Having experience from abroad is a great way to improve your CV, learn about new culture, meet new people and start speaking a new language. More and more students decide to enrich their student life by living in a foreign country for a semester or two and most of them agree that it is a life-changing experience. We have examined some of the things that each student should consider before going on exchange.
Do the research about the university:
The first thing to consider before going abroad is at which university you want to study. You have to make sure to gather as much information as possible as it is very important to know how the university works, what kind of lectures you can attend and of course if there are lectures offered in a language you understand.
Do the research about the country:
Equally important is also that you do the research about the country you want to move into. Try to learn as much as possible as this will probably make your transition into a new environment much easier. Make sure you also check which places you must visit and which traditional food and drinks you must try. Additionally, it is a good idea to learn about the culture as well as this might help you avoid some misunderstandings and will make it easier for you to make friends with the locals.
Take care of all the necessary documents:
This is extremely important as studying abroad is usually a process with a lot of paperwork. You should make sure which documents your home university will need and which documents you will have to send to your partner university. Additionally, you might need a permit, Visa or a special security number to study in a foreign country. You must always ask what you need in advance as the procedures can take quite some time and you have to take care of these things couple of weeks or months before actually moving abroad.
When you will move to a new country you will of course need a place to stay there. This can be quite tricky as you will not be able to do any viewings and probably also do not have a lot of knowledge about the housing market in the country. You can of course always consider living in a student dormitory, but another very popular way of living for students is sharing a flat with other students. This is also a great way to meet other local and international students. If you are thinking about this option, there is a great online platform called HousingAnywhere.com, where you can find many available rooms and apartments all over the world.
Learn the language:
If you want the transition into the new culture to be even smoother you can consider learning the language spoken there already before moving. You can sign up for a beginner`s language course (if you do not speak the language yet) and learn at least some basic things you will need for everyday life. Learning the language can also help you connect to locals easier and decrease the chances of misunderstandings.
Things to bring with you:
This is actually not that easy as you probably have a lot of things at home, but will only be able to take the limited amount with you on your exchange. Especially if you are flying by plane you will really have to make a selection of the things you will take with you. Think about which items you really cannot live without and which you can easily replace by buying new ones. One item you must bring with you is definitely your passport and also some of your favourite pieces of clothing.
Do not forget about insurance:
This is another extremely important thing as you can never know what might happen during your time abroad and if you might need medical assistance. Make sure you get an insurance that is valid also in the country where you will spend your semester abroad and check also which expenses are covered. This way you will know exactly how much you will have to pay if you visit the doctor and which services are included in your insurance.