Going to a foreign country to study, whether as an undergraduate in a prestigious university or as a high school exchange student, is one of the best ways to get a more holistic education. By going over overseas, you’ll be able to put to practice the saying that real education happens outside of the classroom. And as you mingle with locals and fellow international students, you will surely learn more about the world than you ever would by staying at home.
However, choosing to study overseas is not a trivial matter. It requires a lot of preparation if you want your stay to be enjoyable and worth the resources you put into your decision.
To help you get things started, here’s a short list of essential matters to take care of before leaving to study abroad:
1. Brush up on required skills – Just because you’ve been accepted to a university does not mean that you’ll breeze through their academic program. Increase your chances of success by taking short courses getting a tutor for subjects that you know you need help on. You should also keep on taking English language classes even if you’ve already passed your IELTS exam to keep on developing your language skills, making transitioning easier with the language barrier becoming less of a factor as your skills improve.
2. Double check your papers – Double check everything, from your student visa and passport to your IDs, acceptance letter, ATM card, and all other entry and enrolment requirements. Put them together in a waterproof envelope and place it in the bag you’ll be bringing way ahead of time. The last thing you want is to be held up in the airport and miss your flight only because you forgot something important at home.
3. Confirm living arrangements – Just because you’re supposed to be given a room in the university dorm does not automatically mean that you get one. Call in to confirm your room if you’ll be staying in a dorm. The same is true if you’ll be renting an apartment. If you’ll be staying with family or friends, make sure that details like the length of your stay, what you’re expected to contribute, and any house rules are clear.
4. Clarify the details of your travel insurance – Just because you got travel insurance for your vacation cruise does not mean that your stint abroad as a student will be covered. Look for a good travel insurance for international students and make sure that you have the coverage you need for your entire stay.
“Gia is an English language and exam prep tutor from Thailand. She works mainly with students in Bangkok who are seeking to improve their English while studying for the GED exam (เรียน GED) and pass the IELTS exams (เรียน IELTS)”