Look for International Student Events
Research universities that have a background in welcoming international students. You will find several institutions who are keen to host students from all over the world and already have excellent, well-established programs. US higher education, for example, demonstrated their commitment to internationalise and diversify their campus through the trending hashtag #youarewelcomehere, and a huge amount of universities around the world are waiting for you with just as much enthusiasm.
Sort Out Your Insurance
As an international student moving abroad, you’ll need to have both travel and health insurance. These will cover lost baggage, cancelled flights and any illnesses or accidents that might occur. While you might be inclined to think “it probably won’t happen to me”, it’s far safer to be prepared, because without either insurance abroad you could end up spending a lot of money to cover costs.
Consider Health Insurance Post-Brexit
Currently UK citizens have benefitted from the European Health Insurance Card or EHIC when travelling abroad. However, keep an eye on the validation of your EHIC, once the Brexit transition period ends on December 31st. You will probably not be able to rely on your EHIC to access the country’s state healthcare system once the UK has left the EU, so be prepared to explore other healthcare insurance options while abroad, and stay updated with the country’s specific guidelines to UK expats living there.
Research Local Transport
Once you’ve moved abroad, you’ll probably realise that navigating another city is completely different to in the UK. You will learn that not every city relies on their underground system as heavily as London, for example, and you might even discover a new appreciation of trams or the culture of cycling. Local transport really depends on where you’ve chosen to study, so it’s particularly important to research your options before committing to a student accommodation, for example, on the other side of town to your lectures.
Join Social Media Groups
An amazing way to connect with your future classmates and housemates is online via social media. By joining groups of people on your course, in your accommodation, or with similar extra-curricular interests as you, you can introduce yourself and make friends before you’ve even departed. Knowing some names and faces before your arrival can really help with your confidence and ease the transition process, particularly when moving abroad. However, don’t worry if you don’t suddenly have an influx of friend-requests, because many students will be waiting to make friends in person and remember that social media is not always representative of the university when you arrive. Look for groups that are set up by the university, which are often a safer and more private way to chat than on public pages.
Check Out University Support Services
Starting university is a time for new experiences and opportunities, including making friends, starting new hobbies as well as concentrating on your course. Moving abroad to study adds another element to this adjustment entirely, so it’s imperative you feel supported by the university. Your institution should provide wellbeing services to all students, as well as housing and financial advice to international students in particular. Research the university’s support services in advance, and keep in mind throughout your move and your whole degree, that it’s important to let someone know, if you ever need any help.
By moving abroad to study, you will certainly gain independence, looking after yourself in a new country. Don’t feel overwhelmed if you don’t settle into your new surroundings immediately, and take time to look after yourself. We recommend keeping in touch with old friends from home, as well as trying your hardest to meet new people. Try new things and make the most of your study abroad experience.
Prepare the Paperwork Required for Studying Abroad
When you enroll at university, you’ll need to prove your identity with some of the documents we’ve listed below. Your university should contact you with information of the country’s requirements, or you can always search the university’s website.
- Visa confirmation
- Plane tickets
- Boarding pass
- Accommodation contract
- Health and travel insurance
- Bank account details
Look into Job Vacancies
Studying abroad can be expensive, so why not consider working part-time to ease the financial pressure? Working abroad could also open up more opportunities to meet new friends, gain language skills and will certainly improve your CV for the future. Although many students will have the same thought, explore on-campus jobs which are usually catered to students and can be very convenient to fit around your schedule. It’s worth having a look online in advance of your departure, to check out any competitive job opportunities, but don’t add pressure on yourself if you are occupied with moving.
Set up a Bank Account
As you’re moving abroad to study, we recommend reviewing your bank account. The options are to open a foreign account in your new country, open a new account with an international bank, or see if your current bank has branches abroad, catering to expats. Knowing your financial situation in advance will make it easier to pay rent, bills and any other expenses without having to do bank transfers from your home account. You are likely to need some of the important documents as outlined above to prove your eligibility for a new bank account.
We recommend you look for bank accounts specifically aimed at students, which can offer you some financial flexibility with an overdraft. If exploring this option, you will also need proof of enrollment, which confirms that you are a student, to set up an account.
Prepare for Your First Day
Don’t worry if you’re feeling nervous about starting university - most students will be feeling exactly the same way. Think about what you’re going to do once you’ve arrived in your student accommodation. Are you going to go for dinner with your family? Will you attend a university event or stay in your accommodation to meet your new flat mates? One tip we recommend is to leave your bedroom door open while you’re unpacking so that your new housemates know you’ve arrived and you give a sociable first impression.
Moving abroad to study is an incredibly exciting step in your life. Your journey ahead is full of fantastic experiences and opportunities, so don’t let the relocation abroad intimidate you. If you need any advice on the moving process, head to Avvinue, the all-in-one moving app, which can take the stress out of your move.