Studying Abroad? Three Moving Tips for International Students

Moving away from home to attend college is always exciting, but moving to a whole new country to attend college is the ultimate adventure. Not only will you be starting a whole new phase of your life, you'll also be exploring a new culture, meeting new people, and maybe even learning a new language. Take a look at some tips that will make your international move easier.

Study the Language

Unless you're already fluent in your host country's language or are moving to a primarily English-speaking country, you're probably going to have to learn to navigate in an area where you don't speak the language. One thing you should definitely do while preparing to move is get yourself a conversational phrase book and take some time to learn some key words and phrases, like how to introduce yourself, ask for directions, or order coffee. Bring the book with you on the plane so you can prep before you land.

Chances are, you'll pick up more of the language naturally just by living there. Immersion is a great way to learn a foreign language. But in the early days, things will be a bit easier for you if you know some of the basics, and the natives will appreciate when you make an effort to use the local language.

Pack Mementos

You don't want to overpack for this move; international shipping isn't cheap. However, you should definitely plan on packing some items that are personally meaningful to you. Studies show that 69 percent of first-year college students experience homesickness. And as an international student, you can't just go home for the weekend if you miss your mom's cooking. You'll definitely want to bring along family photos, posters from your room, or souvenirs that remind you of something happy. Make room for these things; you'll be glad you did later on.

Know What You Can Bring Through Customs

The last thing that you want is to have to wait even longer for the items that you can't bring on the plane and will have to have shipped. However, that can happen if you're not clear on the customs rules for the country that you're moving to.

If you're using an international moving service, ask for the customs guidelines for your host country – a good moving service will be experienced with these requirements. For example, many countries place limits on the types of food you can bring, so if you're planning on bringing some of your favorite treats from your home grocery store, you should check to see if they're allowed first. Plants, weapons, and certain medications might also be restricted.

Moving abroad for school may be the biggest adventure of your lifetime, so get off to a good start by making sure that your move is smooth and that you're prepared for life in your new country. For more information, talk to companies that do international relocation, and go ahead and explore sites like