Moving abroad is always a big decision. And when you are moving abroad as a student after being accepted into your desired program, it’s normal to feel anxious.
There are high chances that you’ve never been to that country before. Or maybe you have never even traveled outside your country before.
This inexperience leaves you in a confused state. It would be best if you had a detailed checklist for moving abroad as a student.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, a lot has changed. Countries are rolling out new entry policies every second to curb the spread of COVID-19, so reading old guides is not enough.
In this article, I’m going to share a detailed and up-to-date checklist for students moving abroad. So you can learn what challenges you’ll be facing in a foreign country and how you can be prepared for them.
Keep Copies of Important Documents
When traveling abroad, you can’t leave important documents behind. For example, your passport, and driving license, birth certificate, and immunization records.
You’ll need one of them now and then. To keep it safe, most people keep them inside a suitcase. So every time they need one of them, they have to dig into their suitcase. It can be not very pleasant.
And the hard part is, they don’t even have copies of these.
If the luggage goes missing, they have nothing to prove their identity, immunization, and their admission proof.
To avoid any such issue, you should keep copies of all necessary documents you are carrying. So you don’t have to grope inside your suitcase again and again to find one after another.
You can keep the copies of essential documents in a handbag or envelope where they are easily accessible.
Complete yet Smart Packing
When moving abroad, it’s normal to feel uncertain about things you’d need there.
Some students stuff their bags with jackets and sweaters because they are moving from the Gulf to Europe. In contrast, some put full packs of their favorite snacks and candies.
Don’t worry. You are just moving to another country. You’ll have everything available. Even if you find the weather too cold, you can buy more hot clothes to wear.
Keep medications for headache, fever, and cough with you.
Two to three pairs of jeans and shirts should be enough. And of course, a jacket and sweater if you are moving to any colder region.
Make sure your important documents are not pressed under clothes or anything that might damage them.
Learn the Local Language:
If you don’t know the local language, things like doing groceries, dealing with the apartment/homeowner, or even making local friends becomes difficult.
If you are moving to a country where English is the first language, it becomes relatively more straightforward. Even broken English works fine, and after some time, you develop the native-like style.
However, in some countries, like Turkey, China, France, etc., good English skills don’t eliminate the communication barrier.
Locals like to communicate in the local language. And if you want to build new friendships and communicate like a native, you have to put some serious effort into learning a new language.
To avoid any inconvenience, you should learn the local language of the country you are moving to, a few months before leaving your country.
For English, you can easily find local institutes almost everywhere in any country.
For other languages, like Turkish, French, German, or any other language, I suggest taking online courses from native speakers.
At the end of your quarantine period, you don’t want to be out there on the streets in such uncertain times finding a room or an apartment.
It’s a wise thing to make this arrangement a few months before your departure. You can ask any friend or relative already living there to find a suitable place for you to live.
Some universities do have hostels. But yeah, you might not like to live in on-campus accommodation.
Though living on-campus offers several advantages, like, more accessible access to libraries, labs, and health facilities. However, on-campus accommodation is expensive in some universities.
On the other hand, living off-campus gives you a sense of freedom. You are free to go out whenever you want to, and you might not have to share your room with others.
Whatever you prefer, make sure you have made housing arrangements in advance. If you leave this for the last moment, you can fall prey to housing scams.
Estimating your expenses in a foreign country can be tricky. Expenses differ from place to place. In some countries, food is expensive, while some accommodation takes a more significant portion of cash sent from home.
And not everyone has the luxury to solely focus on studies while parents bear all the expenses back at home.
To avoid any financial crisis in the future, you must do your calculations before leaving your country. Or ideally, before planning to move to any particular country.
If you plan to do a part-time job alongside studies, explore your options. Get in touch with the students of the college/university you are going to join.
Find out if your institution allows you to do a part-time job or not. If yes, then how many hours can you work?
You can cut down your expenses by:
- Cooking food yourself instead of eating three times from a restaurant.
- Commuting by walk to your university instead of taking a bus– if it’s near to your apartment.
- Doing laundry yourself.
- Not indulging in nightlife.
Get Some Local Currency:
As said earlier, in some countries, you are supposed to bear your quarantine expenses. So, you’ll need some cash for your transfer to your quarantine hotel or your apartment, too.
Or maybe you might have a craving for ice cream or fast food upon landing at the airport.
So having some local currency in your pocket while flying abroad is a wise thing. You can find money exchanges at airports, but then again, you want to minimize hassle and keep the whole process smooth.
Do Some Research About the Culture?
It is an important thing to note. If you have never traveled abroad before, then it’ll take time for you to adjust to the new culture and environment.
However, sudden and unexpected changes can be hard to cope with. So why not do some research about the culture of the country you are going to move to in the coming months?
Things that are a common practice in your country might be offensive to the people in another country.
Plus, to make an excellent first impression, you must know the way people greet each other, festivals that are important to them, how social they are, how they dress, and things like that.
You don’t want to be left on your own there. And making new friends or getting friendly to your neighbor in a foreign country can be pretty easy if you know the things necessary to them.
If you are not sure where to find such helpful information, find Facebook platforms dedicated to that country’s people. And for sure, you can find quite a few through YouTube channels to help you in this regard.
We all dream, and some dreams take us abroad, away from our homes for the greater good. When moving abroad as a student, this checklist will remind you of the most important stuff to ensure you are well-equipped with essential things. Good luck!