Studying abroad seems like an amazing opportunity, but before you spend your money and time on an experience that might not turn out the way you expected, take some time to read about what others have learned from their own time studying abroad.
After reading these 9 things to note before studying abroad, you will have a better idea of what to expect from your experience and hopefully be more prepared to handle whatever comes your way!
1) Travel Insurance
One of the more common reasons for not being able to study abroad is due to a lack of travel insurance.
However, while this may be a legitimate concern, it doesn’t need to be a deal breaker.
If you’re planning on studying abroad or know someone who is, make sure that they are covered by travel insurance before they go.
As a college student, one of the biggest worries I had was the cost of traveling back and forth from home to school each year.
This can be an expensive undertaking if your family has multiple children in college at once – so do your research and find out what kind of financial assistance might be available to you.
2) Visa Information
The first thing to do before studying abroad is to find out if you need a visa for the country you plan on visiting. If you do, then make sure to get your visa in advance so that there are no delays.
It can take weeks or months for a visa to be approved and approved visas cannot be extended or re-issued if lost.
You will also need a passport which should be valid at least six months after the intended return date as well as proof of financial support while abroad.
3) Health insurance
Before you go abroad, make sure to research your health insurance options.
Although you might be covered by your country’s national healthcare system while abroad, it is important to have a back-up plan in case the worst happens and you need treatment outside of your home country.
For example, if you are not covered for certain medical procedures in your home country, such as dental work or eye care, then do not assume that this will be covered for you in another country.
4) Personal Safety Tips
✓ Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
✓ Try not to walk alone at night.
✓Don’t eat or drink anything from a stranger, but it’s okay to politely accept a free sample if it’s offered to you in a store.
✓ Keep an eye on your things while they’re not with you – don’t leave them unattended while you’re out exploring or eating.
✓When walking late at night, try to stay as close to well-lit streets as possible.
✓ If someone is following you, cross the street and go into a shop (shopkeepers will often let you use their phone).
✓ Avoid deserted places like parks after dark.
5) Credit Card Payments (and fees!)
One of the best things about studying abroad is that you get to experience a new culture and engage with people from all around the world.
However, there are a few things to note before you decide to study abroad.
For example, if you’re from the United States, you may need to find out what types of credit cards are accepted in different countries.
The country where you’re going may not accept American Express or Visa cards, for instance.
In some cases, they might not even have ATMs that can take those cards. So it’s important to do your research beforehand.
6) What To Pack (and what not to pack!)
Pack the essentials and leave anything you can do without at home. This may seem like a no-brainer, but one of the most common mistakes is packing too much.
Think about it this way: if you get sick or lose your bag on the first day of your trip, are you going to be upset that you didn’t pack a toothbrush?
Pack only what’s necessary! Remember to bring some personal items with you, such as things for hygiene, etc.
Because there might not be any available where you’re staying. It’s also important to keep in mind that many countries don’t use the same plugs we have here in America.
Check before packing a hair dryer or an electric razor!
Remember that other countries often have different customs when it comes to how they dress (for example, many people will wear tank tops year-round), so pack accordingly.
7) Money Matters
You should know that the cost of living in another country can be much higher than it is in the United States.
For example, the cost of groceries and other goods will be much higher than you are used to.
In addition, if you need to buy a laptop or phone while abroad, these purchases will not come cheap. Keep this in mind when budgeting for your time away.
Other items you may want to purchase before leaving the US include travel adapters and converters as well as extra chargers.
Be sure to bring extra cash with you as many banks do not take US credit cards overseas.
Remember that there are ATMs everywhere so withdrawing from them is easy enough.
8) How To Budget Your Time And Money While Studying Overseas
Studying abroad is an enriching experience that will help you grow as a person and give you a more well-rounded education.
But before you jump on the first opportunity that comes your way, make sure to do your research. Here are things to consider before studying abroad
✓ Can I afford it?
✓ What if I need to come home early?
✓ Will my insurance still cover me if I get sick or injured while abroad?
✓ What type of housing arrangements should I expect?
✓ Will my parents be able to visit me while I am abroad?
✓ How will this affect my credit score?
✓ Do people speak English where I am going?
✓ Am I fluent in the language of where I am going?
9) Other Thoughts/Facts About Living In Another Country
Living in another country is an experience like no other, and it can be a lot of fun. However, there are some things that you should know before embarking on the journey.
For example, you will have to live in another culture for an extended period of time and this can mean a few adjustments for you.
It’s worth noting that even though you may speak English fluently now, you won’t always be able to understand someone who doesn’t speak your language.
Furthermore, adjusting to new cultures can take a while (even years).
Finally, try not to rely too much on technology; not having access might make it difficult for those people at home to stay in touch with you as often as they would like.