As you sit behind the computer screens searching for different career options, the increasing trend of students going abroad amuses you. You ponder for another two hours on the benefits of studying abroad till you are convinced to pack your bag and grab that degree with a bunch of friends from across the globe.
As much as the state-of-the-art facilities and global exposure excite you, you realise your life is going to take a drastic turn. Everything from timezones to festivals to staple meals to climate is getting replaced on the go. This newfound independence loaded with responsibilities may take a toll on you. Don’t worry; we will help you out. Here are five tips to direct you towards a better international life with a perfect balance of learning and fun.
1. Choose course and University wisely
Have a clear and strong why before jumping into the hype of studying abroad. Ask yourself what gets you excited to plan your study abroad. Are the educational standards and research opportunities better abroad? Do they have really cool student accommodation options? Do they have better job opportunities for the domain of your
choice? Or, is it the fancy degree from overseas that excite you? Answers to these questions will help you land on the ideal path.
The aspect of ‘study’ should be the predominant factor while planning to study abroad. While shortlisting a course, skim through the content, relevance, scope and job prospects. Look for the University’s international ranking and brand value. The key is to pick a course you will enjoy and a University you can’t wait to get into.
Once you decide what and where you want to study, collect all the relevant documents for your application. Some Universities demand a language test certificate and recommendation letter attached to your application. Spend time in building an impressive resume along with a motivation letter and statement of purpose. Work on your technical skills, attend webinars and polish your soft skills to secure your dream University admission.
2. Book your student accommodation beforehand
Before you set out for the new adventure, the first thing you need confirmation on is a place to stay. It can get stressful to find a house in a new place on your own. AmberStudent brings you a variety of properties based on your preference and helps you through each step of booking. Most student cities like London, Nottingham, Edinburgh, and Cambridge have on-campus and off-campus housing for international students. While on-campus housing mainly comprises University dormitories, off-campus housing includes private apartments, shared student housings and homestay.
Choose a student accommodation of your choice by examining logistics like cost, safety, comfort, distance to University and proximity to basic facilities. You can book a house tour before you move in. Be thorough with the contract before you sign it. Get into details like maintenance and repair, pets and guests’ allowance, waste disposal, subletting options, laundry, and vehicle parking. Cross-check the apartment’s goods with the inventory and report to the landlord in case of defect or missing pieces.
3. Make a checklist for your travel
Once you receive the admission letter and a student visa, get ready to travel to your dreamland. Gather all the relevant documents in a single folder: passport, visa, airline tickets, admission letter, proof of identity and address, student housing papers, bank statements, passport-sized photos, academic transcripts with attested copies, medical prescriptions, scholarship certificate, and medical reports. Have both physical and online copies of all the essential documents. Carry them in your handbag since you may need to produce them on demand.
Carry some foreign currency to use till you open a bank account there. Check the climate of the place while packing clothes and toiletries. Take all your electronic gadgets and chargers along with travel adapters so that you never run out of battery. You don’t want to wander the street for groceries on day one, so take some ready-to-cook packages with you. Contact your flight providers for information on baggage allowance and travel safe.
4. Plan a budget and save money
When you know what to expect, it becomes easier to deal with. Learn about the average cost of the significant facets like tuition fees, rent, food and transportation. Apart from these, you need sufficient capital to survive in a foreign country. Be up to date on currency conversion rates. Figure out your priorities and set aside funds for emergencies. Keep track of your expenses and decide between your wants and needs.
Earn money by trying out different part-time jobs like tutoring, food delivery, dishwashing, and dog sitting, to name a few. Always look for ways to save money. Many UK cities have cheap student housing near University where students share spaces to cut down on rent. Use the free wifi in public spaces like train stations, hotels and shopping malls. Look for places where you can use your student card for discount: theatres, trains, bookstores, libraries, museums and restaurants.
Consult with your University before spending any money on study-related software. A local friend can help you out with cheap places around the town. Shop on Black Friday to make use of seasonal sales. Rely on thrift stores and flea markets for cost-effective items for daily use.
5. Prepare yourself for the new life
Even if you double-check all the pre-moving items in your list, it takes a lot more energy and effort to prepare yourself for the change. You are bound to encounter cultural shock when you move to a new city. Watch travel vlogs and student vlogs to get your expectations straight in the new town. Talk to different sets of people for a well-rounded view: locals, seniors/alumni, other international students, and international service desks.
It may get tiring to wear different hats throughout the day. Make yourself a simple routine and stick to it to have a balance between your studies and chores. Learn to cook some of your favourite traditional meals for the days you feel extra homesick. Consider learning some common phrases of the language of your host country. It will make you feel more welcome and confident in a new country. Watch out for the latest news on the country’s economic and political situation, including crime rates and treatment of immigrants. Blend into the new land yet stay true to your roots.
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.