I can’t believe that in less than a week (5 days to be exact!), I’ll be leaving for my semester abroad in England (!!!!!). Yes, I am completely freaking out. I’ve been knee-deep in last minute preparation lately, so I thought I would share with you the last steps that I’ve taken to prepare my four months abroad before I leave.
Make sure you read my last study abroad preparation update to see the other things that I did to prepare my semester! I’m picking off right where I left things off in my last post.
What I’ve done so far
Opened a bank account. Finally done! There were a few hiccups when I had my appointment (technological problems, not money related), but I’m finally the owner of a bank account. Which means that I now have two accounts and two credit cards. If I still have money problems when I’m abroad, then I don’t understand!
Got a new credit card. When traveling abroad, it is recommended to carry two debit cards and two credit cards from different financial institutions. When I had my appointment to open my bank account, I’ve applied for a new credit card (MasterCard). I still haven’t received the card yet, but it should arrive by mail shortly.
Bought a suitcase. After many shopping trips, I finally found a suitcase! I had found a gorgeous bright pink Samsonite one, but it turned out to be too big and I didn’t want to the airline to refuse it so I returned it (better safe than sorry!). Instead, I went with a light blue Delsey one (similar to this one). I measured it and it’s perfect!
Set up my scholarship payments. I have mentioned in this life update that I have received $4,000 in scholarships for my semester abroad. I have finally applied for the payment through my university’s website and I should receive the full scholarship on September 21st.
Bought clothes. I recently did a little cleanup of my wardrobe and realized that I don’t have that many clothes that I like to wear/am comfortable in. Most of the clothes I own are outdated or are items that I wear way too often, so I bought a few new pieces of clothing (mostly shirts and a pair of cute waterproof boots) so all the clothes that I bring with me are some that I love and that I won’t regret bringing. I’m still hoping to buy at least one new pair of jeans and a few extra shirts though (if you have any suggestions, hit a girl up!).
Got my financial statement. One of the papers I need to show to the immigration in order to get my visa is a financial statement proving that I have enough money to live in the UK for the duration of my stay. I’ve asked my bank to get me that paper, and I’ve finally received it!
Bought adapters. I’m bringing my laptop and other electronic appliances to the UK, so I bought two adapters so I can charge them, as the electrical outlets are different in Canada and in the UK.
Bought toiletries. I didn’t want to bring too many toiletries with me, as these are things that I can buy once I get to the UK. But I still wanted to have at least travel-size bottles of my essentials so I don’t have to worry about it for the first few days. So I went to Wal-Mart with my mom the other day and bought everything that I would need to survive at least a week!
Completed the first stage of registration. I received an email not long ago asking me to register as a student. I had to fill out a form online and send a passport-like picture of myself for my student ID. It wasn’t that long to complete (taking the picture was what took the longest, haha), and I’ll be able to complete the second stage of registration once I get on campus.
What I have left to do
Get cash. I want to leave with at least a little bit of cash in my wallet, so I called my bank to order pounds. There’s a 72 hours-wait on the order, so I should be able to go pick them up today!
Pack. I have made a list of everything that I need to bring and have bought (almost) everything, so now the only thing that I have left to do is actually pack! I intend on making a full post about my packing process and what I bring with me, so stay tuned! I plan on packing on Thursday since I’m leaving on Saturday and I’m working all day on Friday.
Make copies of all important documents. It’s important to make copies (hard and digital) of all important documents such as your passport, driver’s license, any piece of ID, your letter of admission, etc. I have yet to do that yet, so I want to make sure I leave one copy at home and have one digital copy on Google Drive before I leave for the semester.
Print out all the documentation I’ve received the from the University of Hertfordshire. I’ve received a lot of information and documents from the university I’ll be attending this fall, and I know that with the stress of traveling alone, I might not remember everything that I was told. So I want to make sure I print one copy of everything that I’ve received so far in case I need it. I also have digital copies of everything, so I won’t be too lost if I lose my copies or forget them!
To do once I get there
Buy dorm + kitchen appliances. Needless to say that I cannot bring these things with me to England. I’m also not sure what my dorm will already have. But I know a trip to IKEA will be needed not long after I’ve arrived, so I plan on furnishing my dorm and kitchen once I’ve arrived.
Buy a cellphone. I’ve made the decision of not bringing my current cellphone with me. I could buy a new SIM card once I arrive in the UK, but I don’t really like the cellphone I have now anyway, so I thought it would be better to purchase one once I get there. I’ve heard that you can get 6 months contracts and that’s what I plan on doing once I am in the UK.
Get my visa. As someone from Canada, I can get a short-term study visa once I arrive in the UK. So this is the first thing I’ll have to take care of when I get there.