So you have decided to continue your education abroad, away from the safe haven of your home country. But before packing your stuff, you need to be aware of certain information, questions, and resources to help you understand more about the type of ‘study abroad program’ you have chosen, support services available, and strategies to be prepared to study abroad.First choose a program that matches your academic objectives & future aspirations. For this you need to find out about the education provider and what type of relationship your present university has with them.
Once you have selected your course of study and your new education provider, it is time to think about meeting the financial obligations of the course.
Many a times you have to prove to the Authorities such as – the Consular officer and the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services within the U.S- that you have sufficient funds to meet your study and living expenses. For this, first find out the type of University you have chosen – private or public – as cost varies a lot for these two types. Check about any government funding, loans, fellowships, or scholarships programs available for your course. Whatever your plans are about your financial funding, always be prepared for the exchange rate fluctuations.
Next prepare your application filling details in advance, especially details about your hobbies, interests, knowledge of current events in your destination country, resume and essays. Get ready to face the interview board too.
Now it is time for planning for your departure – before doing so identify the following – select a travel provider, select guidebooks and documents necessary for your study abroad. Get ready all your travel documents – passport, visa, birth certificate, ticket, Proof of Sufficient Funds, Letter of Acceptance, insurance proof, prescriptions if any, vaccination & confirmation of good health, International Student ID Card and finally copies of all the above.
Have an in-depth study of all foreign laws applicable to you. Plan how you are going to communicate with your parents, friends and course administrator back home etc, where are you going to stay etc. Study the cultural aspects as well as risk factors near your place of stay and study. Be prepared for any untoward incidence and contacts for help seeking. Always keep in hand your embassy address and contact details.
To study abroad you have to adapt your daily routine and schedule to life abroad. You also need to make a list of all the non verbal behaviors that are considered inappropriate or rude in your new country of education and which are the commonly used ones. If you are a US citizen, then you need to also study beforehand the prevailing national sentiment towards the U.S. and its citizens in the country that you plan to study.