Going to study in another country is a fantastic opportunity for every student, young and old. Studying overseas is an amazing way to experience a new culture and education system, to meet new friends, learn a new language and way of life, and broaden your horizons. Whilst travel may broaden the mind, living and studying in another country expands your mind beyond anything you could imagine just staying in your own country.
With the development and successful testing of the first generations of vaccines, the Covid-19 Pandemic is looking like it may be coming to an end, which is great for travelers, and especially for students looking to move abroad. To help everyone whose educational journey is about to take them away from their home country, here is what to know about studying overseas and how you can prepare for it.
1. LEARNING THE LANGUAGE WILL TRANSFORM YOUR EXPERIENCE
Unless you are going to study in a country which speaks the same language as you, the best thing you can do before you leave is to learn a bit of the language before you go. Many English-speaking people make the mistake of relying on the fact that many people speak English around the world so they will be able to get by just by speaking that. Whilst you may be able to get by, you will have a far easier and culturally rich experience if you are able to speak to the local people, understand the transport signs and local TV, and order food from non-English menus.
2. MAKE SURE YOU GET THE NECESSARY VISA
Different countries require different visas for students so it is really important that you get all the paperwork in check before you travel. If you are a European who is looking to study in another country in the EU, you will be able to do so without a special visa but this is not the case in many places in the world. For British students, the upcoming Brexit may change the visa requirements so make sure you stay up to date with what is required if you are hoping to study abroad next year. Usually, the university or educational institution you are planning to attend will help you with everything you need so that you don’t turn up only to be sent home from the airport on arrival.
3. THERE ARE VARIOUS FINANCING OPTIONS OPEN TO YOU
Studying abroad can be expensive but there is a range of different financial solutions for students looking to study abroad. If you are lucky enough to be able to fund yourself or with help from your parents then make sure you work out how much money you will need for your tuition fees, accommodation, and living expenses. A study loan is another option so do some research into how a study loan can help you to see if this is a good choice for you. They often have reasonable terms and interests so many students choose this to help support them overseas financially. You may be able to work part-time in the country where you will be studying but there are some countries that don’t allow this on a tourist visa or which limit the number of hours you can legally work so make sure you know the local laws applicable to student visas and employment.
4. TAKE STEPS TO KEEP YOURSELF SAFE
We often have a romanticized view of certain places because we have seen them on TV or in books. If you think of Paris, you probably think of the iconic, Eiffel Tower, the romantic winding Seine River, and the decadent Moulin Rouge. Whilst these are of course quintessentially Paris, it is important to remember that Paris is a major city and comes with all of the same dangers as other big cities. Whilst you are getting acclimatized, be especially wary of the dangers wherever you go to study. Major European cities, and especially their capitals, have a lot of problems with pickpockets and other crimes, and especially at night, you should always be careful about keeping yourself and your possessions safe. Never walk around late at night on your own or in unfamiliar places and be sure to always let a friend or family member know where you are at all times.
Studying abroad can be a truly life-changing experience and in order to make the most out of it, it is vital that you do the right preparation. Working out your visa and financial requirements is very important in ensuring that you will be legal and comfortable. After that learning, the new language and taking the appropriate safety precautions will help you to have the best possible time on your new educational adventure!