Few experiences offer as many opportunities as studying abroad. You get to travel, visit important landmarks you might have seen only in pictures or on television; you’ll mingle with the locals and meet fellow students from all corners of the world; you’ll learn or perfect a foreign language (maybe even a couple) and you’ll drastically improve your chances at succeeding in the career you chose.
There are plenty of reasons to be excited but we’re sure that somewhere, at the back of your mind, you’re panicking because you’re not sure if you’re ready. These tips are just for that: help you prepare and calm your anxiety.
Start Planning as Early as Possible
First you have to choose what program you want to apply to. Luckily, there are lots of online resources and agencies such as 美国留学 that can help you with that. Next step is to gather all the documents you need for your application. The academic institution you’ve selected should have them listed on their website with some contact information in case you have any questions.
Once you get accepted, you have more paperwork to get through. You’ll need to gather all the documents needed to travel and settle in another country. This goes beyond passport and visa. You need to think about accommodation, opening a new bank account, health insurance and letters from your doctors regarding your medical history.
Learn About the Local Culture
Adapting to a new culture can be quite challenging so you’ll want to learn as much as possible before getting on the plane. You can search for videos and documentaries about the specific region where you’ll be living, so you can get around more easily. You’ll also want to look into the local cuisine, popular books and movies, as well as prominent authors, singers and athletes. This will help you make friends since it you’ll have a wide range of topics for conversations.
You’ll also find online resources that detail the specific differences between cultures so you’ll know if there are any habits or gestures that are trivial in your country but might be offensive where you’re planning to move. No matter how much research you do, you’ll still feel confused once you get there. This is normal. However, it will be so much more manageable than if you had to learn these things on the go and constantly apologize for misunderstandings stemming from cultural differences.
Learn the Language
If you’ll be moving to an English speaking country, then you only have to brush up on your English skills and learn some of the differences typical for that specific region. If you’re moving to another country but you’ve chosen an academic program that’s taught in English, you’ll still have to learn at least the basics of the local language so you can get around.
There’s a good chance that most shop assistants will not speak English fluently or at all. You’ll also need language skills simply to get around, to understand the public transportation system and ask for directions.