The basics
Study abroad : Before you leave

5 Things to do before moving to Europe for studies

study abroad and what to take

If you’re planning to move to Europe for studies, some preparation is needed apart from packing your suitcase or making sure that you’ve got your much-needed GHD. We’ve put together a list of things you must do before the move, as many of you may not have thought about some of these important tasks. Here goes…


Learn the language

Even if you’re moving to a city were English is widely spoken, chances are that would not always be the case when you’re away from touristy areas. Learning the local language will be helpful especially when you need to converse with the local grocer on a daily basis or ask for directions in more secluded towns. Opt for one-on-one language lessons, download language courses online for free or learn from a native speaker through Skype. Alternatively, there are many other methods to improve your language skills. 


Get to know where you’ll live

Do a little research on the area you’ll be living before you go. Find out more about the neighbourhood through the local news website, blogs, guides or even Google Street View. Not only will you feel less clueless when you get there, but you’ll be well prepared and feel more excited about your big move. Look up websites like Time Out and Lonely Planet.


Make friends now

You don’t have to be in the country to make friends. Contact the university and ask for student contacts and tell them that you’d like a friendly person who would be able to show you around. Universities are normally very good at arranging this. Sometimes, they may put you with someone from your own country to make you feel at home, or even pair you with a local who is willing to integrate you into his own social circle and family gatherings. Tell them what you need and you’ll find settling in so much easier.


Start looking for jobs

Search for jobs on Gumtree or CraigsList while you’re still in Malaysia and arrange your interview dates prior to your arrival. You will end up wasting less time searching for jobs there and you’ll also beat the other students to it as many students will be sending off job applications as soon as they arrive. You’ll have some pocket money to spend, gain exciting work experiences and even make new friends among your new colleagues.


Say your goodbyes

Do not expect to come home so soon while you’re there. Plans to come home for celebrations or birthdays may sound very promising at first, but plans may change. The exchange rate or piles of assignments might cause a change in plans. So make sure you have as many farewells as possible with friends and families, spend lots of time together and snap pictures. All these memories will help get you through your time overseas until you finally return home.


Tips on:

Things to pack from home

Preparing for a new study environment



For more advice on what to do when going abroad, click here



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study abroad and what to take

An aspiring journalist with a passion for investigative journalistic work. Also a self-declared masterchef.