first time abroad tips and advice

First Time Abroad: Tips You Need to Know

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going abroad for the first time

Going abroad for the very first time is a special and most exciting feeling, but also a bit scary and overwhelming. Having to figure out what you need to bring with you and what you need to arrange before heading out seem like a daunting task. But once you’ve managed everything and you’re about to set foot on the plane, you know it is going to be one of your best experiences in life.

No matter how long you will stay abroad for, everyone needs to prepare well. Between arranging a visa, travel insurance, medicine, money, and figuring out how to survive once there, most of you forget to enjoy this time. And yes, it is possible to feel more energised and not just tired and stressed, even before you plump down onto that airplane seat. That is why we have prepared a few useful tips for you for a successful and hopefully hassle-free preparation.


#1 Start with the language

planning your trip abroad

A good way to get started is to learn the language before you arrive. You’ll develop a feel for the language and you’ll get more comfortable with your survival chances once you’ve mastered some basic words and phrases. Above and all, it is fun to learn new words and it helps you to break away from all the chores and check lists. Once there, you might feel less overwhelmed and if you’ve already caught the language bug by then, continue learning the language. There isn’t a better way to get fully immersed in the culture than learning its language.


#2 Make sure to write everything down

Before you start packing, make sure to write everything you need down (at least the essentials) – and make sure to keep that list. When you go abroad for a long time, it would be great to have all the essentials with you – especially on your first time. A good way to keep track of your stuff is to keep the inventory list that you’ve created and use it when you have to pack up again.


travel money for your trip to Asia


3 Check your debit, credit & cash.

Withdrawing money abroad can be very expensive, so check the transaction and ATM fees with your debit or credit card company. Make sure to know what the exchange rate is, additional transaction fees, and ATM fees for your destination. If possible, authorize your parents or a family member to issue a new card for you in case you lose your cards. It is already frustrating and stressful enough to discover that you’ve lost your cards. And to deal with that stress of calling the bank alone is just about the last thing you need. Having someone in your home country who can be there for you and actually help you with issuing a new card, might relieve you from some stress. You also want to make sure to have enough cash for a taxi and for your first day. As soon as you land, you’ll need the right currency to pay for your cab fare from the airport, so make sure to exchange cash in the right currency in your home country before you head off to your adventure. We all want to avoid the ​exchange counter at the airport with often a poor exchange rate and expensive fees.


#4 Double check your documents and make copies

It is always good to take some copies of your passport, important cards, or other documents with you in case of emergencies. Do make sure to store it safely (in multiple places) or to keep it close to you. If it helps, store important documents such as your flight information, other booking information, travel insurance, and health insurance on your laptop or mobile phone.  


#5 Explore and download useful apps

travel abroad for the first time

To help you navigate your way in your new city, search for useful apps such as the city’s subway app, cycle app, Uber, or, translation apps, even food delivery apps. It is also a good way to get yourself familiar with the city. Download the apps beforehand if you want to avoid dealing with poor internet connection. Once you land, you’ll be thankful that your phone is fully equipped with convenient apps. Make sure, however to plan your ways of communicating with your hometown. For example, certain apps might not work well in certain parts of Asia, but WeChat, or Skype are good ways to stay connected.


#6 Do you have your travel insurance and flight ticket ready?

If you haven’t bought your flight ticket and travel insurance yet, and you don’t know which airline, flight route, deals, and insurance plan to choose from, then our guides on choosing your flight and travel insurance might just help you find what you need.


#7 Ask for assistance

tips for your first trip abroad Going abroad is an intense experience that pushes you out of all sorts of your comfort zones, which is why you might also need the support of a local travel consultant. Whether you need a consultant for an internship, language study, or simply traveling abroad, be picky in your choices and go for the ones you feel most comfortable with. Would you like further guidance in choosing the right internship provider? See our article on choosing your internship provider or simply get in touch with our team.


#8 Embrace mistakes

Last but not least, embrace detours and mistakes along the way. Not everything will go as planned, especially when you’ve never been to Asia before and everything is new and confusing. So, if you happen to end up off track, don’t panic. Sometimes you’ll discover surprising things in the most unexpected places. Make the best out of it and just make sure you’ll know how to get back on track again. With this attitude, you’ll be guaranteed for a successful and most rewarding experience abroad.

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