8 Study Abroad Tips Every Student Should Know

Embarking on a study abroad whilst at university is an exciting time with brand new territory to explore and a lifetime of memories to be made, but it’s not without its challenges either.

If you’re heading off somewhere new to study internationally, you should take a read of our guide with tips every student should know.

With our help you can remove some of the stress and prepare for your new adventure!

Here’s our full guide on everything you need to know in order to be prepped and ready for that ever exciting study abroad…

study abroad tips

Study Abroad Tips

Everyone wants to make the most out of their study abroad, right?

It can be difficult to navigate a new country and culture, but thankfully, we’ve got you covered with these 8 study abroad tips.

study abroad tips

1. Do Your Research

Our first study abroad tip is to make sure to do your research prior before heading to your destination of choice.

Upon embarking on an abroad study, it’s not just about researching the country and its cultures and customs.

You should also try to familiarise yourself with the local language, transportation systems to find out how you can get to and from places and popular attractions.

A good site to do your study abroad research is TripAdvisor, where you can get recommendations on the best places to go, but there are plenty of other sites out there to make use of.

To get to grips with the spoken language in the country you’ll be visiting, make sure to download Duolingo.

After all, this is the country you’ll be living in so you need to know as much about it, although you’ll learn so much more when you’re actually there!

We’d suggest doing research about university fees and funding’s for the country you’re heading to.

You should also check to see if you’re entitled to any scholarships or loans to help you cover the costs of your study abroad.

If you’re yet to decide where to do your study abroad trip, we’d suggest comparing different countries, their education systems and reading up about others experiences.

This way, you can get a true feel for what the experience would be like, and if studying and living in this country would suit you.

researching for study abroad

2. Plan Early

As we say, it’s never too early to start planning!

As a study abroad student, you should allow yourself plenty of time to sort out applications, funding, flights, accommodation and visas (if the country you’re headed to requires this).

We know, you have other things to focus on whilst at university and it may be a long time until you actually head abroad, but don’t leave things until the last minute as it will only become more stressful.

Instead, make sure to be organised with the process and keep a study abroad checklist of everything you need to do, you can then tick tasks off as you complete them.

Once you’ve done everything required of you, be sure to keep all your important documents and information organised and easily accessible.

This way you’ll know where everything is such as your passport, visa, travel insurance and of course your emergency contact information.

study abroad checklist planning early

3. Look After Your Health

Like we said earlier, a study abroad isn’t without its challenges.

So, make sure you’re doing things to look after your physical and mental health, especially if you’re finding the experience difficult.

A few things you can do to take care of yourself is through eating well, staying active and seeking out support if you need it.

Just because you’re far from home doesn’t mean there aren’t people you can talk to!

If you’re struggling with life abroad, remember that it will take a while for you to adjust to your new life in this new place, things will get better and taking care of you should be a priority.

It’s also important to keep in contact with your family and friends and to let them know if you are finding things a little difficult, they’re your support network after all.

On the flip side, if you’re absolutely living your best life whilst on your study abroad (we hope so) make sure to still fit in time to look after yourself.

You need to allow time to recharge your batteries, otherwise you may suffer from being burnt out.

looking after health on study abroad

4. Stick To A Budget

Studying abroad requires students to budget for a range of costs including flights, visa and insurance, but the cost of living will vary from country to country.

It can be expensive depending on where you’re studying, but you never know, it could end up being cheaper than the UK, especially with the current cost of living crisis.

If you’re looking to stick to a budget and look after your money wisely whilst taking your studies abroad, there are many ways you can save money.

Some examples include opting to cook your own meals rather than always heading out for food, or choosing to take public transportation instead of a taxi.

It’s important to stick to a budget as you don’t want to run out of money.

Plus, it may not be as easy to get a job or have the same funding from university whilst in another country so bear this in mind.

study abroad sticking to a budget

5. Make New Friends

Studying abroad can be a life changing experience and allow you to meet people from all over the world, who may just become your friends for life.

If we can offer you any advice, it’s to not limit yourself to only hanging out with other international students, you should try to meet locals to learn more about the country and culture.

Even if there’s a language barrier, you should try to look past it and have an open mind to making new friends in your new home.

You should try to put the effort in to learn the native language in the country you’re studying in too!

Making new friends in a foreign country might put you out of your usual comfort zone, and you may feel anxious to approach people, but chances are there will be people in the same boat as you.

For some tips on how to make friends when studying internationally, we’d say to join a club or society at your university, go to social spaces like cafes or restaurants or choose shared accommodation where you’ll be surrounded by others.

Another good way you can meet new people on your study abroad is by joining Facebook groups and other online groups with fellow students.

It’s always nice to make new friends, but especially on a year abroad as you’ll come into contact with people from all walks of life.

Having people around you can also help with culture shock, homesickness or boost your mental health whilst living in a new place.

make new friends study abroad

6. Keep A Journal

Our next study abroad tip is to keep a journal so you can write down your thoughts, feelings and experiences which you can look back on and cherish the memories for years to come.

Writing in a journal during your study abroad is not only a great way to document your experience but it’s also useful for helping your mental health as you can jot down how you’re feeling – it can be very therapeutic!

Sure, you can take photos and videos of your time abroad, but actually jotting down the way you’re feeling will be more memorable and allow you to look back on your adventure.

You could even put little keepsakes inside your journal like a scrapbook from train tickets to collected photographs to maps from trips to bracelets from events, it can be a super fun activity to do.

You can write whenever and whatever you want, remember it’s your journal and no one else’s so write for you, and future you of course!

travel journal

7. Stay Safe

Whilst we do hope you don’t encounter any dangerous situations whilst embarking on this global opportunity, it’s best to be prepared so make sure to keep yourself safe.

There are a few things you can do to ensure your own safety, such as being wary of your surroundings and knowing your city and university campus.

Do your homework on how to get about and what the safest routes to one place to another are.

You should beware of pickpockets and take extra precautions when you’re in crowded areas, it may even be worth getting a lock for your bag especially if you’re carrying around valuables like your phone or passport.

Whilst this may sound obvious, you should make sure to keep your room locked and your belongings safe from thieves, even if your accommodation is on campus.

Staying in touch with family and friends and letting them know about your whereabouts is another important safety precaution to take whilst on your study adventure.

Purchasing travel insurance is also a good idea in case anything goes wrong.

This way you’ll be insured in any circumstances that could arise such as a medical emergency.

travel insurance

8. Make The Most Of The Experience

Our final tip for you is to remember to embrace the experience and leave your comfort zone.

Most study abroad programs end up giving people life changing experiences as it’s an opportunity to learn, grow, explore local culture and meet new people.

So, make sure to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way whilst studying abroad.

Whilst it is important to focus on your studying and be mindful of your budget, you may not get an experience like this again, so make the most of it and do things you’ve always wanted to do.

Whether it’s exploring the country you’re heading to, meeting the locals, visiting popular tourist attractions, indulging in new foods and drinks, or just immersing yourself in a new culture – get your bucket list well and truly out!

We know, it can be daunting to go out of your comfort zone but you should try not to be scared of trying or doing new things, otherwise you could look back on the experience with some regrets.

making the most of international study

That’s it from us on the 8 best tips for study abroad students.

We wish you all the best if you’re heading on a study abroad program in the near future!

Do you have any tips from your study abroad experience? Share your thoughts with us @universalstudentliving. 

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