Per Expat.com, student partnerposted on October 27, 2021
Do you want to study abroad as part of your studies but have questions? How to get out? How to finance your project? How to find accommodation?
How to go study abroad?
There are two ways to take advantage of a mobility abroad As a student:
- Go out on your own by signing up at an establishment country of your choice;
- leaving for a exchange student thanks to your French school. As part of an exchange, you will need to contact your school and apply for the foreign universities that will be offered to you.
Do you necessarily need to speak the language of the country in which you intend to study?
If it is obvious that the mastery of the host country’s language is an advantage, many foreign establishments offer classes in English. Be careful, however, depending on the training you are considering, you may be asked to justify your english level so that your host institution make sure you are able to follow their courses. Most of the time, establishments require a exam results certificate from TOEIC or TOEFL but one language test can also be considered.
How to finance a mobility project?
Study abroad is expensive, especially compared to school fee known in France. It is true that the financing of this project is therefore an important issue in its implementation. If the student does not have personal assistance, it is possible for him to hire a student loan or, depending on the destination, to work during the mobility year, to finance themselves.
Please note that the right to work as a student in a foreign country is not acquired automatically! Do not hesitate to consult your host institution regarding the rules governing the foreign student work and any authorizations to be obtained. It is never recommended to work without authorization because a check can lead to serious consequences, including expulsion from the host country.
Is there financial aid to support my mobility project?
It is quite possible to benefitfinancial help to support a mobility projectif you are a self-sufficient student or are going through a school exchange. Financial aid is not automatic and requires the creation of a file by the student, who must start by identifying the aid available. For example, we can name the regional aid and scholarships awarded by French and foreign institutions. However, help will never be guaranteed and each request will have to be motivated and presented in a timely manner, so it is essential to start your international mobility file As soon as possible.
How to obtain or renew your visa?
If you need to go to a destination that requires a Visa or one to allow to stay or study there, you must obtain the necessary documents from the competent authorities in each country. So, to study in Thailand, for example, you will have to contact the Thai embassy in France.
Each country has its own rules and deadlines. You will probably have to move to theembassy (always in the capital of your country of origin) to carry out some of the procedures. Depending on the country, the list of documents required may vary. Please be aware that you may be asked to provide a extract from your criminal record to get your Visa.
In case of visa renewal application when you are already in your host countrya common mistake is to go to the french embassy, but the french administration cannot do anything for you in this case and you must go to the immigration services of your country of study. The keyword is “anticipation”, don’t wait until the last moment to start your process because it will be impossible for you to precisely control administrative deadlines.
How to find accommodation abroad?
Find accommodation abroad is one of the greatest anxieties of aspiring students international mobility. Most establishments offer student accommodation for some of the candidates, at least. Here again it will be important to send your complete file quickly because places are rare and university accommodation are most often the most financially advantageous. Do not hesitate to quickly contact the administration of your host institution to know in detail the options available to you.
If the university accommodation is not an option that concerns you, so an individual apartment or a apartment sharing are also possible.
Shared accommodation is one of the preferred solutions for exchange students. You can find roommates and even accommodations through groups created on social networks, going through your host university or through classified sites like Craig List.
It is still entirely possible to contact the real estate agents before your arrival, thanks to their website, so that they can organize visits as soon as you arrive on site. This solution will undoubtedly be the most expensive but also the safest, as long as you choose your real estate agent carefully.
Note that during covid it is necessary to inform yourself about the rules in force in your host country so as not to be blocked by possible quarantines or restrictions on visits.
How to build a circle of friends in a new country?
The fear of isolation is natural when moving to another country and it is true that the experience can be more difficult for some. There are, however, some tips to make your integration.
The first place of socialization for a student remains his educational establishment, while COVID-19 complicates matters, that statement remains true. Find out about the activities organized by your universitythere are often induction periods for new students and clubs that allow you to make your first encounters. Social networks can be of great help to you, most courses have support and communication groups, especially on Facebook, for their students.
Take your courage in both hands and dare to propose a way out, it would be very surprising to have no positive response knowing that you won’t be the only newcomer.
Finally, broadening your social circle can be a good idea to immerse yourself in the host country, so why not sign up for sports, musical arts activities, etc.
Don’t underestimate the importance of having a support circle, although for many people it is difficult to meet new people, often the effort pays off. Study abroad it is a wonderful experience but it has its difficulties and its moments of doubt, it is at this moment that having a reliable and benevolent friendly entourage takes on all its importance.
What to do in case of a serious unforeseen event?
This should not be an easy solution, but the role of french embassies and especially the consulates linked to them is, among other things, to provide assistance to all nationals of the country that the embassy represents respecting local laws. Therefore, if you find yourself in an emergency situation and need to ask for help, it will be helpful to have the contact of the French consulate available. The consulate can help you, especially in the event of an attack abroad, arrest, theft or loss of your documents, etc.
Also, it’s never too early to know what steps to take in case of problems: Do you know your insurance and its benefits well? Your bank and the protections it offers abroad? In the event of the unexpected, it will be harder for you to consolidate useful information at the cost of panic, so plan ahead.