Thursday, May 28, 2015

Things To Do In Your First Week Abroad As A Student

Moving abroad for higher education can be an exciting adventure to embark upon. However, if you are moving out of your home for the very first time and with little knowledge of how to do “grownup” things like opening your own bank account and paying your own bills, this experience can truly transform you.

That said, your first week by yourself can prove be extremely overwhelming in such scenarios. Here is a list of things that expert admission consultants for the University of Alberta recommend you should take care of in your first week abroad –

·         Get Yourself A Phone Connection
Since you will be by yourself abroad, you want to first make sure that you have identified an affordable connection to subscribe to for your calls back home and to stay connected in your new city. Every country may follow a slightly different cell phone billing system and it is best to identify a scheme that suits your needs the best. For instance, many western countries will offer you great deals on phones as a part of a fixed monthly plan, while others may offer pay-as-you-go options with added calling cards to make international outgoing calls. Take into account your monthly requirement and pay up for a plan that is best for your communication needs.

·         Figure Out Banking And Money Management
Just like the telecommunication system in each country, every nation also follows different banking norms and laws. This can be rather challenging to navigate through as an international student. Does the new country you moved into have your home bank here? Or does your home bank have a partner bank in this country? Ask your admission consultant for University ofAlberta or any other university that you may be applying to, to advice you on the cheapest banking option that exists in that country. Make sure that they are charging no international fees. Finally, you also want to take into account the exchange rate to understand how much everything is costing you in your local currency. This will help you stay well within your budget range.

·         Finding Food You Are Comfortable With
As obvious as this may sound, it is important that you spend your first week abroad weighing options regarding the most basic of human needs. Especially if you are a vegetarian or have some special dietary requirements, you may want to hit the closest grocery stores and restaurants to find eating options that suit you. Also find out if it is safe to drink water right from the tap or will you need to make alternative arrangements for your drinking water.

Finally, spend your days learning your area, familiarizing yourself with the local transportation systems and identifying the major spots and landmarks where you stay and where you study. Once you are comfortable, venture outside your immediate area surrounding your new home and start exploring the city. This way you will soon be able to adjust into the new way of life and blend in like you have always lived there. 

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