What are the preparations before study abroad
Leaving your homeland and travelling to another country to pursue your higher education is without a doubt one of the most adventurous things you can do as a student. It opens an array of new opportunities and experiences throughout your stay. This sure is a major change that you might have to go through as an individual, and requires a whole new way of prepping. No! Booking your flight tickets and packing your bags isn't the only kind of preparation that we're talking about.
Before moving to study abroad, there are a lot of things that you need to process to make sure that you have a safe and hassle-free travel experience.
Here is a checklist of things that will help you prepare for your study abroad trip without any last-minute hassles.
Plan Your Finances
Studying abroad is no less than a whole new journey by itself if you're someone who's looking to have a world-class education and an improved way of life. Before deciding on which university you want to get into, you might want to know details about the tuition fees for the course you have chosen. Once you figure out the cost of education, you have to start thinking about how much money you will spend during your time abroad. Because let's face it, studying abroad is a plan that is going to be expensive in a lot of ways. Planning your finances right from the start can make things a lot easier.
1. Apply for Student Loans
Making yourself eligible for a student loan is the simplest way to start with, as this will give you the much-needed financial security when it comes to overseas education. Most banks will ask you for information about the income of your parents to verify if you're in a position to repay the loan.
Some of the banks might want a guarantor to sign your loan agreement. The guarantor is usually someone who is in a good financial position and is someone who gives proof of your good conduct.
You can contact your nearby bank to enquire about the process and get started as early as you start applying to universities.
2. Check for Scholarships/ Financial Aids
As soon as you select your country and the university you want to apply for, check all the possible scholarship programs that you might be eligible to apply for. Countries like Australia and the US have a lot of scholarship opportunities, especially for international students.
3. Figure Out Your Overall Expense
No matter where you are, and how well you plan your finances, the expenses at the end of each month are always going to surprise you in ways you might have never expected. Going to a new country, you will surely want to take a few weekend trips, go shopping, and try new restaurants and clubs now and then.
To be able to enjoy all of this apart from your college life, it is advisable to know in and out about the cost of living in the city you're moving to and understand how much it costs for a person who's living there. This includes all of the expenses such as cost of accommodation, commute, groceries, and so on.
Get To Know Everything About Your Soon-to-be Home Country
When you're an international student travelling far from your home country, you need to be prepared for a long list of things, especially to adapt to your new study abroad country. Do a brief analysis of the country's people, local communities, culture, government, and the rules and regulations that must be followed.
The things that are not a big deal in your country might be something of a punishable offence in your new country. You might want to be well-informed about the law in that country to avoid getting into any sort of trouble.
It is also wiser to check if any of your family members or friends are currently residing there or have travelled there in the past and get to know more about the country through them. If you're lucky, you might find a reliable resource.
Apply for a Passport and a Visa
Duh! You cannot travel abroad for study or any other purpose without a valid passport. Make sure to apply for your passport at least a year before you decide to travel, so you will have enough time to finish all the process and have the passport in hand before your travel date.
If you already have a passport, doubt check the expiration date and ensure that it is valid for at least six months after your intended date of return to your home country.
You will also need a student visa to study abroad; the visa regulations differ from country to country. Check with your nearest embassy or consulate to know in detail about the visa application process.
Arrange for a Travel Insurance
One of the important things to carry with you during your study abroad trip is your travel insurance. A valid health and accident insurance policy will come in handy during any unforeseen situation that you might face during your stay.
Another reason you should apply for travel insurance is that it can cover many other things your overseas health insurance might not, such as:
- Lost luggage
- Stolen personal belongings
- Coverage in case your flight is cancelled or delayed
Take up a Language Test
The university that you're applying to might want you to clear any of the English language proficiency tests as part of your college application process. Any international student whose native language is not English might want to prove their language proficiency through a test score while applying for a study abroad program.
Some of the commonly accepted language tests are:
TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language
IELTS - International English Language Testing System
PTE - Pearson Test of English
Let Your Bank Know About Your Travel
Once you finish making other arrangements for your travel, make sure you notify your bank about your study abroad plan. Get to know how your credit and debit cards work there. Most banks might block your credit or debit bank if they notice any suspicious activity, unexpected foreign transactions could be one of them.
See if your bank cards can be used for hassle-free international transactions. If not, it is always better to open a new bank account in the nearby place where you will be residing in the new country.
Applying for a travel credit card is another ideal way to manage your travel expenses as this allows you to redeem travel rewards for specific purchases such as flights, hotel stays, etc.
Do a Physical Examination
One of the important things to do before you travel anywhere is to ensure that you are in good health as this will give you a stress-free travel experience. Schedule a physical examination with your doctor once you decide on your travel dates and see if you have taken all the necessary vaccinations that your new country might require.
Prepare Your Means of Communication
Figure out how you will be able to communicate with your family and friends once you go abroad. See if your current network has any international plans with the country you're moving to and see if it is affordable for you. If not, you might have to get a new SIM card as soon as you land there.
Get Prepared Mentally
Deciding to study abroad comes with a lot of self-reliability and confidence. You have to be prepared to face things all by yourself and take ownership of your actions because let's face it, you are going to be on your own. Your mom isn't going to wake you up in the morning- if you miss your alarm, you miss it. You will be living in a different time zone from the people back home and you are going to miss your home-cooked food.
Make sure to let all of your friends and family know where you are going so you can always stay in touch with them and never miss any important updates from your circle.
Other important things to look into before beginning your journey could be:
- Pack appropriate clothes according to your new home country's weather conditions. And remember to pack light.
- You can still vote when you're living abroad. Check with your country's voting portal to see the regulations and how you can request an absentee ballot.
- Make a clear plan of your itinerary once all of your paperwork has been completed.
- Go to your local bank and order some of your destination currency and keep it ready so this can come in handy when you need it.
Leaving your home country and stepping out of your comfort zone might not be easy. Maybe this is something that you have never done before. And just for deciding to study abroad, you should pat yourself on the back!
But worry not about how you are going to make all this happen.
AECC Global Thailand is here to help you ease your way through your study abroad plan.
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To know more about the perfect study abroad program and the top universities at your dream destination, visit our website now!