Preparing To Study Abroad

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Preparing To Study Abroad

 Important Things That You Need To Know

Studying abroad has its own joy and challenges. It requires a lot of planning and deliberation. Read the following article to know more about things you need to keep in mind while preparing to study abroad.

Image credit: aaronamat / 123RF Stock Photo

So you have decided to study engineering in the United States (US). Now you will be thrown a plethora of options – too many states and too many colleges to choose from; moreover your choice of specialization while it comes to applying in the colleges. There are more than 300 universities approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the government body that ensures the quality of competency among all engineering colleges. Some of the top engineering colleges in the US are:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts
  • Stanford University, California
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
  • University of Illinois, Illinois
  • California Institute of Technology
However, studying abroad may sound exciting, but it has its own challenges. There are several factors you need to consider while preparing yourself to study abroad. Once you have been accepted for a course, and you look forward to a new life awaiting you, it’s extremely crucial that you prepare yourself to experience altogether different world that awaits you. 

You are about to pack up. What are the key things you need to pick up in your baggage list. 

Do Not Carry Too Much 

This is a common mistake that a student tends to make. You are moving to another country only to study. So make sure you collect items that are necessary. Moreover, most airlines will allow you to bring a bag or two and a purse. That’s obviously exceedingly limited space. Therefore plan your belongings accordingly. The country has departmental stores just as we do in our country. So you can obviously end up buying all your utmost requirements. It is always wise to travel light and avoid unnecessary hassles. 

Carrying Electronics

One valuable point in this category is to ensure portability. It is advisable that you leave behind your expensive laptop at home and instead invest in a netbook. This is also helpful while it comes to the camera and a cellphone. However, in case you are a photography enthusiast, then you may carry your preferred digital SLR. It is wiser to invest in a cellphone while you have arrived in the US. This will not only be cheaper as compared but also easier for you get a Sim card and a connection.

Avoid Bringing Too Many Clothes or Books

Bring the number of clothes that are necessary. Spend some time on the Internet to find out more about the weather conditions and then invest on clothes accordingly. 

Avoid carrying too many books even if you are a bibliophile. Yes,  this is because books are heavy. Anyways you will have to spend money on books once you have enrolled as a university student in the US. You will anyways get to explore various libraries while studying. You may bring the books that are necessary. Rest you can always seek the help of either the Internet or other sources. 

Apart from these, you may consider other noteworthy aspects. These are explained below:

Research on local culture and customs

Spend some time on researching about the customs and cultures of the country you are visiting. Though this might not seem much required, but it will help you in understanding some of the sociological and cultural mores of the country where you want to spend a substantial amount of time. A brush beforehand will only help you in enriching your experience as a student and make your stay more meaningful in every aspect. 

Refresh Your Language Skills

Surprised? Well may be, but you should know that English has its own variants. Know about some of the phrases used by the locals. This can help you overcome the initial period of adjustment in a new country. 


This is certainly highly valuable. In case you do not have an online bank account, get it sooner. Most international travelers or students use ATM/Debit cards to withdraw cash. All you need to do is notify you present bank and the credit card company about your shifting abroad. They will do the needful. However, it is advisable that you keep some ready cash with you; may be an amount that is equivalent $300 or $400 till everything about bank account and money fall into place. Always keep travelers’ checks ready. 

Getting Travel Insurance

It is extremely beneficial to obtain a reliable health and accident insurance policy till the time you are studying abroad. Check with your health insurance provider, learn about the policies that are applicable abroad and opt for the one that best suits you and ensures complete coverage. 

Buying an Air Ticket

Finding the cheapest ticket around these days is a matter of sheer luck. Fares can vary depending upon the airline and the time when you book your tickets. Therefore, it is advisable that you book tickets well in advance after comparing the rates. 

Preparing yourself Mentally

While abroad, it is clear that you will meet different people from different backgrounds. Learn to be patient and develop observational powers. Do not be judgmental about anything you find a little different from the rest. 

Studying abroad will not only ensure a proper exposure or a promising career option, but also it can actually be a fascinating and enriching experience. So go ahead, take the plunge and make the best of it.

Author Bio: Sampurna Majumder


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