Studying abroad this year? Enjoy every moment with these helpful tips to help you be prepared.
Deciding to take your studies abroad is a big moment for any student. Not only are you leaving all your friends and family behind, but you’re merging your higher education with the additional difficulty of a language barrier, a new culture and without much of a support network. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Most international students report that studying abroad was one of the greatest decisions they ever made for their education and they come away from this unique experience with so much more than a degree.
So, what advice should any foreign student consider when they’re about to begin their studies? Read on to find out more.
Have everything you need
When you forget your laptop or your textbooks back in your home country, it’s a minor issue, however, when you’re on the other side of the world and you realize that you’re missing equipment it’s a complete disaster and it won’t be the best start to your studies. Make a list of everything you need, from your laptop to your chargers, your adapters, apps like plagiarism checker software, textbooks and stationery and learn to be a little more organized.
Create a budget
Much like student life back home, you need to create a budget for your time abroad – and stick to it! Start by saving as much money as possible by finding cheap flights to your destination and doing plenty of research into how much the essentials cost over there. Then you can work out how much you have to play with each month and if getting a job would be a good idea. No one wants to be stuck in their accommodation because they’re broke – especially when everyone else is out making friends!
Get to grips with the language
You’re not there on holiday, you’re there for a substantial amount of time so, with this in mind, it’s certainly worth getting to grips with the language and learning a few key phrases. Of course, you’re not expected to speak it fluently by the time you get there, but a few phrases will help you integrate better and locals will appreciate your effort. Even if you do end up speaking English, keep your ears open and pick up as much as you can.
Know what to do in an emergency
Just like anywhere in the world, anything can happen. And it’s always better to be prepared. If you need emergency assistance, would you know what number to call? Make yourself familiar with emergency numbers, where the nearest hospital is and how to ask for help!
The idea of making friends is intimidating at the best of times and if you’re in a foreign country with a language barrier to overcome, it’s positively terrifying. The best option is to jump in with both feet and remember that everyone else is new there too and probably feeling the same way. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those in your class, strike up conversations, head to student groups or join clubs. Remember, to just be yourself!