An international student’s guide to studying abroad
Last Updated on November 10, 2020 by iSchoolConnect
Have you always dreamed of spreading your wings and fleeting across the 7 oceans? Well here’s your guide to studying abroad and it’s full of dos and don’ts you need to keep in mind.
Studying abroad is more than just a dream, it’s your chance of a lifetime to gain new experiences in life. But it can also be a daunting task as an international student in a foreign country. In this blog, we tell you all about the how-to’s and the what-to’s in this guide to studying abroad.
As you plan for your journey abroad, you obviously need to pack all the essentials. So, here are a few helpful tips on what to pack when studying abroad-
- Be smart while you pack. Always consider the weather of the destination country and pack accordingly.
- There are limitations on the weight of your luggage, so make sure to check that before you start.
- Another quick tip for packing, rolling your clothes rather than folding them helps you in saving some room in your suitcase for the other things and keeps your clothes wrinkle-free.
- Be sure to add some just-in-case clothes to your study abroad packing list.
While there are several benefits of going abroad, always keep your safety first. Studying in the USA is safe if you are always aware of your surroundings. Avoid walking alone at night to your accommodation or any place unless you are with a group of friends. Use local transport even if hurts your pocket a little! Keeping an extra key to your house or your room is also one of the safety precautions. Lock your bags and keep spare keys for the lock as you travel.
It is always great to have emergency contact numbers handy. Along with saving them on your phone, write them down in a small diary or a notepad in case you lose your phone.
Get a SIM card or a phone
If you have an unlocked cell phone, you can buy a SIM card from a local store and switch. Even though this is the easiest option, it’s possible only if your phone is locked.
Your next best bet is to go to a local electronics store and buy a cheap phone. Here, you will be able to get a SIM card easily. But chances are that this won’t be a smartphone. So, if you’re willing to spend a little more, you could also buy an international plan for your existing SIM card.
What to wear
As mentioned in the study abroad packing list, wear clothes according to the weather. Wear comfortable clothes and footwear while traveling. You can always dress to impress while being comfortable. You can try wearing what the locals prefer and make sure that your clothing blends in with the locals. This will help you in not feeling like a tourist. Always carry a photocopy of your passport, you never know where and when you might need it!
Make new friends
While you’ll be living abroad, your friends will be the closest you have to family. They will have your back when no one else does. So, get out of your apartment, and meet new people.
There are many ways to do this. To start off, meet people at your first college orientation and join a few student clubs. You could also get yourself a roommate, work somewhere part-time, or go on solo walks (or to concerts) and strike up conversations with random people!
Explore your surroundings
It is always enriching to explore new places around you. Take new paths to your college every day. This will help you exploring new cafes and hangout places to relax with your friends. Connect with the locals and make new friends. Part-time jobs do so much more than just helping you finance your education.
With a part-time job at a safe and trustworthy place, you could make great friends and even leverage it to network with people around you. When you study abroad, your friends are your family and your support system.
Manage your finances
Studying abroad is a great experience because it makes you independent. You learn to buy groceries, pay your taxes, your monthly bills, and save money.
A few ways you can do that include-
- Using student discounts
- Preparing meals at home
- Finding free activities
- Looking for cheap ways to travel
- Checking your budget from time to time, and more…
Juggle your academics
You definitely want to enjoy your college life with your new friends when you study abroad. But it is also important to remember to juggle between your part-time job, your studies, and social life. You can work a few hours and have all the fun on weekends while focusing on your academics on the weekdays.
Try making and following a time table. It helps a lot to keep track of all the things you want to do so that you don’t miss out on anything and are on time with your commitments. Punctuality is a virtue you’d soon realize that is often forgotten but can truly take you a long way!
The tips mentioned in this guide for studying abroad don’t even scratch the surface of the whole exhilarating experience. But we truly hope that this guide helps you in your journey and stay abroad.
Want to check out more blogs full of study abroad tips? Take a look at some DIY ideas for a cozy dorm room, the many benefits of working part-time while you study abroad, the various International student accommodation options, and more!