country to come out with a single name.
Get yourself enrolled to nail the language test if you happen to be from a country where English is not your native language. Register for it in advance in case there is a need for a retest for low scores in the first attempt.
It’s the right time to apply for a passport if you don’t have one already.
Ten months to go
Now is the time to fill all the application forms for your shortlisted college. Don’t think it’s early as there would still be time to rectify errors.
Apply for scholarships/grants offered by your college to international students and do the financial planning.
Six months to go
Initiate the process for your visa application. Take professional help if necessary.
Time to learn the most spoken language of the host country. Know a little about the host country’s slang, jokes while researching about their culture.
Three months to departure
It’s time to book your flight tickets. This is the time to get your hands on the cheapest lot out there.
Secure a travel credit card accepted by the host country. It’d be a breeze to make payments.
It’s time to get all your medicals done and get your prescriptions ready. Many countries would need prescriptions along with your medicines to let you bring them inside the country.
Get travel and health insurance. They are meant for your protection in a foreign land.
One week to boarding
Pack your bags a week ahead. Put all the travel and university documents first. Make a few copies of them all in different files. Keep one file in main luggage, another in the carry bag, and ask your parents to keep another copy secure. In case you lose both of yours’, you can still get one mailed from home.
Stock your clothes as per the weather of the host country.
Keep some spare cash in the currency of the host country for initial use just after landing.
Time to notify your bank that there’ll be transactions from your account from the host country to avoid getting blocked by the bank for suspicious activity
Search your travel options to reach your university from the airport. Many students get conned by local transport agents.
Save the emergency hotline number of the country on your phone for any SOS situation.
Download all the necessary apps like WhatsApp, Skype, university app, et al.
On reaching your destination
Immediately call your family to inform them of a safe landing.
Try to figure out the local public transport system as soon as possible.
Try to understand the law of the land to avoid breaking any rules. It’s not advisable to get caught up in a law rundown situation, ever.
Finally, start making conscious efforts to learn the unsaid cultural or traditional rules of the country to be a part of it all.
Having forgotten even a single must-have out of the do’s list can ruin your prospects of boarding the flight. So remember these tips when preparing for your study abroad program.
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