Here’s a quick look at what all you should be concerned about before you begin travelling for your overseas study. The more you focus on the details, the higher would be your comfort in terms of stay, etc. Read on to know more :
While the passport is the most important link in your travel abroad and there are slim chances that you would forget the same, there are other things that you would need to definitely worry about. Stuff like :
- Validity of the passport
- It’s expected expiry date
- Any other aspects around the passport like re-issue procedures, etc
Passports are expected to expire but you want to stay away from hassles of standing in long queues for getting it re-done, not to mention the tension of staying in a foreign land without a passport. Keep your passport validity in check to ensure your true peace of mind.
While student visas are generally taken care of by the school / university which is inviting you to come and study with them, there are cases when this might not happen. In a situation like this one, you need to be prepared to make your own arrangements. How do you do that ?
- Get in touch with the consulate / embassy of the country where you need to go and study
- Ask them for the detailed paperwork
- Set up the interview dates
- Get your documentation ready. Stuff like your invite letter, your proof of funds and the return ticket back home would be required before you get into an interview with the embassy
When considering your finances, you should make sure you have money that is safe and accessible for the duration of your travels.
Carrying the local currency is a must, but make sure you don’t rely solely on cash or withdraw large amounts of cash at a time. When converting your money make sure to do it before getting to the airport, where exchange rates are not the best. This can often be done through your local bank, travel agents, bureau de change, post office, some supermarkets or even a specialist online provider. To get the best rates, price comparison websites such as Moneysupermarket can help.
Before you depart, make a list of expenses, including everything from accommodation costs to daily food and entertainment. Figure out how much money you’ll have to live on per week and, if this isn’t enough, consider cutting down on non-essentials or researching further funding options.
International student scholarships
Scholarships are an effective way of ensuring that you get a good financial head start and use your money for something better.
A lot of universities / colleges have great scholarship programs which can change the way things look for you on the financial front. All you need to do is find out which are the criteria which will help you secure the scholarship.
There are various things which can impact your scholarship : reservations, GPA scored so far, special skills, merit related details, etc. Find out what works best for your institution and then work towards applying for that scholarship.
International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) should be on every international student’s study abroad checklist, as it offers discounts on products and services around the world. Check online to see whether the International Student Identity Card would be useful to you, and discover discounts for public transport, travel insurance, international calling cards and a number of other useful 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.
There are three things that you need to really worry about when you are abroad :
Insurance helps you take care of all this and remember that you don’t have to spend a bomb on this, however this expense is something that should help you manage your stay better from a financial perspective. So think on this and choose well, you won’t regret it.
To make sure you’re fighting fit before leaving home, it’s wise to visit your doctor for a full medical check-up and to make sure you’ve had all the vaccinations you may need for your chosen study destination. For far-off countries, these vaccinations will come at a price, but rest assured your doctor will tell you if they are completely necessary.
If you need ongoing care while you’re away, make sure your doctor sends a copy of your medical records abroad. Foreign prescriptions are not always honored so it is advised that you allow yourself extra time to collect your prescription before your medication runs out.
While most of the countries that you plan to travel to, will have some element of the local population speaking fairly good english, there could be certain parts where you feel a little left out and might want to get a better hold of the local language.
How do you do that ? Well here are a few tips :
- Get your smart phone to download some local lingo learning apps
- Carry a smart lingo assist book with you when you initiate your travel
- Ensure that you pick up on local lingo when you walk into a general store or while visiting places with friends, etc
- Try and have local friends speak to you in the local language so that you learn the most essential of words like thank you, sorry, excuse me, etc
End of the day, it’s not as tough as it really sounds and you can make it through very easily with the help of some tips, etc. All the best for your big trip abroad, make it count !!
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