Studying abroad is a dream for many, in addition to being an incredible opportunity for growth and a differential for any resume. However, there are several mistakes that an international student cannot make and that can make the experience very difficult.
Therefore, before embarking on a new country and delving into its cultural and social differences, it is essential to take some factors into consideration. That way, unnecessary problems are avoided and the trip is much better enjoyed!
However, after all, what are the mistakes that should be avoided at all costs and how can they be prevented? Thinking about solving your doubts, we prepared an article to share tips that will guarantee a more peaceful and productive study abroad trip. Good reading!
- Not planning well
While it’s an amazing experience, there’s no denying that being in a new place, with people you don’t know, is a little scary, no matter your age or amount of wisdom.
Therefore, it is essential that the international student makes a good planning, which encompasses several areas. This means that the plans should not be limited to the financial field, but also include the cultural and social aspects of the place to be visited.
So do a lot of research! The internet is full of information, videos and forums so you can start to familiarize yourself with the environment before you even disembark. Also, get all your possible expenses down on paper and make a realistic estimate of what you can spend and on what.
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- Not preparing all the necessary documentation
In addition to the planning mentioned in the previous topic, it is necessary to take extra care with the documentation needed to obtain a student visa. Having all the paperwork at hand avoids unnecessary problems and makes the whole exchange process much easier.
To obtain the visa, the student must prove some mandatory requirements, determined by the Immigration Department of the country of interest. They can involve things like health, finances and other factors.
Although they may vary depending on the country of destination or the institution in question, the most important documents are usually:
- Proof of enrollment;
- Health insurance;
- School Records;
- Proof of financial resources (bank statements, payslips, savings funds, etc.).
It is important to always contact the responsible agency or ask for help from the agency that is taking care of your exchange to verify all the necessary documentation.
- Leave for necessary purchases at the destination
One of the most awaited moments for most students is to go shopping in the place chosen to live temporarily. Discovering new windows and new products can be a lot of fun, but it must be done very carefully.
Even if you’ve planned your finances carefully, it’s hard to prepare for the prices you’ll find in stores in your destination country. Also, we don’t always arrive at a new location in the mood to go shopping.
Because of this, take essential items already in your suitcase. They should serve for a few weeks, until you are well used to the place and feel comfortable going out in search of prices and opportunities in the shops in town.
- View the exchange as a vacation trip
One of the main mistakes that an international student cannot make is to take this opportunity as a long walk. It is clear that the exchange can (and should) have its moments of distraction and leisure, with tours and a good exploration of the place. But that is not all.
Many international students end up forgetting the main objective, studying, and end up wasting time on other activities. In addition to being a waste of a great opportunity, this makes learning not enough.
To avoid this situation, divide your time wisely and don’t put your responsibilities aside. Take your studies seriously and get the most out of this experience, improving your knowledge of your chosen language and field while making new friends and having fun.
- Not choosing the right course for you
Studying abroad is an incredible experience. With it, you will discover a completely new place, get in touch with a different culture and make friends with people from all over the planet.
However, that is not all and the choice of course should be thought out with as much care as all other points of the trip. After all, he will be the one who will prepare your resume and define part of the paths that will be followed from now on.
There are several options for different people and goals. You can choose, for example, between high school, technical, general English courses or even undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral degrees. Check carefully what your needs and expectations are and choose the right option for you.
- Go about your day like a tourist
Most of us are used to visiting a new place and doing the good old sightseeing tour, which involves the main points of the city, such as monuments and historic buildings. In addition, we had dinner in the most popular restaurants and visited the most famous beaches.
In practice, however, this is not so beneficial for international students, who should keep a focus on their studies in mind. In addition to being more expensive, these places may not provide a real cultural immersion in the country.
So, in addition to visiting the tourist spots, look for unique experiences and places that are famous among the inhabitants of that place. While they aren’t listed in the best travel guides, this is how you’ll blend in better with the crowd and get much better prices.
- Hang out only with people from the same country
This is a very classic mistake and made by the overwhelming majority of international students. Before starting the explanation, it is important to point out that making friends is an important step in the exchange. With them, you feel a little more at home and form a good support network in a foreign country.
Having said that, we must say that the mistake is making only friends from the same country. Part of immersing yourself in a new culture is making friends with locals, who can show you the city from a completely different perspective than the one shown in travel guides or on the internet.
In addition, meeting people of other nationalities, but who are in the same boat as you, can be a way to diversify your group of friends and get to know even more different cultures, favoring your maturation and bringing more knowledge to your life.
- Not counting on the help of a specialized agency
Last but not least, one of the most serious mistakes that international students can make is underestimating the importance of an education agency specializing in the subject and thinking they can handle everything completely on their own.
While it’s possible to plan a trip like this on your own, that doesn’t mean it’s the best idea, does it? After all, agencies have a team trained to solve complicated bureaucratic issues without you having to worry about it.
Also, do you remember the friends who will serve as a support network in case of need? The agency plays this role. She is the one who helps international students in the most varied cases, helping them to get jobs or housing, among other countless issues.
So, did you like to know the main mistakes that an international student cannot make? By following our tips, you are investing in a pleasant and uneventful trip that can ruin all your planning. Now just get ready!