When you go abroad to study, you’re going to be living in an entirely new environment, and that means your life will change in many different ways! This can be both exciting and daunting at the same time, but it’s important to remember that you’re taking this trip to grow as a person, not just learning new things about your field of study. To help you prepare for your overseas adventure, here are some tips on how to prepare for a long-term abroad before you leave!
What are your personal goals?
While it’s important to define your specific professional goals, it’s also essential to have personal ones in mind as well. Do you want to learn a new language? Explore new food options? Travel around and see every monument there is in every country? Consider writing down what you hope to achieve personally while abroad so that when you make decisions along the way, they serve both your professional and personal goals. It will help keep you motivated during challenging times!When do I plan on returning?: Some programs may require or encourage students to stay abroad for an extended period of time, but most will give you an idea of how long they expect students to stay. Before committing to any program, ask about their return policy—this can help save money and prevent surprises further down the road.
What will you miss?
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The first thing you should do is identify everything that you’ll miss about home. This could be anything from seeing your favorite celebrities on television to walking your favorite dog or spending quality time with your family and friends. Make a list of everything you can think of and then weigh up whether any of these things are absolutely necessary. If they are, how can you replace them in your new location? For example, if you love watching movies at home but don’t have access to a big screen TV abroad, why not join an online movie club? It may cost more than going to see films at your local cinema but it will mean you still get access to all of your favorites
Keep in touch with family and friends
This may seem obvious, but it can get easy to get carried away with all of your new (abroad) friends. Staying in touch with family and friends back home is essential! Even if you’re homesick, it’s a good idea to make an effort to talk or video chat with those you care about back home. Not only will they appreciate knowing that you’re still thinking of them, but it will also help your homesickness subside faster. So don’t be afraid to reach out; even just sending a text saying I miss you goes a long way
Get Health Insurance
Health insurance is a biggie. If you or someone in your family has ever experienced serious health problems, or if you’re heading to one of those countries where Americans aren’t always treated like kings, it’s essential that you have some form of health coverage. For students who are planning on studying abroad for more than six months, I recommend getting short-term international health insurance from a company such as Cigna Global. For shorter trips (or when you’ll be receiving care from a university medical center), check with your school about student health plans. It may be possible to get care at local hospitals and clinics without having to pay out of pocket; just make sure you know what will be covered and what won’t before signing up.
The biggest expense you’ll have while studying abroad is your travel. This should be accounted for in advance by saving money in an overseas bank account or by converting US dollars into foreign currency. Also, check with your university’s financial aid office—they might offer support that can help you avoid taking out private loans. During your stay, try and keep daily costs low by eating at home and sticking to public transportation over taxis (unless it’s absolutely necessary)
Booking flights is generally easier than you might think—especially if you’re not sure where you want to go. Consider booking as soon as possible, as prices are more likely to rise as travel dates approach. If you know your destination in advance, it may be worth paying extra for an earlier flight. You can also save money by using a rewards credit card that offers points or cash back on airline purchases. Look into other ways to get there: If flying isn’t an option (or it doesn’t make sense), consider train tickets or car rentals instead of buses and ferries; they tend to be faster and cheaper than their counterparts.
Packing appropriately is vital for ensuring that you have enough clothing and supplies throughout your time abroad. It’s important to pack enough things so that you’re prepared, but not too much so that you waste space in your bag or feel like you’re carrying around luggage on top of luggage. Here are some tips for packing according to length of trip
Checklist for Abroad Students
This is one of my most popular posts of all time. If you’re going abroad and want to bring more than two pairs of shoes, consider writing your own version with advice based on your unique experience. What are some things you wish you’d known before embarking on your big trip? Chances are someone else would benefit from reading about it.
One of most important things you need to do before leaving is make sure that your family knows how and where you’ll be in case of an emergency. Register with the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so your loved ones can be notified about any changes in plans, locate you via a mobile app, or obtain official messages from local authorities such as notifications about weather emergencies.