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How to prepare for study Abroad: Checklist and Timeline

How to prepare for study Abroad: Checklist and Timeline

Ashutosh Mishra Author

Founder @ EduAbroad

A Chemical engineer with a sharp managerial flair; Ashutosh Mishra holds a business management degree from the top School of India; Indian Institute of Management; Ahmadabad, He has more than a decade of experience in teaching and has taught more than 10000 students so far. Interacting with young minds and nurturing them is his passion which is why he has been instrumental in procuring and shaping the solid talent team at and continually differentiating the company from its competitors by benchmarking educational services with impeccable quality.

Wed Apr 19 2023

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How to prepare for study Abroad: Checklist and Timeline

Preparing to study abroad can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if this is your first time living in another country. With so many applications, deadlines, and arrangements to make, things can easily fall through the cracks. You may not realize you've skipped a step until it's too late.

When it comes to studying abroad, timing is everything. You must pay close attention to dates and deadlines, particularly when it comes to:

  • Application to programmes
  • Seeking financial assistance
  • Finding a place to live
  • Arrangements for travel Obtaining a passport and/or visa

A sequential checklist is an excellent tool for visually organising the steps you must take to prepare for your trip, beginning one year before departure and ending one year after arrival. To avoid unnecessary stress and to stay on track for a successful departure, use the study abroad checklist provided below!

Checklist for Study Abroad

** 1: Look for a programme**

The first step on your study abroad checklist should be to browse programmes to learn about the various options available. Do you want to spend a semester, summer or year studying abroad? Or is it less? Are you interested in studying in a developing or developed country? What is the best type of housing? Read reviews and compare programmes side by side. Size them up, then choose your favorite! Then, consult with your parents and campus advisors — study abroad, academic, etc. — to ensure that your credits will transfer and that you're ready to go.

** 2: Prepare your finances.**

The next step on the going abroad checklist is to balance your finances. Making a budget, getting a part-time job, and opening a savings account are all part of this step. The list goes on and on! There are numerous ways to reduce your daily expenses in exchange for future gratification. Take it a step further by searching for and applying to as many study abroad scholarships as you can. Consider obtaining study abroad loans or raising funds for your grand adventure.

Step 3: Tie up any loose ends.

There are many loose ends to tie up on your study abroad checklist before you leave. Similarly to the preceding advice, here is a short list of actions to make preparing for study abroad as simple as possible. Get your passport and visas, review all immunization requirements for your destination, and make an appointment with your doctor for a check-up . Book your flights, but don't forget to get your ducks in a row on campus. Sign up for your next semester's classes and confirm your housing for the following year. Purchase travel insurance, add travel alerts to your bank cards, and enroll in an international phone plan.

Step 4: Pack your belongings and leave!

Who knew studying abroad could be so much fun? We're sure you received a lot of help and support along the way, so be sure to thank your friends and family. Your study abroad checklist is now out of date. It’s finally time to have some real fun.

How to prepare to study abroad

1. You must have the proper documentation.

Studying Abroad entails visiting another country; you will need a new type of identification, a passport, to do so. Passports can take several weeks to process, so it is best to plan ahead of time. You will be required to show your passport both when leaving the United States and when entering the new country. You may also need a visa to study abroad; this is dependent on the country you are visiting. We recommend consulting with your advisor to ensure you have everything you need, as well as making digital and physical copies of your passport and visa.

2. It is best to buy plane tickets three months in advance.

The best time to buy your ticket is three months before your departure, because this is when the price is usually the lowest. Your plane ride will be a fantastic way to begin your adventure. You can select a window or aisle seat (depending on your bladder strength!) You might even get your own personal TV screen for a movie marathon, and the food isn't as bad as it used to be. Enjoy!

3. Prepare your bank and online passwords.

A problem with your bank can be one of the most frustrating aspects of studying abroad. Make sure you notify them ahead of time and give them specific dates for when and where you will be studying abroad. You will significantly reduce the chances of having a "uh oh" moment when your ATM card or credit card is suddenly declined. Many study abroad students prefer to travel with a debit card rather than cash. As foreign ATMs distribute money in the local currency, students withdraw small sums of money as needed. This helps to avoid long bank lines.

4. Medicines and Insurance

If you already take prescription medications, you should work with your doctor to have them filled for the duration of your study abroad programme. Expecting your study abroad destination to have your specific drugs on hand would be untrustworthy.

Over-the-counter medications are widely available in other countries, but they may have different names; a quick Google search will reveal what to look for in the local pharmacy. You might be surprised at how many well-known pharmaceutical brands are available in your study abroad location! If you find yourself in need of medical services while travelling abroad, don't panic! Most foreign countries have adequate medical facilities to care for you. Make sure you bring your passport and insurance card with you when you go to the clinic or hospital. You will almost certainly have to pay for the medical expenses up front and then claim them through your insurance.

5. Cultural understanding

Studying abroad entails some responsibility on the part of the student. Because you will be living and working in another culture, it is critical that you understand the local cultural norms. This may have an impact on the way you dress, speak, and interact with the locals. It is critical for travelers to maintain sensitivity throughout their journeys, as your actions may unnecessarily offend others or bring a bad name upon all travelers.

6. Where exactly should you live?

Your study abroad programme may offer a variety of housing options, such as a shared flat, a dorm on an international university campus, or a homestay. While there are many and varied options, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to selecting your overseas living situation.

That being said, we do recommend that students intentionally push themselves outside of their comfort zone and seek housing that is less isolating than a private flat in order to have the most immersive, efficient, and interesting experience possible. Engaging with foreigners, whether local or not, is a truly transformative experience, and it would be a shame to be so closed-off when the opportunity arises.

A Study Abroad Preparation Timeline

One year prior to departure

  • Research Study Abroad Programme

  • Register for a language test (if necessary), such as the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE.

  • Apply for a Passport

8–10 Months Prior to Departure

  • Apply for Programme
  • Apply for Financial Aid/Scholarships

6 months prior to departure

  • Begin the Visa Application Procedure
  • Get Student Health Insurance

5 months prior to departure

  • Begin Looking for a Home


3 months prior to departure

  • Reserve Your Flights
  • Apply for a Travel Credit Card
  • Begin planning your trip's budget.
  • Make a physical examination appointment with your doctor.


1 month prior to departure

  • Inform Your Bank of Your Travel
  • Determine How You Will Communicate Abroad
  • Learn About the Language and Culture of Your Destination


1 Week Prior to Departure

  • Prepare Your bags
  • Order Money from a Local Bank
  • Make a duplicate of all travel documents.
  • Plan your route from the airport to your school once you arrive.

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