25th Nov 2022

Study Abroad: Pre-departure Checklist and Tips

Received offer letter from a university abroad? Worried about what to pack for your stay abroad? Embarking on this new journey of life can be stressful and also hectic! Here are some helpful predeparture tips for your study abroad program that can keep your stress levels at bay. Also, read more on the checklist that will guide you to pack necessary items!

Travel like a Pro With the Following Pre-departure Tips!

Received an offer for education overseas? Looking forward to a new journey abroad? If you are planning to opt for an MS degree or a Ph.D. degree overseas, you need to be prepared for every single part of your stay beforehand. Be it packing your clothes, or managing your finances, meticulous planning ahead will help you to depart safely and conveniently without any hassle.

Stress levels are always high when you are leaving your loved ones to study abroad. Often there is pressure as to the program you have chosen at a particular specific university. Pre Departure tension is something that all students studying abroad go through. Specific tips that can help you to be stress-free and travel like a pro are as follows-

Make a checklist:

It is crucial to make a checklist or a TO-DO list. This will always help you to be organized and avoid last-minute hassles! Take time, think, and write down the list of items you need to take. Making the checklist on paper and always keep the paper handy. If you wish, keep multiple copies of the same To-Do list to remind you of the things you need to do.

Once you have arranged and packed all your stuff, you can strike that particular item off the list. This way you will not forget anything about all the essential stuff that you need to take.

Book flight tickets way beforehand

It is crucial for you to book the tickets way before your journey. This will help you to get tickets at a cheaper rate and also get your itinerary well in advance. Search different websites to get ticket prices at a more reasonable rate. You can then start connecting to people who will fly with you or stay nearby to where you will reside in a foreign country.

Book your Visa dates early

Once you get your admission letter, do not delay in booking your visa dates. Starting the process early is required to avoid any last-minute rush here. You need to look for the specific country’s consulate that serves your area. Read and research thoroughly before you start the process.

Take a print out of all the documents that you need to present there. The process of obtaining your visa takes time and goes through a step by step process. You never know your visa appointment dates can be too late. So, it is better to start the visa process early.

Do not forget to check your passport validity

It is essential to check the validity of your passport before you set for this journey abroad. Passport validity should be more than six months after the end of your study program. Check whether your passport is valid much before your date of travel to avoid any last-minute inconvenience.

Keep copies of all your relevant documents

One of the essential pre-departure tips includes the fact that you need to keep copies of all your related documents. Be it your travel insurance papers or your mark sheets, keep both scanned and xerox copies of all the documents. Keep one set of prints with yourself and one set of copies back at home in India.

Double-check with the insurance papers

It is a strict no-no to depart to travel overseas without your insurance papers. If you come across any convenience while you are studying abroad, covered insurance can always save you from any such hassles. So, have a look at the insurance papers beforehand before you set forward for the journey overseas.

Research is always important!

You might need thorough research on every aspect of your overseas accommodation. Understanding your surroundings will make your stay easy and comforting at the same time. Knowing the exact layout of the location you are going to reside is going to be helpful.

Also, getting to know more about the local cuisine and universal food joints are always going to save you whenever you need to grab some food. Some of the things on which you need to do personal research are as follows:

  • Climate
  • Neighborhood
  • Food
  • Laws
  • Culture
  • Local custom
  • Living arrangements
Hone your local language skills

Hone your language skills before you plan to go for overseas studies. Opt for a spoken English course if you are not that fluent in speaking English. Also, not knowing about the local language can be a significant setback when you finally study overseas. It can prevent you from communicating with the locals.

It is always better to gain basic proficiency in the language of the country you aim to study. Go for some online language learning courses so that you have a good grasp of the local language where you are going to study. Several renowned online language learning platforms will help you to gain proficiency in a particular language. Choose one based on the reviews online.

Be organized!

Stay organized as you prepare yourself to study overseas. There is a lot of paperwork that you have to do. Also, you need to keep track of all the emails and documents that are crucial to you while studying overseas. Know the deadlines and communicate with the right people whenever required. Plan every day much before you are about to leave for studies abroad.

Check about your health insurance

Health insurance policies and packages vary across different countries and also across different states.

  • Some countries like Germany require you to have health insurance even before the visa application process.
  • But countries like the USA needs you to opt for the health insurance policy package based on the state you are going to be.

So, based on the university you have chosen, inquire about the health insurance package beforehand. Make good use of the web to read more about the health insurance plans.

Get a surplus amount of necessary medicines

Get as many as you can when it comes to packing medication in your luggage. Medicines are always an essential part of your luggage that you should never forget. You may never know certain medicines may be a little expensive in the country you wish to study. Some medications might be unavailable too. Stay on the safe side and pack a surplus amount of necessary medicines. Some of the most common drugs that you need to pack are as follows:

  • Cold, Fever – Crocin
  • Body Pain – Crocin
  • Indigestion, Gastric Problems – Gelusil, Zantac
  • Throat Infection – Erythromycin
  • Allergies – Avil .25
  • Vomiting – Avomine
  • Tooth-Ache – Combiflam
  • Cold, Headache – Amurtanjan, Crocin, Vicks
  • Stomach Pain – Cyclopam, Metrogyl 400, Norflox Tz
  • Sprain – Esgypyrin, Relispray, Moov
Communicate with your loved ones

Let your loved ones know that you are leaving abroad for studies. This is an exciting phase of your life, and you need the support of your loved ones. So, spend time making memories with your loved ones as you will soon be far apart for your study program.

Be open to new experiences

Studying in a university overseas makes you come across different sorts of experiences. Be it the local cuisine, various festivals, or new people- you have to be open about new experiences in your life. It can either be good or be bad! It is imperative to prepare yourself mentally for new skills and welcome the changes in your life with a lot of positivity,

Be committed to what you have chosen

When you have volunteered to study overseas, it is essential to consider the program with a lot of respect and dedication. You have plenty of time over the weekend to explore the place and enjoy your stay abroad. So, if you are planning to opt for a program overseas, you need to devote most of your time for the program to make the most of it.


When you are planning to study overseas, most of the time is spent wondering how to manage your studies and stay in a foreign country away from your loved ones. Packing for your study abroad program isn’t an easy task. Often, students tend to forget something or the other while they are packing their belongings.

A detailed list of items that you need to pack are as follows -

Documents required

It is crucial to carry all the documents that you might need. You may miss out a pair of stockings or any kitchenware, but it is necessary to take originals and copies of essential documents.

Some of the most important documents are as follows:

  • Letter of acceptance
  • Letter of enrolment
  • Flight tickets
  • Student ID card
  • Hard and soft copies of payslips and other fee receipts
  • Bank statements, salary slips, and other relevant documents which can prove that you have the funds to live all by yourself during the duration of the program.
  • A rental agreement, if you’ve already arranged for accommodation or other documents showing the place where you will reside.
  • Attested copies of academic certificates starting from your high school mark sheets to GRE, TOEFL or GMAT scorecards.
  • Scholarship certificate (In case you have got a scholarship)
  • Certificates related to your vaccination
  • Copies of medical reports and history
  • Blood group ID (not compulsory, but recommended)
  • Health insurance documents
  • Passport (with photocopies)
  • Visa (with photocopies)
  • Travel insurance
  • Driver’s license and other identification documents
  • Residence permit (with photocopies)
  • Medical fitness certificate

Managing your finances overseas is not an easy task. It is a hectic task and requires a lot of planning. Take enough money so that you can sustain properly at least for the first two weeks. Figuring out everything in a new environment takes time. Do not take too much cash with you as it might get lost and the university can’t guarantee to safeguard your money. So, take enough amount of cash to covers all your major expenses for the first two weeks in a new place.

  • International credit card
  • Local currency
  • Traveler’s cheque

Electronic gadgets -

It is imperative to keep in mind the list of electronic devices that you need to take for your stay. This includes laptop, charger, cell phone, power bank, adapters, a camera with the cords, pen drive, hard disks, Bluetooth or MP3 player if any,


When it comes to clothing options, it is always advised to take different types of clothing options for your study abroad program. Even though you will have a clear idea about the weather of the place, it is advised to take 50% of the clothes and buy other stuff from there. The weather might change unpredictably, so don’t pack everything from your home. Other essential things that you need to take are thermal wear, sweatshirts, sets of towels, innerwear worth of two weeks, work out clothes, formal wear, casual wear, nightwear, jackets, boots and other necessary clothes.


It is very important to take bathroom essentials that are necessary for your everyday life in a new environment. Take extras of all the types of bathroom essentials that you require. Also, do not forget to carry a stack of Ziploc bags to store your necessary belongings for the long run.


Medicines are an integral part of your packing stuff. You need to pack all sorts of medication that you might require for your day to day life. Also, do not forget to carry your prescriptions and prescription drugs that you take every day. Take a surplus amount of medicine so that you do not have any issue while you take the time to figure out the medicine shop in your vicinity.

Miscellaneous items

Extras like hangers, sunglasses, bed sheets, linens, kitchen towels, bath towels, sleeping bags, air pillows, passport size photographs, diary, stationery items like pens. Pencils, markers along with other necessary stuff that you might feel to take.

Kitchen necessities

Pack all the required kitchen stuff that you think is necessary for your stay overseas. Starting from the pressure cooker, saucepans to coffee mugs, take every item that you feel is required to set up your kitchen.

Pack like a boss with the following tips!

Packing Tip #1: Instead of folding your clothes and trying to fit everything in the luggage bag, try to roll your clothes. This will help in keeping more of space in the bag and also add more stuff to it. Check youtube videos and tutorials that will help you to pack your stuff by rolling it like a pro.

Packing Tip #2: Pack all the smaller items at the end after you are done packing the essential stuff. Small things can easily fit into smaller spaces that are left after you have packed all those more substantial items.

Packing Tip #3: It is essential for you to to keep a pair of basic clothes, inner-wear, and basic toiletries in your handbag. It is a wise thing to do, just in case you lose your luggage.

Packing Tip #4: Always use Ziploc bags for your toiletries. The bags are approved by the TSA and are an ideal way to keep your toiletry stuff free from any contamination.

Packing Tip #5: Try to get some of your favorite herbs and spices. You will never know how long it will take to figure out a grocery shop to source these items.

Packing Tip #6: Label all the luggage you are carrying. Try to avoid taking more than two luggage bags.

Packing Tip #7: Carry a phrasebook of the local language for the country you will be visiting. This is going to be very useful in European countries like Spain, Italy. France and Germany.

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