Getting ready to go abroad is one of the most exciting times as a college student. You are so excited about going to a new country and the anticipation is hard to bear. This is going to be one of the most fun and transformative experiences of your life, but you need to figure some things out before you are ready to go on your foreign study excursion. You need to sort those things out before you leave, so think about these few things before you go on foreign study.
When to Go
Finding the right time to go abroad is different for many students. You may have certain needs or goals that you need to accomplish that change the timeframe of when you would study overseas. Most students choose to go abroad some time during their junior year. In your freshman year, abroad is not even an option as you are just getting acclimated to the new environment. In rare cases, you might go abroad during the final semester of sophomore year, but that is not recommended. For the most part, you want to use your first two years in school to knock out as many requirements as possible so you can choose what you want to do in junior year and return to finish anything left in senior year. Most students also choose the later semester of junior year for their abroad experience. You can go either semester or sometimes a full year, but you might choose second semester because it lines up with your friends. That said, the loss of your friends to abroad trips can also force new friendships.
Where to Go
First off, you want to think about what interests you. That is probably reflected in your major, which you are hopefully now on track for. That can guide where you can go abroad. For example, many film programs go to Prague, so that might be what you follow. Other majors can have different options based on what they are. You might also just use this experience to choose somewhere you have always wanted to live. Now is the time to try things out.
Once you have your place and get into the program, you need to make sure that you get your visa in order before you go. There will likely be some help from the program since every student needs this, but do not take it lightly. Make sure you have a valid passport because you are going to need it.
Packing Your Life
You are going to be leaving campus for a good chunk of time at a somewhat awkward time. The demand for rentals is not as high as the beginning of the school year when you are going abroad in the second semester. Try to find someone going abroad opposite you to save on rent. Also, make sure you know where you are storing all of your stuff.
A lot of people think that they can just get by on WhatsApp and Wifi, but you need to make sure that you have a phone plan in place. Your phone is not going to work in the new country or you will rack up some insane fees.