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It’s one of the most exciting things you can do in university – spend part of a year overseas learning about a new culture and exploring a new part of the world. If you are preparing to make such a move or would like to learn more about how studying overseas will impact your life, here are 10 perfect reasons to not only consider it, but consider it in Australia.

 

Good Experience for Your CV

 

At the top of the list is experience. The time you spend in Australia is great for your future job prospects, not only because it gives you new perspective on the world, but because of the unique experience it provides and the way it stretches your education. If you can excel in a new country, you become a more attractive hire.

 

Discover New and Exciting Things About Other Cultures

 

This applies to studying in any country. The time you spend there will allow you to learn more about the cultures of that country, engaging with new people, building relationships, and trying new things well outside of your comfort zone back home.

 

Practice English as a Second Language

 

If you are learning or want to learn English, what better way to practice and develop your skills than to spend 6 months living and studying in Australia? Through both time at school and pure immersion in the culture, your language skills will develop rapidly.

 

Become Independent and Self-Reliant

 

Time overseas drives people to become better at many things, chief of which is looking out for themselves and taking initiative. Getting a part time job, going grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning, and exploring a new city in a new country – these are life changing experiences that will help you become more self-reliant in the future.

 

Learn About Yourself and What You Want in Life

 

For many university students, a big question is “what will I do next?”. How are you going to take your education and experiences and apply them to a career? Studying overseas can not only give you new perspective, but open you to new possibilities of what you can do after graduating.

 

Explore Exciting New Things in Australia

 

Australia is one of the most exciting countries to visit in the world. Not only are Sydney and Melbourne ranked among the top 5 cities in the world for international students – the surrounding areas offer countless attractions, historical sites, and cultural opportunities for those visiting, even for a short time.

 

See a New Culture through the Eyes of a Citizen

 

Living in a foreign country for even a few months is very different from visiting on holiday. The time you spend there, eating at restaurants, meeting people, and visiting cultural sites is as a resident. You’ll see the culture through their eyes.

 

Learn New Ways to Think About Your Studies

 

Studying at an Australian university is almost certainly different from studying at one in your home country. From the environment to the professors, you’ll be seeing your subject matter in a completely different way than you did back home. You never know what you will learn when perspective changes.

 

Make Incredible New Friends

 

One of the greatest parts of studying overseas is all the amazing people you meet during the process. From the host family you stay with to the colleagues and friends you connect with in classes or through a part time job – the opportunity to create new relationships is wide open.

 

Explore Job Opportunities Away from Home

 

Not only can you get a part time job while studying overseas in Australia; you can learn more about your job opportunities overseas in general post-graduation. Whether you want to explore staying in Australia for several years or another country, living in Australia for a term can really open your eyes to the options that are out there.

It’s one of the most exciting moments of your life – that last step before you get on the plane for your overseas study trip in Australia. It’s coming up soon and probably the only thing you can think of is what you’ll do when you get there.

Before you get to the airport, though, and well before you start planning your weekends in Sydney or Melbourne, there are a few things you should do back home. Here are five things to make sure you have checked off your to do list before your trip.

Figure Out a Low Cost Calling Option

Calling home will get expensive if you bring your mobile phone without preparation. There are several options to avoid this problem, though. You can buy a local disposable cell phone, use Skype and other online calling options, or buy a calling card with low international calling rates. Research this now, rather than when it’s potentially costly.

Map Out All Possible Travel Plans

Before you land on the other side, make sure you have a clear path laid out for transportation in your new city. If you are staying with a host family, communicate with them early and often for airport pickup. If not or if they will not be picking you up, figure out which busses or trains you’ll be using.

Get Copies of the Most Important Documents

There are several documents you should have copies of before you embark on your trip. Your birth certificate, proof of health insurance, the calling card you’re bringing (if you have one), and the informational pages of your passport should all be with you. In fact, it’s good to have several copies of each, some left at home and some with you when overseas.

Look Up Electronics in Your New Home

Will your adapters and electronics work in your new home? Every country has different standards for power adapters and other materials. There is some overlap, but it’s good to know in advance rather than risking that your power runs out or you cause damage to your devices.

Review All Course Credits in Advance

Getting accepted into an overseas university is immensely exciting, but don’t let the thrill of the acceptance affect your academic plans. Make sure the courses available to you will count for credit back home and that you will be accelerating your degree. If you plan on finishing your degree in Australia, this is less of an issue, but may still affect your ability to get a job back home depending on the nature of the education you are getting and career you are pursuing. Simply put, make sure you speak with an advisor.

Have Fun!

Preparations will be over before you know it and you’ll be ready to step on that airplane and embark on the trip of a lifetime. Enjoy that moment and be ready for everything it has to offer.

If you are still in the planning phase and are interested in learning more about homestay or student support services in Sydney or Melbourne, contact Global Experience and learn how we can help.

As a student considering staying in Australia for several months to study, there are a number of things you’ll want to consider – from the University at which you will study to the location where you want to live and the stuff you want to do for fun. That’s a lot to take in for a single trip, and yet taking these extra steps will ensure you have that much better of a time on your trip.

How to Start Thinking About Your Trip

Step one is to prepare mentally for your trip. With cities like Melbourne and Sydney consistently ranked among the most liveable in the world and the best destinations for International students, there are a lot of things to like about either but part of your decision will depend on your personality and the type of place you feel you will be most successful.

Here are some things to think about further for that trip:

  • Will You Stay Alone or with a Family – Homestay is a great option when staying in Sydney or Melbourne but it’s not your only option. Which will better suit your expectations from such a trip and make you comfortable.
  • How Long Will You Stay – Are you expecting to be in Australia for 3 months? Six months? A year? The duration will impact and be impacted by a number of factors but make sure you have a clear cut plan in place for what your trip will look like.
  • Is This Purely Educational or Half and Half – As a student your primary goal is to study and learn as much as you can while in Australia, but there are other things to consider. Will you have a job while you visit? Will you set aside time for sightseeing and travel within the country? Do you plan to return home for holidays? This all affects the trip as well as your budget.

By thinking about these things and answering the questions above, you can ensure that the process will be much smoother when you are prepared for your time overseas.

Preparing for a Trip to Australia

After you’ve thought through the process, the next step is to consider what it will take to make your dream trip a reality. There are a lot of logistical steps here to keep in mind including:

  • Visa and Passport – Get the paperwork needed to go on your trip and ensure it is for a student and that you have all the paperwork needed for the University at which you will be studying.
  • Go to the Doctor – Get copies of your medical records, sufficient prescriptions for the trip, and any other documentation needed to get you through your trip.
  • Get Insurance – Check to see what the insurance you have covers while overseas and if needed, purchase supplemental health insurance, as well as travel and accident insurance for your time overseas.
  • Learn More About Your Destination – Part of the fun of your trip will be exploring and getting to know Australia, but take some time in advance as well to learn what you can about your destination. If you are staying with a host family, you’ll have a major benefit here as well.

There are a lot of other factors to keep in mind and prepare for when you get ready for this trip. Allow plenty of time from when you confirm to the departure to go through and make sure you have covered them all. This will be one of the best trips of your life – make sure you are fully prepared for it before you set off.

Whether you’ve always known you wanted to study overseas or you just made the decision to give it a try, you probably have an idea in your head about what it’s like. And while you may not be totally wrong in many of your assumptions, there are undoubtedly certain things you haven’t thought of or don’t know you need to be prepared for.

Daily Expenses and Budgeting

One big shock, especially when studying in Australia, can be how quickly your seemingly simple daily expenses add up. It’s a good idea to research ahead of time how much things cost and come up with a realistic budget for yourself that includes enough to keep you comfortable while also allowing you to do all of the things you’re interested in.

When you’re spending so much time in a new part of the world, it’s a great opportunity to travel and explore all that the area has to offer. But you can’t do this if you don’t have the money, and you really won’t have the money unless you plan for it ahead of time.

Local Banking

Going hand in hand with budgeting is the importance of having easy access to your funds. Since you’re going to be staying for a while, it’s a good idea to find a local bank and set up an account so that you can take out cash whenever you need it without repeatedly having to pay the service or conversion fees that may be required if you continue using your bank back home. In order to do this, you’ll have to make sure you have everything required to open an account with you, and that takes some forethought as well.

Actual Climate

No matter how sure you are that you know how people dress in Australia and what you want to bring with you, it’s a good idea to check out the actual weather and research how it will change over the course of your stay. You may be surprised by the variety, and you also have to remember that seasons in the southern hemisphere occur at opposite times of year than they do in the north, so you need to pack accordingly or you may wind up blowing your entire budget on a new wardrobe.

What to Bring and What to Buy

Along these same lines, it’s important to think about which things are best to bring from home, and which will be easier to purchase once you arrive. Clothes and a variety of shoes are a good starting point when you’re packing. But toiletry-type items, makeup, and sunscreen are not really worth the trouble or the space they take up, as you can almost certainly find something comparable upon arrival.

No matter what you decide to bring, though, it’s important to plan it out ahead of time. If you just start throwing things in a suitcase, chances are you’ll wind up with an unwieldy amount of stuff, and most likely, not the things you actually need.

It’s Hard to Come Back

One of your main worries as you prepare for your trip may be how you’ll survive for so long without the comforts of home that you’re used to and without seeing your family and friends. But what you may not anticipate is that, once you’ve gotten into a routine here and started building new relationships, time will go by very quickly. Before you know it, it will be time to head home, and whether you believe it now or not, you’ll have a hard time saying good bye.

How Where You Live Shapes Your Experience

You may already realise you have several options for where to live and who to live with when you’re studying in Australia. But you may not have thought about how the choice you make in this area will shape your entire experience here. For instance, staying on campus will almost certainly limit you to hanging out with other international students, and while you may meet some great and interesting people, you won’t really get an authentic Australian experience by any means.

Living in an apartment can give you a much better chance of immersing yourself in Australian culture, especially if you’re inclined to put yourself out there socially and work to get to know your neighbours. But if you don’t think you’re that type of person, and you want to really experience Australia, staying with a local family may be your best option for getting as much out of your time overseas as possible.

Emergency Plans

Hopefully you’ll never have to deal with an actual emergency situation while you’re studying overseas, but it’s always best to be prepared. That means researching how to summon emergency help, as well as knowing where your embassy is and how to get there in a crisis situation.

Studying overseas, no matter where you decide to go, can be a wonderful and truly life-changing experience. But in order to get the most possible out of your time away, you really need to do some research and planning ahead of time. Knowing what to expect and what you want to accomplish can make all the difference once you’ve actually started out on your journey.

Photo Courtesy: Taylors College, Melbourne - https://www.flickr.com/photos/59300785@N04/

As you prepare for your trip overseas, either studying in a new country or traveling for leisure, there are a number of things to keep in mind. Your list of things to bring is probably getting longer and longer every day, but there are also some things you should avoid bringing on your trip.

Food

It’s tempting to bring food from your home, especially on a long trip during which you may not be able to find it for weeks or months. But food can quickly add to the size and cost of your luggage. It also keeps you from enjoying the local cuisine where you are visiting. Unless there is a medical reason to do so, leave the extra packaged food at home.

Prized Possessions

Don’t bring anything that you would be heartbroken over if it was lost. If you know you’ll be returning home, leave the heirlooms, jewellery and other impossible to replace possessions with friends or family until you are back.

Medication without Prescriptions

Don’t forget your medications when you go on a trip, but make sure anything you bring with has a prescription. Medication without a prescription can cause problems in different countries depending on their local laws, and if for some reason, you need it in an emergency, a prescription makes it that much easier to be treated.

Your Existing Plugs and Adapters

Depending on where you are traveling and where you currently live, the plugs and adapters for your devices may not be compatible. Be sure to research in advance what types of plugs are needed in your destination countries and buy a universal adapter to match so you don’t have issues charging your items.

Payment Methods that Don’t Work

This is another thing you’ll want to research before you go on your trip. What types of payment are accepted in your destination country? Can you use your existing credit cards or will you need to get a new one to match modern technology? Can you easily convert any existing cash you have or should you convert it in advance to ensure you have enough money? You’ll be glad you answered these questions before going on your trip.

Your overseas study trip will be one of the most memorable events of your life, but make sure you only bring what you absolutely need and be prepared for whatever the trip might throw your way.

For more articles and tips on how to enjoy your overseas travel or study trip as well as information about upcoming events in Sydney and Melbourne, Like Global Experience on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter.

Image Courtesy of Liz West under CC License (https://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope/)

It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity – a chance to see another country and all it has to offer for several months as a student. There’s just one catch.

As a student, your budget is limited. You don’t have the money needed to explore a city as a true tourist, but there are ways around these limitations. There are tricks and tips you can use to explore a new city like Sydney on a tight budget and have a great deal of fun.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Great cities are often surrounded by great outdoor attractions. Parks, historic walks, and sites just outside the city are perfect destinations on days off.

Sydney and the surrounding area are home to some of the most iconic and beautiful natural wonders in the world. From the white foam of its beaches to the architecture of the city itself, there are so many things you can see simply by walking or biking through the city. The Bondi to Coogee is particularly beautiful, giving you a first hand look at some of the most iconic beaches around Sydney.

Partake of the Arts

While not every city’s museums are free to enter (many will requires semi-voluntary donations), many are. In Sydney, the Art Gallery of NSW is open to the public, with free access throughout the week. Combined with weekly events and a robust schedule of speakers and films, this is a perfect destination for lovers of the arts. Other museums offering free collections in Sydney include The Rocks Discovery Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Visit Public Parks and Common Spaces

Whatever city you are visiting will likely have a large number of parks and public spaces. From well known spaces such as Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens and Bronte Park to less known common spaces like Camp Cove, you’ll find a number of locations throughout the region that are free to visit and brimming with opportunities to explore.

Explore Historical Culture

The great cities of the world are often home to magnificent churches and gathering spaces. Almost always free to enter, they offer gorgeous architecture and rich history. In Sydney, you’ll find St. James’ and St. Mary’s close to Hyde Park, and both offering free tours throughout the week.

Go Shopping in Local Markets

There’s nothing like an old-fashioned local market at which artisans, farmers, and small business owners peddle their wares. While buying anything at such a market will incur a cost, the visit alone is well worth the time spent. In Sydney, the market to see is Everleigh Market held on the first Sunday of each month.

Getting the Most out of Your Overseas Study Trip

Whether you are visiting Sydney or will be visiting another country with an equally robust cultural heritage, use the tips above to explore the city on a budget and uncover hidden gems at national and local parks, churches, markets, and more.

For more tips on how to enjoy your overseas stay on a budget or to learn more about local Sydney events and destinations, be sure to Like Global Experience on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.