The guide, complied by North East property specialist, Walton Robinson, features some of the major considerations you’ll need to make before and throughout your studies abroad.
Do your research
This first tip may seem like a no brainer but you’ll be surprised how many students fail to fully research their chosen university and destination country. Rather naively, they presume that the culture and lifestyle will be the same as their hometown which, in many instances, is just not the case.
Always thoroughly research your chosen destination. Take into account the living conditions, like travel requirements, weather, accommodation and local cuisines, as well as other factors such as crime rates and how expensive it is to live there. This will help avoid any nasty shocks when you step off the plane.
You’ll need to check out your chosen university too, paying particular attention to what the course entails. It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of studying abroad, but you should remain grounded and remember why you are going: to study. Ensure the modules of the course suit both your current and future needs. For example, if you know potential employers are looking for experience, consider pursuing a course that includes a placement year or semester.
Fit in with the locals
It is important to be respectful of other people’s culture. If your behaviour conflicts with the way of life in your chosen destination, you run the risk of alienating yourself from your classmates or, worse still, landing yourself in a spot of bother. Lie low for the first couple of weeks to fit in with the locals. As you become more aware of your surroundings and what is acceptable, you can start to let your personality really shine.
Avoid hidden charges
Budgeting is difficult enough as a student. Throw a few thousand miles into the mix and it is even harder to manage your money. However, there are some things you can do before you go to help you keep costs down. First of all, contact your mobile phone provider and explain that you will be studying abroad. They should be able to offer you a package that will minimise your daily call, text and data charges, which can mount up and heavily impact your budget.
You might also want to consider taking out a rolling, sim-only contract in your destination country. This way, you’ll be paying what the locals pay and have the option to cancel it at the end of each month.
Before you go, you should also get in touch with your bank to enquire about the charges that may apply when you use your debit and credit card. Failing to do so could mean that you are charged every time you withdraw money from an ATM.