Study Abroad Essentials: Your Comprehensive Guide
A global perspective and cross-cultural competence are crucial for success in today’s world. In the present age, no person can afford to deny the demand for people, who are globally mobile.
Living in a foreign environment and gaining international exposure makes one adaptive to different cultures and enables him to survive the pressures of a competitive world.
But before you leave, there are certain things to be taken care of. These may vary and change from each country, but they do form an important part of going abroad to study.
Let’s look at some of the aspects:
Most US universities require applicants to have taken MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) at least once during their life. Even if you have taken MMR as a child, it is recommended to take the MMR before you leave for the US. UK universities generally do not require applicants to have taken prior vaccinations.
If you are a student going to Canada, Australia, or New Zealand you need to clear medical requirements before you are granted a student visa. This includes a chest X-ray and often blood tests as well.
No matter which country you are going to study in, it is highly recommended that you actually take MMR, Hepatitis B, Meningitis, Diphtheria, Tetanus, and other useful vaccinations. You can take these vaccinations from any registered doctor or hospital. However, it is best to take vaccinations from a doctor who understands overseas student’s medical requirements.
Students studying in the US and Canada can buy health insurance from the university they are studying in or from an independent insurance provider (provided the university permits) all international students in the US must be covered under the insurance policy.
The UK on the other hand has one of the best insurance systems in the world and international students in the UK, whose courses are longer than six months in duration, qualify to receive subsidized treatment and hence do not need to pursue any additional insurance.
And if you are studying in Scotland, you do not even need to pursue a course longer than six months to avail of the insurance benefits.
When you apply for a student visa to Australia, one of the requirements is that you register for the Overseas Student Health Cover Programme before you actually arrive in Australia. So there is no question about trying and testing new insurance policies.
Universities in New Zealand require applicants to have a comprehensive travel and medical policy. Which is generally purchased from the university? In rare circumstances, this policy can be bought from an external company and the university evaluates the external insurance policy.
The RBI allows you to take up to $ 100,000 abroad for your education and in case your I-20 or admission letter states a higher amount, RBI may allow that as well (please check the latest foreign exchange rules directly with RBI) In short, you can easily obtain foreign exchange for your education abroad.
Always carry your money in sensible denominations: traveler’s Cheque, cash, demand drafts (Check allowed cash limits with RBI) You can also wire transfer your money to your university’s account even before you get there.
Wire transfer is safe, cheap, and fast and many Indian banks charge as little as Rs250 for a wire transfer. If you prefer you can use it as a debit or ATM card.
Some airlines such as Air India British Airways allow extra baggage allowance for students. Remember to fly reputed airlines, which will not unnecessarily delay flights or cancel your bookings. Remember to reconfirm your reservations at least three days before you fly and leave early for the airport.
This is a very busy season and you do not want to miss your flight because you did not turn off your TV in time to leave for the airport. Make sure you check baggage specifications before you choose your airline.
Earlier if you were flying to the US you were allowed two bags of 32 kilos a total of 64 kilos. This has now been reduced by most airlines to 23 kilos per bag totaling 46 kilos.
Indian Immigration & Customs:
If you are traveling to the US, UK, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand you do not need to have an ECNR or Emigration Check Not Required in your passport.
If you get an immigration officer who insists on you having an ECNR, call the manager of the airport because you do not need an ECNR while traveling to developed countries (such as the ones mentioned above) If asked at customs, honestly state the amount of foreign exchange that you are carrying. As a student, you are allowed to carry the amount mentioned on your I-20 or admission letter.
When you reach your destination country make sure that you have your passport and I-20 or admission letter with you when you land. Do not make the rookie mistake of putting your I–20 or admission letter in your checked baggage. Remember, when you land you first encounter immigration and only after that are you allowed to collect your checked-in baggage.
At the foreign immigration counter, you may be asked the reason for your visit, how long you plan to stay in the country, and how you plan to fund your education.
Make sure that you answer all the questions asked honestly and to the point. In some countries, you may also be fingerprinted at the immigration counter. Do not worry, as this is a routine procedure.
Special note for customs when you land clear immigration and collect your bags, you will encounter customs just before you leave the airport.
The customs officer may ask you about the contents of your bag and if you are carrying fresh food with you. Again make sure that you answer the questions honestly. Remember, all customs officers are aware that food can always be found in any Indian student’s bag.
All these are the basic, but at times overlooked. So once you pack your bag, ensure that also have taken the essentials to enter the country.
Frequently Asked Questions related to studying abroad Study Abroad Essential
Q1: What does “Study Abroad Essential” mean?
A1: “Study Abroad Essential” refers to crucial information, tips, and resources that are essential for students who are planning to study abroad, helping them prepare for a successful international academic experience.
Q2: Why should I consider studying abroad?
A2: Studying abroad offers a range of benefits, including exposure to different cultures, access to high-quality education, personal growth, and enhanced career prospects.
Q3: What are some of the essential steps to prepare for studying abroad?
A3: Essential steps include choosing a destination, selecting a program, applying for visas, arranging accommodation, managing finances, and ensuring health and safety.
Q4: How can I find the right study abroad program for me?
A4: Research universities, programs, and locations that align with your academic goals and personal preferences. Seek guidance from your university’s study abroad office or an educational consultant if needed.
Q5: What are the language requirements for studying abroad in non-English-speaking countries?
A5: Language requirements vary by country and program. Most non-English-speaking countries require proof of language proficiency, such as TOEFL or IELTS scores.
Q6: How can I secure funding for studying abroad?
A6: Explore scholarships, grants, financial aid, and study abroad funding options provided by your university, government, and external organizations.
Q7: How can I ensure my health and safety while studying abroad
A7: Stay informed about local health and safety guidelines, obtain the necessary vaccinations, purchase health insurance, and register with your country’s embassy or consulate in your destination.
Q8: What cultural adjustments should I be prepared for when studying abroad?
A8: Be open to adapting to new cultural norms, customs, and expectations. Cultural sensitivity and cross-cultural communication skills are essential for a successful experience.
Q9: How can I make the most of my study abroad experience academically and personally?
A9: Engage in local culture, participate in extracurricular activities, build relationships with local and international students, and take advantage of academic opportunities.
Q10: What should I do if I encounter challenges or difficulties while studying abroad?
A10: Seek support from your university’s study abroad office, faculty advisors, and local resources. They can assist with academic, personal, and cultural adjustment issues.
Q11: How can I stay connected with friends and family back home while studying abroad?
A11: Use technology, such as video calls and social media, to stay in touch with loved ones. Establish a regular communication schedule that works for you.
Q12: What are the benefits of documenting my study abroad experience?
A12: Documenting your experience through journals, photos, or blogs can help preserve memories, reflect on personal growth, and share your adventures with others.
Q13: How can I stay organized and keep track of important documents while studying abroad?
A13: Use digital storage solutions and create physical copies of essential documents such as passports, visas, and academic records. Keep everything in a secure and accessible location.
Q14: Are there cultural exchange opportunities or volunteering options while studying abroad?
A14: Many study abroad programs offer opportunities for cultural exchange and volunteering. These experiences can enhance your understanding of the local community and enrich your personal development.
These FAQs provide valuable information and insights for students who are considering studying abroad and are seeking essential tips and guidance for a successful experience.