This article contains information on the Vital Eight (8) Study Abroad Checklist for this year 2020.
Looks like you may have been given admission into a particular program in a foreign university of your choice, hence you intend preparing to travel to this new country either by road, air or water to begin your new life as an international student. As you await the resumption date, you may wish to follow our study abroad checklist to get you prepared for your trip and new life ahead.
It is of great necessity that you get to know about the important, regulatory things that will aid in making your stay abroad be as smooth as possible, whether you are intending to study abroad for a month, a semester, a whole academic year or a full degree or a short period of time.
Find below some vital study abroad checklist to get you prepared.
This is one of the most important things you must possess and keep in check before travelling or embarking on your journey to the new country to study as an international student. You should make sure you have money that is riskless and accessible for the period of your travels while making plans for your finances. Make sure you go with local currency. Also do not rely only on cash or withdraw large amounts of cash at a go. Before getting to the airport, make sure you convert your cash into the new country’s currency because exchange rates at the airport are not the best. You can do the conversion through your local bank, travel agents, bureau de change, post office, some supermarkets or even a specialist online provider.
You should also have a bank account that you can access abroad with a credit card, through local automated teller machines or an international bank branch. A lot of major banks are internationally recognized, but you will often be charged a little fee each time you withdraw money from the ATM or pay your bill with your card. In this regard, be sure your card is valid for the period of your trip and that you inform your bank about your travels before leaving to make sure your card is not blocked.
Immediately you find out how to access your money while away, you are going to have to spend it wisely. Be it funding yourself through personal savings, a student loan, a scholarship or income from a part-time job, the best thing to do is to keep a budget, and it is really not an easy thing but you will have to, in order to avoid being penniless at the end of each term.
I am certain you do not intend to forget your passport. You may need to ensure your passport will remain valid for the duration of your travels. When applying for visa and such, many countries will require you to have at least six months extra duration on your passport beyond the end of your studies. Also, make sure you apply as soon as possible if it will be of necessity for you to renew your passport. The renewal process varies though, depending on the country. But it takes at most 2 months to be ready. Do not wait until you are abroad before going to renew your passport unless you are willing to visit the embassy frequently, queue up and fill forms. You would not want to undergo such stress in a new country, I bet you.
As an international student, you will definitely be needing a student visa in order to be allowed to study in the country you have been given admission to study in. This depends on your chosen country of study though. Sometimes, the school helps in assisting students with the visa process especially if it is an accredited university. This does not always occur but make sure you do your findings. If no help is rendered, Kindly secure your student visa yourself.
Processes you will need to undergo in order to secure your visa; contact the embassy or better still, the consulate of your country of study. You will also compulsorily attend a meeting as part of your visa application. Also, some vital documents will be asked of you such as a university letter of approval, valid passport, proof of funds and a return ticket for your journey home at the end of your studies. Once you can supply these documents then you are definitely going to get your student visa ready.
4. International student identity card
This should be on every international student’s study abroad checklist, because this offers discounts on products and services around the world. Surf the internet to know if the International Student Identity Card would be of importance to you, and discover discounts for public transport, travel insurance, international calling cards and a number of other vital things. The International Student Travel Confederation, the organization behind the International Student Identity Card (ISIC), has offices in 106 countries worldwide and can offer help with many travel-related issues you may face as an international student.
5. Travel insurance
You would not want to ignore getting travel insurance for a little, one-off payment. Travel insurance will cover you if anything happens to you during your studies, be it sickness, theft or injury. Also, travel insurance will make sure you do not spend the whole of your savings visiting a doctor regularly.
It is very important you visit your doctor for a proper check-up to make sure you are fit before travelling and also ensure you take the vaccinations you may probably need for your chosen study destination. In faraway countries, these vaccinations will come at a price, but be rest assured your doctor will let you know if they are of vital necessity. If you need frequent care while you are away, ensure your doctor sends a copy of your medical reports abroad. Foreign prescriptions are not always honoured, so it is advised that you allow yourself extra time to collect your prescription before your medication runs out.
Probably you may have chosen to study abroad in a country in which you do not know how to speak the local language, be anxious for nothing. You should consider taking some lessons in the local language before you travel, in order to fully communicate with people in your study abroad country. Leaving your smartphone behind? Ensure to pack a phrasebook. Being able to communicate with locals politely will no doubt be totally useful, especially if lost in a new town or city.
On every student’s study abroad checklist should be the ways and knowledge of being able to get around and discover your new country and its culture. In order to be able to travel on a budget, you will have to book your initial tickets before you travel and also you will need to research means of travel for you to use once in the country. The internet is an amazing tool for this, thereby, allowing you to compare prices of transport all over the world. You may also find out that buying a railcard will come in handy if you plan on doing a lot of travelling by train, the same with a bus or coach cards. Buying deals such as this before leaving home will ensure you do not have to spend from your travel money once out there. Ensure that you only buy what you will need.