Studying abroad in a premier university is a cherished dream for many young Indian children. As the child progresses from junior school to high school, the realities of life are learnt as well. Mere dreams do not work! One needs to supplement the dream with academic rigour and clear financial support to make this study abroad dream come true. Generous scholarships and quick access to educational loans from banks have further simplified the study abroad process now. This article examines in a lighter way some of the worries and fears that students have when they are all set to fly abroad for higher studies.
It is that moment of sheer joy that is indescribable, a sense of overwhelming joy when you realise that you have been accepted into the programme and university of your choice. You really feel that you are at the king of the world!
Well who needs an excuse for shopping? You are going to spend an insane amount of time shopping and eventually you must realise that there is a baggage limit and you need to buy stuff that you really require.
Sorting out Accommodation
Most American universities require students to stay in on-campus accommodation and offer a choice between self-catered and non-catered residences. If you are planning to stay in an apartment, ensure that you get all things sorted out before you reach there. It helps if you have a friend or guardian in the city already!
If you are going to stay in a private apartment or self-catered accommodation then by all means stock up on utensils and condiments that you wish to carry. The power wattage differs, so when buying electrical appliances take extra care. If your pockets are deep or if you have a generous benefactor then you can buy everything at your new destination. Alternatively, most universities offer convenient ‘Meal Plans’ that offer students nutritious food at an affordable cost.
Whatcha Talking Bud?
Yep we know you aced the TOEFL and the IELTS but getting to understand the thick Aussie, Brit or Yankee accent may take some time. Add to that the various sub-accents like Yorkshire and the Southern drawl – you are in for a funny time ahead! Students who opt to study in countries like the Netherlands or Scandinavian countries will have a tougher time because English is not the predominant language in these countries.
The more serious implications arise when you submit assignments. All through high-school we have stuck to UK English as guided by our trusted Wren & Martin English Grammar Book. If you are joining an American university, start getting used to US English spellings.
In most parts of India, you would have been used to the hot, cold and wet climate in succession. The freezing winters in most part of Northern America and the UK will definitely test you physically. So be prepared to freeze!
Not an Injection Please!
As part of your admissions kit, you will receive a document asking you to take vaccinations against specific communicable diseases. You will be asked to submit proof of vaccinations during the student orientation programme. Good to be safe than sorry!
Where is the ‘Good’ in Goodbye?
Then comes the part when you realise you are going to be away from family and friends for a long time! Yup we know it will be sad, plus all those farewell treats that you would have to sponsor for your gang of friends! Hey, but you know what? You get lots of cool gifts from relatives and friends as well. So have fun, hug your friends, say goodbye and stay connected on Skype and Facebook!
Board the Flight
Well you do not want to end up like Macaulay Culkin in “Home Alone 2 – Lost in New York”! Ensure that you have your luggage packed properly, your important documents and papers in a comfortable satchel or bag that you can carry on you and reach the airport on time without any last-minute rush.
Arrival and Student Orientation
The Student Orientation Event is a fun-filled and informative session that could last anywhere from one day to one week. American universities make this a grand party-like welcome for all new incoming students, organising a variety of events that narrate the history and legacy of their institution and city. During this time you will also get a chance to open a new student bank account, sign up for medical insurance, pick and choose minors to your main programme, make friends and learn about the rules and regulations of the university.
Good luck and may the force be with you!