After many setbacks and hurdles over one year to six months, students are finally walking towards their study destination in various abroad universities. Some are returning to resume their degree post the severe surge of COVID cases in the past year; the others are stepping out of their closed doors and comfort zone of home to begin a new journey in a completely new country.
Now there comes freedom for the students to begin a new journey and live their independence for the few years coming ahead. However, much responsibility is associated with this freedom where expenses, lifestyle, alertness, and smartness are required. The present circumstances have left a deep trauma and fear amongst the guardians of these students. Hence, most parents were skeptical about sending their wards back to another country where the disease does not leave its grip on humanity.
For many years, Student Cover has been dealing with students going abroad to countries like the US, UK, Canada, and Ireland by providing unsecured education loans and health and travel insurance services. In this blog, the expert’s Student Cover team would discuss a few valuable tips for a hassle-free life for every student living abroad post the pandemic.
Get Yourself Covered
Considering that the present circumstances demand more effective healthcare, the first thing should be fixing yourself a good health cover plan. It comes with no surprise that the cost of health care is exceedingly high in countries like the United States; students must get themselves adequately insured against any medical emergency, especially an emergency like COVID in a foreign land.
Indian students studying in the US can either opt for a university-sponsored student health insurance plan or an Indian plan that provides cover in the US. Interested students may click here to know more about Student Cover’s health and travel insurance plans for Indian students in the US.
Keep your documents safe.
When in a foreign land, documents like passports and ID cards are essential to prove the legality of one’s stay in the country. The safety of documents would also enable one to file health and travel insurance claims, get a mobile connection, open a bank account or get a driving license.
One should keep those documents in a safe place, store a scanned copy in an online folder and always carry a copy of those documents whenever traveling. The present scenario requires travelers from international countries to get a passport with a rove of COVID vaccine shot. Hence, Losing a document like that could land a student in trouble with immigration authorities in the country and their Indian counterparts when returning home.
Respect local norms and values
As the saying goes, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do.’ Values, customs, traditions, and belief systems differ from one country to another. Actions that are considered normal in one country might be despised in another.
A student must learn to respect those values which are dear to the local populace in those countries. For example, one should not say or do things in the US which could be viewed as racial, sexist, homophobic, or anti-sematic.
Know the Law, Obey the rules
Laws are meant to be followed and invite punishment if broken. In countries like India, enforcement of the law is not as stringent as it should be. However, breaking the land law in developed countries like the US could invite heavy penalties and even jail. Therefore, the student must know the law and adhere to the rules and regulations established by competent authorities. Also, when getting an apartment on rent, one must carefully go through every term and condition mentioned in the agreement paper.
While we are talking about maintaining decorum, following the COVID guidelines in a foreign country is as mandatory as in one’s home country. The foreign government and authorities are trying to make the country as safe a possible, especially for the students traveling to pursue their studies. Hence, Students must also adhere to the university’s COVID-related guidelines as responsible international travelers.
Be careful with strangers.
Thugs cheat, and scammers are not unique to India. They are found in almost every country, including the developed ones. While dealing with strangers, students from India or any other country should remain cautious in their own country and overseas.
Finding someone suspicious and asking for their ID while they claim to be someone is not illegal or discourteous. Students are advised not to hand over their bank details, money, belongings, passport, and other sensitive information to strangers under any circumstances.
Be disciplined and punctual.
Being disciplined is the very first rule of being a student and studying in a university. Following a routine helps one to complete the given tasks on time. It also allows one to take out spare time for outdoor, social, and self-fulfillment activities.
Remember that exploring your freedom is not the only plan; shaping your future and diverting it towards the right direction is the endgame too. Punctuality is a virtue appreciated by everyone. In countries like the US, it is considered rude to be late for an appointment. Students must avoid procrastination at any cost.
Understand the concepts clearly.
As it is already a tough job to adapt to a hybrid mode of learning, some students might find it challenging to grasp the concepts initially through e-learning. Moreover, the US learning method is quite different from that in India. It is better to spend that extra hour in the library to understand the concepts thoroughly than cram them for examination.
A good understanding of a theoretical concept would only be possible when the student is in consistent touch with their mentors or teachers to work on their doubts and improve their knowledge of the concepts. Its application would help students score better in examinations where questions are specifically prepared to test their critical thinking and analytical abilities.
Try to build a network.
One of the critical goals of the student in universities is to interact with their seniors. Universities and colleges are good places to socialize and build a network of friends and associates. Socializing helps a student stay in touch with others and get help and assistance in the time of need.
The connections made now would enhance the probability to perform well in an alien land among the native students who know the system better. It helps identify those opportunities that might help them in life. Every day, students must try to spend some time with fellow students, faculty members, or classmates, either online or in real life.
Keep a tab on your spending.
Most students take education loans to go abroad to countries like the US for higher studies. An education loan for a degree course could be as much as Rs 45 Lakhs. In addition to the high cost of living, this demands a student to exercise restraint while spending money.
However, one should not be a miser and deprive oneself of food and other necessities. One should only try not to spend too much money on those things that are non-essential. Setting a ceiling on monthly or weekly spending is a perfect way of managing finances.
Keep Emergency contacts handy.
When in a foreign country, there are limited options for getting help in the time of need. Students who have relatives in a foreign country are studying are much more advantageous than those who do not.
Therefore, students need to keep emergency contacts information, be it college or university authorities, police or ambulance, faculty or mentor, or any other person that may provide help or guidance in times of need.
Most Important! Get your shot at the COVID Vaccine.
The students who are about to leave India for the fall session intake/beginning of the semester must get their vaccine shot from their home country. However, it is already a challenging situation for the students while they wait to book a slot for the vaccine.
Foreign universities are arranging the vaccine drive on-campus so that international students can safely enter and quarantine themselves for few days until they get their shot. So remember to bring your vaccine shot once you enter the country if you have not received it from your home country. It is meant to ensure your safety.
We hope that the students would find tips and suggestions provided by Student Cover for hassle-free student life abroad useful during their stay in the US.
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