If you dream to have a well rounded- life and a commendable career track, then studying abroad should be a part and parcel of your life goals. Living abroad will expand your life experience in such a way that you will be definitely enriched by it.
It is not just about studying but also about understanding how to live in a totally different cultural ecosystem. There are many skills which you pick up along the way. But before you apply for studying abroad, do ensure that you have done your research thoroughly so that you can be assured that you have made the right choice with respect to your choice of educational institution and the country, where you intend to reside.
Know what you want and apply
Do a thorough self-analysis of the course you want to do, why you want to do this and why specifically in the target country. Choose alternatives and estimate the best match. You should not feel later that you did not choose the country properly or the course. Determine what all aspects you feel will bring you benefit- in terms of quality of education, reputation, infrastructure, cultural factors etc. If you are not comfortable with certain kinds of cultures, it is better to determine this in advance and choose a city/institution accordingly, instead of joining later on and suffering. This can happen if you choose to study in a country whose culture is radically different from yours. Your knowledge of a foreign language can help you make a better decision.
Get in touch with experienced students
Get in touch with students who have already benefited from studying abroad. Ask them about their experiences- what did they find good? What did they find easy? What did they find tough and challenging? They can definitely give you useful tips and hints on how to engage and manage your life there.
Plan your finances
Studying abroad can be a pretty expensive affair. You need to balance the choice of the university with the budget you can afford to spend for this. So, please ensure that you calculate everything before hand- the tuition fees, the travel expenses, the food and accommodation expenses, expenses on books and other activities which you will need. Determine the kind of financial assistance you have to provide the backing which you need- these may include taking loans or scholarships or assistance from family.
Your current college may have financial assistance plans in this regard. Ensure that all these are determined and provided for before making that application. Foreign universities will only take you in when they are sure that you would be able to support yourself for the length of time you are residing in the country
Travel documents should be in order
Ensure that all your travel documents are in order. This includes the tourist visa/student visa for the particular country which should be valid for the duration you intend to study. You need to do all this processing in advance so that you do not have to suffer last minute shocks. The most important personal identity and travel document is your passport. This should possess at least a few years validity and possess number of pages for the visa and immigration stamp to be stamped!
Communication and technology
Ensure that there are enough sufficient communication avenues for you and your family to interact in the new country. This is very important especially when emergencies and unforeseen events occur such as wars, accidents, epidemics and natural disasters. To be forearmed is to be forewarned, as they say. So it is not being overcautious- it is just being pragmatic enough to accept the reality of life. There should be facilities for telephonic and internet based communication.
Social networking has made long distance communication pretty much cheap and easy. Also, prepare to purchase local prepaid card for mobile use as roaming charges can be quite expensive. Try to avoid taking expensive equipment such as laptops with you, unless absolutely necessary. There may be chances of theft, especially when you are in an unfamiliar place. Find out whether your study abroad program offers you lending options to rent out laptops and computers. That can be cheaper and easier on the mind.
Sally Yolanda has been an educator with Amridge University and is presently associated with www.assignmentwritinghelp.com
as an Academic Counselor. She assists students in development of their educational plans and helps improve their academic growth. In her free time, she loves to write poetry prompts.