Things You Should Know Before Planning To Study Abroad
Studying abroad will be one of your most memorable life experiences. However, it requires a lot of planning and preparation. Have you already started preparing a checklist? Here are a few things that you must know before moving to a foreign country.
- When to Apply For a Student Visa- Once the university accepts your application and sends you a confirmation letter, you get 3-4 months time to apply for a student visa. The Student Visa is valid for your course duration only. If you want to stay back in a foreign country after your education is completed, you will need a work visa.
To apply for a student visa, you will have to send an application to the nearest embassy or consulate of that country and fulfill all the requirements. Usually, you need to submit the following documents along with your visa application:
- ID proof
- Proof of English Language proficiency. For this you can submit your IELTS/TOEFL result.
- Acceptance letter from the foreign university.
- Proof of sufficient financial funds.
- Cultural Gap- Since there is an obvious cultural gap between India and foreign countries, it can take some time for you to adapt to the surroundings and the culture abroad. You might feel out of place at times. However, the good part is that you will get a chance to meet new people, explore a new place, the festivals and traditions, learn new languages, and build a global career. Before you go abroad, you can join groups on social media of international students or those who are going to study abroad. You can connect with them to know more about the country and the university.
Also, make sure that you research about the climate and weather conditions in the foreign country so that you can carry clothes accordingly.
- Expenditure- Foreign education is quite expensive. Even if you get a scholarship or your tuition fee amount is less, accomodation and travel can cost you a lot. You might also have to incur some unforeseen expenses in case of an emergency. In such cases, it might get difficult for you to arrange money as foreign remittances may take some time. Therefore, before you move abroad, it is best to prepare a budget for all your monthly expenses and keep some amount as your emergency fund. You can find an estimate of your living, food and travel expenses on the university’s website.
- Health Insurance- In many foreign countries, healthcare is free for the citizens. However, for international students, medical insurance is a must. Before your departure from India, you should have the medical insurance paper. On arrival in a foreign country, you might be asked to show your medical insurance document. The insurance will cover all your medical expenses. It ensures that you do not have to spend a lot of money on treatment if you are ill or you meet with an accident during your stay abroad. You can choose amongst various insurance policies depending on your requirements. Here are a few things that you should look for while choosing a study abroad health plan.
- Accident or sickness coverage. It can also include accidental death and suicide.
- Cover for dental surgeries.
- Insurance against loss of items such as passport, laptop, visa, and other items.
- The health plan can also include expenses for evacuation from abroad in case of emergencies.
- Part-time Work- One of the best advantages of studying abroad is that you can work part-time. Foreign universities allow international students to take up work for a limited number of hours per week along with managing their studies. This helps the students to cover their expenses and also makes them independent. However, you need to ensure that the work does not hamper your studies.
- Necessary Documents- Before you start sending college applications, you must appear for English Language Proficiency tests such as IELTS/TOEFL or any other language exam as required.
The most important thing to do while going to study abroad is to carry a folder with all your necessary documents in it. It will include your passport, visa, university acceptance letter, student ID, and health insurance proof. Make sure that you keep all your documents handy and are able to show it to the authorities when required.
- Scholarships- There are plenty of scholarships available for Indian students who wish to pursue abroad. Some of the most famous ones are Tata Trust Grant for College, Orange Tulip Scholarship, JN Tata Endowment Scholarships, Manmohan Singh Scholarship, Chevening Scholarship, Cambridge Scholarships and a lot more. Foreign universities also offer scholarships, grants and awards to international students. You should always send your scholarship applications in advance.
- Accommodation and Food- One of the best things about studying abroad is that you get to experience the luxurious lifestyle. Even though accommodation is expensive for students in foreign countries, you can choose it as per your requirements. There are three common types of residential arrangements in foreign countries- on-campus, off-campus, and accommodation with a local family.
You can seek sharing or single accommodation on the university campus. However, if the residential facilities are not available on-campus, you can connect with the International Admissions Office to receive details of residential flats or apartments close to the university. Else, you can also stay with a local family. Usually, housing facilities include bed, chair, wardrobe, private or shared washrooms, dining area, common room, gym, and private or shared kitchen. The cost of food is most likely included in the housing rent.
- Bank Account- When you move abroad, you will have to open a bank account in that state to receive remittances from your family or relatives, and to also make direct bank account transactions. You also need a credit card to maintain the credit score in the foreign country. If you want to open a bank account, you can get in touch with the International Admissions Office in your university, and they will guide you through the entire process. Majority of the times, you will be required to submit the following documents to open a bank account in a foreign country:
- ID proof
- Address Proof
- Photocopies of Passport and Visa.
If you are ready to begin the next chapter of your life and want support or guidance at any step, please connect with us!