With the summer days dwindling and back to school just around the corner next month, there are more students than ever participating in studying abroad. According to the US State Department, approximately 260,327 Americans studied in a foreign country in 2009. Furthermore, Project Atlas Canada reported that more than 45,090 Canadians studied abroad in 2010. The top five countries Canadians continue to relocate to for foreign exchange studies are the United States, UK, Australia, France followed closely by Ireland. Many students are choosing these locations to live and study within to fulfill their need for the hands-on experiences many of these countries offer.
If you or someone you know is thinking of studying abroad soon, keep in mind to get fully prepared for the life changing experience. Firstly, remember to do your research homework. Not all student exchange programs are identical. Review all the pages of the brochures or site pages and ensure you have read all the fine print before making any final decisions. You want to make sure the study abroad program has a good reputation and is well-established.
After deciding on a foreign exchange program and getting the paperwork from the company take the time to read all the information thoroughly. It is best to ignore the study programs that run on a dime because with steep discounts upfront may result in the company not including all the necessities needed for a proper study exchange. Remember to pay attention to financial deadlines such as final deposits. The last thing you would want to do is miss the last financial deadline for your upcoming trip. When it comes to the actual exchange it is a good idea to have a nice combination of local currency and either Canadian or U.S. dollars.
Keep in mind to double check your passport is valid and is nowhere near the expiry date. Depending on how long you are planning to relocate for, a visa may also be required in the host country. Being prepared and doing your research ahead of time just as if you were preparing for an upcoming move will go a long way in ensuring your trip is a memorable success.
Lastly, try not to leave packing to the last minute as the days prior to your trip you will have plenty of other details on your mind. Distinguish what you’ll carry onto the plane versus what will be checked with the airline(s). Remember to stay positive and not over panic about the upcoming study exchange opportunity. Who knows, you may end up loving the country you are studying in so much that you may even contemplate moving there in the years to follow. If that is the case, we at Starline Overseas Moving would be happy to assist with the relocation process.
Safe travels and all the best this upcoming school year from the entire Starline Overseas team.