The decision to study abroad can be life-altering on both a professional and personal front. You are taking a massive step towards growth by leaving your comfort zone and pushing your boundaries. It’s okay to feel paranoid and overwhelmed about all things that can go wrong in the process. Wearing different hats for days on end can weigh heavy on your sanity. So, here are some tips to help you elevate the fun and lower the stress of moving.
1. Research about the University and course
While choosing a university to study abroad, check the international rankings and future career prospects. Go through the course curriculum to have a better idea about the difficulty level and scope of the subject. Polish the technical and non-technical skills related to the domain. Have an idea about the project or internship opportunities so that you can be focused from the beginning. The grading system, the teaching method, and the exam pattern might differ from those in your home country. Be open to learn and grow, while remaining true to your roots.
2. Make a list of things to carry
No one gets it perfectly right when packing for a huge move. But you can make a list of essential things to carry and refer to it while packing. Start by arranging all necessary documents like passport, student visa, a rental contract, admission letter, health insurance, and academic transcripts in one folder. Check the currency conversion rates and take some foreign currency to use until you open a bank account there. Carry the regular medicines and electronic gadgets in your handbag. Carry a sim card and a debit card that works overseas. Pack light and smart, but make sure you don’t miss out on anything important.
3. Stay on top of administrative works
You don’t have a parent nagging you about tedious tasks like opening a bank account, applying for health insurance, or paying your rent on time. Keep track of all the appointments and meetings. Keep a digital copy of all the certificates and ID cards. Have an accountability partner who might check in with you from time to time. Make sure you have all the legal and administrative documents with you. Be aware not to miss any deadlines on rent payments or tax applications, which may lead to severe repercussions. Know your rights as an international student and engage in expat groups to gain a well-rounded view.
4. Manage your finances well
Before you plan a budget, learn about the average cost of living in the city. Then, list down the major sources of expense and figure out how you will pay for it. Be clear about the costs covered in your student scholarship or educational loan. Now, differentiate between needs and wants, and plan accordingly. Find smart ways to save money and save a few bucks every month for emergencies. Student housing in Exeter and other major cities have students sharing an apartment, thereby cutting on the rent. Consult the University library before you buy any book, and switch to e-books as much as possible. Enquire the local cost of basic services, learn about the student discounts, and rely on thrift stores whenever possible.
5. Book your accommodation in advance
The last thing you need after you land in your dreamland is to roam around homeless. With more students planning their studies overseas, the student housing sector has grown in demand and in quality. Check-in with your University to learn about the various student accommodation options. There are different types of student accommodation, including University dorms, private studios, shared apartments, and homestays. Most students prefer to live with their friends in apartments where basic amenities are available in an all-in-one rent. One such example is Nottingham student housing, where student-centric apartments are available near the campus at a reasonable price. Being around warm people in a comfortable space makes you less homesick.
6. Develop a routine
Shifting to a new setting can be quite overwhelming. Suddenly, there are forms to fill, meetings to attend, trash to take out, house to clean, places to visit, assignments to complete, bills to pay, and a body to feed. To tone the anxiety down, have a routine and stick to it. This not only helps delegate the tasks at hand but sets a pace to settle down. Develop a hobby and take time out to interact with others. Have fun activities planned to strike the balance. Talk to your loved ones and keep your mental and physical health in check. Before you know it, you would master the art of adulting.
7. Know the place better
The more you know what to expect, the better. Be prepared for the initial cultural shock as everything from climate to food to language might be new. Research in detail about the country in general and your host city in particular. Learn about the public transport options and part-time jobs you can do as a student. Connect to current students via social media to know how international students are treated there. Watch the news to have a better idea about the political and economic condition of the place. Finally, find out the major travel destinations of the city to get yourself excited about the new life.
8. Let yourself learn and grow
It’s quite common to have trouble adapting to a new environment. Acknowledge the fear and take it easy on yourself. Use the support networks on campus to solve any issue that you might face. Explore the different types of clubs and join the one that suits your interest. You can meet like-minded people and have an open discussion about your experience. Be open to fresh perspectives and new lessons. Work on your English language skills to thrive in an international community. Try to learn a few common phrases in the local language. Embrace the local culture and find yourself a home in the new country.
How can Amberstudent help you?
We at AmberStudent are devoted to giving you the best experience and option for student accommodation worldwide because we apprehend its value. We have upgraded ourselves continuously with the COVID policies and would be more than eager to assist you in those.
Arya Antherjanam V (Content writing and SEO marketing intern at AmberStudent)
Arya Antherjanam V, a postgraduate in Physics, dropped her research studies to take up writing full time. A content writer by day, a poet by night, and a performer on weekends, she believes that conversations can change the world. A member of different poetry communities and co-author of a couple of anthologies, she intends to impart light and hope through her words.