You applied to a college exchange program abroad, and you’ve been accepted, but what should you do to make it successful?
Like you would for a round on GClub, you will need to prepare thoroughly for a successful trip. Here are a few tips for planning your college exchange program:
Understand Your Deadlines
Exchange programs come with many strict deadlines, including declaring your intent to participate in the program, acknowledging your acceptance to the school, obtaining a visa to be able to board the plane, and many others.
For a successful exchange program, it’s essential to keep track of these dates and have your information in well before the deadline. You don’t want to miss an opportunity to study abroad because you forgot to forward some paperwork or send an email.
You can track the dates on both a checklist and a calendar. The calendar helps you see when a deadline is approaching, and the checklist enables you to track the tasks you’ve already accomplished.
Put Your Finances In Order
Before travelling out of the country, confirm with your local bank whether your debit or credit card will work at your destination. Inform your bank about how long you’ll be away and the details of your proposed destination. Otherwise, the institution may freeze your account, leaving you unable to access your money until you return home to sort it out in person.
Make sure you can use your card to withdraw cash from foreign ATMs and check about additional transaction fees for using it abroad. Foreign transaction fees usually range from 1% to 3% and can add to your expenses.
If your bank charges these fees, consider a different debit or credit card product.
Purchase Travel Insurance
A reliable health and accident insurance policy is essential while you’re studying abroad. It’s also important to include emergency evacuation and repatriation in the package.
Some health insurance providers cover you abroad. However, travel insurance covers several things that health insurance misses, including:
- Coverage for delayed or cancelled flights
- Stolen personal items
- Lost luggage
- Evacuation during a medical emergency or natural calamity
Research Your Destination’s Culture
Take some time to acquaint yourself with your exchange program’s host country. With some knowledge about your host country’s geography, economy, culture, and history, you’ll have a more fulfilling study abroad experience.
Talk to people who’ve been there and read widely about the country and its culture. Even learning a few phrases in the local language, can help you adjust quickly.
Make the Most Of The Experience
After arriving in your host country and adjusting to your new environment, you should strive to make the most of this fantastic opportunity. Be open-minded and try to build relationships with other students.
Be sure to document everything, including pictures and a journal. A record of your adventures abroad will be a prized souvenir in the future.
These are only a few ways students can prepare well for a college exchange program abroad. The most important aspect of the experience is to plan well enough to live comfortably, keep an open mind, and appreciate what the host the country has to offer inside and outside the lecture hall.