If You’re a Student About to Study Abroad, Stick to These Four Smart Tips

Sep 23, 2017 by

Whether you’re looking to make the most of your senior year at university or have otherwise toyed around with the idea of studying abroad, what’s holding you back?

After all, getting to spend time either working or studying in another country is a dream-come-true that most people could only imagine. Consider the additional benefits of studying abroad such as…

  • Seeing the world and broadening your horizons: there’s more to going abroad than academic or professional experience, after all
  • Something awesome for your resume: whether as a talking point in an interview or in the form of relevant experience, study abroad programs can set you apart from the pack
  • Making the most of college: if nothing else, this may be one of the few chances you have in life to affordably travel in another country for an extended period of time

That said, traveling abroad for school isn’t all fun and games. Consider the following four crucial tips to ensuring that you make the most of your experience in another country and that your travels are ultimately stress-free.

Understand Your Flight Arrangements

Whether you’re spending time in Germany or Japan, you need to understand exactly how you’re getting from Point A to Point B in terms of your flights.

Even if your school is footing the bill, seek out flights that make sense financially and ensure that you’re not missing any crucial deadlines for your program. This rings true if you’re flying within the country you’re studying in, too. If worse comes to worse and you end up getting stuck, remember that it’s possible to get compensated for delayed flights.

Take Care of Your Essentials

Whether in the form of physical goods or information, bear in mind that living abroad means you only have one shot to pack all of the essentials and take care of business at home. Rather than worry about shipping costs or not having what you need to function, you should strive to do the following prior to heading abroad:

  • Inform your bank account that you’re leaving the country and sort out your cash in the country you’ll be calling home
  • On a similar note, figure out payment for your apartment or dormitory so you don’t get hit with unsuspected charges or legal issues upon returning
  • Fill any essential prescriptions for medicines you might need, especially since not all countries are created equal when it comes to drug regulations

Do Your Homework on Cultures and Customs

On a similar note, make sure you research the respective cultures of any countries that you’ll be spending time in. While not every foreign culture is totally alien, there certainly are major differences between North American and Asian cultures, for example. As long as you’re respectful of others and don’t act like an aloof tourist, you’ll probably be fine.

Remember Why You’re There

When you’re studying abroad, it’s tempting to “play” rather than work. While some sight-sighing is certainly acceptable and enjoyed, don’t get caught up in partying and make it a point to stay out of trouble. You want to end your college experience on a positive note rather than squander your opportunities because of poor decision-making.

Studying abroad represents an enriching and exciting experience regardless of your destination. No matter where you decide to go, keep these tips in mind prior to taking off.

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