We all have that cousin who comes from abroad with chocolates and fancy watches, and we stand there dreaming of the day we get to do that. Though fancy watches are not the best reason to go overseas, it surely is a life fortune with the international exposure and world-class training that molds one into a polished self. We all know the drill when you sit down with it; there is an overload of tasks to tick off before you can reach the land of your dreams.
The idea of moving to a new country, finding housing near the University, and adapting to the work culture can take a toll on you. Take a seat back and relax. We have a detailed guide to take you through the journey without losing your mind. Are you ready?
- Have a clear why
Why do you want to go abroad for your studies? Is it the better research opportunities? Does the course of your choice have better career prospects abroad? Do you want to have international exposure both personally and professionally? Do you want to live on your own, away from home? You should be very clear with your ‘why’ before you go further. If a University in your country offers the same course with better opportunities, consider staying local.
- Choose what and where to study
Research about the course structure, job prospects, research opportunities, campus life, budget, and scholarships while choosing a course and a University. Learn about the general lifestyle, cost of living, and outreach possibilities there. It is always best to first fix which path you want to take up and then find a University that offers it the best.
- Fill out the application form
Once you know the why, what, and where of your future study, it’s time to apply. Check the eligibility requirements before filling out the forms. Most of the universities ask for a recommendation letter from a Professor of your previous University. Some may ask for the language test results. To ensure your admission, spend time building an impressive CV and SOP and polishing your technical and communication skills.
- Once you are selected, apply for a visa
After assessment of your application, the University will notify you of the selection via an offer letter. Please read all the terms of the offer and acknowledge them with your decision. Congratulations, you have made it through the first step! The next thing you want to do is apply for a visa, as that is your license to go forward. Search online about the guidelines and required visa application documents—passport, passport-sized photos, vaccination results, offer letter, bank statements, guardian consent for those below 18, attested academic transcripts—and get them ready.
- Find accommodation near University
The first thing you need in a foreign country is a place to stay. Start early and know the student accommodation options in the city you are moving to, like University halls, private student housings, or private apartments. Most of the Universities like the University of Glasgow and University of Bristol let you pre-book the student housing near University. Get a confirmation at least two months into your date of moving.
- Book your flight in advance
Once you receive the visa, you can go ahead and book your flight. Book early to save money and be updated on your flight status. Check for cancellation possibilities and baggage allowance; depending on the flight operators, most student visas allow 69kg of baggage. Ensure you comply with the usual flight rules of not carrying any electronic or food items in your main luggage.
- Pack smart
Moving to a new country may create a stir of emotions for you and your parents. Your parents probably want you to carry everything you can, because ‘what if you can’t get it there?’. Packing can get overwhelming. Make a list of the necessary things you need—medicines plus prescriptions, certificates, essential groceries. Knowing the climate of the place helps to know what kind of clothing and food items to pack.
- Carry some foreign currency
Know about the currency conversion rates to have a rough estimate of the expenses. Have some foreign currency in hand to cover emergencies before you can open a bank account there. You might carry a multi-currency travel or debit card so that you don’t have to bring money in bulk and can retrieve foreign currency on the go.
Know what to do once you reach your destination
If you already don’t have a sim card that works overseas, your first foreign purchase would be a sim card, not a fancy watch. Know of any appointments you have with the university council, landlord, or municipal authorities. In the first days, be prepared to go around for paper works and keep the copies of all your original documents handy—birth certificate, passport, medical certificate, visa or permit, passport-sized photos, offer letter, academic scripts, financial evidence, address proof. Once you have a bank account and a residence permit, you are in the clear for now, before classes and assignments take over you.
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