Studying abroad is one of the most exciting chapters of a student’s life. It is a unique experience that provides the perfect opportunity to travel, meet new friends, learn a new language, and, of course, obtain a world-class education. For some, however, moving to another country isn’t an easy transition and there are challenges along the way.
Despite their positive social and economic contributions, international students often experience adjustment challenges given the English language barrier, as well as cultural, academic, and other social factors.
So here’s another exciting part about going to study abroad is that you get to know even much more than the locals when it comes to the best restaurants or places to visit! Those that you can only obtain from your research.
We’ve said it before and we’ll discuss further the importance of research so you can come prepared.
- Location matters
Countries are just like people, no two are the same. When you’re making friends, you’ll most likely find it easier to connect with people who are compatible with you. In choosing a country or place where you want to spend a significant amount of your time living and studying, you’ll want to do the same but in the form of some research.
First, learn more about the country’s language, culture, religion, mannerisms, food, and more so you’re not flying in blind. Perhaps you do want to go in without any previous conceptions or expectations, which is fine as well. No matter what though, it’s always nice to know what you’re dealing with first so you won’t regret your decision after.
2. Make a comparison
Make a comparison between your home city and the place where you are planning to go, and you can select the device in which you would like to see prices.
This is very helpful to avoid expensive things and to identify the affordable ones! For example, knowing in advance that taxis in Canada are super expensive will help you to avoid them, instead of getting a heartbreaking bill after using one.
3. Budgeting and finances. You will need to be aware of your monetary circumstances and budgeting. Just like your mobile service provider, make sure your bank knows what’s up before you leave so they don’t decline your payments when you’re buying some coffee.
Some things you should be aware of if you aren’t already are:
- your bank’s international charging fee
- the current exchange rate between your home country and the country you’re moving too
- the monetary system of your new home.
The best way to handle your money while abroad is to open a bank account in your destination that you can do as soon as you arrive and get your administrative documents in hand.
4. Culture shock & homesickness
Being around the community from your home country would be a great way to avoid culture shock and homesickness. You will have some sort of support group to help you get a grip during your first few months and years! Look for online communities or groups from social media and connect with the individuals. Ask as many detailed questions as possible, from utilizing public transport to popular local bands. These people will be your new family once you arrive until you set your foot on the ground, and most possibly forever!
5. The college
Last but not least, do thorough research on the program you’re interested in, the prospect, and the job market trend at the time you graduate. Once you’ve made up your mind about where you want to study, you should start to think about choosing a program and a university, if you haven’t already. You can research leading universities and colleges online to discover the ones which are best for your subject.
You’ll then want to look closely at the courses offered by the institutions on your shortlist, as well as researching the local area and lifestyle, admission requirements, and costs.
Once you’ve firmly decided on your program and institution, you should start to think about your application(s). Application processes differ depending on the institution and the country, but generally, each institution will provide full details of how to submit your application on the official website.
Our international student advisor would be happy to guide you through your study plans as well as the application process. Email us today at [email protected] to learn more!