4 Ways To Prepare For The Unexpected When Studying Abroad

Ways To Prepare For The Unexpected When Studying Abroad

When you study abroad, you get to experience many benefits such as learning a new culture and becoming more independent. As exciting as that sounds, unexpected situations may occur that could ebb your excitement away. If you’re unprepared, you’re more likely to feel difficulties.

Here are some tips you may want to consider so you could face uncertainties with confidence:

  1. Get An International Insurance

Many people use regular health insurance even when traveling abroad; however, this might not be enough to cover all medical expenses. If you’re studying in a foreign country, it’s best to get international insurance. That way, it can cover almost all medical expenses in case you face accidents.

For instance, you may face a car accident while driving. One main cause of car accidents among international students is driving too slow due to unfamiliarity with road conditions. When this happens and you incur injuries, you’ll be needing insurance to cover your medical expenses. Fortunately, international students, members of exchange programs, or international travelers can get international health insurance.

Much like regular insurance, this pays for hospital fees, doctor’s consultation, physical therapy, and treatments, as well as other medical expenses. The difference is that international health insurance will pay for medical costs incurred abroad.

Getting insurance is an additional cost since you’ll be paying for a premium, but you’ll be grateful that you have insurance if you happen to need it. On top of that, plenty of doctors and clinics don’t accept patients without proof that you can afford to pay for their services. Being insured guarantees the hospital that you can avail of the service since an institution backs you to pay for your medical bills.

  1. Sort Out Your Banking Information

One struggle you might experience while studying abroad is difficulties in banking transactions. To avoid this, it’s best to inform your bank about your plan to study overseas. Let them know when you’ll be arriving at your destination. This is to avoid getting your cards declined when you make a purchase abroad.

Since you’re probably using your bank’s mobile app, it might help to get rid of the two-factor verification. Doing so will eliminate the need to send you a text message every time you log in to the app with a different IP address.

If you’re traveling with your debit card, which is what most people do, you can opt to withdraw using the local ATM at your destination. The local ATM will distribute cash with the local currency so you can avoid lining up at your bank.

  1. Explore New Things And Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Although studying abroad is fun and exciting, it also comes with a lot of challenges. However, these are what make the experience a great opportunity to learn. You probably have cold feet about moving away from your home country to a place where you don’t know anyone, but remember that this is part of the process. Trying out new things has never been easy, but it can be valuable.

During your time abroad, you must remain active in extracurricular activities inside and outside the university. You may find new interests and passions you never knew before. Since you’re likely to feel homesick and bored, it’s best to engage in new hobbies that’ll enable you to connect to new people. By doing such, you can overcome homesickness and loneliness you may not expect to experience.

  1. Prepare For Unforeseen Expenses

It’s easy to get too excited about moving to a new country that you forget about the expenses coming with it. Studying abroad incurs a lot of costs, and many of them are unexpected. Once you receive your acceptance letter, it’s best to plan out your potential expenses right away. It’d be better if you seek the advice of someone who knows more about it than you do.

Try asking your parents for help when it comes to budgeting. Take into account upfront expenses such as plane tickets, visas, and the like. Then go through the expenses you’ll be incurring as you live abroad. These include rent, utility bills, medical expenses, eating out, clothing, and others.

That being said, it’d be better if you research the possible expenses early on, so you get a gauge of what to expect. Having a plan about the potential costs you might spend money on while living in another country ensures that you can return home with healthy savings. Or you can find part-time jobs to ensure you can take extra expenses.


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Aside from the expected expenses, here are some unexpected expenses you need to consider when budgeting:

  • Trips

You’d want to travel and take a few trips now that you’re staying in a foreign country, so it’s essential to plan for this ahead of time. Consider the most used mode of transportation in that country and calculate how much you’ll be spending on it. Also, think about the cost of accommodations. It’d be better if you could minimize the cost of accommodation by booking an overnight bus trip or take advantage of free tours to save on them.

  • Clothes

Packing your entire closet to bring abroad isn’t viable, especially if you’re moving to a place with a different climate. You want to dress like the locals, and the best way to do this is to buy new clothes. Before you leave, establish a budget that you’re willing to spend on new clothes and accessories. That way, you won’t end up blowing your money on clothing.

  • Fare

If you live outside the campus, you’ll probably commute to get to your classes every day. You might need to take the bus or the subway. Additionally, you’ll need transportation to get around places such as running your errands, getting your groceries, and the like. So, consider how far your accommodation will be from campus and the city proper. Plan how much money you’ll be spending going to and from these places to avoid being overwhelmed with the cost of transportation.


Unexpected things could happen while you’re studying abroad. Although this may seem frightening because you may have to rely on yourself during those times, you can overcome them by being prepared. Consider the tips above so you’re all set before you move to a foreign country.


About the Author –
Julie Agee is a Special-needs Education student. She loves to share her experiences through guest posts online. During her free time, Julie enjoys reading novels and baking desserts.