Near or Far: What you Should Know Before Going Abroad to School

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  • Going off to college can be daunting in and of itself. However, studying abroad can bring up a new variety of challenges and concerns. If it’s your first time leaving the country you have to be prepared. Here is a list of five simple things that will help you make a good start.

    Location is Important

    The initial question of "where would you like to go" is one of the most exciting prospects to consider as a young student. While studying, going just about anywhere is possible these days, you just have to keep your personal safety in mind as well as the programs of the country you are studying in. Some countries offer better degree programs than others, so be sure to do your research!

    Protect Yourself

    Your personal information, your credit cards, and even your school information is a prime target for identity thieves. Be wise and utilize creative ways, either through security apps, or leaving your passport in a safe and locked place, to ensure that you will be able to enjoy your time abroad stress-free. Nothing can be more stressful than feeling stranded and unable to help yourself if you become a victim of any kind of theft. In addition, stay with a big group as often as possible and be aware of scams that occur locally and often to tourists.

    Know Your Laws

    Many countries welcome foreigners, and especially students, but be mindful of their laws. It is advisable to get an immigration attorney, or utilize a law group so your immigration and study abroad paperwork doesn’t become a problem later on. It is always best to prepare for such things beforehand. Once you get to your destination country, your options for legal representation are severely limited, so know what your rights are as well as what the legal procedures are over there. 

    Emotional Well Being

    Living overseas is much harder than it may sound. When you go abroad, especially if you are going alone, daily life can be challenging. It is important to make sure you are mentally and emotionally capable of handling trials and new challenges that may be ahead of you. Your adventure abroad will make you a stronger person, but you should be able to handle challenges successfully before you go abroad.

    Keep the End in Mind

    Living abroad can be fun and exciting, but eventually your studies will end. You have to decide early on if you’re going to stay living abroad, or go back to your home country. What will you do with the degree that you gained? Keep a mind tuned to the future and find a path you would be interested in taking.

    Take time to analyze your choices to ensure your academic success abroad. In no time you’ll be ready to face anything the world throws your way.

    "Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan."

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