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What you need to know before studying abroad

Most people agree that studying abroad is a valuable experience. To ensure that you make the most of it, it's important to be prepared. The following guide will help you prepare all the important things like expenses, visas and what to carry before taking that flight.

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Know before you go: Here's what you need to prepare before studying abroad

Pre-Departure Necessities

Passport and Visa - In order to study and travel abroad, you need to have a valid passport. In case you have one already, ensure that it is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your return. Depending on where you are going and how long you are studying abroad, you may also require a visa. There are different visa requirements for different countries and hence you will have to contact the embassy of your intended country of destination to confirm any travel restrictions or visa requirements when studying abroad.

Health check-up - Before you leave, it's a good idea to visit your doctor and have a thorough check-up to ensure that you are in good health. Carry along a copy of your medical records just in case you encounter any emergencies overseas. Get to know the immunization requirements of your host country.

Travel insurance - While studying abroad, it is important to have a dependable accident and health insurance policy. Check with your present healthcare provider to establish if your policy will apply while abroad, otherwise be sure to buy a comprehensive travel insurance policy.

Buying an air ticket - Nowadays, finding a cheap air ticket is a matter of luck and timing. Fares vary depending on where you are purchasing the ticket from and where you want to fly to.

Get Some Background Information

Research your destination’s local culture, customs and people - Take time to familiarize yourself with studying abroad by learning the geographical, historical, cultural, government and economy of your soon-to-be home. Talk to other people who have been there. Knowledge about your destination will help you adapt and minimise culture shock.

Refresh your language skills - In order to overcome the first few days of making adjustments, knowing the basic of phrases will make the whole difference. Enroll on classes and ask for help from fluent friends.

What to carry with you

Money - Arrange for an online bank account if you don’t have one already in order to help you monitor your spending while abroad. Pre-paid credit cards are also practical and accepted worldwide. Be sure to carry some cash in local currency with you when you travel in case you encounter any problems at the airport upon arrival.

Packing properly - Check with your airline to find out their luggage allowances to avoid any surprises (or expenses!) at the airport. Purchasing a durable traveller’s backpack may be more convenient and comfortable to carry while studying abroad. Our packing list can help you with this.

Communication - Carry a laptop or smartphone to help you communicate with people back at home and be sure your accommodation has internet access. Before departure, be sure to download, create accounts and test any apps you will use for communication such as WhatsApp, skype or even Facebook (but you already have Facebook, don't you?

Damian breen
Damian Breen Managing Director

Damian spent some 22 years living and working in various different countries in Africa and the Middle East, for several different leading international airlines, in senior country and regional manager roles.