Thousands of students apply to foreign universities every year in hopes of building a strong foundation for their careers. A prestigious alma mater can give a big push to your career and set it onto the right path to fast-paced progress and profile growth.
However, there are several factors that international students need to be mindful of in order to have a fulfilling and productive time pursuing academics as well as experiencing the native and cultural life in their dream destinations.
Here are a few pointers that will help you transform your outbound journey into a seamless experience:
Prepare for all possible scenarios
Imagine an average day out at the university in all possible details, down to the smallest expense. Obviously, your exercise in imagination is no match or a replaceable proxy for reality. However, the effort has its payback.
Starting off, it will help you draw up a monthly average of expenses you will most likely incur overseas. Make sure to give yourself a little elbow room and spend accordingly.
Understand that this exercise is to help you arrive at a breakdown of the expenses- both fixed and variable. Fixed expenses that you can account for include tuition fees, housing and rent, transportation, medical & travel insurance etc. Variable expenses that you cannot reasonably account for include unpredictable expenses on books or project costs, emergency funds, repair and maintenance costs etc.
As an international student, you will have to follow fiscal discipline if you wish to stay within the confines of your budget. Temptations to blow up your cash-in-hand at a fun night out will be strong and recurring but living abroad and managing expenses requires you to be savvy and frugal when it comes to your expenses. Alternatively, don’t overburden yourself. Earmark some funds for recreational purposes as well. All work and no play can sap your enthusiasm and make the going tougher.
Be economical with your time
Chalk out how you wish to put your day to good use. Allocate time for studies, research work and projects.
Having a grip on your course load and the kind of cerebral effort it is likely to demand from you is a consideration you will need to factor into the larger scheme of things.
Better time management will yield great dividends
Before you arrive at your university as an international student, conduct thorough research on jobs that you can have on a student permit, and how best you can integrate them with your study schedule. Ideally, a good university will itself offer several opportunities to students to pursue small yet fruitful employment options. Also, try and accommodate extracurricular activities in your schedule throughout the day. It will go a long way in keeping you cheery and contain stress.
Know how money transfers work
It is important to choose the right remittance partner. One must take his or her own time to compare the bouquet of products and services on offer while also paying attention to exchange rates, transaction limits, transaction charges and customer service. It pays to be on the lookout for hidden fees as well. Before you sign off on the appropriate remittance partner, glean through the fine print and choose a partner that operates with reliability and transparency. A dependable remittance partner like RBL Bank can help ease you in and absorb the financial turbulence abroad. International Money Transfer through RBL Bank Internet Banking allows you to send money from your Indian account to any account abroad. You can remit up to 25,000 per day in a quick, easy and secure manner. What’s more? You can remit not just in US Dollars but in 15 other currencies as well making your educational journey truly smooth and seamless.
Your RBL Bank executive will be available to help you understand in detail about transaction limits, exchange rates and transferring funds abroad.
Especially important is the clause on emergency fund transfers. You don’t want to be in a situation where you are in urgent need of funds and have little or none with you. There are a few remittance partners who need 1-2 days to add a new payee. Ensure that your partner lets you add a new payee within the same day.
Use RBL Bank Remittance Savings calculator and find out how much you can save on your overseas education expenditure.
Overcome the language barrier
If you have secured admission to a course that is in a language you are well-versed in, that’s great. However, chances are strong that you might make it to a university that does not prioritize English and requires you to ace the course in their native European language. In that case, you would have to aggressively set yourself on course to bridging the language gap. Intensive language courses where you are steered from the basics to advanced levels in a short span are easily accessible both online and offline.
Even if you are not required to pass the course in a native language, it never hurts to learn a new language as it will help smoothen your everyday life overseas. You will be better able to negotiate the volatile terrain of social scenarios overseas.
Absorb the native culture
What good is a valuable opportunity to study abroad if you stay put in your bubble and absorb nothing of the world outside? Your success in your profession is largely determined not by your educational cred (although that holds considerable weight) but by your capacity to network and communicate smoothly and efficiently. Learning about foreign cultures will help you break through your inhibitions and give your personality the sparkle of wit and elan it needs. Learn the ins, and outs of the new culture you are in; keep making notes of how the new culture differs from yours and calibrate your behavior to integrate yourself not just with the people you see around your college town but also within the global community that you will observe on your college campus. Let new ideas and concepts unshackle you from your old belief structures.
One’s career trajectory is often determined by people management skills. Absorbing overseas culture is a unique opportunity for students to learn new and innovative methods of working with a diverse set of individuals hailing from different backgrounds. These soft skills can help one rise swiftly up the corporate ladder.
Keep an eye out on post-education opportunities
Going overseas for education is often an expensive exercise. Your student loan, in all likelihood, will weigh on your mind. Instead of wishing the burden away, act proactively and be on the lookout for new avenues that will pay you the most handsome remuneration for your work. Slowly and steadily, you will chip away at your student loan and build great savings gradually.
Greater dividends of studying abroad
Professionals from any business segment will testify to the fact that a degree from overseas colleges, especially Ivy league ones, opens a lot of closed doors and paves the way for an accelerated career trajectory all the way to the very top. It also provides the student with the kind of exposure that can change his or her outlook and career narrative. Sure, the input cost and investment might be steep but in the end, it will be the one differentiator and premium that will fast track your growth on the corporate ladder.
The almighty Student Visa
The student visa, which will be issued to you by your destination country in order to pave your pathway to success, is governed by a complex web of rules and regulations, edicts and statutes. While these vary from one country to another and are often modified without much advance notice, it is incumbent upon you to follow them religiously in order to remain in status.