By Michael Finch
6. Accommodations When you’re studying abroad you have three options. Live on campus, live in a home stay, or rent. On campus will be the most beneficial to your studies and social life, and it’s a great way to learn how to live on your own. Another option is in a home stay, but bear in mind you never know who might end up being your pseudo parents. The third is to rent, perhaps not the most viable option, if you’re only attending for one semester. You won’t be able to see the place before hand, and a damage deposit is usually required in advance.
7. Food The university I chose provides a food option, and I would recommend it (you get three meals a day in the mess hall, kind of like summer camp/prison). I took it because I want to spend every minute of every day exploring Australia, not cooking. If you don’t have that option, learn how to cook before you leave. Also, get people from other countries to share and teach, and try and split the cost of food if you’re living with others. It’s much cheaper sharing, rather than buying for one.
8. Flights This is the easy part, look online for flights, then book, pay and watch your bank account drain. To find better deals, talk to local travel agencies and see if anyone is offering specials at the time you’re leaving. If not, you’re better off looking online; it tends to be cheaper than using a travel agent.
9. Bank account Unless you plan on living off your visa card, you will need to setup a bank account, and remember that a passport is required by the bank. Just transfer funds from Canada to your new bank account. Most banks only charge a small fee ($5-10) to do this.
10. Phone This step is usually overlooked, but while you’re in a foreign country you’re going to need a phone. You have two options, realistically. Unlock you’re phone before you leave Canada (usually under $30) so that way you can buy a prepaid card or plan in the country you’re visiting. The second is to buy a prepaid phone and leave yours in Canada. Also make sure to cancel your plan back in Canada, or see if someone else can make use of it.
My Aussie friend Vince, who spent a year in Canada back in 2007, says “it was the most memorable and useful life experience he has had so far”. I’ll soon update with actually stories and events (most likely me being attacked by some animal — it is Australia after all).
Filed Under: Notes from down under
About the Author: The Runner is owned by students and created for students. We are the premier news and culture source for students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
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