How Should I Prepare to Study Abroad?

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You have found a good program, got accepted, and now you are wondering how to prepare to study abroad. Preparing beforehand is important because you are going to a new place with different laws, cultures and weather. Here are critical tips you need to consider to prepare well for the new experience.

Take Care of Your Paperwork in Advance

Making sure that your paperwork is in order is crucial when preparing to study abroad, especially if you are going to stay for a long period. Begin by preparing six to eight months in advance to avoid rushing at the last minute. The paperwork involves a lot of formalities, from applying for visas to getting the medical tests. These formalities may take months to complete. You will have to visit the embassy of the country you plan to travel to and apply for a visa and passport. Make sure your passport is valid for the entire part of the trip. Bring with you a copy of your medical report, driving license, birth certificate and any other citizenship document you may have.

Related Resource: 30 Affordable Colleges with the Best Study Abroad Programs 2017 – 2018

Research the Country You Plan to Visit

Research the people in your destination country and their culture. Get to know what the weather is like and what meals are common there. Read about the cost of living, including the price of houses and food. Knowing the country’s culture and economy will enrich your experience and make your time there more meaningful.

Get Your Finances in Order

Make sure your finances are well taken care of so that you are not caught in a jam. Let your bank and credit card company know that you will be abroad. This will enable them to make necessary changes in your account so that you are not locked out. Set up an online bank account to facilitate payments. After that, come up with a budget estimate to enable you save up enough money for your stay abroad. It is also advisable to have some cash with you on the day you travel. Convert at least $100 to your destination country’s currency to facilitate your stay before you locate a suitable bank there.

Pack Appropriately

Before you begin to pack, come up with a list of what you really need. People who are not used to traveling can easily bring too many items.  Only pack things you suspect are not available in your host country. Carrying too many things will only weigh you down and accrue additional costs at the airport.

Buy a Plane Ticket

Plane tickets vary, depending on when you want to fly and where you are going. There are several online platforms that allow travelers to compare tickets from various carriers. You can try Student Universe or STA Travel for flexible and cheap tickets.

Register With Your Country’s Embassy

You need to register with the government to make your presence and whereabouts known. You may also receive important information about the security situation in your host country in the process. Leave copies of your passport or any other citizenship document you may have.

Studying abroad can be fun and safe if you do your due diligence before you travel. The tips discussed above will give you helpful insights on how to prepare to study abroad.