Studying abroad can be one of the most thrilling and self-expanding experiences you’ll ever go through in your entire life. The personal development process you’ll experience is so meaningful and lasting that you’ll most likely be grateful for having given yourself the chance to go outside your comfort zone and explore what the world has to offer. However if you take this leap of faith unprepared, you may find it difficult to adjust and enjoy the ride. This is why we’ve compiled this list of things you should expect from this eye-widening experience:
1.You Need to Make an Informed Choice
Before jumping into this adventure, you will need to make sure you find the right school for you or the schooling program that fits your needs the best. Depending on your field of interest, you can either apply for a scholarship or simply pack your bags and study culinary arts, art or engineering in a specialized institution. You then need to research the country and region where you want to study and ensure they fit your personality. Think about the people that live there, the culture and traditions, as well as the weather you’ll be facing. These may all seem like unimportant details, but if you’re stuck in a country you can’t resonate with, you’ll spend your time thinking of your departure flight back home.
2.You Can Maximize Your Studying Possibilities
If the time permits and you would still like to get additional training or courses while you’re already in school there, you can always opt for online courses in addition to or complementary to your studies. There are no rules and no limitations in studying, regardless if it’s abroad or in your own country. For example, if you’ve always wanted to know how you can work with people with disabilities, you can always take disability courses online. This will allow you to further your education from the comfort of your home or the corner coffee shop.
3. Know the Financial System
When you leave your home country and move to a new one, you’ll may face unpleasant surprises that are related to finances and budgeting. It’s recommended that you let your bank know you’re moving away, so you can easily and safely make all the payments you need in your new country. There will also be some international charging fees that you need to be aware of first hand - it’s always recommended to estimate a required budget for your first months of stay, so that you can live comfortably and deal with any unforeseen costs that may come your way.
4. Be Prepared to Get Homesick
There most certainly isn’t any amount of preparing you can do to prevent feeling homesick, but it’s definitely helpful knowing this feeling will certainly challenge you sometime during you stay in your new country. Culture shock will also have a great impact on you, so remember to always be open to the different approaches countries have to life and to ask for help whenever you feel confused or stuck. Maintaining mindfulness and openness, as well as a tight connection to your environment will help you remain grounded and accepting of wherever the process is taking you.
5. Make Sure Your Credits Count When You Get Back Home
This is a really important and often underrated step that some students don’t take into consideration before they go studying abroad. Before you sign the papers with your school of choice, make sure that the credits are valid and the degree is recognized in your home country. There wouldn’t be a bigger damper on your experience than getting back home and finding out your time spent there is not useful to you in your career of choice.
6. Organize Your Itineraries Well
Another important step in moving and studying abroad is to make sure you have all the flights and connections paid for and chosen wisely, so as to maximize your budget. Print your tickets and also get a map you can carry around just in case you can’t rely on your phone to provide you with directions. By having everything taken care of ahead of time, you’ll be able to truly relax and enjoy your new adventure from the very first moment.
With these tips in mind, packing your things and leaving your country behind will be nothing short of a mesmerizing adventure that’s guaranteed to give you long-lasting and beautiful memories. Just be prepared to leave all your expectations behind and embrace everything this new culture has to offer. Make sure to connect with the people around you and travel as much as you can in your free time, so that your learning experience can truly be a holistic one. What’s more, in the end all that will stand out will be the memories you created for yourself throughout your journey, so make every moment count.