GUEST AUTHOR: Roma Sondhi, Spotahome Student Ambassador
Are you preparing to go abroad on an exchange program or internship? Have you packed everything you need? Have you got all your documents ready? Do you know the important customs and traditions of the country you are going to? Are you familiar with the language?
These are some important questions that everyone in this position is thinking. But do not worry, you are not alone. My name is Roma and I am a Spotahome Student Ambassador who is currently on my third year abroad. Right now, I am studying in St. Petersburg, Russia. This blog post is designed to help you with some ideas about how to move to another country with a completely different culture, based on my own experience!
The MOST important: Documents
Getting all your documents ready can often be stressful, but very important when moving, working and/or studying abroad. Many different countries require various documents depending on what your purpose is for moving abroad. The embassy and/or university websites can provide you with some more information on the specific documents that you will need.
The most important document is your passport. Make sure it is still in date and is valid for your whole stay plus 6 months more. If the country you are going to requires a Visa, try to get this completed as soon as possible as sometimes this process can take a while. Some Visa centres have an expedited next day service for an extra cost if you are short for time. If in doubt, check the country’s embassy website for the information on how and where to get a visa and the time it takes to obtain it.
Travel insurance is a must when going abroad! Ensure you pick one that covers your whole stay and any activities that you want to do. If you study, your university might have its own insurance, which is usually very good. Also, if you work, there may be travel insurance also available to you.
It is also important to know your flight details. Online check-in is often 24 hours before your flight and this can save a lot of time and minimise stress when you are in the airport.
Lastly, make a couple of photocopies of each document just in case as some countries will require these and you never know when they might come in useful!
Before you go abroad, sometimes it is a good idea to change some money into the currency of the country you are travelling to. Make sure to get this in advance as some currencies can take longer to get than others.
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This is very important, and most people try to find accommodation in advance to minimize stress when they arrive. Spotahome provides accommodation in 10 different cities and is definitely the go-to when thinking about finding accommodation.
The Spotahome home-checkers ensure that the accommodation is fit for purpose and is safe. They upload pictures and sometimes even videos too. This gives you extra peace of mind when booking without having to see the accommodation in person. The booking process is easy-to-use and you can even save money when you enter one of the promotional codes from a Spotahome ambassador!
Photo by Spotahome
Language, customs and traditions
When in a foreign country, it is very useful to learn a few phrases, such as greetings, how to ask for certain things, where places are etc. Therefore, it is helpful to take a phrase book with you or you can even install an app on your phone. From personal experience, websites, such as Duolingo and Memrise, really help to get started on language learning.
Photo by Pixabay
It is also beneficial to research the customs of the country you are going to so that you are well prepared when you arrive. Also, each country has their own traditions and festivals. These will provide you with many unforgettable experiences and bring you closer to the community that you are staying with.
Last but not least…have fun!
Studying, working or moving abroad is such a unique and amazing experience with endless opportunities to discover more about yourself and the world around you! This could involve meeting new people or discovering new places and cuisines. Joining groups on social media, such as Facebook, or installing apps – such as Meetup - will also keep you connected with like-minded people and facilitate integration!
Photo by Pexels
I hope that this blog has helped with some ideas on how to prepare for going abroad! I hope you enjoy your time abroad and create memories that last forever!
Looking for your new home abroad? Check out Spotahome!
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