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5 Essential Tips When Getting Ready To Study Abroad
There are few educational opportunities more exciting than getting the chance to study abroad. This is, however, not something into which you should jump without preparation. Below are five essential tips that you should follow when you are getting ready to study abroad.
Make Sure You Have Your Documents
You need to start working on your travel documentation long before you leave for your trip. Make sure that you not only have a passport but that it is up-to-date. You’ll also want to make sure that your banking information is in order, that you have your flights properly booked, and that you have a way to get access to all of your online files while you are abroad. While this kind of basic housekeeping certainly isn’t an exciting way to prepare for your journey abroad, getting it done early will give you quite a bit less to worry about as your departure date approaches.
Research the Local Culture
When you study abroad, you’re a guest in another country. As such, it’s a good idea for you to understand the expectations of how you should conduct yourself upon arrival. Brush up on the basics of etiquette in your host country, including some of the basic rules of daily life. If your program doesn’t provide that information directly, it might be a good idea to seek out someone who is native to the region online so that you can get a quick idea of how you should behave during your program.
Make Sure You Have Your Program Information
It’s always a good idea to know the ins and outs of your study abroad program before you leave for your destination. Try to figure out as much of your itinerary as possible, including dates that you’ll need to submit paperwork to your program. It’s also a very good idea to make sure that you have all of the contact information for the local program heads saved in at least two locations so you’ll be able to access that information if you end up having any questions that cannot be answered by your peers in the program. This information can be incredibly helpful if you have any problems adjusting.
Learn About Communication
Communication is going to matter on two different levels. The first, and probably the most pressing, for your day-to-day life abroad is understanding what language is spoken in your new location and what you can do to ensure that you’re able to communicate in your host country. You will also want to know how and when you’ll be able to communicate home – including whether or not it might be a good idea to get a local SIM card for your mobile phone before you arrive at your destination.
Know Your Emergency Plan
Finally, you’ll want to ensure that you know what to do if there is some kind of emergency. Whether you have to deal with a personal problem or a natural disaster, you need to know the exact steps you’ll have to take in order to get back home. This might include purchasing travel insurance, knowing the location of the nearest embassy, or just knowing who to talk to in your program if you need to make an unexpected exit.
The more preparation you can do before you leave, the better. Your trip will almost certainly be full of new experiences that will lead to pleasant memories, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make sure that you are prepared for all eventualities. The better prepared you are, the more you can relax on the adventure that is studying abroad.
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