Are you ready to go?

By StudyLink

The countdown to starting your overseas study is on. So make sure you’re ready to study abroad by taking our pre-departure quiz!
1. My passport needs to be:

  1. Somewhere I can find it
  2. Valid for at least 6 months
  3. Stamped with the correct visa dates
  4. All of the above

2. Before I go, I need to send the university:

  • Completed forms for accommodation, airport pick-up, course applications and welcome sessions
  • My email address
  • My bank account details
  • The phone number of my education agent

3. Travel insurance is:

  • Only necessary if I don’t have medical or health insurance
  • A waste of money
  • Useful if my travel plans change suddenly or my luggage goes missing
  • Not relevant to students

Packing it all in
4. When it comes to clothes, I need to bring:

  • At least three suitcases so I can take everything in my wardrobe. Just in case.
  • The sort of clothes I’d expect to wear to work
  • Two t-shirts, a pair of shorts and sandals – that’s pretty much all I wear at home
  • Casual clothes that suit all four seasons of the climate I’m heading to.

5. I’m heading to Australia, so the most important thing to pack is:

  • Shark and spider repellent spray
  • Sunscreen and a swimsuit
  • A warm winter coat
  • My favourite foods

6. I’m off to England, so I must remember to bring:

  • An umbrella and waterproof jacket
  • A suit or formal dress
  • A bicycle
  • My favourite foods

Preventing culture shock
7. The best way to prepare for my new culture is to:

  • Read the local or national newspaper and listen to their radio online, watch movies and read books from that country
  • Make sure I just hang out with people from my hometown
  • Find out where I can eat my home cuisine
  • Find other people there who speak my language

8. While I’m studying I’ll keep in touch with my family through:

  • Daily phone calls from my mobile
  • Skype, email and my new blog
  • Getting them to call me
  • Keep in touch? No way. I just want to immerse myself in this new country and focus on my study.

9. I’m worried about speaking English on and off campus, so I’m:

  • Taking intensive English lessons at home before I go
  • Applying for English language foundation course at my university
  • Practicing with my English-speaking friends by only having conversations in English in person and online
  • All of the above.

When I get there…
10. During orientation week I plan to:

  • Skip all the activities and just get stuck into my study or research
  • Party hard all night and sleep all day
  • Attend all the events that look interesting or useful, and make sure I explore the campus with a map
  • Look for a part-time job

11. The main thing I’ll look for when it comes to somewhere to live is:

  • A roommate from my own country so I’ll have someone to talk to
  • Somewhere close to campus and transport, that’s safe and affordable
  • A luxury apartment, preferably with a huge TV and a pool
  • A sofa I can crash on each night will do, I don’t want to pay rent

12. The first thing I need to get organised is:

  • A bank account
  • A local doctor
  • A student discount card
  • All of the above

1. d) Of course you need to be able to find your passport, but you also need to make sure it’s valid and you have the correct student visa.
2. a) Make sure you return all the forms by the deadline, or you may miss out on accommodation or orientation. Your university should already have your email address and agent phone number (if you have one), and they probably don’t need your home country bank details.
3. c) You should always take out travel insurance, even if you also need to have medical insurance (in the USA) or health insurance (in Australia). Otherwise you could lose a lot of money changing your travel plans or replacing stolen items. Not to mention the cost of evacuation in the case of a serious emergency. Look for low-cost annual backpacker insurance that covers more than one-trip, and you’ll also be covered for the extra travelling you do around your new country or region.
4. d) There is an art to packing clothes – not too much and not too little! Most students wear casual clothes, but the key is to check weather reports for all seasons and plan your wardrobe. Remember you can always buy clothes there – especially winter coats and boots if you don’t already own them.
5. b) Unfortunately shark repellent spray doesn’t exist, and Australian customs will stop you at the border if you try to bring in any foods! Most climates are warm and sunny so leave your coat at home and pack the sunscreen.
6. a) In Britain, there’s no such thing as the wrong weather, only the wrong clothes. You’ll enjoy a country walk much more in a waterproof jacket. You’ll also be able to rent or buy a bike there, find all your favourite foods at the local supermarket, and borrow or buy a suit if absolutely necessary.
7. a) Get used to the way people talk and write, and what the important issues are in your new country. Once you’re there, try to make friends with locals, practice your English with everyone you meet, and try new foods.
8. b) It’s important to plan how you’ll stay in touch. Use Skype and email to prevent your mobile bill or your parent’s home phone bill from imploding. Share your stories with all your friends online using social media. If you are taking your mobile phone, buy a local sim card as soon as you get there, get a local number, and avoid those expensive roaming charges.
9. d) This depends on how much help you think you need, but all of these ideas are good ways to improve your conversational and written English. You could also join some student forums to meet other future fellow students, and chat with them online in English. That’s making friends AND improving your language skills at the same time!
10. c) Orientation week is very important, so don’t skip it. It’s the best time to make new friends – everyone is as lost, anxious and confused as you are! The day activities are just as important, and fun, as the evening social events. And while you may get some tips from student support during orientation, wait until you’ve started classes before you get serious about job-hunting. Then you’ll know what fits best with your schedule.
11. b) If you’re not living on campus, make sure you can still get there quickly, easily and safely. You don’t need top-quality bathroom taps and entertainment, but you do need a quiet place to study and rest. And sharing with someone from some other part of the world can lead to lifelong friendships, and lots of cultural learning.
12. a) or d) You do definitely need to open a bank account straight away. Look for one with low or no fees, online money management, and lots of ATMs – many countries have student accounts. But at the same time (usually during orientation) find out how you register with a local GP (just in case!) and how you apply for a student card.
To find out more about making sure you’re ready to study, read our pre-departure checklist. Good luck and enjoy your trip!

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