Must-dos & Must Haves: A Last-minute Study Abroad Checklist

It’s 2018, and now more than ever before, students from countries across the globe are either studying abroad or making plans to do so in the coming months. In fact, just last year, it was recorded that approximately 4.5 million students were pursuing programs outside their home countries. However, despite the number of students doing it, travelling for further study abroad is a lengthy process that can be quite taxing. There are countless tasks to complete and endless purchases to make to ensure you’re prepared to take wing.

Months before you actually make your trip abroad, you’ll set some essential processes in motion: applying for or updating your passport, applying for a visa if needed, researching your travel options, applying for an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), looking for the best housing situation, applying for funding and scholarships, and, most importantly, zeroing in on the program you’ll be pursuing. These are processes that’ll take a while to reach completion. But if your departure date is a week or fortnight away, here’s a quick but comprehensive checklist of those last-minute must-dos and must-haves that you need to know:

2 weeks to 1 week from departure


Must-dos

Get insured: Get some medical and travel insurance to ensure your time abroad is as worry-free as possible. Travel insurance is your shield against injury and theft!

Get a global SIM: If you want to steer clear from unnecessary and exorbitant phone charges, make your phone home to a global SIM card. You could get coverage in multiple countries, access to free incoming calls, and even free social media notifications!

Check exchange rates and plan your budget accordingly: Given that a study trip to another country already involves untold expenses, you’ll need to make informed budgetary decisions. So study those exchange rates! We can help. Remember, your bank will charge you $20 if you use an international ATM.


Must-haves

Documents and their copies: There is no way you can make it out of your home country without your passport, flight ticket, visa, ISIC, transcripts, recommendation letters, financial-aid documents, and other such crucial paperwork. Also, it will save you a world of trouble if you carry multiple copies of these!

Local currency: It is absolutely paramount that you carry about $200-$300 worth of the local currency. There will be so much else to occupy your mind on the day of your arrival that you don’t want to add to it by running out of cash. Again, we have the tools to help in this regard.

On arrival


Must-dos

Attend important events: Your attendance at your university orientation and other such events is as essential as it will be useful. It’s the best way to create good impressions and embark on new friendships.

Explore: Whether you’re alone or with an old or newly-acquired friend, tour the city you’ll be studying in, especially the localities closest to your apartment and institute of study. Making one or two trips to the institute will also help you learn your route and avoid delays (if you’re staying off campus). Exploration is also a great way to find interesting hangout spots!


Must-haves

Documents and their copies: There is no way you can make it out of your home country without your passport, flight ticket, visa, ISIC, transcripts, recommendation letters, financial-aid documents, and other such crucial paperwork. Also, it will save you a world of trouble if you carry multiple copies of these!

Class and transport schedules: You certainly don’t want to be late for your classes on your first day, so confirm your schedule and save a copy of it on your phone and in your wallet or backpack. You’ll also need to make note of the bus or train route you’ll be frequenting and the relevant numbers, timings, and schedule of the particular mode you pick. Travel can get frenzied in a new city, so this is crucial.

Other useful tips


Get hold of Overseas Travel Card, traveller’s cheques, discount cards

One of the most nagging yet vital aspects of a trip abroad is finance. To make your transactions simpler, before you start your journey, apply for a Multi-Currency Overseas Travel Card that can loaded with up to 16 different currencies and can be used globally. You could also choose traveler’s cheques as a way to ensure smoother transactions, but they aren’t as ubiquitous as they once were. To make your stay even more economical, you could even check whether you’re eligible for discount cards. We don’t need to tell you the value of a discount or two when you’re incurring massive expenses.


Head out for a medical checkup and vaccinations

Again, while you’re in your home country itself, get a complete physical and check whether you need any vaccinations and/or immunisations. Nothing is as indispensable as good health when you’re studying abroad! Also, carry a record of your medical history even if your university hasn’t asked for it.

So that’s your last-minute checklist for that study trip abroad. Don’t forget anything, and all the best!