Putting it mildly, getting to study abroad is an exciting opportunity. It can be argued that every student dreams of that. After all – student life is largely about exposing yourself to new experiences. When given such an opportunity, the students can get so overwhelmed that they may totally overlook some necessary things to remember when embarking on this journey of a lifetime. Moreover, for many students, it would be the first trip of such kind, and there are things that one might simply not think about. Today, we would like to revisit some of the basic guidelines to keep in mind if you are to study abroad.
You might want to brainstorm a checklist of things that you may need in various situations that may occur. Make sure to remember these important points:
1) Cultural differences
This one seems like a no-brainer. Of course, I will not order hamburgers in India. Still, there are always more specific cultural norms in any possible destination. Some of them are so implicit that the locals will not even deem it important to mention them to you, and it may lead to some awkward situations. So, it is always better to research about these cultural norms long beforehand and start practicing them while you are still at home.
Do not expect that your cell phone charger plug will fit into the sockets because in most countries it won't. So, procure an adapter beforehand. Also, mind the voltage if you don't want your battery to melt or blow up. Spending some time offline may sound like a good idea, but when it happens unplanned and in a foreign environment, it is not so charming anymore.
3) Curriculum norms
You know that the curriculum in the same subjects may differ from one university to another. So, you can only imagine how different it may turn out to be abroad. The difference will lie not only in such minor details college paper editing and formatting. You should be ready for an entirely different approach to pedagogy. So, often, you can safely dismiss everything you know about the higher education system and explore it anew.
4) Write down an emergency phonebook
Even though there should be some receiving party on behalf of your destination school, accidents can happen. So, it's nice to have addresses and phones written down beforehand. These maybe the contacts of the nearest US embassy or consulate, police, and ambulance, your insurance company, the representative of the receiving party, etc. Do not rely on your phone or any other electronic device; it is always better to have all this information written down on paper.
Even if the chances of an accident are pretty small, you do not want to have to face it unprepared.
5) Have your banking and online credentials backed up
Be ready that you might not be able to access your bank app, email, social media, and other accounts automatically like you are used to. The developers of these apps have set security as their top priority, so when you are trying to access your account from an unfamiliar place, they will have to confirm that it is in fact you. This is why it is better to have all the usernames and passwords stored in a safe place – in case you may need to re-enter them.
These are just a few things to remind yourself before taking that airplane and leaving off to a foreign land to study. Of course, this is a serious undertaking, and it should be handled accordingly. So, save your excitement for later, for the time when you are actually there. Before that, better calm down and make sure that you are properly prepared.