5 Tips When Moving Abroad to Study

Have you recently booked your trip to study in one of our Kaplan schools? If so, we’re sure you have mixed feelings. Perhaps you feel excited for this new chapter but a bit nervous about the unknown too. Well, don’t worry because you wouldn’t be the only new student to feel this way.


In fact, many people feel these exact emotions when faced with a new chapter in their life. That could be a new job, moving abroad or leaving home to live on your own.


So, here are 5 tips on how to manage your worries and feel prepared for your adventure.


1. It’s ok to be nervous


Everyone is nervous on their first day, even if they don’t look it. Current students and staff know exactly how you feel and will help to ensure you feel welcome and relaxed on your first day. You’ll be given a school tour, class timetable and information on the local area.


You can talk to any member of staff about any worries you might have. They are equipped to deal with everything from the weather to transport, things to do, accommodation queries to setting up sim cards and finding you a doctor should you need one.


Last but not least make sure to talk to the other new starters, they will be feeling the same as you. Here are some ice-breaker phrases you can use to start the conversation.


My favorite activity organized by the school was the welcome drinks because it helped me make friends and it was a good way to socialize on the first day. – Maria Pia Navarro, Brazilian student studied in Oxford 


2. Know what to pack


When it comes to packing for your time abroad it’s easy to load up on everything you own, things might hold sentimental value, or the weather might change while you’re away – and can you really survive without your own pillow? It’s important to pack realistically. Think about long you’re going for, the activities you might be getting up to and what the weather will be like.


What to pack


Things you should pack:

  • Clothes to fit the season
  • Small or medium toiletries – you can restock at the local shops
  • Any prescription medicine or glasses
  • Comfortable pair of shoes
  • Charger and adapter
  • Passport and visa documents
  • Laptop, journal and pens for class


Things to leave at home:

  • Loads of books
  • Too many sentimental things from home
  • Expensive jewelry
  • Towels and linen
  • Loads of cash - rather use the ATMs and banks while abroad




3. Take part in the social program


Each of our schools have a dedicated social program manager who is in charge of the fun! Take part and enjoy discounted tickets to theater shows, sports stadiums and weekend trips away or a Kaplan organized BBQ in the local park. It’s easy to get involved and creates the perfect setting to get to know the teachers and other students.


Join the school’s Facebook page to see what’s happening that week. Timeout is also a great resource for the best things to see and do in the city. And in between class and the social program you are free to enjoy all parts of your new destination, whether that’s lapping up the sunshine on a beautiful beach, shopping up a storm or tucking into delicious food.




4. Make use of K+ after hours


Our K+ learning method encompasses classroom, online and outdoor learning to help you improve quickly. Our online resources follow what’s being taught in class and allows you to work through exercises and spend time on sections you want to improve. Our K+ Clubs are also available for students to join, it’s a teacher-led lesson based around a topic from literature to arts and culture, movies or technology. These will be included on your class timetable.


5. Never stop talking!


Whether you’ve chosen to live with a host family or in student residence, it’s important to keep talking to those around you and exploring your city. Use your skills to buy a bus ticket, order a coffee, a meal in a restaurant or ask for directions!


The support you receive at Kaplan is not only about the language, it's more like a family that helps you in many ways. – Alex Ciara Ferrer, Spanish student studied in Chicago 


Step out of your comfort zone, be open minded and enjoy this unique experience. You’ll come away with friends, memories and a new set of English skills. Good luck!


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