Being an exchange student has a lot of benefits. You study overseas and learn with other students. You discover different places. You also learn to be independent. This is why a lot of students undergo this program. They want to experience something else as a student and not just rely on their classroom activities to learn.
If you have been accepted by a partner school or university, you have to be fully prepared before leaving. Here are some tips to help you.
Double check all your documents
You are coming to a different country not for usual tourist purposes. You are there as an exchange student. You might even have a different visa to be allowed entry. Therefore, it is important to double check all the documents and not leave anything at home. Otherwise, this could impede your travel plans. Make sure your passport and valid visa are there. You should also have your tickets. Digital copies must also be with you just in case you lose the printed copies.
Your usual flight ticket might already have insurance. However, this is not quite enough. This is true especially if you are staying in a country for a long time. Aside from the travel insurance, you also need health insurance and accident insurance. This might cost you more, but you are fully covered while abroad.
Find out how you can have access to money abroad
Usually, exchange students who are only in a country for a short time are not allowed to open bank accounts. This is usually reserved for people who are working in another country. Therefore, you have to find a way to have access to your money from your home country and keep it safe throughout your stay.
Refresh your language skills
It is important for you to review your foreign language skills before leaving. You will certainly need it especially if the country you are visiting does not have a lot of good English speakers. This also helps you make more friends and be closer to the locals. Watch movies or play songs using the said language.
Just pack light
You only need to bring the clothes that you are wearing for the program. You must have formal and casual clothing since you don’t know what could happen while you are there. Other basic necessities though like toiletries should not be brought with you. There are a lot of local stores where you can buy these items from.
Be mentally ready
This is not an easy endeavor given that you are out there on your own. You are away from your family. You also have to deal with different types of people each day. It can be stressful especially for the first few weeks. You have to prepare yourself for this program and the idea that things won’t be the same for a while.
This is an enriching experience that you should try. It can be challenging at first, but you will learn a lot from it.
Featured and 1st image from https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study.html
2nd image from http://hawaiianbrian.com/the-secret-to-packing-light/