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7 Things to Know Before Going Abroad for Higher Education

Are you planning on moving abroad for higher education? If so, then you may require some guidance on how to manage things. You probably have sorted the application and admission procedures. This article has more to do with matters that you may not be fully aware of. So, let’s get you tuned for a life abroad before you board that plane. 


Get Your Documents in Order

You will need to have relevant documents in order before applying for admission to universities abroad. Many universities abroad ask for transcripts in original. I do not advise that you send your originals to them. The accepted practice is to have the institution that you had graduated from to send the transcripts directly to the university where you are seeking admission. You can get this done for a nominal fee. 


The Visa office will also require a copy of your documents for processing your student visa. These documents will include educational certificates, letter of admission, source of funding, etc. Your bank account or that of your parents should have enough funds in the account to show that you will be able to fund your living expenses when you move abroad. Also, this money should have been in the bank for more than three months. Get the bank statement(s) of the last three months attested by the bank manager. Make sure that the name(s) on the bank statement(s) and those appearing on your passport are the same. 


Some countries require educational certificates to be attested by a regulated authority, especially if you are applying for a job. The attested academic certificates have to be submitted at their embassy along with the visa application. The UAE is one such country that requires attestation of educational documents. You can enquire about the procedures to be followed for educational certificates attestation in UAE from reputed consultants who provide certificate attestation services in UAE.


Student Accommodation

Something that you will probably find odd is that most colleges and universities do not provide student housing. Some institutions have a few student hostels, but those are not enough to accommodate everyone. You will need to find yourself a place to live in. 


Here are some of your options:

  • Move-in with a relative. This can be a practical solution, provided they are welcoming and that their house is close to your place of study. You do not want to spend too much time commuting. 
  • Rent a place: Renting a home is always good as it allows freedom. You can get flatmates or roommates, and share the rent, electricity, and water bills.
  • Form new bonds: Identify Indian students in your college, and together rent a place. You will create a home away from home and build bonds for a lifetime. 


Funding your expenses 

Living expenses abroad can be very high and dent a hole in your pocket. You can meet your expenses by making some extra money by working in a part-time job. These jobs pay by the hour and pay well. However, know the restrictions and follow them. Different countries have different overseas student employment rules. You will be entitled to work for a stipulated number of hours per week, based on your visa type. Be mindful of this and pick up a job in accordance.


Cultural Fit

The biggest challenge that Indian students experience abroad is cultural differences. The lifestyle of people living abroad is very different from ours. It would do you good to do some research before shifting residence. Be aware of their culture and traditions and respect them. You will fit in more quickly if you know what to expect and what is expected of you. 


Get Insured

Getting insurance helps—so go ahead and buy comprehensive insurance that not only gives you health and accident cover but also covers existing ailments and dental cover. Get insurance for your electronics and other white goods too. Thefts are a common occurrence, and you do not want to be in a position where your laptop or phone gets stolen, and you have no funds to replace the item. 


Carry your Documents

Always carry a copy of your travel documents with you. It is best to store them in a digital format. This is in case you need to suddenly identify your credentials to an authorized government agency. 


Stay in Touch

Yes, stay in touch with family and friends but more importantly, keep in touch with the Indian High Commission. Register yourself with the Indian Embassy, when you arrive on foreign land. This will help the mission to contact or locate you if need be. The mission assists its citizens and keeps them safe. If they know your whereabouts, they will be able to reach you in case of a calamity and help you get back home. 


Store the telephone numbers of the Indian High Commission in your host country so that you can reach them in case of an emergency. For instance, your embassy will help you get travel documents in case you lose your passport.


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