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The Survival Guide – A Year Abroad

Posted: 19th September 2014 14:49

The voyage of discovery that encompasses a year abroad is a phenomenal experience that stays with you for the rest of your life.  Not only do you learn about yourself but you absorb another country’s culture and way of life which arms you with a whole host of useful practical skills.  Of course, it is a daunting prospect and before you head off, a ream of questions will run through your head.  To eliminate all, and any doubts, we have put together a survival guide for those who will embark on a year abroad; whether it is study or work there are oodles of useful tips that will make you omnipotent… OK maybe not all powerful but certainly more knowledgeable. 

1)  This one is really basic and obvious but it needs to be remembered and constantly driven home.  Do not leave everything to the last minute.  You do not need any added stress when moving country, so write a list – make sure you have everything that you need in advance.  Check it twice.

2) It is certainly worth setting up a bank account.  It can be pricey to transfer money from your bank account to a foreign one, there is always the option of a Caxton FX card which will alleviate any excess charges you have when withdrawing money. 

3) Etiquette – This one applies more to those who are doing a year in employment, find out the in house email style and other such important matters.

4) Insurance – not only is it worth insuring your personal belongings, covering yourself for personal liability and ensuring you are able to get the right medical help but sorting out insurance means will help you relax and focus on things that you are doing while there!

5) If you come from an EU member state and are staying in another one then make sure you have an EHIC Card which will get you state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. 

6) Have a look around to try and sort out a mobile phone/ internet deal.

7) Photocopy all your important documents.  Debit Cards/Driving licences /EHIC Card.  The lot.

8) Research where you are going and write a list of places you want to visit – to make sure you don’t miss them!

9) Get familiar with the language.  We have put together some Language Learning Tips to help boost your language skills.

10) Take a good camera – make sure you have one as you are going to want to document all the cool places that you see on your year abroad!

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