Study abroad adds a new perspective to your studies. You will see things from another point of view, which will help you to develop your analytical and critical thinking skills. Studying abroad is an eye-opening experience. People, culture and
even the weather differ from what you are accustomed to. Researching
your host country can prevent you from having a culture shock. Living and learning in another culture in the midst of the unfamiliar adds to our understanding of the variety of cultures in our world and gives us a maturity and perspective which can be gained in no other way.
1. Documentation works
A passport and student visa are important documents that you need to
legally remain in a foreign country. Apply for a passport several
months before of you apply for studying abroad. Your passport may
later be used to prepare your student visa if the host country requires
you to have one.
Photocopy all these documents and give them to your family and student
counselor in your home country. Keep a copy for yourself by packing it
separately from your original documents. This way, it will be easier
to generate new documents if your original ones are lost or stolen
while you stay abroad.
2. Health Status
Before leaving you home country, consult your doctor for a full physical check
to ensure that you are in good health. Bring along a copy of your
medical records in case of an emergency overseas. Know the host
country's immunization requirements and become immunized before your
3. Insurance (this is important)
Get a reliable health insurance policy that includes medical
evacuation and repatriation if a medical emergency occurs. Consider
taking a comprehensive travel insurance policy if you intend to travel a lot while you are overseas.
4. Money Issues
Develop a realistic budget for your study and stay abroad and stick closely
to it. Learn about the cost of living and account for fixed expenses
such as rent utilities and essentils. Put money aside for entertainment and the
occasional shopping. Add your one-time expenses as well, such as the purchase of a car and your rent deposit.
Have at least threeor four months of savings before you leave to study
abroad. When you arrive overseas, set up your account in a good
bank with branch offices near your campus and where you live. Have some
money transferred from your account at home.
For safety, avoid carrying
too much cash. Rather, have student checks and debit or credit cards in hand.
5. Communication means
Regular communication with your family and friends is essential when
you study abroad. The Internet is ofcourse the best option. Your campus library may allow free Internet access during office
hours, so you can send emails to your family and friends. However, you
may be restricted from using chat
and Internet telephone calls. It is advisable to buy an international calling card to make affordable calls to home.
To economize, request on-campus accommodation when you apply for
your study abroad program. Universities give priority to foreign
students, although on-campus accommodation may only be offered for a
limited period, such as the first semester or year. Survey the rental
market early to avoid paying expensive rent due to lack of more
Share a place with your campus friends. Staying with a host family by exchanging domestic services
like cleaning and babysitting is another economic alternative. However,
check with your student counselor beforehand to avoid violating any
You may also consider staying as a paying guest if such an alternative is available.
Pack only what you need to get settled in the host country. Avoid
bringing clothes for a whole year. Chances are, you may not even use
most of them, especially if the weather is completely different.
Know the weather when you arrive so that you can wear appropriate
clothing. Remember to bring adaptors if you are bringing your own
electrical appliances. Place important documents pertaining to your
study abroad in a hand-carry luggage and keep it with you at all times.
Leaving to study abroad opens your mind to another world. Your
experience should not be fraught with lack of preparation and last
minute planning, so bear these tips in mind to have a hassle-free
departure to your host country.
GOOD LUCK for yor journey and have a bright future!!