Are you preparing to leave your country for overseas study? If so, then you will find this article very helpful. You have probably been asking yourself questions like, “How do I effectively prepare for my study abroad program?“, “Am I doing this right?” etc.
From making sure that you do not forget any essential documents, to filling out your forms correctly, to trying to pack everything you will need during your study abroad into a suitcase, there are just so many things that you need to remember to do that it could be overwhelming.
So, this article is more of a reminder to you on all the important things you need to take care of before travelling. That way, you are more likely to get things in check before making going over to begin your study program abroad.
Let’s look at some useful ways you can prepare for your study abroad program below:
1. Sort your passport and Visa out
If you have already been accepted into a study program abroad, that is great news! But it is only a part of the process. You cannot travel anywhere abroad without having your valid passport and visa.
First, you have to make sure that your passport is not expired. If it is expired, then you can not use it. You also have to make sure that your passport is not expired. If it is expired, then you can not use it. You also have to double check to make sure to make sure that the passport will not expire within six months of your planned return to your home country.
Also, if you have been overseas before, you should have blank pages in your passport. If you do not have a passport before now, then you should apply as fast as you can because passports take a long time to process, between six to twelve months. So, you should have sorted the passport out even before you get admitted to your study program.
To apply for the first time for your passport, you will need a copy of your birth certificate, 2 passport photos, means of identification like National ID card, your application, your fees and whatever the passport office asks you to bring in addition. You should contact the correct authorities for legal and official information on how to go about passport renewal, passport application etc.
On the issue of Visa, you may or may not need it depending on your destination country’s requirements for foreign students. Contact the country’s embassy office in your country for more information on Visa.
2. Travel Insurance is important to prepare too
Travel insurance is important just as health and accident insurance are important. Travel insurance will cover for you in case your flight is delayed, in cases where you lose your luggage, your personal belongings get stolen, or you need to leave due to natural disaster or health issues.
There should be good travel insurance providers in your country that can help you with this. Getting your health insurance is not as hard though as there are so many health insurance providers both in your host country and in your home country as well. You can get affordable plans for yourself as a student to save costs.
3. Do enough research about your host country’s lifestyle, people and culture
This is a very important step that you should really pay attention to. Do you know that by just familiarizing yourself with the language of your host country, you have made significant progress in adjusting? It’s true!
You don’t have to know everything, just know the commonly used phrases and words and also try to be friendly with the citizens. Also, apart from language, you should know the climate and geography of the country you are visiting. Is it going to be very cold or very hot in your host country? What type of clothing should you pack?
Knowing the climate condition before travelling, helps you to be able to pack and select clothings in accordance. You should also know about the system of governance in your host country and what the economy is like. You can ask those that have been to your destination country before what it feels like and their advice for you.
Also, you can read news websites of your destination country to get an idea of what is happening over there and what to expect.
4. Book Your Plane Ticket
Some student travelling agencies can provide you with great deals for inexpensive tickets to travel abroad. Also, you can use the help of online tools like www.kayak.com that can help you compare flight prices and available flights for your preferred date of travel. But student travel agencies are your best friend because most times, they offer mouthwatering discounts for tickets.
5. Make Sure You Have Money
You should set up on online bank account, tell your credit or debit card company that you will be overseas to prevent account locking and make sure you have extra cash before travelling.
Really, once you have done these five tips above, you are perfectly good to go. It is better to prepare well now, than to be wishing later.