Practical Preparation For Studying Abroad
Before seminars, student parties and sightseeing, there are questions about suitable foreign health insurance, the right credit card and the perfect accommodation. Because before studying abroad can begin, students should know some practical things and make appropriate preparations.
Foreign health insurance
Foreign health insurance is essential for studying abroad, even for short programs such as a language course. Foreign universities require international students to take out health insurance. Many also offer these themselves. Most students can also in Germany have an international health insurance to complete. Usually this is also cheaper. Anyone who has already taken out health insurance abroad in Germany must ensure that they have to provide the same benefits as the insurance offered by the foreign university.
Regardless of whether you are going abroad for a complete degree or just for a semester abroad or a summer session: You should think about your accommodation in advance. Everyone has their own ideas and wishes and every type of accommodation, be it a student residence, shared apartment or host family, has its advantages and disadvantages. The first point of contact for accommodation is usually your host university. But there is also a lot of information on the subject in Facebook groups or in the many experience reports on studying abroad. If you only start looking for an apartment on site, you shouldn’t forget to book a room in a hostel for a few days in advance.
International Student ID (ISIC)
The international student ID – officially the “International Student Identity Card” (ISIC) – offers students in more than 125 countries many discounts, for example from providers of air, train and bus travel or telephone providers. Discounts are also granted on admission prices to sights and cultural institutions. Its price is 15.00 euros and it is valid for one year.
Credit cards as a necessary means of payment
The credit card is an everyday means of payment in many countries and is therefore an absolute must-have when studying abroad. Many online providers, regardless of whether they are shops or airlines, only accept credit cards as a means of payment. Compared to paying with cash or an EC card, the credit card has many advantages, especially abroad. Choosing a suitable credit card should therefore also be on the to-do list when preparing for your studies abroad. When choosing a suitable credit card for your stay abroad, you should keep the following aspects in mind:
- Fees for using the card abroad
- Withdrawal fees abroad
- Debit interest rate for high amounts (e.g. tuition fees)
Transfers within or abroad
Usually, bank transfers have to be made before starting your studies abroad. Sums to be paid can be paid by credit card or by traditional transfer. Before or during their studies, students must pay the application fee or tuition fees by credit card or bank transfer, for example. Anyone wishing to open an account abroad must have their main residence there. Often, however, a stay abroad during your studies only lasts half a year or a year. In this case, it is not worth re-registering and many international students leave their main residence in their home country. So you have to make international transfers on a regular basis. The banks charge for ithigh fees. An alternative to global cash transfers are peer-to-peer online money transfer services. The providers also charge fees for transfers abroad, but these can – depending on the provider – be up to 85 percent lower.
Make phone calls and surf the Internet
Keeping in touch with loved ones at home or arranging the next appointment with new friends abroad – thanks to the telephone and the Internet, it’s very easy today. Mobile surfing on the go is also a matter of course for most of them. Thus calls and surfing during the study abroad is not a cost trap is, students should be aware of a few things:
- Wherever possible, use WiFi and surf for free, use WhatsApp or make calls via Skype.
- Don’t just keep using your German smartphone! Prepaid SIM cards from providers in the target country offer favorable terms for making calls and surfing the web with full cost control.
- Roaming charges should only be used in an absolute emergency, especially abroad and especially outside of Europe.
- If a phone call is necessary, you should be called if possible.
With a maximum weight of 20 kilograms for flight luggage, you cannot take everything with you that you need for a longer stay abroad. Many students therefore buy a lot of new things on site. Those who do not want to sell or give away their newly acquired belongings at the end of their stay can have them sent home. Sending large parcels is comparatively cheap. The postage costs abroad vary from vendor to vendor, so this should be carefully selected.