Preparing for University Abroad: Things You Need To Know
Congratulations on earning your place to study abroad. You’re no doubt thrilled at the prospect but understandably a little nervous. It’s completely normal. What you need is a quick guide with some preparation tips to help calm your nerves. Rather than take you through all the obvious things you must do before you arrive, such as obtaining your visa, flight and accommodation, we’re going look at some less obvious things that can help you settle in quickly.
Here are some of our top tips for preparing for university abroad.
Buy appropriate clothing
If you’re going to be studying in a country with a different climate to you, it can leave you with the task of finding appropriate clothing. Coming from a hot climate to a cold one can be a bit of an adjustment. Studying in the UK or Canada for example, will require a warm, thick coat for winter and appropriate footwear to cope with rain, snow and low temperatures.
Bring a bit of home with you
Every single international student will feel some degree of homesickness when they first arrive in their new country. It’s completely normal and will go away as you settle into university life. It’s always a good idea to bring a little bit of home with you before you leave to make you feel connected to your family and friends. Whether it’s a picture, a book, your favourite sweets or even bedding, choose something that will cheer you up if you’re feeling down or missing home.
Join your university or course group
Facebook can be a wonderful thing in helping you feel more prepared about university life. Pretty much every university has its own page and most courses will have a group that you can join. Here you’ll be able to talk with other students, pick up any important info, and generally get a sense of what your course is going to be like. You’ll realise that everyone is feeling the same as you are!
Find the best way to contact home
Whilst it’s good to make friends and throw yourself into your new life, you’ll want to have some contact with home. Schedule in a call with your family or friends back home every few weeks – taking into consideration the time difference of course. Use whatsapp or Skype which is free over Wi-Fi or find the best deal for international calls as it can get quite expensive.
Embrace the unknown
Realising that you’re not going to feel comfortable right away can be very liberating. Sometimes, students put too much pressure on themselves to fit in immediately and be enjoying every minute as soon as they land. It’s okay to find something strange, it’s okay to miss home and it’s okay to be a little down and every now and again. It’s all part of a new experience and part of studying abroad