1. SAVE! SAVE! SAVE!
People will tell you over and over again to save money before you study abroad (especially your parents), but unfortunately once again they are right. Travel opportunities may come up while you are away, you will need to pay for food, laundry and course supplies. Study abroad is more expensive than you think, so get saving – don’t rely on your parents to pay for everything!
2. Don’t over plan.
Yes plan your flights there and especially home (this flight can always be moved if you want to stay longer to travel). Also, plan accommodation and maybe a few trips for while you’re there. But don’t plan everything! The best times are the spontaneous moments – especially traveling to places you didn’t know about before you arrived.
3. Travel Documents
Make sure you have all your travel documents. There is nothing worse than getting to an airport and not having the right paperwork. So, be organised and check again and again that you have everything.
4. LOOK AFTER YOUR PASSPORT!
There is nothing worse than losing your passport abroad. You don’t want to have to faff around trying to get a new one so far away from home or end up not being able to fly home. So keep it safe!
Before arriving research your surroundings, have a rough idea where the nearest supermarket and shopping centre is etc. so it’s not too much of a hassle on your first day.
6. Don’t over pack!
You won’t wear everything! I am great when it comes to over packing when I arrived at the airport to fly to Perth; I had over packed by 10kg and had to unpack in the middle of the airport. Plus it is better to under pack as you are bound to want to buy everything once you have arrived.
7. Prepare to stay in touch with family and friends
Sort your phone out and sim card to make sure you can use your phone for emergency calls when you are away and also get Wi-Fi to keep in contact easily with family and friends back home.
8. Learn key phrases before you leave
When arriving in Australia I wish I had known You will learn so many phrases when you are there but it is always fun to know some before you arrive.:
9. Card Charges
Check to make sure you card won’t charge you for payments or to withdraw money, you don’t want to be spending more money on card charges than you have to.
10. Get an ISIC card or ESN CARD.
Make sure you get an ISIC card or ESN Card so you can save money on flights, accommodation and activities. It’s good to save money somewhere so you can have money for all the fun activities you will get to do abroad.
11. Speak to people before you leave.
Before I left I managed to speak to two people who were also studying abroad at the same University. Many Universities will make a study abroad Facebook page, where you can contact other students from all over the world that are also there for study abroad. So don’t be shy and message a few people before you set off.
Make sure you spend your weekends travelling – don’t miss the opportunity to explore your new country!
13. Try new foods!
I will never understand people who travel and as soon as they land they go to McDonalds. I believe that you have to taste the culture to really understand it. TRY EVERYTHING!
14. Go where the locals go!
There is nothing like getting great tips from locals, so strike up a conversation with those around you. The local on the plane sitting next to you may tell you some great places to go.
15. Get lost when wandering!
Remember that getting lost is sometimes the best thing that can happen. Go for a walk, wander, don’t worry about getting lost. You may find some truly amazing places.
16. Figure out public transport
You are best off figuring out public transport before you go. You can get a smart rider card for buses and trains that you top up as you go and it gives you cheaper fare. So know where you will be able to save your money once you have arrived.
17. Pick accommodation wisely
Make sure you do lots and lots of research about accommodation as you don’t want to end up somewhere you hate when you are so far away from home.
18. Buy on arrival
Don’t over pack with toiletries etc. as you can just buy all these things from the supermarket once you have arrived.
19. Good days!
There will be good days and bad days, but from my experience you will mainly have good days. You will meet friends for life and make memories you will never forget. But you may have the odd day or two where you miss home but that’s all normal.
20. And remember by the end of it coming home is going to be more difficult than it was to leave.
FINALLY, HAVE FUN!