8-12 Months Before
- Talk to people, from family, friends, counselors, to professors. Ask them about their experiences about college or their study abroad, if they did.
- Meet your advisors. Consult them about what programs would fit you that match your interests. Having a session with them gives a first look at your plan after graduating and the credits you could take abroad.
- Explore programs that you’re curious about and interested in. Research on these.
- Have an appointment with your financial aid advisor to talk about the study cost and funding available.
- Start asking for letters of recommendation to the people that would say positive things about you.
- Apply to your preferred program.
- Look into scholarships, loans, and financial assistance. Apply to them.
4-8 Months Before
- Apply for needed requirements such as passport and visa.
- Explore more about the study destination’s culture. Read articles to learn more. Learn basic languages.
- Apply for a credit card that will be accepted in your chosen country.
- Look into flight prices and research when it is best to book a flight.
1-4 Months Before
- Get a check-up with a travel physician. This ensures that you are fit and healthy to live abroad.
- Book your flight.
- Arrange everything that you will leave behind, from your bills to pets.
- Inform people about your departure.
- Ask about your medical insurance.
- Consult your doctor about the amounts of prescriptions that you will need abroad.
- If needed, stock up on contact lenses and eyeglasses.
- Finalize your medical insurance plan.
- Search phone plan options.
- Set an appointment with your study abroad advisors to check whether everything is finalized.
- Purchase a power adapter.
1 Week Before
- Produce copies of the following documents:
- Student ID
- Driver’s License
- Credit cards
- Contact your bank that you will be abroad.
- Exchange money with local currency used in the study destination.
- Confirm flight
Night Before Departure
- Verify and check your flight, boarding passes, etc.
- Be sure that your things are ready to carry. Prepare your clothes, toiletry, contacts, boarding pass, passport, identification cards, and wallet.
Day of Departure
- Come to the airport a few hours before your scheduled flight, ideally three hours.
- Be alert. Know what you need to do upon arrival. Do you have a pickup service from the airport? Do you need to get a SIM card?
- Send your family a message that you arrived safely.
- Attend orientations about the program or university that you will be pursuing. This makes you familiar with the teachers, classmates, and surroundings of the school.
- If you experience culture shock, let it be. Acknowledge that things can affect you, and these are all part of the adjustment.
Looking for more checklists about college? Check out our other articles here at MSM Unify to learn more.