Studying abroad checklist: The ultimate guide.

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Studying in another country is a dream come true. But there can be a lot of questions arising from the excitement like how to study abroad? Or why study abroad? Once you have answered those questions, the process of application, scholarships and student visa can be confusing. We have created a checklist that will guide you through all your doubts.

Before Arrival

Passport:

It is advisable to get your passport a year before you plan to study abroad. The processing time for getting a passport can take weeks or months, which can become a problem if you apply or renew your passport at the last minute. Remember that the passport validity must be over 6 months from time of issuance in particular countries. To know more, contact your embassy or visit the country's official website you are going to study.

Select your program:

Studying abroad requires a lot of research. We recommend you research the top universities and the courses that they offer which suits your interest. You can also contact various forums and communities that work in helping international students. You can also look at the social media pages to know the student culture of the university you wish to study.

Language Test:

Most countries require you to take an English language test to process your visa application. The most common tests are the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Pearson Test of English (PTE). Preparation of the exam and taking the test takes some time, so it is advisable to prepare in advance.

Application process:

After researching and finding your desired program and university, the next ideal step would be to apply for the college. Note the application deadline and also the criteria of selection. Each university in every country uses different selection criteria and you can check out their application process and selection process on their website. 

Student Visa:

After you have applied, you have to apply for a student visa which is required by almost every country. As each country has its own rule and method of issuing visas, it can be confusing and take some time. To know how to apply for visa online, you can find the application form either at the embassy website of the country or any official website for international students to receive their student visa. 

Financial Aid:

We know that studying abroad can be expensive for your pocket and that's why you should use financial aid like  scholarships or a study abroad loan provided by the country you want to study or the institute. Getting financial aid or a study abroad loan can help you budget your expenses like travel, housing cost and food expenses. You can research before applying for scholarships and look at the criteria and deadline. 

International Student Identity Card:

An International Student Identity Card (ISIC) can help you get discounts on public transport, travel insurance, cheaper international calling cards and others that can be helpful during your stay in another country. You can check the ISIC website to know more about it and how much it will be useful for the country you're going to study in. 

Medical check up:

If you are travelling to study abroad after the pandemic, adhere to medical check-ups like swab test and other tests asked in the airport or by your university. To be safe, get vaccinated beforehand. Keep a copy of all your medical records and prescriptions for future reference. 

Travel:

After your selection, book your flight to get to the country where you're going to study. For international flights, it is advisable to book 3 - 4 months in advance as they are cheaper. Some of the other things you should keep track of once you finish all the formal procedures are: 

  • Find a place to stay at least 6 months ahead of your trip. 
  • Get a travel card. 
  • Inform your bank about your travel plans. 
  • Donate all items that you will not take with you.
  • Get currency exchanged from your bank. 

After Arrival

Everything could seem much more confusing after you arrive, and it is important to have a checklist to stay on track.

  • Make a plan to reach from the airport to the place of stay. Research about the destinations and the places nearby the place you live. 
  • Download any useful app or make a note of any website that can be useful when you arrive. 
  • Get acquainted with everyone who lives around your place of stay. 
  • Connect with the students of your university and be a part of the student community. 
  • Research about the means of public transport taken in that country and the routes to travel.

As a student, you will love the journey, and every situation will be a fresh experience. Get involved with the culture, festivals and people as much as possible. You will enjoy the country much better if you have good friends. 

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