Like every other thing with tremendous benefits, the opportunity to study abroad is only reserved for applicants who’ve thoroughly planned and prepared for it. However, there are many tips to help you prepare for study abroad.
These tips will be individually relevant to people at different stages of achieving their goal of studying abroad.
Some general tips apply to pre-applicants, those awaiting an admission offer, the admitted, and of course, to new students already waiting at the boarding gate.
These tips include
Research the desired program of study, school, and country
All except the pre-applicant would have done a significant part of this. However, it’s a rudimental preparation process which you should also do, even after you’ve settled in, primarily, more research on the country.
For starters, it’s essential that you thoroughly research and identify a good number of suitable options before settling for one. This is applicable in finding the region, country, school, and program best suited for your needs.
Before making your choice on region and country, first read about the
- weather condition
- natives’ disposition towards foreigners
- the region’s degree of political stability
- the standard of living, etc.
Making the best choice would be more seamless on the program of study and school if you first define your academic goals and identify your desired career path.
Prepare for application, apply and do some campus research.
While preparing for the application, you have to source all the required documents, prepare your proof of language proficiency, and provide evidence of funds. You also have to prepare mentally for the process. Although international universities and colleges have significantly modified the process to be easier, it could seem more rigorous for the less mentally prepared.
The actual application is next, then the seemingly long wait for the admission officer’s decision.
While waiting for your admission offer, there are a few things you could do, like research about the
- academic societies & calendar
- your desired department
- the faculty members you would be working closely with, etc.
You can also use this time to start preparing for your visa applications.
Learn about the destination- their culture and language
Although most non-English language speaking countries use the anglophone language for academic interaction, it’s equally necessary that you have a basic understanding of the language spoken in your future host community.
China, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and many other coveted international education destinations have various native languages. Hence it would be best if you made some efforts to understand the basics of the language spoken in the region, especially as you’d be spending the next few years of your life with them. Fortunately, there are some mobile applications designed for this.
Culture is another critical factor that must be considered and learned about while studying abroad.
Prepare to connect with a diverse community.
Connecting with a community many times more diverse than you’ve seen in the past is an inherent element of accepting an offer to study abroad.
At the heart of the preparations for studying abroad is mental preparation. You have to prepare your mind to see the world and others in a way different from what you’ve been used to. You have to be more tolerable, receptive to others’ beliefs and opinions, and of course, learn.
Hence, it would help if you prepared your mind to interact with a community, diverse in all of its senses, whether preparing for application or awaiting your flight time.
Be sure you are carrying all necessities along.
The keyword is modesty, as over-packing would be simply unnecessary and under-packing disastrous.
While packing your bags, ensure that all necessary academic documents are first secured, then your travel documents, basic study materials, electronics, and every other item you will need to settle into your new community.
Connect with alumni of your school
It would be best to connect with alumni of your school, either in your home country or on social platforms. The latter gives you access to communicate with global students. A significant advantage of this connection is that it provides your first guardian who guides you through applying for placements, jobs, and possibly mentorship.
Studying abroad would mean different things to people at various stages of exploring their international education goals. However, mental preparedness, modesty, and time consciousness are the keywords of all the preparation tips for studying abroad.