Your Study Abroad Checklist

Last updated on 15 Jul 2024
Your Study Abroad Checklist

photo-1464038008305-ee8def75f234.jpeg Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

By Rebecca Isjwara

There’s a lot to prepare from the point you receive your admission letter to the moment you hop on that plane and depart for the adventure of your life, but’s got you covered! From documentation to packing, here are our five top tips to ensure that you have everything on hand and ready to go. Time to say goodbye to worries that you’re missing out on anything!

1. Check and recheck your admission letter

Has your target university issued an official admission letter yet? This will be crucial when applying for a student visa, and to also have your offer stated in an official and legal letter. Your admission letter should also state several details, such as when your official school start date is, and some other information pertaining to other documents you have to prepare in order to have a smooth departure.

2. Apply for a student visa

Most countries do not allow you to start applying until 90 days before your school start date, but it does not hurt to prepare your documents beforehand. Do you need to take a certified English proficiency test such as IELTS or TOEFL? Do you need to take some shots to verify some health immunisation procedures? Do you have your bank statements ready? Or should you renew your passport before going through the hassle of making a visa? Contact your nearest consulate and have the documents ready on hand for visa applications.

3. Purchase a flight ticket

Most student visa applications do not require you to show proof of plane ticket purchase, so you can hold this off until after your visa is issued. Be sure to keep track of plane ticket prices as they fluctuate quite often, but a general rule of thumb is to buy three months before your date of departure. Do contact your airlines for any student discounts or promotional offers as well, as there tend to be a number of student tickets offered during school season.

4. Prepare your personal medication and insurance

Personal medication is highly crucial if you do not know how to navigate your host country’s health system yet, and it’s best to leave prepared with medicine you know works best for you. Some countries would require you to purchase an insurance during your stay as well, so that might be helpful when a situation arises. If you need to complete some medical checkups or registration documentations upon your arrival, be sure to pen that into your calendar as well.

5. Pack light

This is easier said than done, as our belongings bring a certain sense of comfort to us since we are accustomed to it. Airline baggage limits won’t buy that reason, though, and overweight luggage comes with a large cost. Remember that most bulky items (such as beddings and toiletries) can be purchased upon your arrival in your host country, so it might be best to leave your pillow behind. When in doubt, remember that the essentials are most important: your passport, your wallet, your phone, and your laptop. Oh, and the chargers as well!