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:
2. Before I go, I need to send the university:
3. Travel insurance is:
Packing it all in
4. When it comes to clothes, I need to bring:
5. I’m heading to Australia, so the most important thing to pack is:
6. I’m off to England, so I must remember to bring:
Preventing culture shock
7. The best way to prepare for my new culture is to:
8. While I’m studying I’ll keep in touch with my family through:
9. I’m worried about speaking English on and off campus, so I’m:
When I get there…
10. During orientation week I plan to:
11. The main thing I’ll look for when it comes to somewhere to live is:
12. The first thing I need to get organised is:
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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