10 Essentials to Know Before Studying Abroad
Studying abroad has been popular nowadays with most students. The desire to widen their horizons by assimilating a broader knowledge and a different culture has driven them to go to other countries for education. But just like any venture, there are a number of precautions that you need to consider before you proceed with your plan. Here are ten essential tips that will guide you in your decision.
1. First of all, you need to be sure on what course you are going to take abroad. Or if you are planning for a master's degree, you need to know if a particular place offers good training on that field of focus.
2. If you have a specific country in mind, you need to research on good schools in the area, specifically ones with good credibility and reviews. The internet is a good source when it comes to checking a school's reputation. You can also check forums, visit a school's website, or you can even ask their online admission's office about their programs.=
3. Next is to check on a school's accessibility. You need to ask on how far is it from the city proper. Are their nearby dormitories? What are the modes of transportation? How much do you budget for fare? These are important questions that you need to ask in order to make your study stay not only enriching but safe too.
4. For those who are continuing their education abroad, you might want to ask if they credit your other subjects at your previous school. In some institutions, you get to transfer to any of their affiliated schools in other countries, with full credits. This can ensure that there is continuity of education while you get to experience a different environment.
5. Preparing your health through vaccinations is also important and sometimes required in other countries. This is to prevent you from contracting any illness or to avoid spreading any contagious disease across borders.
6. It also pays to ask about travel medical insurance for students. Some schools incorporate these in their program while others do not. In Australia for example, international students are required to pay for their health insurance through the Overseas Student Health Coverage (OSHC) scheme. A specific amount covers for a certain period of time, six months at the least. Having this sorted out can help avoid any financial problems if ever you get sick in that country.
7. Get all your legal documents ironed out, this would include your student visa, your passport, or maybe a Document of Honorable Release from your previous school. You need to bring all important papers with you because you're not just moving a stone's throw away, but several countries or date lines maybe. Should the admitting office require any important document, you will be well prepared. This also helps you to avoid delays.
8. Also ensure that your money matters are in order. Ask about overseas transactions with your bank, and learn if you can use your current ATM card in the country that you are going to study at.
9. It helps to research about this specific country of choice, because it will prepare you on what to expect, how to go about when arriving there, or what not to do in order to avoid offending any locals. This will make your stay fun and can help you to live harmoniously with others. Doing some reading about a country can also educate you on the beautiful places that you can visit and what festivals or celebrations you can expect to see.
10. Lastly, make sure that you have good contact with family or friends back home, just in case you fall into some kind of emergency. Ask about cellphone credit providers that are also available abroad. The easiest way is to communicate online; you can go to social networking sites or use Skype or Google Talk or WhatsApp where you can call anywhere for free.