Starting studies abroad in a new country alone can be overwhelming. Being away from family, home, and comfort food can be challenging. However, it is an exciting and enriching experience that allows one to gain academic knowledge, explore a new culture, and widen a student perspective.
But one might wonder how to survive your first week of study abroad. This article lists things to know on your first day of studying abroad to help students survive their first day and week.
What Should I Know Before Studying Abroad?
Before students apply to international universities, there are a few pointers to know about. These pointers will answer the question, what should I know before studying abroad:
Decide the country to study in
First and foremost, one must decide the country they want to study in. While students might have a dream country they want to live in, that shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Appropriate research must be done to pick a good program and check its availability in different universities.
Students must also consider the visa and immigration procedures of the country. Additionally, they need to consider the living costs, college fees, regular expenses, and more before deciding on the country.
Choose the right program
Secondly, before studying abroad plans are afoot, students need to choose their program. Once students select their ideal country, they should explore the available universities and courses. Also, several types of programs are available: undergraduate, postgraduate, short-term courses, and doctorates.
Students should understand, as per their profile, their eligibility and choose the program in accordance.
They should also consider whether they need to fulfill any prerequisites like language proficiency, standardized tests, and additional requirements.
Consider the tuition fee
It is important for students and parents to have an idea of the tuition fee. Most often, the top-ranked colleges have hefty tuition fees. So, students must ensure to factor that in their budget.
While looking to study abroad, students must also search for scholarship options that individual universities offer. This can help them subsidize their tuition fee.
However, there is no surety that a student will get a scholarship. Most often, there are several eligibility criteria and other evaluations the university undertakes to approve a student’s scholarship application.
Fill all applications properly
Once a student has decided on the program and has understood the tuition fee well, the next step is to apply for the university and course of choice. Students must complete the applications succinctly and attach all required documents correctly.
Moreover, students must research the university’s application process thoroughly to ensure they meet all minimum criteria. Students should ensure they submit applications within deadlines and accept the letter of offer on time to start their study abroad journey.
How Do I Prepare Myself To Study Abroad?
Once students know what to consider before studying abroad and have been accepted to the university of their choice, they might wonder, ‘how to prepare me to study abroad.’
Below are some things students can do to prepare themselves for their study abroad journey:
Connect with local experts
After securing admission to one’s chosen program and country, with the help of one’s university counselor, get in touch with local experts. Local experts will help students understand the local culture, language, and surroundings. Students will be able to get their bearings in a foreign land and kickstart their study abroad journey.
Students should ensure they secure their accommodation to prepare for their study abroad journey. Often first-year students can take benefit from campus accommodations. However, not all universities and countries offer this option. So, students must research housing options and secure their apartments before starting their study abroad journey.
Have local cash handy
Students should have local cash handy to purchase food, local sim-card, and other miscellaneous items. While ATM cards and credits are available, many countries still prefer dealing in cash. Students should try to arrange for local currency from their hometown to get the best exchange rate.
Prepare for the courses
Students should also prepare for their courses. They should have their textbooks and class materials handy. Even if students don’t have everything for their first day, they should have their questions ready to find out the course’s requirements from professors.
What Should You Not Bring When Studying Abroad?
Students might wonder, ‘what should you not bring to study abroad.’ Following are some things students should not get:
- Culturally inappropriate clothing
- Excessive clothing and footwear
- The heavy liquid in bottles
- Non-compatible electronics
- The country’s prohibited items
Helpful Tips For Surviving The First Week
Apart from the ways mentioned above to prepare for the study abroad journey, here are some tips on how to survive the first week:
- Learn to do things independently
- Explore the campus
- Meet new people
- Students should throw themselves into the orientation week
- Join clubs and network to socialize
- Study hard
- Learn the local tipping habits
- Try to learn and pick up the local language
Studying abroad is an enriching journey that will build a student’s personality and add to their resume. It also builds students’ confidence as they learn to do things independently and make new memories.
As long as students know the ‘things to know on the first day of study abroad’ like the campus, class schedules, accommodation, and transportation, they will survive their first week and have a pleasant study abroad journey.