Studying abroad is a dream-come-true for many young people. Not only do you get to live on your own in a completely foreign land, but you also get to immerse yourself in culture, make new friends, and — most importantly — travel.
Getting to discover new parts of the world is no doubt exciting. However, there are also plenty of things that can go wrong, from getting sick to being stranded to losing all your valuables. Hence, it is wise to prepare for such contingencies as best as you can.
Here are some must-haves that can prove to be life-savers when you are living abroad as an international student:
Anything can happen when you are abroad. This includes something as simple as getting sick, to the extreme of being in a serious accident. If you have to visit the hospital for one reason or another, international medical insurance is a good thing to have.
As a student, you don’t want to be saddled with financial burdens when you are supposed to be enjoying the international experience and learning new things. Medical insurance will help by covering a good chunk of any unexpected medical expenses. Make sure, however, that the insurance you have is valid in the country you are staying in, and has sufficient coverage for all your basic medical needs.
Hidden pockets in your bags
When you are traveling, especially when you visit well-known tourist destinations, there is always a risk of being pick-pocketed or losing your valuables. Hence, it is always best to keep important things such as your wallet, cell phone, and passport in places that thieves or pickpockets can’t reach.
Many bags today come with hidden inner pockets or pockets that are located in hard-to-reach areas, like the other side of a backpack. It is advised that you take bags like these when you go out exploring; not only do these reduce the likelihood of getting pick-pocketed, they also prevent against your losing your own things through carelessness.
Emergency credit or debit cards
When you visit small kiosk shops or restaurants, chances are you will have to pay in cash. If you find yourself out of money, an international debit card in your wallet is great to have so that you can simply head to the nearest ATM and withdraw the money you need.
If you do end up losing your wallet, that effectively leaves you with no access to money for the remaining duration of your stay. To prevent this, it is always wise to keep some backup credit or debit cards, as well as cash, stored away in your residence abroad, for you to use solely in emergencies.
Navigation and Translation Apps
During your course of travel, you might find yourself lost and unable to find your way back. This is where navigation apps like Maps can come in handy. With these apps, all you need to do is to input your destination, and you will instantly be shown a way to where you need to go.
If you are in a country that doesn’t have English as a widely spoken language, dictionaries, and translation apps are also useful in case you need to ask for directions or instructions. This will save you a lot of time and effort, not to mention spare you the embarrassment of wandering around, looking lost with no assistance in sight.
It is always better to be safe rather than sorry. With these essentials in tow, you are going to be as safe as can be on your latest adventure abroad.