Erasmus+, International Exchange, Summer Programmes

Pre-departure: what you need to know

Bonjour everyone!

Today’s blog topic is about all the things you need to know before going away abroad.

It’s all good and well me telling you about all the things I’ve been doing so far, but for people planning on working or studying abroad, one of the most important things to know is how to prepare beforehand to make the most of your experience.

I hope these 5 tips can make your experience even better and stress-free!

# 1 – Don’t panic!

I’m normally quite a positive person and like to be organised but my experience starting at a French university did test my strength to remain positive. After two weeks of trying to choose my modules and make my timetable, (bearing in mind classes had already started) I began to panic and stress as I wasn’t organised and hadn’t started lessons. In spite of this, I realised that all Erasmus students were in the same boat, no-one knew what was going on and it was just a case of remaining positive and persevering until the problem was resolved.

“Don’t panic”. It’s easy to say and you will probably be fed-up with people who tell you this, especially when you think you have every reason to be panicking. However, I’m here to tell you that you also have the right to choose to either do something about your situation or if it’s out of your control, then simply wait until something can be done. It always works out in the end. Somehow.

# 2 – Documents

A boring topic but something that can be crucial to help make your life easier. Before going, try to organise a folder with everything you could possibly need and this could avoid major problems when signing up to university, opening a bank account or securing accommodation. Here just a few things you could include:

  • Copies of passports, birth certificates and other ID
  • Passport sized photos (in France its common to provide one)
  • Printed version of agreements, insurance and certificates
  • Any other information or contacts you may need while abroad

# 3 – Travel money card

If you’re going abroad for only a short period of time then you may not want to go through the process of opening a bank account. There are lots of providers that offer travel money cards and you can use them just as you would a debit card allowing you to top-up your card and withdraw cash. Some of these providers are: Monzo, FairFX, Travelex and Post Office.

# 4 – Record

This is the fun advice, so stay with me. It’s so important to record your entire experience when you go on an amazing adventure such as a year abroad. Using a diary, blogging/ vlogging, taking pictures or anything else you can think of will be a special way to keep memories and to be able to recall back to things you did that you may have even forgotten!

# 5 – Have Fun

Whatever you do, just make the most of the incredible opportunity offered to you. Remember why you chose to do it in the first place and always keep an open mind, you can’t go wrong!

“Take only memories, leave only footprints.” -Chief Seattle

Kimberly

Feel free to share any other tips for preparing to live abroad

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