Studying abroad can be an amazing, eye-opening experience. If you hesitate whether to try it yourself it is probably because you do not know enough about it. I will hereby try to resolve your doubts by pointing out what it is all about.
First of all, what you should do is to get the vital information about the documents you will need to apply for the university of your choice. For EU students the list of universities they may apply for is endless – most of the European ones accept the students from abroad as long as they come from the European Union and the application process is not very complex. When it comes to studying in a foreign continent the matter tends to be much more complex. How much of a bureaucratic nightmare it is going to be depends on the country and the specific school’s regulations. It is likely that you will need a passport and a valid visa for the country you are going to, but it’s not all bad news – some countries provide visas online at a fee, like Turkey, Singapore, Kenya, India, Georgia and many more. However, in most cases you will have to visit a real-life visa application centre, an embassy or a consulate.
Another step in the preparation for the big day of leaving your home and facing your brand new life as a foreign student is reaching the destination. The easiest way to do so is to go online and make an online booking of the flight ticket. Yet if your aiming at a less frequently visited place and the options you find online are dubious it is best to approach a travel agency who will help you find the right way of getting to your dream university. They will also be helpful with international travel insurance and supplementary visa information. Nevertheless, if you still want to be self-sufficient, in order to do this properly you should not buy the plane ticket last minute. The right time to buy the tickets is more or less 3 months before the planned travel. The closer you get to the due date the fewer tickets there left are, hence the rising price.
If you are concerned with the negative influence of the air travel on the environment you should consider taking a train. It is always a great adventure to travel by train and it is far less anonymous than taking a flight. In the journey you get to experience both the superficial change of the scenery and the undeniable culture clash. That is some pretty amazing combo! You should expect meeting locals who will be interested in you and your country of origin. Take snacks from home for kids and postcards for the older ones. And unlike your mother taught you: never say no to a candy from a stranger. It may be found very offensive in many cultures – google it!
So as to prepare for not merely a train ride but the whole studying abroad experience, you should acquire some language skills. Knowing as little as “hello” and “goodbye” is a good start but it will not be enough for you to lead a normal life in a foreign country. If you are excited about the country you should express that by communicating it in the local language. This way you will not only gain local people’s trust and respect but also it will enable you to deeply experience the culture. Believe me, the language is the crucial skill you will get in this whole enterprise so do not waste this incredible opportunity!
It will be also helpful when looking for lodging. There are plenty of offers online and at the campus so it is up to you where you will stay. If you have a study abroad scholarship you may consider a student room or an apartment but staying close to other students is what is especially worth contemplating. Studying abroad is a wonderful opportunity to focus on your personal growth and expanding your horizons. Being exposed to as many various cultures as possible and befriending these completely different people is the way to do that.
If you still hesitate you should keep in mind not that studying abroad is not only an amazing adventure but also the numerous educational opportunities it may grant. The above are within your reach so challenge yourself and go for it!