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Studying Overseas Basics

If you’re thinking of studying overseas, you’ll need to do some preliminary investigations about your study options. You will also need to check your budget, accommodation and income stream before you make any decisions. Some countries are better than others for studying abroad for some students.

Photo: MC Quinn

It’s not as difficult as it might seem, though. We’ll take you through these basic considerations and help you figure out your best options and opportunities. Relate the topics to your needs and circumstances, and you’ll find that it’s not that difficult to find the right place to study.

This is one of the critical factors in your search for overseas studies. You will need to consider:
  • Cost of studies- This is a single figure, and you can compare prices between courses quite easily.
  • Cost of accommodation- This figure must cover the entire period of study.
  • Living expenses- Some countries are more expensive than others. It’s a good idea to check with expatriate students about realistic living expense costs. (Important: Allow a margin for error and extra cash. You may need to factor in things like sharing electricity costs, etc. as well.)
  • Travel insurance- Critically important to cover any problems, include good health cover.
  • Setting up a bank account- This can be quite simple, and the foreign bank or a branch of your own local bank will be able to help. Check this process out thoroughly. The local embassy or High Commission will be able to help or suggest a contact to check out your options.

Income stream
If you’re thinking of working to cover budget costs, you will also need to check out employment options and any requirements for work visas, etc. Make careful inquiries about possible job options, and also make sure that you can self-manage getting your own employment. Relying on others to get jobs can be a problem, if the deal falls through.

Do not make the same mistake as many overseas students and go for low-paying jobs with long hours. This can make a real mess of your study schedule as well as your budget issues. Those jobs are also often lousy jobs, not much use on a resume or for getting another job if you need one.

Setting yourself up to live in another country isn’t necessarily difficult. That said- You must know the law and the obligations of renting accommodation. In most cases you will be required to make upfront payments for rental bond, and set up your electricity, gas, etc.

Critical points in selecting accommodation include:
  • Cost- Expensive accommodation can devastate a travel budget. Go for prices that are easily covered.
  • Location- Commuting isn’t cheap in some countries, and long commutes can be a real grind. Try to find accommodation close to your place of study.
  • Quality of accommodation- Get some local knowledge, and compare rental prices online before making any commitment to your accommodation.

When you go to study at a university abroad, the last thing you need is more issues and problems to deal with. Take your time, and check out your proposed overseas study on a strictly practical basis. You can avoid any problems before you even get on the plane.