Traveling to study can be very exciting. You have the golden opportunity to learn beyond your textbooks. It is a thrilling time in the life of a college student. There are many great lessons you will learn about the subject matter you are studying and about yourself. However, there are some key essentials that you must know. We have listed 7 things you need to know if you are preparing to study abroad.
1. Check your transferrable credits.
You may be excited to complete the study abroad application in one sitting but there is one thing you should do before submission. Make sure that the classes you are taking will transfer to your current school. You do not want to take classes that later surprise you with disappointment. Visit your registrar office to get more information.
2. Get your finances in order.
Traveling abroad is no cheap venture. You will certainly need the funds to support this expensive plan. Check out if you apply for any federal loans or grants available. Are there any scholarships that will support your international studies? Visit your financial aid office to gain more insight on how you can proceed before filling out your application.
In addition, it is also advised that you set up a bank account online. This is the most convenient way to keep track over your money.
Lastly, you should always bring some extra money. You never know when you will run short on cash.
3. You need a Passport and Visa.
If you plan to travel anywhere outside of the country, you need a valid passport document. When applying for the passport, remember that this can take from 6 months to a whole year. For this reason you will want to put this at the forefront of your planning.
If you have one already, we recommend that you keep watch over the expiration date. Make sure that it has not expired and will not expire 6 months before you plan to return from the country of your choice. If you have traveled previously, you should also check for blank pages.
With your passport, you also need your visa in order to travel abroad. This is where you should do a little research and learn what regulations you must abide by calling the local embassy. You may also check with the State Department online to learn more. This also takes months in order to process so give yourself plenty of time.
4. You must visit a travel doctor before traveling.
Before leaving the country, set an appointment to get a physical done by your doctor. You will want to make sure that you completely healthy and able to travel without hindrance. When visiting the doctor be sure to carry a photo copy of your medical records. This will come in handy if you happen to run into any medical emergencies.
It is essential that you get to know the requirements for immunizations in your country. Some countries will require that you get a certain type of vaccination while others may not.
5. You need travel insurance.
Many students do not know but having travel insurance is a necessity. There are times that this document comes in handy. In the case that you get sick or experience any serious medical health problem, your travel insurance will offer you coverage. Do not pay out of pocket for expensive medical bills. Invest the money into obtaining the best overseas care.
Not only will your insurance cover for your health, but it also offers coverage over any lost or stolen belongings, flight delays and cancellations, evacuation assistance, and much more.
6. Know the culture and customs.
Believe it or not, other countries do things differently than you are used to in the US. This is a great time to learn about the customs of the people you will be studying around. What is their culture? What is the government structure? How can you familiarize yourself with the language? If you do not know where to start, try speaking to someone who has traveled to that specific country. Look for creative ways that you can dive into the culture of the country. This will help boost your confidence while you are in an unfamiliar setting. You will also avoid the embarrassing risk of rude behavior overseas.
7. Keep in touch with your friends and family.
While abroad you will certainly want to find a way to stay connected to your family and friends back home. You will be gone for a substantial amount of time and will want to share your experiences with them. In order to set up a connection with them, you should remember to purchase a local SIM card and a prepaid plan. The great thing about these tools is that you will be given a local phone number to give to your family. This will make it easy to keep updated on all of the amazing experiences you are having.
Wrapping it up
Studying abroad does not have to be stressful. This is a great time in your life where you will meet new people, enjoy new places, and further develop in your education. Implement these 7 tips into your process of traveling. Rest assured that this proven advice will allow you to travel with ease.
About the author:
Sophia Clark is a creative writer from New York who loves to share her thoughts with readers. In my free time she enjoys writing fiction as well as reading it. Her big dream is to publish a novel one day. Connect with her on Twitter and Google +.