There is nothing that establishes a student's independence than the desire to study abroad. It also provides students with the opportunity to get a well-rounded education while exploring and immersing themselves in a different culture altogether.
This comes with a number of challenges that need adequate preparation for. A good checklist can make sure that everything you need is in order and get rid of the some of the anxiety associated with studying abroad.
1. Get all the Necessary Paperwork
Without the necessary paperwork, you will not be able to get into any foreign country. Make sure that you have a passport or that your passport will not expire in the middle of your semester. Check the visa requirements of the country you wish to study and apply for one if the requirements state that you should.
2. Find out If Your can Transfer Your Credits
It would be counterproductive to spend a few semesters in a college abroad only to return and find out that none of your credits have an impact on your degree. That would just be a huge time-waster. Check with your academic advisor if the credits you earn from taking classes abroad will be accepted when you return.
3. Watch or Read News About Your Destination
Stay up to date with the current events of your preferred destination of study. You need to know what the political and financial climate is like, and also make sure that they aren't in the middle of a health crisis. You need to factor this information into your existing plan for studying abroad so that you don't panic when you hear every little bit of bad news.
4. Secure Accommodation
Talk to your school and find out if they can arrange suitable accommodation for you on campus. If you prefer to live off-campus, ask your school to provide information about safe, affordable housing somewhere near the school.
5. Get Medical Insurance
Some countries might require you to get a health checkup, vaccines as well as have medical insurance before you travel there. But, even if they don't require you to have all these things, get them anyway. Contact your health insurance provider and let them know that you are traveling abroad and get to know whether they will be able to cover your medical expenses. If not, find a provider that will. Your health is very important.
6. Learn the Local Language
If you are traveling to a country that happens to speak your language; it is great. But if they don't, there will be a language barrier to overcome. This is why it is important to familiarize yourself with the language they speak by taking a course online for example.
7. Learn How to Write the Local Language
Just because you can speak the language, it doesn't mean you can write it. Many languages have different rules when it comes to writing, so you are better off taking a course on writing the language of finding a suitable writing service online that can help you out.
8. Register with Your Embassy
Talk to your government's embassy in the country you wish to study so they know they have a citizen of their country to look out for. Being in foreign countries makes you vulnerable; knowing the government has your back can put your mind at ease.
9. Have a Bank Account
Once you get to the foreign country and you are settled, you should get a bank account. Your debit or credit cards may not work or you may get charged some additional fees when purchasing something or making a withdrawal. It is easier to just use a local bank so you can always have your money close by, and you can deal with them directly when any problems arise.
10. Know the Law
If you are going to study in Singapore, for example, it would be good to know that chewing a gum is against the law. This might not be a big deal where you come from, but it is not a good idea to assume it is not a big deal elsewhere. For all laws are different in every country, it would be good to familiarize yourself regardless to make sure that you adhere to the law at all times, especially when it comes to alcohol and driving.
11. Expected the Unexpected
You can't plan for everything, and this is something that you have to accept. Making sure that you have all the necessary knowledge beforehand will help you handle most of the things that come your way. Just make sure that you keep an open mind and know that not knowing everything is what makes the journey fun.
Studying abroad can be a rewarding experience beyond academics. Students who study abroad come home with new experiences not provided by local colleges. If you're planning on going to a college abroad and anxious or nervous about it, don't panic and follow this list.