With more people wanting to see the world, studying abroad is becoming a popular reality for many, thanks to 21st-century advancements making it seem far easier for the younger generation.
Moving overseas as an exchange student exposes you to new cultures, unique traditions, life-changing experiences, forces you from your comfort zone and embrace doing so, all while developing your educational and career prospects.
If you study abroad for a better educational system or because your dream is to travel the world, relocating for international studies will provide you with a lifetime of memories.
Whether you are moving abroad for one semester, a work experience year or an entire three-year degree, there is no such thing as being too organized or too keen when planning such a big and significant journey.
To help diverge the sense of overwhelmingness, we have come up with some ways to ensure you make the most out of your student life overseas.
- Commence operation organization
Many international students get so excited at the prospect of studying abroad that they forget to look into the logistics and requirements for the relocation. At the earliest sign of securing your student place overseas, you should begin organizing so that you don’t end up in a last minute rush.
Things to consider are;
- What visas are you going to need for studies in your chosen country?
- Do you need extra visas allowing you to undertake part-time work alongside your studies?
- Do you need a loan to help with your accommodation and tuition fees?
- What about setting up a bank account if you will be abroad for more than a few months?
Equally as important is healthcare. It is vital that you research the country’s healthcare policies and start investigating which healthcare coverage is best for you. Your insurance should cover any existing personal medical conditions and also things such as medical evacuation back to your home country.
Arranging all of these before you arrival means you are not going to encounter any issues at the border upon your arrival, you will be able to enrol at a school with ease and you also won’t waste any of your first few days filling out paperwork when you should be stuck into exploring your new home city.
2.Research your student accommodation options
When thinking about where to live, your first point of call should always be your university directly. The majority of people choose to live in dedicated student accommodation or student halls as this is the best way to meet like-minded people and other international students. Living in set student accommodation will put you at ease once you realize the vast majority of people there will not know anybody else prior to the move.
Approaching your university is equally as beneficial even if you want to rent privately. Your university or college will be able to point you in the direction of reliable estate agents and even specialist student letting agents, helping you live your most comfortable student life overseas.
3.Join a society or two… or three?
Joining societies can’t be recommended enough for living a fulfilled international student life. Universities around the world have a range of societies catered to its students’ love of certain sports, hobbies and interests, languages, religions and even ethnicity based societies.
If you are a student moving from Canada to study abroad, you might not know anybody prior to your move. Joining a society will give you the opportunity to widen your friendship circle as much as possible, making you feel more at ease and comfortable in a foreign country.
It’s not only sports and hobby-based societies that are available; you will have the opportunity to become a student councillor, an ambassador or a volunteer. This will not only broaden your social life but these commitments will look excellent on your CV when you reach graduation.
4.Set yourself a realistic budget
The start of university life is quite often the time when young people first realize they are now financially responsible for themselves, in order to pay rent, bills, go grocery shopping and live a comfortable student life without the assistance of their parents. This responsibility is even more so when international students move abroad.
The best way to stay organized and keep on top of your finances is to plan a daily budget before you relocate. Carry out country-specific research and look at the prices of accommodation, average daily spending, food prices and flights from and back home to Canada.
Since you will be living in a foreign country, potentially one on the other side of the world, it won’t be so easy to lend money from your parents or a friend. It also might be much harder to obtain a bank loan as an exchange student so it is important to ensure you always have money for rent, food, flights and emergencies.
Sticking to your daily, weekly or monthly budget might mean you can’t buy those new trainers that you want, or eat out four nights per week with your new university friends, but it will mean you won’t get caught short and you will have extra money to indulge in more fulfilling cultural experiences.
Whether you are moving from Canada to the USA or further afield, try and do so independently. Moving abroad with a fellow exchange student or a friend will be a comfort to you, but it is sometimes good to step out of your comfort zone and make the hardest decision.
Relocating for international studies is the perfect time to push your boundaries and see what the world has to offer. Making the move alone will really encourage you to make the effort to meet more people, join extra societies and clubs and travel to more places, all without worrying about what somebody else wants to do.
Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you need to make it the most authentic experience as possible and one that is perfect for you!
6. Experience the local culture in a way that tourists can’t
No exchange student should move abroad without making at least one friend from the local area.
Making a local friend is like unlocking the best-kept secrets of the city. They will be able to show you the best-hidden bars and restaurants, take you to coveted areas of natural beauty and teach you historic or interesting facts that most people wouldn’t know. This will allow you to explore the city in way fellow students or tourists can’t, making your time as an international student in the city extremely special and unique.
7.Ship your stuff!
When you move away, even on opposite sides of the world, you want to feel at home. Student shipping from Canada allows you to take all of your familiar home comforts with you, that will help you settle in a lot easier and faster, whether that is your entire shoe collection, your musical instruments or a sentimental piece of furniture.
Sending excess baggage with an airline can run up extortionate fees, especially for longer journeys. International student shipping with a dedicated shipping and removals company such as QMM is the most cost-effective method of sending personal goods overseas. There are a variety of shipping options and timeframes that you can customize to suit your budget and consignment.
QMM has perfected its services over the years and they have a team of dedicated student movers who understand the importance of cheap and reliable student shipping. We have helped everybody from students moving cross-country within Canada, Americans moving to Canada and students moving from Canada to Europe, Middle-East and Australia.
To get your quote for international student shipping today, please complete the contact form below and one of our professional student movers will be in touch. Alternatively, if you require more help or advice, you can call us now on 1.866.880.8681 and we will be happy to assist.