5 Tips to Prepare for Your Study Abroad

Studying abroad is an incredible adventure when you prepare correctly. You’ll engage in new ways of learning, living, and experiencing the world around you. Before you head out, there are some important things to address so you can enjoy your study abroad without worrying about paperwork. Here are five tips to prepare for your time abroad.

1. See A Travel Physician

Before heading out and gaining knowledge of the world, you should see a doctor to get the green light that you’re healthy enough to go. Always bring a copy of your records should a medical emergency strike while you’re abroad.

Continue to follow all guidelines for protecting yourself and others from COVID-19. As a general travel trip, drink a lot of water, as the effects of altitude during your travel or spontaneous hiking adventures can influence dehydration.

2. Get A Visa

The documents required for U.S. F1 visa and those for other countries may differ. If you’re uncertain, get in touch with your local embassy of the nation you’re visiting to learn more about their visa requirements. Visa applications can also take months to receive. The sooner you apply, the better.

There are some cases where visas are not needed. For example, if you are studying abroad for a shortened period (usually three months max), a visa may not be necessary. Many countries allow students to visit their host countries for 90 days with a tourist visa. You need to check with the country’s State Department to determine the travel restrictions that apply to you.

3. Get Reliable Travel Coverage

Make sure you purchase travel insurance with coverage that can accommodate emergency evacuations and repatriation. Make sure it covers lost luggage, evacuations, flight cancellations and delays, and stolen property for travel insurance.

4. Browse For Flight Tickets

Browse airline flights and prices to purchase your tickets to travel to your host country. You may be able to find discounts depending on your age and your traveling time. Avoid arriving at your program more than a few days before your program. Having arrived with an extended time before your program starts may be reviewed by immigration and cause issues for you.

5. Apply For Or Renew Your Passport

Assuming you’ve already found your program and have been accepted, the next order of business is to apply for your passport.

To legally travel and study abroad, your passport must be valid and not due to expire within six months of your return. You must also have blank pages in your passport.

U.S. citizens can apply for passports at most federal or state offices, including post offices or state passport agencies. Expect to wait between six to thirteen months to receive your passport, and be sure to apply well before starting your program.

To apply, you must provide proof of identity with the following documents:

  • Your birth certificate (original copy)
  • Passport-sized photos of yourself (you need two)
  • A Form of certified ID (driver’s license)
  • Your application for the passport
  • Payment for application services

If you are renewing your passport, you don’t have to bring your birth certificate; all you need to have is your old passport as a substitute.

Get The Basics Covered First

Once you have the above basics covered, you can move on to the more detailed aspects of planning for your time abroad. Things like what to pack, how to handle travel money, and getting acquainted with the language and culture of your host country come next. Take your time with each of these tips so you feel ready and prepared before your trip. Bon, voyage!

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