A College Student’s Guide on How to Study Abroad
Get ready to join the ranks of hundreds of thousands of students around the world who study abroad each year! Studying abroad offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fully immerse yourself in another culture and academic setting. Some study abroad for a semester, some for a year, and some find they return year after year to visit their study abroad destination even after graduating.
In this guide, we’ll talk about everything you’ll need to know about this new and very big (but exciting) undertaking as you prepare to travel to a foreign country to attend Uni. We’ll cover pre-travel topics for how to study abroad, like finding the perfect student accommodation and packing. We’ll also cover how you can make your new living space feel more like home once you’re there and what to do while you’re living in your new city. With the right prep and enthusiasm, you’re sure to have an incredible time attending college in a new country!
How to Study Abroad: Preparation Mode
Studying abroad has become so popular, that many universities have partnerships with schools in other countries for students to not only study but also fulfill academic requirements and transfer credits back to their home university.
If you’re interested in studying abroad, contact either your university’s international student center or an academic advisor. You’ll be guided through the process of applying to a specific program, obtaining a passport or student visa, booking your flight(s) there, and learn some vital overseas school preparation tips – all pre-departure.
What Will Your Living Situation Look Like?
There’s no shortage of study abroad housing options, so it’ll be important to decide what type of living situation you’ll want when you study abroad. Will you live on-campus, off-campus, alone, with a roommate (or more), or a host family?
One of the best things about studying abroad is the opportunity to meet new friends, so having roommates is a perfect way to make new life-long friendships! Another great benefit of living with a roommate is having someone there who can relate to the new experience of learning how to study abroad (not to mention a built-in traveling partner!).
If you have questions regarding student housing, you can consult with Unilodgers’ Student Support Team or book your student accommodations directly on our website. We offer accommodations in the USA for students, student housing in Australia, student accommodations in the United Kingdom, and so much more! If you’re traveling abroad, Unilodgers will find the best fit for you.
How Will You Get to and from Campus?
Many countries (especially in Europe) are known for their fantastic public transportation systems. Before heading off to your new university, do your research and figure out how you’ll get to and from your school each day. This is one of the most important things when it comes to how to study abroad, so don’t forget to do your due diligence and figure this out before you get to your new country.
If you’re wondering what your study abroad packing list should include, then you’re not alone! A lot of students stress over bringing the essentials versus overpacking. Definitely pack things like your laptop, tablet, and any other essential electronic devices. You’ll also want to make sure you have basic toiletries, a pillow, a set of sheets, and a blanket for your first night in your new student housing.
If you’ll be in a fully furnished or partially-furnished apartment, then it may not be necessary to pack kitchen utensils; however, we recommend checking beforehand. As for clothes, research what the climate will be like in your new home and pack just your staple (seasonal) wardrobe – including comfy walking shoes. Don’t forget some photos of friends and family and remember, you can buy anything else you need or forget, so don’t worry too much!
How to Study Abroad: Once You’ve Arrived
Okay, so you’ve figured out how to study abroad, found the right student housing, and packed like a total champ. Now you’re in your new home country! What’s next?
Visit Your University
Most (if not all) universities require international students to attend an orientation, where you’ll tour the campus, get your class schedule, meet your professors, and mingle with the local students. Do yourself a huge favor and do not miss this important day!
Test Out the Transportation
By now you should have a general idea of what type of transportation is offered in your new study abroad country. Now, jump on the metro, bus, or train, and give it a whirl! Study abroad like a true pro by seeing how long it takes you to get from your student apartment to your university. By practicing, you’ll get an idea of how to budget your time—just don’t forget to factor in the rush-hour commute if you’re going to school in the mornings or departing for home in the evenings!
Unpack & Get Settled
You’ve most likely come from afar and may even miss home a little bit by now. That’s totally normal. To help yourself settle into your new student living situation, unpack your things and organize your dorm room how you generally would back in your home country. If you absolutely love comfy bedding or have a knack for organization, find a store that sells home goods and go out and purchase some things that’ll make your new surroundings feel a little more like “home.”
In any case, go on, move-in, unpack, and make your new room all yours by filling it with the things that make you happy.
See the Sights
Now that you’re in your new home, make the most of your study abroad experience by seeing all that your new city has to offer! Research popular things to do like visiting local museums, landmarks, restaurants, bars, cultural events, street fairs, and nightclubs, to name a few. Want to explore beyond the city limits? Travel to nearby cities and countries via train or plane (depending on where you’re studying). Whatever you do, soak up each experience with an open mind and you’ll have fond memories to look back on for years to come.
Now that you know what it takes to study abroad, do you still need a little convincing to take the big plunge? Read more about topics concerning studying abroad on the Unilodgers blog, including why you should study in the US.
Unilodgers is the world’s leading platform to book student accommodations and serves over 2 million students from over 195 countries every year. We provide students exclusive offers on student housing options and make it easy to book the accommodation that’s the best fit for you.