Are you ready to move to a new country? Before saying goodbye to your existing home, foreign movers can consult this moving checklist to study abroad.
It’s a complicated process with lots of moving pieces, whether you’re moving overseas to study abroad at university or to launch an exciting new career opportunity. As a consequence, losing yourself in the complexities of the move can be easy. Don’t panic, however! You’ll have a much less stressful step if you split your move down into a bunch of small duties. Using this moving abroad guide to prepare your transfer to help make things easier.
Get Your Passport One Year Before
It could sound a little early to apply for a passport a year in advance, but even before you begin studying your ideal study abroad program, this is the first thing you should do. In any country, the processing time for getting a new passport or renewing it varies, so it’s best not to be in a rush when you’re getting closer to departure.
Bear in mind that the passport must be valid for more than six months at the time of issuance of a visa in certain countries, so it is best to confirm this with the embassy or consulate of the country you intend to travel to in advance.
Research Your Desired Program of Research
It’s suggested that you start studying abroad programs at least one year before your ideal move-in date, either because you already know what you want to study abroad or because you still need to decide. That way, as well as plan everything calmly, you’ll have enough time to make an educated decision.
Check the university’s official websites, online and social media analysis (Facebook groups can be beneficial), and reach out to people you know who have studied abroad so that you can learn more about their experiences and ask for their advice.
Take Up a Language Test (if necessary)
You would need to take a language test, depending on the country you are going to, to have an official language score in your application. If that is the case, then it takes time for you to get ready for the exam. Some of the most common test scores in English are TOEFL-Test of English as a Foreign Language (most common) IELTS-International English Language Testing System PTE-Pearson Test of English.
Prepare Your Application 8-10 Months Before
You can apply for it once you have selected your preferred study abroad program. Be mindful of the deadlines for submitting your submission. Double-check the criteria or questions that you can answer and prepare them. Set up as many reminders as possible and send them before the last day of the deadline with ample time in advance to prevent last-minute problems that are more likely to arise while you are in a rush (such as internet issues, etc.).
Apply for an International Student Scholarship or Financial Aid
The deadline for applying for a foreign scholarship or financial assistance is another one you can consider. Be sure to review your choices, the application criteria, and the deadline if you need or are interested in getting one. To cover your expenses, such as travel costs, housing, food, etc., this can be a big help.
Apply for a Student Visa Six Months Before
In the phase, this is the most significant step. A student visa is required by almost every country, regardless of whether they stay there only for one month or for years. The method of issuing visas in each country is different, as with passports, and in some, it may take longer, or it may be more complicated than in others. Always make sure to visit the embassy’s official website or consulate of the country you are going to visit first and apply for a visa within the period specified.
Get Student Health Insurance
You may assume that this does not require much research, but it is essential to get health insurance when going for study abroad. Nobody knows what will happen during your stay, and it can be crazy costly to afford unexpected health care. It’s better to research, make sure the business covers the country and offers outstanding customer support.
Start Looking for Housing Five Months Before
A long and hard phase that can take months is searching for accommodation. It’s suggested to start searching for it with enough time in advance, either because you plan to live on or off-campus with a host family or to look for an apartment for rent. Check for the best local websites for lodging, or contact your university to get information about host families or accommodation on campus. Often take standard safety precautions to prevent rental scams if you choose to rent an apartment.
Set a Plan for Your Stay
We recommend you prepare a budget for studying abroad about five months before departure (or even earlier). It is very costly and, apart from the tuition fees, you should weigh other factors, such as accommodation, food, transportation, leisure, etc. Get ready for two scenarios: study abroad with or without financial assistance or a scholarship.
Often, take the exchange rates between your local currency and the one at your new destination into account. Define how much money you think you would need and set up a budget for the week. That way, premature cash withdrawals from ATMs in your destination country can be avoided, translating into transaction fees.
Book Your Flight 3 Months Before
3 to 4 months in advance is the safest time to book international flights. Get told at that time of the year of the average price of flights to your destination, so you know what to expect and identify the right choice for rates.
Request a Travel Credit Card
This could be the time to get one if you don’t have a credit card. As a backup to your budget, a credit card can be handy if you use it wisely. Be sure to apply for one that is travel-friendly and does not charge international transaction fees.
Register Your Journey With Your Country’s Local Embassy or Consulate
It is also good to register your trip with the embassy or consulate in your country of origin, in your country of destination, for safety and security purposes. That way, in the event of an emergency there (e.g., weather emergencies or natural disasters), you will receive updates, notifications, and support.
Take Inventory of Your Belongings Six Weeks Before
Take advantage of this chance to start a new life elsewhere, to search your belongings and clean your wardrobe. It is a good time to recycle, sell, or get rid of items that you no longer need or use. Create a list of the things that you want to carry with you when go for study abroad. You’ll know how many suitcases you need, that way.
You will know if you need an additional suitcase or backpack, based on the list of belongings suggested above. Be sure to check the airline’s luggage policy for which you are flying, so you know in advance if you will have to pay more for a second suitcase and if your suitcase is overweight, to have any savings to pay at the airport.
Apply for an International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
For international students, International Student ID Cards (ISICards) is super useful. The advantages are that it functions globally as a legitimate form of identification, you can get discounts for various facilities and locations, and they are legitimate for a year!
Schedule a Regular Checkup With Your Doctor
Better healthy than feeling guilty! It should be a must on your to-do list to go to the doctor for a routine checkup. You should also let your doctor know whether you are taking prescription medicines or under care to fill your stock for the duration of your stay, as it might be challenging to locate specific medicines abroad in certain situations.
Let Your Bank Know That You Will Soon Be Traveling
Stop the abrupt blocking of your debit or credit cards. Let your bank know that you’re going to be on holiday, and for how long.
Research About Your Destination’s Culture, Language, and Rules
Take time to learn more about important information about the nation you are going to research, such as its history, customs, and laws that might not be written down but are followed or valued by all.
Organize a Garage Sale Three Weeks Before
If you have many things you want to sell after cleaning your closet, then it is a good idea to plan a garage sale. That way, other people can use items that are still in good shape for a second time, and you can make a little money, which is very beneficial for your journey.
Donate Items You Haven’t Sold
If it is too much effort to plan a yard sale, or if you want to donate and not sell your things, then you can give them away to non-profit or charitable organizations.
Get Started With Packing
Time for packing! Especially if you will be abroad for a year or more, it is safer to do it early than very close to the date. How many things you’re going to need will surprise you. It is a must to have a decent pair of sneakers and a winter jacket!
Finalize Packing One Week Before
You should already leave aside the clothes and things you would need on your last days at your current location one week before departure, and pack as much as possible.
Get Currency From Your Local Bank
For example, to pay for a taxi or public transport or any other expenses, exchange enough money to have cash for your arrival.
Create Copies and Scan Your Documents
Create copies of your papers, take some of them with you, and leave some of them with your family. Also, make sure to search and store them on your computer or in the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, etc.). An additional recommendation is to add them to your parent’s or relatives’ shared online folder so that they can access them in case of an emergency.
Plan How to Get From the Airport to Your New Address
Check out how to get from the airport to your new place on your favorite mobile mapping app. Downloading the map of your destination to your phone is always fine because you can access it even if you are offline, as well as writing down the directions in a small notebook or list (a little old school, but an adequate backup).
Download and Set-Up Useful Apps
In your new country, study which applications you might need and download them in advance. The app for the public transit system, the app for your bank, food delivery apps, etc. are a few examples.
After Arriving at Your New Destination
Let your family know you have arrived. To let them know that all is okay, contact your relatives as soon as possible upon your arrival.
Get Acquainted with Other Students
As soon as possible, get immersed in your university community and culture. Try to link with other local or international students and, from the very start, enjoy your new student life.
Get Acquainted with the Neighborhood
Knowing your new neighborhood, regardless of the type of accommodation you select, will also help you feel more relaxed and familiar with your new life. You’re sure to discover fun places to dine, workout, shop, etc.
Getting Acquainted with Public Transport
It is a smart choice to explore the nearby areas of your new place by using public transportation. You will quickly know the city, and if you want to move to another location, it will give you more freedom.
Last but not least, make sure that the entire experience is appreciated. Time flies, so make every day count and don’t miss the chance to interact, attend cultural activities, and explore new places with different people. You’re going to end up enjoying the place and potentially have a good bond with your classmates and roommates.