The perks of studying abroad are invaluable. You learn independence. You interact with people you otherwise might never have gotten to, and you get a deeper understanding of a new culture.
But studying abroad isn’t as easy as simply filling up a form. There are lots of logistics you must work out. With the right information on hand, though, your dream of studying abroad can be a reality.
Even if you choose to study in one of the safest places on Earth, you want a safety net. If there is health insurance in your hometown, there are ones for international students. According to lewermark.com, some schools and host countries require their students to be insured.
When choosing your insurance provider, find one that has years of experience. At the same time, make sure that their practices are not dated. A preferable provider should have 24/7 customer support lines open with translators ready. Some insurers go the extra mile and offer you travel insurance. They can also help you sort out which health tests and immunizations you’ll need before entering your host country.
Check with Your Embassy
A lot of countries and organizations (like the EU’s Erasmus program) offer the chance to study overseas. Your local embassy is likely to have ties with such organizations. They can help you find the right plan for you. Embassies can give you suggestions of host countries that will align with what you’re looking for.
By getting assistance from your embassy, fixing documentation can also be more manageable. On top of everything, by coursing your journey overseas with your embassy, you’re adding an extra layer of protection.
Research in Advance
Don’t enter your host country blindly. While many locals are more than happy to show you the ropes, fellow campus residents might not have as much time or patience to spare.
If you have the time, try to learn the local language. Most of the world can speak and understand English to some degree. But it will make things easier for you and your companions if you have a basic grasp of the language. Some host countries require international students to have at least conversational aptitude.
Respect the Culture
Aside from learning the language, learn the traditions. Non-verbal cues are as important and can make or break people’s impression of you. Don’t expect locals to give you a break for being foreign. Remember that it’s their land and culture. Show respect by using the correct honorifics, not being too stubborn about local traditions, and dressing up appropriately.
Many host families or fellow students can show you the ropes here. But it’s always better to be on the side of caution by first understanding the country you’re going to be living in.
Complete Your Paperwork
Whether that’s paperwork to certify your legal travel documents or show your proof of a lease, make sure everything is in order and copied. If you have an existing medical prescription, you’ll want to make sure you can get this in your host country. The same goes for academic transcripts. Not all classes you’ve taken can be converted to the educational system overseas. A proper transcript will verify what courses you’ve had.
Studying abroad is both a learning opportunity and an adventure of a lifetime. When prepped for, it can also be life-changing.