Many students across Saudi Arabia will be preparing to embark on an exciting journey of studying abroad and starting university. As the countdown to departure begins, parents and students alike will be preparing for this significant milestone. As this new chapter approaches, it is essential to ensure that students have everything in order to make a smooth transition. To support you through this process, St. George’s University (SGU) School of Medicine, Grenada, in the Caribbean, has compiled a comprehensive guide that covers all the essential tasks and considerations to help ensure that you are well-prepared for this incredible adventure.
Don’t leave it too late to familiarise yourself with the visa requirements
- Book your travel: There can be many routes to consider when flying overseas to study, but often students don’t consider their travel from the airport to the campus. SGU has a Meet and Greet service for all incoming students, so students should check out what options are available from their university.
- Understand your visa requirements: Don’t leave it too late to familiarise yourself with the visa requirements for studying in the country of your choice. The application process can take some time and understanding the deadlines and necessary documentation can help avoid any last-minute hiccups.
- Apply for university accommodation: Universities will normally provide options for student housing. In your first year, it is important to consider factors like proximity to campus, amenities, and costs. SGU mandates that all students live on campus for the first year. Living on campus provides more opportunities to meet people, cultivate relationships with faculty members, and make new friends. Your education can be enhanced by the opportunity to access study groups, campus activities, the library, and recreational facilities close by.
- Decide what to pack: Make a checklist of essential items to pack, including climate-appropriate clothing, adapters for electronic devices, and any required medications. Most school supplies can be bought on arrival, but students tend to feel more comfortable if they remember to pack a few home comforts.
- Take advantage of pre-enrolment activities: Join social media groups, webinars, or student communities that cater to international students at your chosen university. These groups provide an opportunity to connect with fellow students who will be starting their studies with you so you can start building valuable relationships ahead of the start of the term.
- Familiarise yourself with local amenities: Your chosen study destination will be your new home and you will need to assess if you have the same day-to-day amenities you do in your hometown. Consider how you will set up a new bank account or register with a local medical practice. It’s also a good idea to become familiar with any nearby supermarkets and modes of transport that will be available to you on arrival.
- Sign up for campus orientation: This will be your first on-campus immersion and will set you up for the rest of your time at the university. SGU runs a whole week of activities for new students providing walking tours of the campus, and opportunities to connect with SGU ambassadors and student mentors.
Join social media groups, webinars, or student communities that cater to international students
Remember, choosing an international education is a unique chance for personal growth and broadening your global perspective. Immerse yourself in the new culture, make friends from diverse backgrounds, and actively engage in extracurricular activities to embrace your international university experience.