So you’ve decided to take a leap of faith and study overseas. Moving overseas can be daunting, especially if you do not take the time to plan your move. Having studied and worked abroad myself, I’d like to share pre-departure tips to take the stress out of planning your big move.
- Ship out of season clothing instead of paying crazy airline surcharges on heavy luggage. For example, if school starts at the end of summer, ship your heavy duty winter clothing economy rate.
- Research local banks ahead of time, if possible. This may include contacting the international student services office for a list of recommendations. Hint: Look for a bank that can receive international wire transfers in case your family needs to wire funds.
- Inquire about internet access. If you are living on campus, find out if free access is available. If living off campus, consider provider options and compare costs, reliability, download speeds.
- Scope out housing. Will you live on campus? Off campus?
- If living off campus, what is a customary security deposit for that region? In Japan, providing several months rent as ‘key money’ just to have the privilege of moving in is quite common!
- Bring an extra supply of medicines with the doctor’s prescription in case it is difficult to obtain any maintenance medications in your destination country. Upon arrival, ask other students for recommendations for a good physician.
- If applicable, brush up on your language skills.
- Make sure you have a valid passport and student visa. Most countries require you to have a passport which will be valid for the duration of stay, plus six months. Check your destination country’s rules. If in doubt, ask the international student office for guidance.
- Before you leave for your new adventure, have a goodbye party!