Going to uni in a new country is a great way to expand your horizons. Learn how to study abroad and make the most of your opportunities with this guide.
There’s a world of opportunity out there after you leave school. For most students, the end of A-Levels marks a significant turning point in life; you either continue your education at a British university, or you make your first foray into the working world.
However, in light of the ongoing pandemic and its ramifications for the student community, more and more British students are considering furthering their education abroad at an international university. As an international student, I wanted to share five of my top tips for studying abroad:
1. Don’t miss a chance to make new friends
Going to university is a great opportunity to make friends. This is especially true when you’re moving to a new country where the chances of seeing anybody you know are slim.
When you study abroad, you’ll forge amazing friendships. It’s fantastic to meet people from all around the world and university is one of the best ways to find friends. Sign up to join any university-related social media groups you hear about. Making new friends abroad is especially exciting, as you’re likely to meet people from a wide range of countries and cultures. It’s also the ideal time to try learning a new language!
2. Make your plans as early as possible
When applying to study abroad, you’ll need to come up with a plan of action. Different countries will have different application processes. The rules and key dates may vary for specific universities within your chosen country. Plan ahead to avoid last-minute decisions or unexpected issues. This means preparing all the required documents earlier than you normally would. Consider any external support you may need. For example, you may need to hire a translator if your application has to be in another language.
Don’t forget to research funding opportunities, and apply for any you think you’re eligible for. Write down key dates and milestones and make sure you’ve completed the necessary steps.
3. Remember to plan for life abroad
As well as your studies, you’ll also need to plan your daily life abroad. Start saving as early as possible, as it can be expensive to study and live in a different country. Reviews the currency exchange rates and local prices for essentials. Most importantly, remember to look for a place early! The sooner you start searching, the better your options will be.
Don’t forget to sort out the other essentials for daily life. Get a local SIM card to stay in touch with your family or friends and avoid paying extortionate bills. Invest in a credit or debit card that you can use abroad, without charges. Revolut allows you to convert currencies and transfer money from your other accounts in a few minutes.
4. Be responsible
While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of meeting new people, having fun, and enjoying your time abroad, don’t forget to be responsible. Going to university always involves a degree of independence, but studying abroad presents its challenges as you’ll probably be far away from your support networks.
Think about the main goal of your adventure, study hard, and keep your mind in shape. Remember that you’re doing this to put yourself in the best possible position for the future. Take advantage of this opportunity, and look after yourself.
5. Learn the local language
Immersing yourself in a country is the best way to learn a new language, or improve the skills you already have. Practising daily is the best way to develop your linguistic skills, so use the local language whenever you can; even popping out to your local shop every day will help a lot.
Practice it at university, work, and with your friends. You can even make a start now by some Netflix shows in that language. Try to befriend people from that country so you can practice in your free time.
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