Studying abroad can be a fun and exciting time but there are many tips that could save you a ton of money while ensuring that you don’t cut back on your fun quotient. But having fun is not all that’s to it, you should also keep in mind the laws and rules of that country. You definitely don’t want to get in trouble for something you weren’t aware of!
No matter where you’ll be studying, you should make the most of it, and these helpful tips will definitely make your life easier.
1. Be Prepared
This applies to having all the correct documentation before you enter the country. Make sure all your documents are signed, your visa is valid and your passport is also valid. Double check everything like filling in the emergency information page on your passport so that your family can be contacted at any time should the need arise. You should also keep copies of your itinerary and other contact/ personal information with your host family and family/friends so that they can be contacted in case of any emergency. You should also scan all your important documents just in case. It’s always good to have a back up on your computer or online so that should anything happen, you have records and proof of your entry into the country.
2. Plan Vacation Time in Advance
Try to plan all your vacations and bonus trips in advance. Flight tickets can end up costing a pretty penny and a student’s life isn’t in the midst of luxury, so planning as early as possible can save you a fair bit, while allowing you to explore the world around you. If you know you’ll be on break over the summer and there are no classes, head off to great vacation spots. And instead of paying for flight tickets last minute, you can travel to exotic locations for a fraction of the cost.
3. Don’t be a Sleeping Beauty
Yes, we know college life can be hectic and it’s so tempting to just snooze away your vacation time or your free time. But naps can always come later. Explore the world around you – figure out where the quaint coffee shops are, see where the locals like to hang out, walk through cobblestone streets and sample the delicious fare. Life’s just waiting for you!
4. Read up on your New Country
If you know where you’re headed to, read up on the country so that you’re not totally in the dark when you’re chatting with new found local friends. Perhaps learn a few basic words so that you can at least get from Point A to Point B.
5. Learn the Language
You’ll be there for 6 months, a year, two years or maybe more. If you really want to make the most out of your stay there, you should make an attempt to learn the language. If you can’t pick up a few words before you land, try learning it while you’re there. Remember, people always appreciate it when you make the effort to integrate with the locals. An added bonus would be that you’d probably get better deals if you can manage to converse in the local language. Tourists always get ripped off.
6. Plan your budget before you arrive
Costs can escalate very quickly if you’re not prepared. Find out before you arrive whether certain items will be provided like bed sheets or cooking utensils. If you have to buy everything from scratch, perhaps it would be cheaper for you to get some with you or you can plan ahead and be prepared for your living budget in your new country.
7. Go Abroad for YOU
This is your time and this is the time to live and explore and see more of the world. Don’t let relationships hold you back. If it’s strong, it will endure the distance. What’s meant to be, shall be. Don’t exclude yourself from learning opportunities or trips because your partner doesn’t want you to. This is your decision, your life and your learning curve.
8. Be smart in packing
You’re going abroad and as much as you want to take everything you hold dear with you to your new country, you can’t. It’s not realistic plus with so many constraints in travel, you don’t want to spend your living budget on paying for extra baggage. Be smart about what you take and leave behind what s not necessary. Remember, you will be able to buy a few necessities like shampoo, umbrella, outfits, shoes and what not in your new location once you arrive.
9. Say YES to new opportunities
You’re in a new place and chances are you don’t know anyone. On the bright side, everyone around you likely feels the same so go out, meet new people. Say yes to every opportunity as this is the time to really spread your wings and fly. This is when you meet interesting people from all walks of life from all over the world. You’ll probably meet likeminded people who feel the same as you – and who knows you could meet lifelong friends in this way. Hang out with people who are not from your country and make friends from all corners of the globe, while at the same time hang out with people from your homeland so you feel less homesick. This is the time you have great adventures with fun people.
10. Actually go to class
Yes, we’ve made such a fun list of what to do in your spare time and generally tips but we can’t forget the main reason why you came to a whole new country. Attendance may be lax as compared to your previous school or country of residence, but take responsibility for your actions. It’s very easy to get carried away with the freedom that comes from being away from home.
True, you’ve probably planned to make the most of it and you’ve probably got everything figured all out. But you know there will come a time when you realize that you’re actually living in that country and you will start taking things for granted. When was the last time you went and saw a historical structure or a tourist place in your own city? We often neglect things in our own back yard. As a student, make the most of your time there, do as many things and see as many places as you can. A time will come when all this would be memories. Of course, don’t forget documenting your trip so your memories have visuals that can be shared. A student’s like is about fun and learning – combine the both, be prepared for your new life and you’re good to go!