Studying abroad is an opportune moment to fully immerse yourself into a new culture, hone your language skills, find new interests, make new connections, and foster your intellectual growth.
Not that you need really need to fly off to another country to gain a world-class education and become a super-cultured international student, but there is more to gain when it comes to studying abroad. The only loss is waiting until the last minute to prepare for the trip.
Besides getting your passport and student visa, and printing your itinerary, there are a few things you need to do before boarding your flight. Here’s a guide on prepping for your study abroad program.
Research Your Destination
Once you have your country of choice set in stone, be sure to familiarize yourself with your study abroad country’s culture, government, geography and more. Knowing what your country is all about helps you get the most out of your experience as well as avoid any culture offenses.
Also, take some time to learn more about the country’s language by either enrolling in a language class, using apps like Duolingo, or reaching out to peers who are fluent in the language.
Along with researching your country’s culture, be sure to research the weather for the length of your stay. Pack seasonally appropriate clothing as well as other necessities including hygiene products and toiletries, and extras like school supplies, laundry supplies, electronics, and prescription fills for the length of your stay.
Take Photocopies of Important Documents
Losing your passport or visa is one of the scariest things that can happen while you’re abroad, so be sure to pack copies of your passport, visa, prescriptions, and other important documents in the case you lose the real thing.
Get Your Finances in Order
Don’t be stuck overseas and stuck in a jam. Notify your bank and credit card company that you plan to be out of the country, so you won’t run into any issues of not having access to your money.
Being in college also means that you must know how to budget, even while you’re abroad. Some other expenses to keep in mind include:
- Traveling (on weekends and breaks)
- Souvenirs and gifts
- Emergencies such as medical expenses
Visit a Travel Clinic Prior to Your Departure
Not only does studying abroad exposes you to a new culture, it can also expose to foreign bacteria, as well as animals and insects carrying life-threatening diseases.
Most study abroad programs and medical centers like Synergy Immediate Care can advise you on the kinds of vaccinations and screenings that you may need during your studies abroad. Some vaccinations require more than one dose, so plan to visit a travel clinic at least a few weeks before your departure if you can.
Travel Medicine in Tysons, VA
At Synergy Immediate Care, we provide travel medicine and vaccinations for those traveling for a study abroad program, work, or leisure.
Some of the services we provide for our travel medicine program includes:
- Medicines for malaria, diarrhea, motion sickness, and altitude sickness
- Required and recommended travel vaccines
- Medical screenings
If you would like to book an appointment with us, please call us at 703-942-5331. We look forward to helping you with your health.