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14 things you need to do before going to study abroad

1. Passport - make sure you have a passport and that it is valid for at least 6 months past the end of your program.
My Passport” bryansblog, CC BY 2.0

2. Visa - make sure to apply for a visa to study in your host country a few months before you leave since the process may take time.

3. Emergency Contacts - have a list on hand of emergency contacts from both your home and host country, including the numbers of your host country’s ambulance, fire department, and police.

4. Phone - make sure to get some type of cell phone plan while in your host country and freeze your cell phone plan in your home country in order to not be charged for both plans (unless you carry an international plan).

5. Insurance - get health insurance while studying abroad and make sure to print your health card.

6. Health - bring supply of any prescription medications you may be on and don’t forget a copy of the prescriptions.

7. Absentee Ballot - if applicable, register for an absentee ballot so you can vote in your home country’s election while abroad.

8. Finances - make a financial plan of how you will pay the school’s tuition, food, rent, etc. while studying abroad.

money” Andrew Magill, CC BY 2.0


9. Courses - research each course being offered at your school which interests you and register for your classes.

10. Living Arrangements - have your living situation already planned, whether you will be living in your university’s dorms or an off-campus apartment, make sure it is already arranged so when you step off the plane you know where you are going.

11. Research - there are many things that will be different in your host country from your home country, so it is important to research things about your host country in order to be more prepared. Especially:

- The cost of living in your host country
- The culture
- Transportation system


Research - IMG_1367” N i c o l a, CC BY 2.0

12. Get familiar with your future surroundings - Not only is it important to research the country before arriving but also to familiarize yourself with some of it’s aspects, such as:


- Social norms

- Your host campus layout
- The neighborhood you will be living in
- The country’s rules and regulations

13. Language - if you are going somewhere where you do not speak the language, it is important to learn up on some phrases in order to get by, listed are some useful ones to know:


- How do I get to…?

- I do not understand
- Do you speak [language]…?
- Where can I exchange money?
- Where is the restroom?

14. Goals - take advantage of your time abroad, make goals for yourself and try your best to achieve them, studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity so make sure to not  miss out!


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