If a foreign university has offered you a place on one of its courses, you could be bubbling with excitement as term time nears. However, whether you have been allocated a place for a month, term, year or multiple years of study, you need to make sure that you bring the right things with you.
This entails looking far beyond the obvious supplies, like clothing and toiletries. There are many boringly bureaucratic, but practically essential, aspects of packing – so don’t forget your…
Naturally, this ranks high in the priority list of what to pack when studying abroad. However, you must still look at your passport’s expiration date to check that it isn’t too close. This date needs to cover time you will spend studying and travelling.
It can take over six weeks for a renewed passport to be processed, so act quickly. Afford yourself some wriggle room by extending the passport’s validity several months beyond what you need.
Though requirements vary between countries, you are likely to need to source a student visa before your chosen country lets you stay for the whole length of study. You might find that the university steps in to help you with the application process, but this is not guaranteed.
To apply of your own accord, contact the destination country’s embassy or consulate. You might have to attend an appointment to which you will be asked to bring a valid passport.
Naturally, you don’t want your financial supply to be depleted at an inopportune moment while you are busy enjoying yourself in a foreign country.
For this reason, you ought to take an abundant supply of the local currency, though remember to convert it before you reach the airport. Otherwise, you could be stung by prohibitively high exchange rates that don’t apply at banks, travel agents or post offices in your home country.
Before you make the trip abroad, also check that you will be able to use a cash card or credit card to access a bank account there, such as through a local ATM or global bank branch.
Will the destination country pose particular health risks inapplicable in your native country? If so, arrange to receive relevant vaccinations before you depart.
If you already take ongoing prescriptions which will remain necessary on your travels, tell your doctor, as they can submit a copy of your medical records to your country of study.
Travel tickets and cards
These include not only your initial tickets but also cards for journeying by bus, coach or rail, if you anticipate frequently using these travel options. Rest assured that, if you choose a homestay in London, the city has a conveniently extensive public transport network.