If you’re planning on studying abroad, you’re in for a real treat. This adventure is sure to be unforgettable, but in order to make it unforgettable in all the right ways, you’ll want to make sure you’ve properly prepared yourself beforehand. Take a look at this list of five essential things to do before you set off abroad.
1. Get a passport.
This is a no brainer – you need a passport if you want to study abroad. If you already have one, or yours is about to expire, make sure to take care of this ASAP. It often takes a few weeks before your passport application is processed.
2. Meet with your advisor.
Your advisor, whether it’s your academic advisor or one specific to studying abroad, will have all of the information you need about what to prepare for. If you haven’t yet chosen your study abroad program, your advisor will be able to let you know which programs are available and best suited for you.
3. Research the location.
Researching is the most exciting part about getting ready to study abroad. Here are a few key things to look up before embarking on your journey:
Vaccinations – Does the country you’re traveling to require any vaccinations prior to traveling?
Language – While it’s not necessary to fluently speak the native language, it helps if you at least know the basics. Try learning with this app.
Culture – Knowing a little bit about the country’s culture not only helps lessen the culture shock you may experience, but it can also help get you excited for your trip. You’ll know what kinds of new cool things you can expect to experience, and you’ll feel more comfortable about it.
Money – You’ll definitely want to understand the country’s form of currency. Most likely, you won’t be able to use the U.S. money that you’re used to, so you’ll have to get it converted.
Monuments and travel sites – What’s the point of studying abroad if you don’t explore the country? Make a list of everything you want to see and experience before heading abroad. If possible, try to book some things in advance.
Weather – This is essential for knowing what types of things you’ll need to pack.
4. Start saving money.
You’ll want to live comfortably while you’re abroad without worrying about spending through all of your savings. Before venturing off to your study abroad location, start thinking about how you can save some money. Here’s what we suggest:
- Take on a part time job, or check out these quick tips on earning some extra cash.
- Look into some scholarship opportunities.
- Learn how to create a budget, or use a budgeting app.
5. Start making friends.
It’s can be a little bit nerve wrecking traveling to a foreign country and not knowing any familiar faces. Luckily, a lot of study abroad programs will provide you with the names of the fellow students in your program. Reach out and get to know them before leaving for your destination.
We would also love to see what you guys are up to while abroad. Share your study abroad pictures on Instagram, and make sure to tag us!