Each year, thousands of students around the world travel from their respective native places to foreign lands to study in top ranking colleges there. They sacrifice the comfort of their home and family in order to hunt for better prospects and opportunities in their careers. Due to a different environment and changed surroundings, there are a number of things students need to consider when studying abroad.
- You are new here, don’t remain that way
The sooner and better you know your surroundings; the better and easier it will be for you to settle down. Familiarising yourself with your surroundings includes getting to know the commutable roads, transit points and details about the public transport system. Not to say the general stores and shops from where you can buy supplies.
- Develop contacts
Get to know your neighbours and develop contacts with the locals. Being on speaking terms with the locals will go a long way in not just understanding the regional culture but also in case you need help.
- Keep your documents safe
Keep all your documents safe. Make sure your passport is valid and secure. Make sure all your certificates are accounted for. Have a backup plan ready in case you lose any important document. Also keep yourself informed about where your embassy is located and feed its contact details and telephone number in your phone.
- Your safety is your own responsibility
Just like a foreign land has its advantages, it also has its own dangers. Keep yourself safe. Research about the local laws and rules and make sure you don’t break them. Apart from laws, also learn about local customs and respect them. Identify unsafe areas and stay clear of them.
- Money won’t last long
After time, money is the fastest diminishing resource. Get a part-time job near your location and raise some money for yourself. Remember the saying, “something is better than nothing.” However, you should make sure that it doesn’t affect your studies.
- Plan your finances carefully
Cut down unnecessary costs. Create a budget and follow it strictly. Spend on your needs rather than your wants. Don’t be impulsive in buying new things; prefer to buy used things if possible.
- Keep in touch with your family
Keep in touch with your family. Don’t get so involved in your life that you forget them. Talking with your family members is the best way to cure homesickness. It will also help you in reminding why are you here away from them.
Apart from these general tips, there are a lot of guidelines and instructions which vary from country to country. Programs of career counselling for students offer detailed information about them, to guide the students.
Studying abroad is nothing short of an adventure, and adventures are fraught with challenges. Correct guidance and careful planning are important aspects of studying abroad. All this needs a courageous attitude and a mature mind. Only then will a student learn all that is to be learnt by studying abroad. Otherwise, a mere pursuit of a degree won’t differentiate them from those who study in their own regions. Challenges are great teachers. Don’t shy away from them.