Study Abroad Guide: Post Departure

Getting the opportunity to study in a foreign country can bring you a plethora of emotions. You may feel both exhilarated and confused during the first few days in a completely new environment. Preceded by your landing, you must complete some essential tasks to offer yourself a smooth livelihood.

 

Identify your financial situation 

You would require a decent amount of money to lead a comfortable life. Having proper planning for your financial situation is a crucial matter. If you plan to exchange currency at the airport, make sure you do your research beforehand. Using a debit card from home is actually easier in many countries that are ‘cash-free’ these days. If you plan to travel abroad, make sure you notify your bank. You should research the exchange rate if you need cash in hand. In comparison to a local ATM and a debit card, currency exchange places usually won’t offer you a favorable exchange rate. You should also remember that while using an ATM outside your country, you may experience foreign transaction fees during withdrawal.

 

Obtain the essentials from a nearby store

During your packing spree, you must have covered most of the items that you use on a daily basis. But there might be certain essentials that you decided to obtain after your landing in order to gain some space in your luggage. This is the time to obtain them. Grab a few items you didn’t pack from the local grocery store or pharmacy. Additionally, you might have to purchase some bed sheets, depending upon your housing situation.

 

How do you stay connected?

In order to stay connected with your close ones or official contacts, it is imperative to have a handset along with a suitable plan. There are a few options that will depend on the budget you have, as well as the rules with your phone company in your home country.

Using a foreign SIM card with your phone from home is possible. There are also several options, including buying a cheap flip phone just for overseas use, activating your phone with an international plan from your home carrier, or traveling without a cell phone plan and just using free Wi-Fi (not often recommended).

 

Revising your stay, university, roads, documents, and people

Next to your landing, the next important step is to verify your accommodation facility and ask as many questions as required. Once you get settled, you can try to get accustomed to the roads and citizens while strolling. Engage in their food, culture, and tradition. That could help you in understanding the city better and make a few positive interactions. In case of any requirement for document verification at your college or other offices, you should keep your important documents handy and accessible,

 

Understand the Learning Environment

 

The learning environment in foreign countries can be different from your own country. For instance, in India, the professors are primarily engaged in making the student understand a particular concept. They seem to be more sincere and serious compared to the student. While you might be required to do more work outside of the classroom in some universities where student-driven learning is the norm. You might spend less time in the classroom, but the course might not be any less rigorous simply because you are not in the classroom as often as you would like. In addition, you are not required to attend. Every school has its own culture, but universities in Europe and Australia tend to be more student-centered. In contrast to the Indian Universities, the attendance tends to be less prevalent and oversight is generally less strict. Across universities in the US, there will be more oversight, more assignments, a heightened focus on smaller assignments, and many more opportunities to work with professors.

 

Depending on the country, some governments place more emphasis on final exams, while others emphasize various evaluation methods. You might have to attend classes, participate in in-class activities, to complete individual homework assignments, group assignments, and final projects, essays, or midterm exams. Taking many assignments weekly might seem overwhelming to you if you typically take two exams a semester. Having so much pressure placed on only one or two exams can seem intimidating if you’re used to many assignments throughout the semester. It is also likely that you will receive a different grade. Grading scales vary according to region and country. It may be challenging to understand a ‘1’ in the Czech Republic or a ‘6’ in Switzerland if you’re used to the A-F grading system. Both scores are A’s on a scale of A-F! Be sure to remember this when you receive your results. If you are studying abroad temporarily, your grades may need to be translated for your home university.

 

Additionally, you will experience different student-teacher relationships within your classroom depending on where you choose to enroll. Your Swedish professors will be known by their first names if you study there. In some other countries, like Germany, this is not the case. In addition, you may need to think about how you communicate with your professors. You can say ‘you’ in two ways in many languages, the informal one for friends and the more formal one for professors. Starting off with formality would probably be a better idea.

 

Let’s wrap up!

 

If you leave what you’re used to for something new, you experience a certain kind of confusion. Even if you travel frequently, you are likely to be affected by the change in your lifestyle and environment.  At first, everything seems to be exhilarating. The new way of living captures all your attention. But the very next moment you grow a feeling of anxiousness with the differences you likely face in this foreign land. Then comes the phase of adjustment that is preceded by the feeling of acceptance. Accept your feelings, recognize them, and start to reconcile with your changing surroundings.

 

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