Studying overseas is an experience of a lifetime. Not everyone gets the chance to live it, but those who do should make the most of it. Especially in a cosmopolitan country like the UK, your journey will be nothing short of a fun rollercoaster ride with a chance to learn valuable lessons and build a solid network of personal and professional connections.
To indulge in every inch of this incredible trip, you must orchestrate each step of your study abroad journey beforehand. And to assist you with that, here are five essential tips to navigate the ultimate adventure of your life smoothly!
10 Crucial Tips Before You Study Abroad
Research about your Host Country
Imagine you have successfully attended the first day at your university and settled peacefully into your student housing in Birmingham, but what next? You can’t spend your entire time going to and fro from your accommodation to classrooms! You need to have a life beyond that, which is well-spent. So that when you head back to your home country, you have infinite tales of your remarkable adventures to share with your friends and family.
And to achieve that, you have to do your homework beforehand. Start by researching thoroughly about your host country. Know the best places to hang out, transportation, top-rated museums and art galleries, libraries and bookstores, local culture and customs, and scenic parks to spend your days off on weekends. Furthermore, you can continue hobbies like dancing, painting, singing, etc.
In a nutshell, don’t forget to relax while you work hard. As famously said, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So maintain a balance between your work and personal life.
Finances and Budgeting
Pursuing education abroad is an expensive affair for every international student, and you must constantly check your finances. Here are some beneficial tips to give you further assistance in the same:
- Take some part-time jobs or do internships. That way, you can have some additional income along with some valuable skills and experience to reflect on your resume.
- Prepare a daily, weekly, and monthly budget plan by either downloading budget planner apps on your smartphones or doing it manually. Try to stay consistent with that as much as you can.
- Avoid splurging out your money on unnecessary luxury items. Instead, use your money wisely by purchasing the necessary items and services.
There are other essential things to keep in mind, for instance, knowing if your bank provides services in other countries or not.
Inform your bank about your study abroad plans and ask how your debit and credit cards work overseas. Some banks also have regional partners in other countries where you can withdraw cash without additional charges. If your bank does not provide services in other countries, you must make suitable arrangements, like setting up a new bank account.
Invest in Insurance Policies
Almost everyone has health and accident insurance policies in today’s time, but if you don’t, you must get them before you plan to take off. Inform your insurance company about your travel plans and discuss the coverage for emergencies like sickness, medical issues, and repatriation with them.
Additionally, getting travel insurance is also a great idea. In cases of a delayed or canceled flight, Lost or stolen luggage, etc., your travel insurance will come handy in getting the coverage for them.
Book your Accommodation in Advance
First thing first, before you even step into your host country, ensure you have booked a safe abode until the time you are planning to stay in the country.
In the UK, there are options for university dormitories and Private rentals. It’s on you whether you want to stay in the safe confines of the university or venture outside for a more independent living in private housing.
While private living remains the most popular choice amongst international students as it allows them to be more confident and understand their new country better. On top of that, they are safe, affordable, and upgraded with covid protocols.
So if you are preparing to shift to private student accommodation in Coventry or student apartments in Glasgow, reserving your place early will make your experience hassle-free and stress-free so that you can enjoy being in a new environment rather than fretting over a residential crisis on your first day.
Amber serves millions of students globally by providing the best experience and affordable options for booking a house.
Choose the Subjects/Degree you are going for
Making up your mind about which study programs you want to enroll in could give you a head start in exploring potential travel destinations. Note your interests and strengths, then narrow it down to a specific subject. Also, consider future employment options while hunting for a possible career path.
Different countries are known for various fields. For example, the US has some highly ranked business and humanities schools, the UK has renowned medical universities, and France is recognized for its prominent fashion institutions.
Consider Language Barriers
It is essential to contemplate whether you are open to learning new languages. It could be an enjoyable experience, but if you are wary of language barriers and culture shock, applying to countries where you can communicate in your mother tongue is advisable.
Some universities only offer courses in their home language. For instance, few engineering universities in Germany only offer courses in German.
Review Student Requirements and Eligibility Criteria
Before applying, check whether you qualify for admission to your desired institution. Some universities have language proficiency requirements for international students.
To apply there, you might have to sit for IELTS, SAT, GRE, or TOEFL tests. Moreover, student visa procedures are also more accessible in some countries, depending on where you live. Explore destinations bearing your home country in mind.
Check Costs and Fees
Budgeting is the backbone of planning an educational trip abroad. While listing admission and tuition fees, note ancillary finances (transportation, utility, meals, etc.). To avoid ending up in a mess of student loans and debts, explore scholarships and financial aids.
Some universities offer special scholarships to international students based on a criterion. You can also look into part-time jobs to manage your finances during your stay.
Stay in Touch with an Advisor
While applying for education in a foreign country, it is always helpful to ask for an experienced helping hand. Do not hesitate to request assistance with zooming into your options. A career counselor could help you stay on track and grab valuable opportunities.
Deciding on a destination for studying abroad could be stressful and confounding, but keeping the points above in mind can make this process easy for yourself. Particularly having an advisor could ensure you make an informed decision. You can find the best career counselor of your choice at Upskills Tutor.
The most important thing is to prepare yourself mentally for this new chapter of your life, as you do not want to spend most of your days in agony dealing with homesickness and culture shock. While these overwhelming emotions are part and parcel of your study abroad journey, you can learn to lessen or completely overcome them.
Simply by having a positive mindset and focussing on the perks you will receive living in a different country, such as meeting diverse people from all over the world, getting familiar with foreign culture, traditions, and customs, and traveling to new exotic places, and more.
We understand you worked hard to secure that coveted seat in your dream university. Now is the time to achieve whatever you have set as your professional goals in life. With these tips to keep in mind, you can make your journey safe, stable, and delightful. All the best!