The basics
Study abroad : Before you leave

Things to do before embarking on your study abroad trip

A little nervous about your impending trip abroad to further your studies? Don’t worry. We’ve got a few pointers here...

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Studying abroad is an enriching and one-of-a-kind experience, however it can also be be a terrifying, convoluted process. Made more so when it is the first time that you are leaving the country. We’ve shortlisted five crucial things that freshmen (or freshers) must do before

 

1. Have a list for everything.

Create an exhaustive shopping list that includes every single thing that you will or may need. Pass this list over to your seniors or friends who have or are currently studying abroad. They can give you good suggestions on what you can get overseas and what you should bring from home. They could also point out any alternatives that you can get in your host country.

 

2. Things to pack

If you have special dietary restrictions that are not catered to in the host country- vegetarian, halal etc, be sure to bring pre-packaged (dehydrated) meals, spices, snacks and canned food. Research online the kinds of items that you won’t be allowed to bring in, so that you can source for alternatives. clothes , shoes, bags and the like are readily available everywhere. Food, especially if you have certain restrictions, may be a little harder to obtain.

 

3. Remember to purchase all electronics locally

This is so that you won’t have to use an adaptor every time you plug in. just carry essential items from home as there is a baggage limit to consider. Ask around and see the kinds of items that those before you had brought with them and decide which items should go into your luggage. Don’t worry if you can’t fit EVERYTHING inside, you can always purchase those items once you’ve arrived at your destination.

 

4. Check if you need to be vaccinated against something

Go to your family doctor to get them if it is required and carry a document that proves that you’ve taken these required vaccines as you may be asked for them. Eye and dental checkups may not be covered by your university insurance, it will definitely cost more to have your tooth extracted in the host country than at home. So be sure that you have done a full body check up before you leave.

It is also good that you have a travel card and health insurance in place. We recommend that you take the health insurance provided by your university. It may cost more, but it’s hassle-free. You will need a travel card with you when you first arrive before you can open a bank account there. Make various copies of all your necessary documents, passport, student visa, certificates and doctor’s prescriptions with you. Leave an extra copy of these with your parents at home as well.

 

5. Connect with seniors overseas

Your seniors have done this dance and would be very familiar and will help you avoid the mistakes that they did and make your stay a lot better and smoother. Ask them for advice on the process of leasing an apartment (if you’re not staying at a dorm), the best places to get affordable food, and anything else that come to mind. Armed with proper information, you will be able to settle into your host country a lot faster and with less discomfort when faced with unfamiliar surroundings.

 

Interested in studying abroad? Check out the courses available here.

Want to know more about a certain university? Download university prospectuses now!

 

Useful links

Five ways to make the most of your study abroad

Eight mistakes to avoid when packing for your study abroad

Four things that you bring home from your study abroad

Five kinds of cameras that you should take during your study abroad

Choosing a course to study

How to save travel money guide for students

 

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About Author

A fan of anime and all things Japanese, Khai has been writing professionally since 2010 and “unofficially” for much longer. In her free time, you will often find her baking, reading, travelling and doing everything else in between.