Sunday, December 15, 2013

How to Prepare for Studying Abroad

Monash Abroad - United States of America
Monash Abroad - United States of America (Photo credit: Monash University)
by M. Patrick Quinn

While you will find plenty of advice on how to prepare for studying abroad, no one can do it for you.

The following list of items will help you to prepare for your trip.

The list is not exhaustive, but it covers important items to have ready before you travel.

Take time to learn about the host country

Start now to learn about the host country, the people who live there and the language they speak.

It is useful to know about the country's history, traditions and current affairs. The more you understand about your host country, the more you will gain from your experience while studying there.

Have your papers in order

The passport identifies you and your nationality, and you cannot enter or leave most countries without one. If you do not have a passport, you need to apply for one right away. Also, find out if the host country requires international students to have a student visa. It is important to have these important documents ready to go before your departure date.

See your doctor

Go see your doctor for a full medical checkup and tell your doctor about your plans to study abroad. The doctor can provide you with the immunizations you need and a copy of your medical records to take with you. Your medical records will prove invaluable if you have a medical emergency overseas. If you take prescribed medications, then ask for enough prescriptions to last the duration of your trip.


It is a good idea to have a health insurance policy that covers you if you need medical attention while overseas. Some countries require evidence of health insurance to validate a student visa.


You will be able to access your bank account for cash withdrawals at most ATMs in your host country. It is worthwhile to confirm if your bank-issued debit and credit cards will work in the host country. If you expect funds from study abroad scholarships, make sure your bank is aware of them to ensure the seamless transfer of the scholarship funds to your account.


Ask your cell phone provider if you can use your phone and calling plan in the host country. If not, use alternatives such as prepaid phones that allow you to make phone calls from the host country. Use the technology you have available to communicate with your family and friends, such as Skype, IM, or webcam.

Again, the list of items above does not cover every possible item to take care of before your departure date, but it does list the most important ones. The more required paperwork, immunizations, insurance and financial items you can take care of before you leave, the less stress you will experience during your trip.

Visit John Cabot University for more information about study abroad opportunities.

Patrick Quinn is a Copywriter at Higher Education Marketing, a leading web marketing firm specializing in Google Analytics, Education Lead Generation, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing, and Pay Per Click Marketing, among other web marketing services and tools.

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