Study Abroad Checklist: The Ultimate Guide

  • Editorial
  • 6 min read

Are you preparing to study abroad? The overall preparation processes can be overwhelming but when you have a well detailed study abroad checklist to guide you on the preparatory measures to take, the whole process will be simplified.

Can’t figure out how to go about creating a study abroad checklist that contains how you can prepare for your study abroad program? Not to worry, we got you covered. In this guide, I’ll be showing you the ultimate study abroad checklist.

Study Abroad Checklist

Below are the contents that should make up a good study abroad checklist. You should know that there are lots of benefits of studying abroad. So if you are not well prepared, you will miss out on some of the benefits.

Research your destination

When you are preparing to study abroad, your study abroad checklist should contain researching the destination.

Having an idea of where you are going and what to see and do there is probably the best part about preparing for the travel. To research the destination, you can either buy travel guides or just google about the destination you are heading to.

In as much as it will be more fun to look at it in the real life, getting a glimpse of what the country is all about and has, will help you plan well and also make you adapt to the host country faster, since you already have a prior knowledge about the destination country.

Prepare your paperwork in advance

Your paperwork is undeniably the most valuable documents you need when you intend studying abroad. Making sure that you have it all ready is crucial, especially when you are going to spend a long period of time in your destination.


First, you need to make sure your passport is ready and should be valid throughout the course of the program. So if you find out that your passport won’t be valid through the program, it is best you find a way to renew it before you proceeding on other items on the study abroad checklist to work on.

And to attain a visa, many countries require tour passport to be valid for six months after the return date to your home country. So, if you passport will expire shortly before the date, you should renew it.


Your visa is also an important document you need to attain if you want to study abroad. Almost all countries require international students to hold a visa, though not all. For example, New Zealand programs less than three months don’t require foreign students to hold a visa.

The process of getting a student visa is quite different for each country. For some, it may be a simple and straightforward online enrollment process, while for others; it may involve long and tedious process of filling different documents and taking interviews.

If you are an international student who wants to study in the United States, you will require a student visa (F-1, M-1, or J-1). The process of attaining the student visa involves submitting an online application, going for a visa interview at your local U.S Embassy, providing the necessary additional documents, and paying the appropriate fees.

If you intend attaining a student visa for any other country excluding U.S, consult the website or visit the destination country nearest embassy or consulate to determine the requirements for a student visa.

Go for insurance

Student health insurance is worth the investment should you get sick or have serious health issues. If you already have a primary insurance, you should review the package to see if it covers overseas care.

If it doesn’t, you should get in touch with your abroad adviser, health insurance provider to see if there are any special offers that cover health insurance in the destination you intend studying abroad.

Meet with your doctor

Health is wealth. Scheduling a meeting with your doctor should be on your study abroad checklist.

A physical meeting to consult your health check up may be required for your visa, but if it is not required, you should still schedule and meet with your doctor before you travel. You never can tell what may happen. Good health is paramount to stress-free travel.

When you are able to meet up with your doctor before you leave for your studies abroad, it is an opportunity for you to get the necessary vaccines and other prescriptions for enough medications, get educated on certain health precaution measures to take, and other useful tips that will help you in your entire trip and stay when you travel.

Pack appropriately

Before you start to pack, take your time to come up with a list of the items you really need. If you are not familiar with traveling, especially traveling overseas, you may be tempted to bring too many items.

First, check the weight and size restrictions of the airlines you intend using. In fact, you should aim at not getting too close to the maximum weight and size in order to avoid spending too much on luggage. Only pack and go with additional things you feel are not readily available in the country you are visiting. And if you will be staying with a family member, you might want to think about packing some gifts for them as well.

Get some cash at hand

Before you can go about opening a new bank account in the host country you are visiting, or use your travel credit card, you might have incurred some expenditure, especially upon arriving at your destination. So it is best you go to your local bank to order the currency needed in the country to make sure you don’t run into any money troubles.

Get a travel credit card

It is very important to get a travel credit card if you are yet to have any. You can go to your local bank to apply for one.

Just imagine you run out of the cash with you, or you miss the bus during a visit to your neighboring country and you have no other option but to book a nearby hotel room. Having a travel credit card with you will help you in tough times like that.

Have copies of your travel documents

If you don’t have “copies of your travel documents” on your study abroad checklist, the list is incomplete. It is best to make three copies of your travel documents; passport, visa, national ID card and insurance ID card, and any other crucial travel documents.  Keep one set with your family, another in your checked luggage, and the last one in your carry-on luggage.


When you are planning to travel abroad for your studies, having the above items on your study abroad checklist checked shows that you are fully set to make your move.

That’s it on the ultimate guide on study abroad checklist.

I’d love to hear from you

I hope you found this guide helpful?

Which of the items on the checklist do you plan starting with when planning to study abroad?

Feel free to drop your comment below.