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Studying abroad: preparing for your departure

Going to study abroad is often one of the first international adventures in a student’s life. Although the candidates for international mobility are young, they are expected to have perfect autonomy and rigor in order to bring their experience to fruition, without pitfalls.

The key word throughout your process will be “anticipation”. In fact, registrations for international mobility taking place on average one year before departure for the host country, you will understand that to be able to register you will have to be informed beforehand. There are Student lounges organized to inform you and guide you in your research, so do not hesitate to take advantage of all the means at your disposal.

While trade shows are by far the most interactive way to educate yourself on the subject, note that every establishment that opens its doors to foreign students provided the necessary information on its web page. It may also be useful for you to contact the administration of your educational establishment if you are studying and wish to leave via a exchange student. It is not uncommon for universities to organize an annual informative meeting for those who wish to learn about the terms of departure.

Well-conducted preliminary research will save you unnecessary stress when setting up your Administrative file.

Preparing for your departure abroad: administration

The most important, and certainly not to be underestimated, is obviously the Administrative file to climb in order to claim the long-awaited departure. Whether you are leaving as part of a University exchange or as a stand-alone candidate, you will face procedures that are out of your ordinary.


In case of departure in a country requiring a Visa or one study permit Where working to stay there, your privileged interlocutor will be the embassy of host country in the capital of your country of residence.

Beware, there are known scams in countries considered popular by expats and exchange studentsfake agencies supposed to take care of your procedures may approach you, above all do not give in to the sirens of the visa and papers easily obtained, you risk spending a lot of money without ever receiving anything in return.

The procedures to change countries may seem daunting, but they are absolutely not insurmountable, with a little rigor you have all the cards in hand to get there on your own.

Each host country has its own rules and will require different documents to provide you with a residence permit. It is your responsibility to provide a complete administrative filesufficiently in advance to take into account any processing times over which you will have no influence.

A common mistake is not paying attention to the expiration of your official identity papers. Most of destinations even require a passport valid for more than 6 months after your departure date in order to welcome you.

As an example of administrative documents that you may be asked to provide: A criminal record extractthe proof of necessary funds to meet your needs for a defined period of time, a proof of identitya Visaa letter of acceptance from your university

Sanitary requirements

Don’t underestimate the shutter either. health of your travelsome countries will require a vaccination passport up-to-date and proof of some vaccines specific in order to welcome you, this stage will not be negotiable.

Be studying abroad also goes hand in hand with health insurance. Some institutions require students to subscribe to theHealth Insurance administered by the university in order to control the coverage of mobility candidates and avoid unfortunate situations.

In any case, if you leave european bordersthe social Security will not support your medical fees and it will be more than advisable (if not required by certain establishments or countries) to take out private medical insurance to cover possible costs.

In addition, once there, do not hesitate to register at register of foreigners of your host countryin the event of a major problem, it is important that your embassy know that you are in the country and that she can contact you, in particular to help you if necessary.

Preparing for your departure abroad: personal preparation


You would be wrong to imagine that the administrative preparation be the only one to take into account. Go abroad is certainly not insignificant for an individual and requires, for an optimized experience, a personal preparation.

Don’t underestimate the benefits of Language mastery of your host country, especially if it’s an uncommon language or a part of the world where locals speak little English. There are many countries where English is not a given and sticking to it will exclude you from many facets of living abroad in addition to exposing you to targeted scams or in any case to people wishing to take advantage of your status.

Since the departure procedures must be started well in advance, nothing prevents you from devoting a little of your time to mastering a language, the effort is not minimal but it will allow you a more successful integration, more quickly and therefore a more adventure rewarding once in your host country.

The budget

One of the keys to the success of a student stay abroad is undeniably a well-prepared and well-managed budget. Be careful, if you are in a country whose monetary currency is different from the one you know, it can quickly happen that you lose touch with the value of what you are spending. It would be a shame to have to cut short such a great adventure because of a hole in your bank account. It will never be too prudent to plan a route plan in advance with a budget by category of expenditure: accommodation, food, outings, transport, etc.

keep your head on your shoulders

Leaving is exciting, you project yourself, you dream of a new life and you imagine yourself as the hero of a film… This euphoria is wonderful, but it would be wise not to lose sight of reality and to enjoy the exaltation without however get lost. Idealizing one’s adventure before leaving is dangerous and can lead to heavy disillusionment and even a feeling of depression that pushes some students to return home earlier than expected. A International mobility is a wonderful chance, you will certainly experience very strong moments of joy there but the fact remains that it is still about everyday life and it is possible that everything does not go perfectly or that you had to deal with delicate situations.

It is not a question of falling into paranoia but of being warned and realistic. It is always interesting to meet students having spent a year or more in the host country you are targeting so that you can further discuss their personal experiences. Each adventure is unique and everyone can provide you with specific advice.

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