As a study abroad student you may find it easy to wear overly comfortable clothes to school, but what you should be aware of is that there may be many opportunities to explore, so be prepared.
One important way to be noticed is to look neat. It is important to read about the culture since it will clarify how you should dress without looking odd, attracting undesired attention or offending anybody. This is particularly important for girls since there are countries where they are expected to dress modestly and to avoid revealing clothes.
Before you start packing there are three main things you should look up.
- First, the weather-you should have an idea of how hot or cold the weather is at your destination because this will determine how warm the clothes you pack should be as well as whether you will need things like sunscreen or moisturizer.
- Second- is the availability of medication. If you take medication regularly and you don’t find it at your destination then you may need to pack a quantity that will last you till the end of your stay.
- Third- consider the customs regulations. There may be certain foods or object that are prohibited at your destination.
It is generally better to have your accommodation arranged before your arrival. Most universities offer assistance with house searching. Some universities may even have their own housing or dormitory. The choice of whether to live on-campus or off-campus depends on how much you would like to be immersed in the lifestyle of the country. Staying off-campus will allow you to share transportation with the locals and to have them as neighbors. Living on-campus also has its own advantages such as saving you commuting time that can be dedicated to studying as well as allowing you to socialize with other students and to enjoy the student life.
Among the categories of things you will need to buy,are groceries and souvenirs. If you find that the local stores are convenient and offer your needs then this is great because it will increase your immersion in the culture, but if you need to buy western goods then ask for hypermarkets or supermarkets that may carry these products. Expat forums are very useful. As for souvenirs, avoid buying them at tourist attractions. Instead ask a local to accompany you to places where they usually shop for souvenirs and to bargain on your behalf.
5. Staying Safe
When in a foreign country and especially when you are not acquainted with the culture and the language, it is extremely important to keep yourself out of danger. When you check into your accommodation you need to locate the nearest police station and the nearest hospital. Also, keep emergency numbers such as the fire brigade, the ambulance and the police handy. Most importantly, buy travel insurance.
Randa Fadly is a passionate traveler living in Beijing. She enjoys exploring Asia, Europe and the Middle East. She writes for companies in the travel sector such as Cover-More New Zealand and AUS.