Things Students Should Do Before Studying Abroad

  • Make sure you have all necessary travel documents- It goes without saying that a current passport will be required in order to enter a foreign country and to return home. However many countries require a student visa, be sure to apply well in advance of your expected departure. Confirm that the visa will cover your entire study abroad period.
  • Talk to the students who have studied abroad- Talking to others who have completed the same program will give you a chance to ask specific questions and allay any fears you might have.
  • Find ways to finance your trip- Studying abroad can be expensive. Prior to committing to any program, estimate how much you will spend during your time abroad. Check with your financial aid office for advice and assistance.
  • Get a physical check-up- Before leaving for your study destination, you should visit your doctor and make sure you are in good health. Tell your doctor where you’re going and see if he or she has specific recommendations. It is important that you are up to date with your vaccines.
  • Know the law and stick to it- Be sure to obey the laws of your host country at all times. Find out the laws for the common activities such as driving a car or drinking alcohol. Even a minor mistake can create a lot of problem for a foreigner who is not educated in the local laws.
  • Pack smartly- Pack for the climate of the country you are visiting. Pack copies of the important documents such as plane tickets, passports and credit cards for reference in case of an emergency.
  • Know what to do in case of an emergency- Prior to leaving on your trip, find out how to contact the police, fire department and any other emergency service available in your host country. Additionally, consider enrolling your trip with the state Department. The smart traveler enrollment program is a free service that allows the state department to assist you in an emergency.
  • Get Insurance – Travel Insurance is worth the investment if you get sick or have any serious medical issues. If you already have health insurance, check to see if it includes coverage for overseas care. If it doesn’t you can get a policy specific for overseas travel.
  • Learn about food and drink safety- One of the joys of traveling is trying the food and beverages of the country you are visiting. Before trying the local delicacies, it’s in your best interest to research any potential health hazards related to food and drink. One should be careful of eating anything.
  • Know that you can’t plan for everything- It’s a good idea to get as much as knowledge as you can prior to your departure, but there is no way to prepare for everything. Keep an open mind about your upcoming adventure. Any planning you do ahead of time will serve you well, but not knowing what will happen is part of the fun of travel.