It is important that you prepare in advance for the new academic year, and whilst there might be some aspects that seem uncertain right now, there are still things you can do to ensure that you have the best time moving abroad. Our student-friendly guide provides you with all of the information that you need before you leave home, easing the transition into your new life.
- Obtain your student Visa. If you are an international student, you will have to get a student Visa (T4) as part of your application. Universities often offer assistance with the visa process, but immigration legislation changes frequently so it is worth referring to the relevant national website for the most updated information. In the current climate, we highly recommend that you regularly check official government websites to see if your visa centre is operating as usual. You can find more information here.
2. Get insurance and check your health. Travel insurance covers you if anything happens. Before leaving your home country, you will find that immigration offices at some study destinations might require a health check at several specific hospitals. Make sure that you arrange your medical health check as early as possible to avoid any issues.
3. Currency exchange. Check the currency of the country you are moving into. For the UK, the currency is the Pound sterling (£); for Canada, New Zealand and Australia, currencies are Canadian, New Zealand and Australian dollar respectively.
Prior to leaving your home country, it would be a wise decision to have some local currency in cash with you.
There are many exchange rate comparison websites available from which you can choose the best value for money. There are also plenty of different places you can exchange your money at such as banks, airport and hotels. If you prefer to change your currency at the bank, it is important to call them in advance, tell them the amount of money you want to exchange and reserve a specific time for an appointment.
4. Arrange accommodation. Most freshers choose to stay within campus or other university accommodations during the first year as they are great places to get to know a lot of people and make new friends. Most universities open the accommodation application at the beginning of April (after you get the conditional offer), and there will be many deadlines. It is worth checking any updates on the university website or contact the friendly accommodation team if you have any questions. If you choose to stay outside campus, you have the option of renting an apartment or a shared house. It is very important that you secure your accommodation as soon as you can. That way you will make sure that you have a place to stay once you arrive!
5. Check Term date. Visit your university’s website or check your university email account regularly for any updates or changes to your academic calendar. Knowing exactly when your semester starts and finishes will allow you to plan your trips back home and your holidays. You will also get the most up to date information on how your university will be delivering the new academic year.
6. Prepare appropriate clothing and find out the baggage allowance. It is important to check the weather of the place that is going to become your home for the next few years. From the UK’s unpredictable weather to the heat of Australia, make sure that you do your research and bring your essentials. To avoid last-minute issues, check your plane baggage allowance before you start packing.
7. Plan and budget your trip. International flight tickets can be expensive. Some companies allow you to get a travel insurance in case the flight is cancelled or has to be rescheduled. Planning your trip in advance will usually allow you to get plane tickets at a lower fare. Also, consider purchasing bus passes or railcards to travel from the airport to your accommodation. Some universities offer an airport pick-up service that you can arrange by contacting the university in advance.
8. Check the dates for your fresher’s week. These events take place right before the start of the academic year and are organised by universities. This is a great opportunity to get to know other international and local students and to find out about the many student societies your university has.
9. Check the electronics. You should check if any of your personal electrical items could be safely used on the voltage of your study destination. If you need a power adapter, you can always buy it from the airport or any local shops before arriving.
10. Be excited. Studying abroad could be a challenging adventure. You will become independent and create memories that will last forever. Becoming an international student is a life-changing experience and you want to make sure that you live it to the fullest!
If you have any questions about your study abroad journey, click on the button below to speak to our Student Support team.