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Tips for international students arriving in a foreign country
Learn the language
It may not be possible that people in the country you move to speak the same language as you. It is always good to be prepared and know some basic words. Learn how to greet people and some basic sentences that can help you communicate with the locals.
In France, it is customary to say Bonjour when you talk to someone and they may take offense if you do not. Learning the language can also make it easy to integrate with people and make your time abroad easy.
Keep some cash on hand
Digital payments and transfers might not be popular everywhere. Be on the safe side and take some cash with you. In many European cities, local shops and restaurants still carry out transactions with cash. Furthermore, you may find it difficult if there is a problem with the internet and you use applications like Apple pay or GPay. Carrying physical money can save you from these situations.
Know about public transport
You need to be able to use the public transport system when living in a foreign city. Public transport is usually the cheapest and most connected mode of transport, especially in big cities. Many cities have amenities like travel cards and student discounts that can make your everyday travel easier and help save money as well. To get a head start and avoid feeling lost in your initial days, learn about the transportation options in the city you are moving to.
Download the local apps
Many cities have local apps that are popular for food delivery, taxi service, and other services. Search for them beforehand and download them on your phone. In Germany, applications like Wolt and Lieferando are more popular than Uber Eats. Similarly, in London, applications like Bolt and Free Now are popularly used. City Mapper is an alternative to Google Maps and works well in many European cities.
Take your documents with you
Being an international student, you have to carry a lot of documents: From your school diplomas to identification documents, it is better to have a physical copy of them when you travel. It may come in handy at the airport or university if you have to show it for administrative purposes. Keeping a hard copy of your documents will keep you prepared for any emergency and provide a backup if you are digitally stranded.
Keep an emergency kit ready
If you are someone who falls sick easily or has allergies, carry your medicine with you. It is always good if you have an emergency kit. The kit can include first aid items like band-aids and basic medicines like antibiotics, antihistamines, antiseptics, and others based on your medical conditions. Familiarizing with the hospitals and medical systems of a different country can be difficult, and this hack is useful in case of a medical emergency.
Finally, have an open mind.
The most important tip to making your study abroad memorable is to keep an open mind. Be open to meeting new people, learning new habits, and accommodating changes. The city you have chosen to move to may be very different from your hometown. Be prepared for the cultural shock and also be ready to experience these amazing differences.
Your study abroad time would be a great adventure if you are prepared for the changes and had an open mind to the world out there. Make great friends, eat food from around the world, and make great memories during your study abroad.