Who knows how many chances you will have to study abroad in the future. Use these study abroad tips to help ensure that you get the most from your trip overseas.
Reserve Your Flights Early
Flights are usually cheaper if you book well in advance. Also, if you are going with a group, it might be necessary to book early so that everyone can travel on the same flight.
Do You Have an Agent?
If you would like some help with your study abroad trip, you can ask an international education agent for advice. An agent can help you choose and apply to a school. Agents can also help with travel logistics, like flights,. travel insurance and travel insurance.
Agents do not usually charge students for their services. Before choosing an agent, it’s best to do a little research to confirm that the agency is established and reputable. If you can’t get a referral from a friend, teacher or school, you can try social media. Or, just ask us.
Start Learning Now
Learn about your destination before you leave. It’s a lot easier to know what you want to do and see if you have already done some research.
Scan Your Stuff
Scan your personal documents, just in case you lose them, or need the information on them when you have left them at home. It wouldn’t hurt to have photos of your valuables, too, in case you need to report something as lost or stolen.
Bring What You Will Need
Think about those little things that you must have before you travel. Will you need power adaptors for your devices? What supplies should you have for school?
By arriving prepared, you can start your trip with the fun stuff – not shopping for last-minute necessities.
But, Travel Light
Think twice about what you bring. Student housing does not usually have much storage space. Life will be simpler if you only have the things that you need, and nothing more.
If you want to buy a car, snowboard, or anything else that you probably can’t take home at the end of your trip, think about buying it second-hand. Let the previous owner suffer the depreciation. With a little luck, toward the end of your trip, you will be able to sell these things for about the same as you paid.
Plan Your Activities Before You Go
Plan now. Don’t wait until you have arrived at your new home. Make a list of things you want to see and do. If your school offers social and sightseeing activities, find the itinerary and start planning your schedule around it.
Do you know the best place to get some local money? How will you get from the airport to your home? Do you know how you will get to school on the first day? Reduce stress by planning in advance.
Get Your Bearings
Knowing your directions is very helpful. However, it is something that many people overlook. Figure out exactly where you are as soon as you arrive. For example, use a landmark such as a lake, office tower, or mountain to determine which way is north. From the beginning, ask local people to help you with this.
Find the area where you will be living on Google Maps and save it to your phone or tablet. You can then use it when you’re offline. It’s also good to have a paper map, just in case the battery on your device dies.
Connect to Free Wifi
Technology is changing so quickly that we won’t try to give you specific advice, since it it likely be outdated when you read it. Anyway, just search for something like “free wifi networks (ex: new york)” and you see what’s available near your new home. It’s the fastest way to find your future coffee shop.
Don’t Be Clingy
When in a new place, it’s natural to want to cling to familiar people, places and things. Resist this urge as much as you can. Don’t forget, one of the main reasons to study abroad is to see and do new things, and meet new people.
On the other hand, don’t take it to the extreme. Although it’s great to get to know the local people, you can also have fun with friends from your country.
Why not make a list of three new “local” things that you want to do every day? Then, be sure top complete your list. Even if students from your country come along, you will likely all still be learning and having fun.
Learn the Language
This might be one of the most important study abroad tips. Really pay attention and get involved during language classes. Ask people to correct your mistakes. The better your knowledge of the local language, the more you will appreciate the culture (music, news, pop culture, history, etc).
Don’t be Lazy
You don’t want to be near the end of your trip and realize that you wasted half of your spare time sleeping or playing games. Go to bed early. Use your alarm clock. Make the most out of every day.
Be a Perpetual Tourist
Some longer-term students begin to feel at home and start to lose interest in the local sights and sounds. Studying abroad offers a special chance to see the world. Make the best of it.