Studying is a fundamental part of our lives because we literally learn new things every day that not only make us grow intellectually but also as people. When we study, we open our minds and learn things that make us understand everything around us and be more tolerant of the realities that come with life. All this increases if you have the opportunity to do it abroad where opportunities multiply, you meet new people, experience new places, flavors, learn traditions, and cultures that help you grow into a better person.
If you are thinking about studying any languages abroad, there is only one thing we have to ask you… What is taking you so long? Here are some tips that AXA Partners US considers useful for you to start planning your trip as soon as possible.
Before you leave, you have to complete several formalities depending on your age and what studies you want pursue. In some cases, you may be required to first obtain a Visa for the duration of your stay. Whether it is a summer course, a semester or a master’s degree, always remember that the number of formalities and papers you may be asked to provide will depend on the country you choose to study in, as well as the scholarship and aid programs for foreign students.
The approval process can take quite a while, so we suggest that you start planning your trip at least six months in advance, although the ideal would be a year before, even more, if you plan to apply for a scholarship. The best place to ask for information, review the procedures and consult the information for these scholarships, are the embassies or consulates of the country you want to visit. In addition, they could advise you about their culture, climate, and special recommendations for tourists, the best time to travel, and legal aspects to consider.
What basic documents will most countries require from you?
Visa: Most countries will request a student visa, but it will depend on the time and type of studies you are going to pursue. To get your Visa you will have to show proof of the application process at the university or place where you will be conducting your studies and the economic solvency to support them. As with all Visas, you will have to make an appointment, interview for the Visa, pay fees and then go through a review period before being approved.
Travel insurance: Depending on the length of time you will be abroad, some countries may require you to have medical coverage while abroad. We hope you do not need to make use of insurance during your stay, however, it is important to be realistic; spending long periods of time away from home can be complicated and things may happen. We are human after all and are at risk of getting sick from even a simple cold. The amount of the medical coverage you need will depend on the country to which you are traveling. Therefore, make sure you do your research before choosing any type of insurance.
Remember that AXA has travel protection plans designed for travel abroad that provide benefits for medical expenses, medical evacuation, as well as travel inconvenience benefits such as travel delay and lost luggage.
Residence permit: In some countries, if your stay is longer than three months, in addition to the Visa you will have to apply for a residence permit; you can apply for this directly at the embassy. Some of the documents they may require are a certificate of no criminal record, a travel insurance policy, economic solvency, the admission role of the university where you will be studying, as well as information about the course you will be taking, which will have to include both theoretical and practical training.
Language level: If you go to a country, in which the language is the same as your mother tongue, this is not a problem. However, if the language is different, you may need to take an exam, sit through an interview or provide a certificate that proves that you have a certain level of fluency in the local language in order to take classes in that language; this does not apply if your studies are specifically for studying the local language.
Cover letter: In this letter, you have to explain your motivation and the reasons why you want to undertake these studies. Describe yourself as a person, your aspirations, tastes and things about yourself. Basically, you are selling yourself in this letter so you have to have a lot of inspiration and try to be original to stand out from others.
Curriculum vitae: In higher education, you will be asked for your resume in order to demonstrate your academic and professional career, your skills, the courses you have taken and any certifications you may have. You can create a new resume just for this occasion, which is directed at the institution to be more to their liking.
Housing & Navigation: Investigate the housing situation prior to travel because when you arrive you will go through an adjustment period that will take a lot of time and you need to have a stable and regular place to sleep, eat and study.
Doing some research about the time of the flight and how to get to the desired destination ahead of time is a good opportunity to save money. In addition, always remember to arrive at the destination with at least an hour or two in advance so that you have time to explore the area and figure out how to get around.
We hope that all of this information will be useful to reduce your fears and to help you start planning one of the best experiences of your life. We know there are many options out there but below is a list of country resources that can help get you started. Check them out or seek out any of the many other available resources.