The basics
Study abroad : Before you leave

40 Questions international students should ask before leaving home

Have you remembered everything before you leave for abroad? Ask yourself these 40 quick popular questions to ensure you've not forgotten anything...

Airport lounge - tips when arriving in the country to study abroad


‘Do I have a recommended arrival date from my university?’

‘What is my enrolment date?’

‘When do classes actually begin?’


Travel and getting to your destination

'Have I packed all my flight information and any other tickets for my journey, including itinerary?'

‘Have I read the regulations for what luggage I can take on board my flight (including how this must be packed, what must be checked in & what I can take on as hand luggage)?’

‘Will I be transporting any (large) belongings, possessions or furniture separately?’ and if so ‘Can I make do until these arrive?’

‘Am I going straight to campus or my accommodation?’

‘Is the airport close to where I am going? Or am I going to have to fly into another smaller airport?’

‘What transport options are there from the airport to where I’m going?’

‘Does someone at the university know when I will be arriving?’


Point of contact

‘Do I need to tell someone at the university when I’ll be arriving?’

‘Do I have the contact details for someone at the university (specifically the International Office) who I can call (or a third party can call) if I run into problems?’

How can you stay in touch with friends and family at home?



‘If I don’t have long-term accommodation arranged, do I have short-term accommodation until I find something else like a hostel or spare room?’

‘What do I need to bring to my accommodation which isn’t already included?’

‘Will I need to set up utilities such as water, electricity, gas and internet when I arrive at my accommodation?’

‘Do I know who I’ll be living with?’ (and ‘can I stalk them online to find out a bit about them?’)


Important documents

‘Do I have my passport?’

‘NO, SERIOUSLY; DO I HAVE MY PASSPORT?’  * This is really important!

‘Do I have permission to enter the country?'

‘Do I know what I have to do when I arrive at border control to show I can enter (i.e. a visa)?’

‘How would I prove to a border agent that I am who I say I am (i.e. an international student arriving to study at my university)?’

‘Do I have all the documentation I need to show (e.g. letter offering me a place at the institution, confirmation of acceptance of place, confirmation of scholarship awards etc.) and is it accessible?’

‘What will I do if I can’t access important documents on my laptop or mobile device?’

Read our guide to essential documents when applying - these are the kinds of documents you should have on you when you move too.


Things to pack

‘Do I have an international adaptor?’ and ‘Do I have enough for all my devices?’

‘Do I have all the chargers or adaptors I need to charge all my devices?’

‘What’s the weather going to be like in my study destination when I arrive?’

‘Do I have sufficient clothing for this climate?’

‘What medication do I take (regularly or seasonally)? Have I packed this?’ (and ‘Is this packed in an appropriate manner according to airline regulations?’)

‘Do I have a medical card (translated into English) detailing things like blood type, medical conditions etc., for when I sign up with a local doctor or if I fall ill?’



‘Do I have access to cash in local currency if I need to pay for things the moment I arrive?’

‘What exactly might I need to pay for when I arrive?’

‘Do I know how much things are roughly like everyday food items?’

‘How can I access funds from my bank account (including emergency funds)?’

‘Will my bank cards work the moment I arrive?’

‘Have I told my current bank account that I will be moving away to another country so they don’t block my card?’

‘Do I know about the different offers or incentives which my bank offers for international students who bank with them?’

‘What banking options are there in my new country if I want to open an account there i.e. banks with branches or partners in different countries?’

Find out why you should open a bank account before you arrive in your study destination.



‘Am I covered by insurance if I fall ill or something important I own is stolen or broken?’

‘How will I contact my family and friends to let them know that I have arrived safely?’

Read our guide to health & sickness abroad, including insurance and what care might be available to you should you fall sick abroad.


Read more:

Read our article, 'Essentials: Before you leave' to make sure you've not forgotten anything.

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About Author

Airport lounge - tips when arriving in the country to study abroad

Monica Karpinski received her BA (Media and Communications) and Diploma in Modern Languages (French) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. An art and culture aficionado, in her spare time Monica enjoys film, reading and writing about art.