Going abroad for an education can be a little disorienting initially, but you can adjust and adapt with the right attitude. From brushing up on scholarship details to learning the country’s local language, you can do a lot to ease your experience of staying abroad.
Let’s take a look at a few things you should know before you start your foreign education journey.
1. Sort out your financial issues
Do some online research about the price of basic items, food and accommodation before packing your bags. Make sure you carry enough currency to last you for a few weeks until you open a bank account there.
Ideally, don’t take a student loan if you think it’s a big risk or feel financially unstable. Countries like USA, UK and Australia are all expensive destinations and you should choose them only if you can afford it. In comparison, studying in Canada, Germany, Norway and Finland is cheaper. Alternatively, there are several scholarships available for meritorious students and you can apply for them in advance.
You can also carry an international debit card that is available with most banks in India. Also, make sure you get a health insurance as soon as possible to cover any unforeseen medical costs.
2. Take care of accommodation
You’ll find some help from your university in this matter. Always make sure you live in a safe area at an affordable cost. If your university provides its own boarding, that’s the best since you’ll also get to interact a lot with fellow students.
In most cases, you’ll need a non-immigrant student visa, but every country has different regulations. Procuring a visa can be a time-taking and tedious process. It is best to consult an expert to help you with the entire documentation.
3. Avail a work permit
Considering the cost of living abroad is high, you can consider picking up a part-time job. They may be seemingly menial jobs like driving a taxi or selling burgers, but they’ll help sustain you. You can use the money you earn for your entertainment. Alternatively, you can invest this money in local stocks/cryptocurrency and hope for it to become a big amount by the time you leave your college.
Doing internships is also a good idea as it can help you gain the relevant experience required for applying to jobs.
4. Pack your bags correctly
Always find out about the weather in the country and carry requisite clothes. If you are taking any prescription drugs, carry them too as they may not be available at chemist shops there.
Also, carry an electric adapter considering each continent has a different shaped plug.
Don’t forget to carry a couple of clothes meant for special occasions.
5. On arrival
As soon as you arrive, register yourself with the internal affairs ministry. Also, take a trip to the Indian embassy in order to introduce yourself to the desi community there.
These days, you can make calls using internet. That said, you should definitely get a local SIM card with an international calling pack. It’ll help you in several things like setting up a bank account.
6. Find out more about the local culture
This will help you in mingling better with the population there. If you’re informed about the country’s history, it will save you some blushes during conversations.
In case, the local language is not English, you should learn a few common phrases to help you while shopping and travelling. At the moment, there is no shortage of resources online and you can access numerous travelogues with ease. Services like Duolingo can help you pick up a new language for free.
7. Build your profile in advance
Learn new things, seek out new opportunities and keep creating if you want to stand out in the application process. Every course has a different requirement so don’t plan anything in the last moment. Try picking up hobbies, brush up on skills, do online courses from at least one year prior to your admission.
Along with improving your chances of getting accepted, this will also help you in securing jobs when you pass out. Once you are at the university, make full use of facilities like the library to gain as much knowledge as possible through your course.
Some time ago, we had done an article on why Indian students are migrating abroad in huge numbers post the coronavirus pandemic. Do give it a read to understand the various factors responsible for this trend.