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Preparing to Study Abroad at Mizzou

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Palak Pahwa, Crosby MBAPalak Pahwa is a first-year Crosby MBA student earning the Marketing Analytics Certificate. Wanting to experience as much as possible while at MU, Palak is a member of the Cultural Association of India, the Crosby MBA Association, the Crosby Ambassador Team, Crosby Analytics Society, Graduate Professional Council and the Missouri International Student Council.

It definitely goes without saying that studying abroad is undoubtedly worth the expense. I have always been fascinated by the thought of studying abroad, but I was never really sure of how I would go about it.

Not only did I want to expose myself to a completely different and more independent life, I also wanted to invest in a quality education that would give me a great return-on-investment. Being accepted to the Crosby MBA program at Mizzou was obviously one of the best things that happened to me, but, at the same time, I was very nervous and the thought of starting a whole new chapter in life gave me jitters. I realized that this was just the start of another phase, and there was a lot left on my plate that I needed to take care of before I took left home.

After having experienced this considerable transition, I came up with a very comprehensive list of how to deal with the most important things like visa, expenses, cultural shift, what to bring and more. For the full, comprehensive resource page, click here.

Prepare your paperwork well before time.

This, I would say, is the most important part of your journey and needs to be taken care of very carefully and well before time. Making sure that all the documents, right from the academic certificates and transcripts, to the professional and travel documents is extremely important for a hassle free journey.

Get the required medical examinations

Another important part of the paperwork is medical certificates and records. You can check with the University of Missouri International Center for a complete list of immunizations and examinations.

Plan your finances

Make sure that you plan your budget extremely carefully, taking into consideration every aspect. The first important step is to figure out how you would take care of all the necessary finances such as tuition, housing, travel, food, books and other miscellaneous needs. Next, leave yourself some extra cash as its not possible to foresee every possible cost, budget between $1,000 and $1,500 for emergencies. Finally, make sure your current bank knows that you plan to be abroad, so you can arrange for an international credit card that enables you to make purchase without any additional transaction costs.

Buy a plane ticket and start packing

Be sure to book your ticket only once you have received the visa. There might be cases where your visa gets delayed or rejected due to some unavoidable reasons. Also, check for discounts. Some airlines also offer student discounts and some have great baggage policies so go through all the policies before you book. In terms of packing, pack light and double check with the airlines for their baggage policies to make sure you are within the maximum baggage range they allow.

Plan communication options

This is another important step and you should be prepared to decide whether you would want to add an international plan to your existing service provider, or buy a phone once you arrive. International plans can usually be expensive and might not work very well due to network issues. So it may be better to buy a new connection once you arrive with a contract phone or your existing device.

Get ready to fly

Here comes the toughest part! Goodbyes are always so hard, but they are a necessary part of this journey. Be prepared mentally, and be absolutely calm on the day of your departure.

Finish all the packing a day or two before to avoid last minute panic, and spend as much time as you can with your loved ones, as you will miss them. Sleep as much as you can to save up on all your energy for the exhausting journey. Also, make sure you arrive at the airport at least two to three hours before the scheduled time of your departure so that you have enough time to check in with the airlines. Most importantly, stay hydrated, as it will help curb the jet lag.