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Five things to do before traveling to study abroad

Five things to do before traveling to study abroad


Have you just been accepted into a phenomenal study abroad program but feel a tad overwhelmed by the preparation? Moving around the world is a big step and it’s essential to make sure you are prepared and organized. Here are five helpful tips:


1. Make sure that your passport and visa are in order

If you already have a passport, check the expiration date. Most countries will deny you a visa or entry if your passport is only valid for a further six months or less at the time of application. It also usually takes several weeks to renew your passport therefore it would be good to start the process early [1]. Different countries require different visas. It is best to consult the nearest embassy or consulate of the intended country of study to get relevant details on this matter [1].


2. Do your travel health checks

Before you leave, make sure to get a health checkup. Some countries have mandatory vaccinations as a requirement for entry [2]. You might be advised by your doctor to visit a travel clinic for relevant vaccination information and to learn what you’ll need to stay healthy overseas. Contact your health insurance company to inform them of your travels [3]. If you need to travel with prescription medication, ensure that the containers are clearly and correctly labeled. You must also make sure that there are no restrictions on the possession and use of your type of medication in the destination country before you travel.


3. Plan your finances 

Living somewhere new will be an exciting journey and you may be tempted to throw money around, albeit unwise [3]. Assess your monetary circumstances and budget your finances before you travel. Ensure you know your bank’s international charges, the monetary system in your destination country, and the exchange rate [4]. Inform your bank where and when you will be overseas so that they can help you to protect your funds from misuse [2].  


4. Organize what you’ll pack

Regardless of how long you are going abroad, try to pack light. It is recommended that you pack no more than one checked bag, one day bag (as a carry-on with a change of clothes and basic essentials – just in case your checked baggage does not arrive with you), and one personal item (e.g. a purse/sling bag) [1]. Pack essential clothing and keep in mind the season you will be experiencing [2]. Remember that many of the items you might want to carry can be found overseas [1].


5. Learn about the country you are traveling to 

Whether it is through books, google, or even movies, read about the country’s culture, history, food, geography, economy, and government  [2]. By researching beforehand, your study abroad experience will be enriched and more meaningful [1]. If you are going to a country where the native tongue is not familiar, try practicing some conversational language such as how to say “hello” and “thank you” to help you engage with locals and get around [2]. 


We hope that these tips will help you to prepare well and begin your trip with confidence!

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Dunkle, A. 2021, August 16. Preparing to Study Abroad: 9 Things You Need To Know. Go Overseas [Web log post]. Available: [2022, November 21].

Kubik, L. 2021, September 20. 9 Things To Know Before Studying Abroad For Your Entire Degree. [Web log post]. Available: [2022, November 21].

10 things you need to know before studying abroad. Student Universe [Web log post]. Available: [2022, November 21].

Tan, E. 7 things to know before studying abroad. EF Academy Blog [Web log post]. Available: [2022, November 21].