JOURNEY OF an INTERNATIONAL STUDENT

Amazing news! You got that scholarship! How exciting 😊

That means that you’re probably trying to finalize the details and logistics for your departure from home. You also may have anxiety about arriving and settling into a new country … all by yourself!

But I have faith in you and hopefully, the tips below will help in one way or another:

1. Research

It is ideal to gather as much information about the country you are travelling to. This includes information about the airport of arrival (and in-transit airports). This helps with familiarization and makes you a bit more comfortable on your journey.

2. Health Check

Getting a general health check is important. Remember you are going to a new country where the costs of these, more than likely, will exceed your budget. You should also include visits to your dentist and optometrist.

3. Appropriate Clothing

For those persons who are travelling to a tropical country, packing your usual clothing from home (assuming you’re Guyanese), will not be an issue. But for those who are travelling to countries that experience varying seasons, you may want to consider purchasing seasonal clothing when you arrive (these usually go on sale). I won’t advise purchasing too many of these either, remember the seasons are temporary and so is your stay. Packing professional and at least one traditional wear is also wise.

4. Memorabilia

You should carry pictures of loved ones. These will be needed especially on your lowest and hardest days, so decorate your new temporary dwelling space with beautiful pictures of your family and friends. Cards and notes – whether birthday, congratulatory or otherwise are also good choices to pack. The writings in these will help you to find your strength when it cannot be found elsewhere.

5. Google Maps

Be sure to download google maps and familiarize yourself with how to use it (this can be done manually or by looking at YouTube videos). You can trust this. It will be your buddy and your guide on this journey and will provide accurate information and details.

6. WhatsApp

Keeping in touch with your friends and family are paramount … I know. If you are going to be away from your country for longer than three months, it would be smart to leave your sim card at home with someone trustworthy. They can recharge your credit to keep your sim active while you are away. Your WhatsApp on the other hand, does not necessitate your sim card for it to function. So you can travel sim free and still be connected with your loved ones until you are able to get a new sim in the country of arrival.

7. Familiar food

Packing favourite spices will bring so much comfort. Especially since you will not be able to get some of these in your country of study. Using zip locks and cling wraps (plastic wraps) will help to secure these as best as possible.

8. Bedding

Nothing comes close to a familiar bedding from home. It’s synonymous with medication when experiencing home-sickness. Whether it’s a pillow case, a sheet or something else of your choice.

9. Vitamins

Any student knows how important vitamins are. Vitamin C, Omega 3 and Multi-vitamins will help you to function effectively during your studies. Purchasing these from home is the sensible thing to do instead of waiting to purchase them in your country of study.

10. Other Medication

Packing over-the-counter medication for headaches, cold and flu, fever and allergies are recommended ( talk to your doctor about this). Remember you are travelling to a new country and sourcing these might be an initial challenge.

Congratulations! You are now well equipped and ready to travel. I hope you enjoyed this article and wish you every success on this new journey!

PS: Don’t forget to wear a mask and observe physical distancing!

Featured Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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