Other than credit and bachelor’s degrees, studying abroad is an opportunity to grow as an individual by being exposed to a new culture, diverse people, and a chance to be independent.
However, this is a major change. It’s a completely different environment, which is why students should give themselves ample time to prepare. They should familiarize themselves with the destination’s culture, be ready with finances, and, most of all, insurance. Insurance companies—like Lewermark—now have official websites where everyone can access their services.
Before heading to an entirely different country, students should prepare these:
Knowledge of the Culture
Your knowledge of their culture will increase your awareness of how you act around people—with what’s respectful or not. What’s the country’s primary religion? Are they conservative? What customs and etiquette do they observe?
Let us take, for example, “Yeah, nah, mate” of New Zealand—the top study abroad country with 53,000 international students. “Yeah, nah, mate” is a reply they use when they want to spare the other person’s feelings when declining an offer. This could get lost in translation for an outsider and can potentially cause a misunderstanding.
Each country has different requirements for tourists and immigrants, but the two most important documents for international travel are a passport and a visa.
It’s best to prepare a passport at least six months before your trip. Check if it’s expired or if you still have remaining pages. If you don’t have a passport, you can directly apply to the Department of State. You will be required to bring the following:
- birth certificate
- Two passport photos
- government ID
- application form
Visa applications vary with every country, and some countries don’t require a visa at all. The duration of your stay also determines what kind of visa you need. Short term students can use a tourist visa as this lasts for 3-6 months only.
First of all, set the budget for your trip. Then, think about how you can transfer money from your local bank account to an international one. You might have to open an account in your destination country. You can carry the cash with you while traveling and deposit it when you arrive, or you can arrange a bank transfer.
During this process, you need to inform your bank that you will be overseas for a certain period of time so that they will be aware of any changes in activity from your account.
You can also register in online banking. It’s more convenient considering the Internet is accessible in most countries. Just make sure that you safe-keep your log-in information and gadgets.
With you being far from home and on your own, it’s always good to be ready for any unforeseen circumstances. Having international health insurance will keep you at peace in case any incident concerning your health takes place on the other side of the globe.
For study abroad students, they can choose between an international or travel health insurance. International health insurance is a long-term plan that covers regular and specialized healthcare costs. On the other hand, travel health insurance covers emergencies, loss of personal belongings, and cancellations, making it ideal for short-term students abroad. Moreover, students can choose both insurance plans if they want to.
Studying abroad has a lasting impact on students. It’s life-changing and opens new doors for careers and personal growth. They should be geared for this journey by preparing properly for the trip.