Travelling to a foreign country for studies can be a stressful affair, especially if you do not prepare well for the journey and your stay in the foreign land. To help you get up to speed with preparing for this crucial foray into an unknown world, our correspondent in Germany details the things that Pakistani students travelling abroad you need to focus on while they plan their departure for a foreign country.

Buy Tickets Early

For Pakistani students travelling abroad, it is important to  act in a timely manner. Once you are decided about leaving your good ol’ hometown for studies abroad, the sooner you buy the travel tickets, the better. This not only puts an important step along the journey in the “done” bucket, but also allows you the opportunity of getting great discounts on tickets, as the closer you buy tickets to your date of travel, the higher fare you pay. It is about organizing your travel in advance, booking early can save you as much as Rs 25,000, so ignoring such a saving would actually go against. Ideally, you should have a ticket, if possible, almost two months prior to your flying dates.

Keep In Touch

Pakistani students travelling abroad should know that having means of communication comes in handy, especially if you are travelling to a country where English is not a common language. Plus the impulse to get in touch with loved ones back home is quite overwhelming once you find yourself in an alien land. Make sure you have your international roaming switched on, and have at least Rs 1,000 worth of credit. You will not require your SIM-card there for calls or SMS, but you can always keep it as your backup plan until to get connected to a local network. In case you would have to inform anybody about your safe arrival this is definitely going to be a saviour.

Many students forget this option and would have to either rely on pay phones that can be very expensive for international calls or you could buy a prepaid SIM, but it might not give you reliable package to suit your needs. Besides, most SIM cards in Europe come with a contract that has a validity of two years, so you do not want to get stuck on a package without knowing the long-term repercussions.

Travel Light

Pakistani mothers would naturally consider your departure akin to that of a bride leaving for her in-laws.  Pots and pans, and utensils and cutlery would be forced into your baggage. Takings along tonnes of warm clothing and blankets would also be suggested. But steer clear of these temptations. The clothes you take along – especially warm ones – from Pakistan would be unfit for use in a country like, say Canada or Germany, as the climate there would require a different kind of apparel. It’s better to keep the clothing to a minimum and then purchase the same from the country you are travelling to per its climatic requirements. You would find a number of stores that sell affordable stuff and sales are on round the year, so finding inexpensive things of need generally won’t be a problem.

Just stick to basic things routine clothing, books, your favourite pens, calculators, backpacks etc. Plus you are only allowed around 30 Kg + 10 Kg on international flights, so try to use allowed weight wisely.

Get Documents Right

If you have received the visa, make sure you take your entire documentation along – original as well as CTC (certified true copies). Be careful to put away important documents like degrees and transcripts in the luggage safely. Do not keep them in backpacks or other storage areas that you might need to frequently access. You may create a chance of them being misplaced if you keep them in a place that you reach out for frequently.

Do not miss a single document and most importantly have multiple copies of all your documents. Photocopying might be very cheap in Pakistan but that it isn’t the case in Europe or elsewhere due to strict copyright laws and costly ink and paper. And of course, the conversion rate could incur a major cost that you would probably not enjoy paying.

Plan Ahead

Travelling abroad with luggage and baggage should be dealt in a way that should not hinder your mobility. Try making prior bookings online for tram/train/plane tickets that take you to your university or hostel. If you plan to stay in a hotel, do not act smart by thinking you would find a cheap residence once you get there. Book a residence beforehand, even if costs a bit more. You probably have no idea about the norms of the city or the area or the security situation at that part of the night or day. So it would be a good idea to know where you are supposed to head to straight out of the airport. You would also be travelling with a lot of baggage that will hinder your mobility. So be mindful of that as well.

In short, travelling abroad for studies should not be a hassle. Rather you should focus on the things that are truly important so that you can spend the days leading up to you travel date at peace with your friends and family. We hope the above guidelines help you do just that.

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