Posted on: April 8, 2020
Are you a new, or soon to be, international student and looking for advice for your first year? Then look no further! We have put together the Top 10 Tips for studying abroad and making the most of your time at university.
1. Budget for #studentlife
Plan your budget before you arrive by researching the local price of popular items or services in the country you’re staying (e.g. price of bread, beer, public transport) and what student discounts are available there .
2. Develop your language skills.
Master the local language, it will help you to communicate and study faster. Even if your studies are not in the local language, learning a few phrases will demonstrate to those around you that you’ve made the effort.
3. Join a society.
This could be related to an existing interest of yours, or perhaps something totally new that will push you out of your comfort zone. Either way it will give you the opportunity to meet new people, likely from different backgrounds, and provide you with a few social events to look forward to in your first months.
4. Immerse yourself in the culture.
We’re assuming if you’re studying abroad it’s not just for the good education right? But also for the experience of living in a new country too! So be sure to make the most of your time by learning about the culture and trying new things - from food and entertainment, to national holidays or events and of course the local people too.
5. Build support networks – home and abroad.
It is likely you will feel lonely or stressed at some point during your studies. Although this is normal, it’s important to surround yourself with friends in your new place that will support you, whilst also staying in touch with friends and family at home that you can turn to if you’re homesick.
6. Research cheap travel options.
This might be specifically for students of your university, students in general or ‘young person’ options. By doing so you will make the most of your time, and money, whilst you’re there. Especially during the holidays as you can use this opportunity to explore your new home further.
7. Familiarise yourself with the grading system.
The country you’re going to may have a different system to what you’re used to, so research how exams or coursework are marked so that you know what to aim towards and what you will need to pass.
12. What will your average week look like?
Find a typical timetable for the course you’re taking so you know what to expect from your week and what is expected from you. Or even just look for general advice online for that country or university. For example, is it more lecture or seminar focused? How long are these sessions? How much student interaction is expected? How much reading or preparation do you need to do beforehand? Not only can this differ between course subjects, but also between countries. Your University website or general student websites are a good place to start.
9. Don’t forget about student support services!
Before you go, or as soon as you arrive, look up campus services/offices such as an International Office or general Student Support Office. It’s important to know what services are available and how to access them before you need them, for example counseling services, a student health centre or housing services.
10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
You will not be expected to know everything, so never be afraid to ask for help if you’re unsure about something – this includes outside the classroom. It’s important to prepare yourself for the change of moving to a new country, and starting higher education, however this time is meant for learning and discovering the unknown. So, start exploring!