If you’re a student looking to go overseas for higher education, there are many things to consider. From the application process to meeting other foreign students, there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed. To help you make the transition as smooth as possible, here’s a guide on ensuring a seamless experience in another country during your studies.
Understand the Application Process
The application process is the first step of your journey. You will need to apply for a course and visa, which are two separate processes. In some countries, you may also be required to apply for a work or residence permit.
To apply for a course or program, you must contact the university or college where you wish to study. They will provide information about how their application system works and what documents are required for them to evaluate your application and make an offer of admission. A student visa is typically issued by the university at which one plans on studying. It specifies conditions under which they may participate in their program while abroad, such as length of stay, the purpose of stay (education), etc.
Many students go abroad to study by taking study visas. According to recent data, over 29,000 study visa requests were lodged with the Australian government in December 2021. Similarly, many students are applying to study in popular educational countries like the USA, Dubai, London, etc.
Learn the Local Language
The most important thing you can do to ensure a seamless higher education experience in a foreign country is to learn the local language. Many apps are available to help you with this, and some even offer free lessons. This will help you communicate with friends and teachers and make navigating around town and ordering food at restaurants easier.
Besides the apps, you can also take courses for learning the local language. For example, learning English is crucial if you study in the USA. If you don’t know English, living a student’s life in the USA will be challenging. In such a scenario, you can also take English courses from famous institutions to even get admission in the English language field, like journalism or others.
Many offline and online institutions are there to help you learn English. However, if you are there to study something else and you are learning English because of necessity, it’s best to choose an institution offering online training. Organizations like PELA can help you gain confidence in your English skills. You can study and learn English with PELA or other similar institutions and start your educational journey in the USA.
Talk with locals and try to learn a few key phrases at least every week. You can also ask them questions about their culture that might come up during class discussions or assignments, such as how they celebrate holidays or what popular foods they eat on particular days of the week. This knowledge will help enrich your understanding of the community.
Research Your Course in Detail
Before you commit to a course, you should research it. Find out about its length and structure, the content covered, and what experience is needed for entry. Knowing how assessment works in your chosen course and whether it will differ from anything you’ve done before is vital.
With regard to duration, some courses are taught over four years, which can be daunting if you’re used to university degrees that typically only last three years or less. If this is the case with your chosen course, ensure there are no minimum requirements for completing it within that period.
For example, if a bachelor’s degree takes two years, but an international student has four more years left on their visa once they’ve finished their first degree, they may not want to take another one immediately.
You must also choose a course and field based on multiple factors. A recent study shows that the top three factors influencing students’ decisions about choosing a course include academic performance, parents’ decisions, and financial aspects.
Find Out About the Weather
The weather is a very important consideration when moving to a new country. You may be used to hot summers and mild winters, but if you are moving somewhere with colder temperatures, you must learn how to dress appropriately and what items should be packed in your luggage.
If you are moving somewhere with very different weather conditions than those in your home country, it’s best to take some time before the move and research what typical weather patterns look like for that particular area.
- In London, England, the average temperature during the winter months is 8°C/46°F, while summer temperatures can reach as high as 27°C/80°F on average. The humidity levels tend not to fluctuate too much during these seasons. They generally fall within the 20-60% range throughout both seasons.
- Melbourne, Australia, has noticeably hotter summers than London. However, it gets cooler earlier in December than Christmas.
The changing climate can severely impact your health if you are not prepared. In extreme cases, it can even lead to death. According to WHO, climate change can cause around 250,000 deaths annually from 2030 to 2050.
Learn About the Culture and Society
Once you’ve decided where to study, learning as much as possible about the culture and society is essential. The more you know, the easier it will be for you to adapt to the differences between your home country and your new home.
One easy way to do this is by reading books written by people who have spent time in your chosen country. You could also find some documentary films on YouTube or Netflix and watch them. Plenty of online resources can help you understand what makes this country tick.
Getting your higher education in a foreign country is an exciting adventure. However, it can be challenging to move from one country to another for higher education, but with preparation and knowledge, it can be done.
So, if you’re thinking about studying overseas but aren’t sure if it’s the right decision, remember that you don’t have to travel far to experience a new culture and learn from people different from you. You can take a short trip within your own country or even across town. There are many ways to immerse yourself in new cultures.