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The Definitive Study Abroad Checklist

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With many steps to take, deadlines to remember, and essential documents to finalise when planning to study abroad, it can get overwhelming. So to help make things a little easier, we’ve put together a checklist to ensure you don’t miss any important steps or documents.

While this is not an exhaustive list, and you may have completed some of the major steps, it covers some things you should consider or double-check.

Everything you need to Study Abroad:

  1. School admit: Submit your application and secure your admit for your dream school. If you’ve deferred, check with your school to ensure that your admission is confirmed, if you need to reapply, or if any other documents need to be submitted due to deferring.
  2. GRE/GMAT/TOEFL test scores: Apply for these tests if required, and ensure that your scores are still valid if you’ve completed the tests.
  3. Funding: Apply for scholarships, financial aid, students loan, etc. Start saving and budgeting for your studies abroad.
  4. I-20 and student visa: Gather the documents you need to apply for your I-20 and visa, and keep track of when visa offices are open to to submit your application.
  5. Health insurance and housing: If housing and health insurance are not covered in your University’s total cost of attendance for living expenses, you’ll want to start finding and budgeting for suitable accommodation and health insurance.
  6. Flights, travel insurance and commuting: Book your flights as early as possible, and consider travel insurance that suits your needs. It’s also good to plan how you’ll commute when you’re in the country.
  7. Phone service/sim card: Be sure to check if your smartphone will be locked/unlocked abroad. Find out if your phone plan can be used, and research your options to purchase a new phone and sim card if needed.
  8. Bank account: Explore your options, if needed, to open a bank account or get a credit card in your host country. You should also find out about getting a travel credit card, and take steps to notify your bank about your travel.
  9. Culture and language: Learn about the cultural norms of the country you’re travelling to. If you’re going to a country very different from your own, it will help if you learned the official language, and about the food, traditions and customs.
  10. Medical: Before you leave home, it’s best to visit your doctor for a full medical check-up.
  11. Packing: Try to pack as light as possible and research what may be worth purchasing when you land. Make copies of your important documents to take along, and carry some cash in your destination’s currency in case of emergencies when you arrive.