Hey. Are you about to move to a new country or city? Maybe you want to study in abroad for four years, maybe you just want to do an exchange for a semester. Well, regardless of where you are going, hopefully at some point in your life you’ll have the chance to move to a new place away from home and thus may want to take into consideration some of the following tips.
- Start your visa application early. I can’t stress the importance of this enough. If you do need a visa apply for it as soon as you get your letter of acceptance, seriously go celebrate you getting into college at an embassy. Even if you don’t need a visa you still want to make sure you have everything you need as soon as possible. Applying for a visa is different for each country, but chances are that you will need to fill a lot of different, not always clear documents, and follow a lot of requirements (I’m looking at you Canada).
Also the processing times can vary and although some people can get their visa in a month, others (i.e. me) may receive theirs in two and a half months. Therefore you want to do this as soon as possible, because believe me, you do not want to be all excited about traveling and have all your hopes and dreams come crashing down (as well as miss the first few weeks) when you don’t get your passport on time.
2. Pack smart but light. In this case less is always, always so much more. Let me tell you something about dorm space that will hopefully not surprise you, it is limited. You do not want to struggle with opening your door because the fridge you bought is too big and won’t let you pass. Same goes for pillows, comforters, books, and others. When summer comes around you won’t have anywhere to put all of your stuff anyways so take only essentials and maybe wait until you have settled into your new living quarters to decide if you are missing anything. Maybe leave the globe of the world you like so much at home. 3. Do your research. My thought process when packing to move to Toronto was the following Canada= Winter = Very Cold, thus bring warm clothes. So what did I pack? 4 pairs of boots, 10 coats or jackets, 3 sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, and a single pair of shorts. And lo and behold, during the first 3 weeks the temperature remained at a toasty 32 degrees celsius, but I had a single pair of shorts and boots. Was I in danger of dying of heat stroke? Yes I was. Did I wear the same clothes for 5 days strait without washing? Maybe. Was I happy about it? Not so much. Same goes for phone services and if you need it, bank accounts. Often there are phone providers that are better than others and offer better deals to students, so make sure to look them all up to see which one suits you best. 4. Ask This is one is pretty simple and relates to #3,talking with people who actually live where you are planning to move is a great way to get acquainted with a new place. Locals have all the best inside tips on anything from best way to move around the city, to great places to go eat or things you must try, and advice on how to stop frostbite. It is also a good way to meet new people!
Protip: taking pictures or personal memorabilia with you may contradict tip #2 but are great things to show friends and help battle homesickness.