All Women's Talk

8 Preparation Tips for Studying Abroad ...

By Kelly

While studying abroad can be an extremely rewarding experience, there are some preparation tips for studying abroad that you should follow to make the departure process a bit easier. Trying to think about all of the things you need to take care of before you leave can be a very overwhelming process. Here is some of my advice on what you need to do as you prepare to study abroad. Take if from my firsthand experience, there is a lot that goes into the process and you don’t want to miss any of these preparation tips for studying abroad.

1 Research the Location

Well, this should be one of the obvious preparation tips for studying abroad because you should probably have some idea where you want to go. There are tons of things to take into account when deciding a study destination. The language barrier, distance from home, cost, and even weather are all things to consider. It helps if you start to research different locations and the programs offered in each country. Compare the destinations and see which one works best with your personality and your major.

2 Talk to an Advisor

Once you have a location in mind, it is a good idea to meet with your advisor to see how studying abroad fits into your overall academic plan. Can you transfer credits? What courses should you take abroad? How will studying abroad look on your resume? These are all things to discuss with your advisor to see if studying abroad is a good option for you.

3 Talk to Previous Students

Talking to previous students who have studied abroad in your location is not only great to get insight on academics, but also the culture of the location and how your daily life will be abroad. Getting advice from friends who studied abroad before me was one of the most helpful things I did before studying abroad, because they not only talked to me about how classes were, they told me the best restaurants to go to, where to go on weekend trips, and even what the culture is like.

4 Get Your Passport and Visa

You might be so excited to finally be leaving to study abroad you miss this very important step in the study abroad process. Make sure that your passport does not expire anytime soon, and if you don’t have one, I would suggest applying for one many months in advance before you leave. Also, if you need a visa for studying abroad, which you usually do if you go during a semester, apply for that at least 4 months in advance. I have heard of many people having a delay in receiving their visa, which causes so much stress as you get closer to leaving.

5 Make Copies

Now that you have all of your documents together, it is time to make copies of them all. When traveling in a foreign country, you always risk losing important documents or having them stolen, so it is a good idea to carry around multiple copies with you. Whenever I go out in the town, I make sure to carry a copy of my passport rather than my actual passport. That way if my purse gets stolen, I still have my original. You should do the same thing with your visa and any medical documents you have with you.

6 Visit Your Doctor

If you follow one of the preparation tips for studying abroad, make it this one. Make sure you make an appointment with your doctor before you leave so you can get refills on your prescriptions, a regular checkup, and have them fill out any necessary forms required by your program. It will ensure that you are in tip-top shape to go out of the country. And you would hate to travel around the globe, just to run out of any medication.

7 Refresh Your Language Skills

You don’t know just how much you wish you spoke a different language until you study abroad. While most people around the world know some English, it is incredibly helpful to know at least a little bit of the native language. I would suggest studying a little of the language before your departure. Even if you can speak English to the locals, they really appreciate when you take the effort to speak the native language of the country.

8 Have an Emergency Plan

You never want to believe that something bad could happen to you while you are studying abroad, but it is possible. You could get a credit card stolen, need to go the hospital, or there could be a natural disaster. Make sure you have at least a basic plan to deal with these. Have emergency contact numbers of your family members on you at all times. And when traveling with friends on the weekend, have a set location for you to all meet up if anything happens. Planning is key when dealing with unexpected events.

These tips for studying abroad can really help you cover all of your bases. It is important to keep your parents in the loop of your preparation process and checklists help out a lot when getting ready to study abroad. With these tips, your preparations to study abroad will be a whole lot easier. What did you think of these tips to study abroad? What other tips do you have for preparing to study abroad? What have been your experiences in the stages leading up to studying abroad?

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