THIS BLOG INCLUDES:
1.Begin with Making a To-Do List
2.Check the Validity of the Passport
3.Book the Air-Flight Tickets
4.Get the Right Insurance Policy
6.Gain Knowledge About the Host Country
7.Understand and Learn to Better Manage Finances
8.Carry Basic Toiletries, Clothing, and Electronic Gadgets
9. Carry Foreign Currency
After all the efforts of a study abroad aspirant yield great results in the form of good admission and a student visa to the desired country, an international student can feel excited to move abroad to pursue their dream career. However, it could be daunting to understand how life will unfold abroad or what essential items are needed to survive abroad. It becomes more challenging if one is moving to a colder country because, as Indian students, one is not used to living in the best countries like the US, UK, or Canada; life there is very different from the routines of an Indian lifestyle. Let us attempt to understand what a basic pre-departure or a to-do list comprises that international students require before embarking on their higher studies abroad journey.
The best way to start any endeavour is to create a checklist. To get self-motivated, you can use a diary/notebook and pen down the items you will need to carry; instead of a diary, you can also use online planners, calendars, or sticky notes. Make a list of items you need to buy in an organised manner. It will save you from a lot of unnecessary last-minute tension. For all the items that you have already arranged, please strike them off your list.
Most importantly, please check and re-check all the academic and travel-related documents. It is important to make a folder of these documents with enough photocopies. Please keep one set of photocopies at your home with the knowledge of your parents. It is advisable to make an e-folder of all these documents and a separate folder of all communication from the university and visa office in your e-mail which will be of great help in case of an emergency.
Before an international student commences their study abroad journey preparation, they must check the validity of their passport. In no case, it should be less than six months after completion of your program. It helps to avoid any last-minute hitch in terms of applying for internships, co-op programs or CPT/OPT.
It is a common understanding that flight deals and tickets are extremely expensive in the peak season and especially when booked at the last moment. Therefore, as soon as the visa is approved, the study abroad aspirant should book the tickets. Booking flight tickets in advance is not only cheaper but also gives the choice to choose the direct flight to your destination. It will allow you an opportunity to be in touch with students who would be going to nearby universities; connections with other students provide the desired emotional support.
It is a common practice for Indians to ignore and not avail the security and benefits of an insurance policy in their homeland. However, this lacklustre approach needs to change when you are planning your journey overseas. A suitable health and travel insurance plan is the first thing that will allow you to board the plane; so choose the right insurance policy and keep its paper in your hands to show it as and when required.
As Over the Counter (OTC) drugs are expensive abroad, it is advisable to make a list of common drugs/any regular medications you take and keep sufficient stock of the same in your suitcase.
To overcome fear and anxiety associated with travelling and living in a foreign land, what helps is to do a bit of background study about the country. It is not just important but also a fun thing to know about the local weather/climate, seasonal changes, local culture, food, and the topography of the area. These topics are great conversation starters and can assist in breaking the ice while communicating with the locals. The best way to google the information you need and spend some time collecting the required information is to use the internet platform of the host country.
This is the most challenging task. However, you are supposed to manage it on your own as there will not be anyone to help you. The difference in the exchange rate and dealing with the course may be a bit tedious but it is the most important aspect one must take care of. Please ensure that there are sufficient funds in the account that guarantees your stay; do not carry too much cash as it is not easy to carry. The best is to carry a traveler’s cheque or an international forex card.
These are also necessary items, and overstuffing clothes/toiletries is not a good idea because it will take up space. Therefore, it is good to segregate electronic gadgets, such as laptops, external hard drives and universal chargers in one handbag and keep them with you because you cannot risk putting them in a big suitcase.
Most students carry about $1000 in currency and the rest can be taken in loaded forex cards. Carry some loose change for calling and eating/drinking while travelling. Forex cards/traveler’s cheques are preferentially priced, so consider carrying most of your money through them.
Also, the following is the checklist of the important documents to be kept handy in a folder, while travelling abroad.
Travel and ID documents
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