Your application has finally been accepted and you have been admitted to the university of your choice. Although you have already settled all the entry requirements, such as application forms and recommendation letters, you are not quite done. There are still some legal requirements that you need to fulfill before you leave for school to secure your future life as a student living abroad. No matter where you are planning to spend the next couple years of your life, here are some legal items you should sort out as soon as possible.
Passport – without it you won’t get very far
A passport is an essential document when traveling abroad. While crossing a border, you will be asked to present your passport to the border guard who will examine it. Make sure that your passport is neither torn nor shabby as to avoid problems.
Along with using your passport to explore other countries and cultures, it can also be used as identification, in case you forget or misplace your ID. Before setting off, check the expiry date. Usually, a passport is valid for five or ten years.
Proof of age card as an ID
Instead of hanging on to your passport as identification all the time, apply to get a proof of age card. This small card usually contains your name, date of birth and a small-sized photo. It can really come in handy for confirming your identity in a club or a bar and you needn’t bother with carrying your license or your passport. The inconvenience of losing your passport is far greater than if you lose this card. Check out the application forms for an age card – it differs from country to country.
Copies of your travel documents
Wherever you travel, you should always have copies of at least two of your travel documents. The best way would be to entrust someone with one copy while you are away from the country and keep the other one with you. By doing so, if your documents get lost or stolen, you will not have a hard time obtaining new ones. This may sound a bit over the top, but one can never be too careful. If you don’t have a copy with you, the procedure to get new ones can take a while.
Visa and copies of visa
A visa is an extremely important document that lets you stay in a country for a longer period. To apply for a visa, you need to fulfill requirements such as having a residence in a foreign country, a passport, an acceptance letter to study abroad, visa fees, etc. These requirements may differ from country to country. If you need to get a student visa, it’s probably better to consult immigration lawyers and agents. They can advise you about student visas and which option is best for you.
A health insurance ID card is a must
Another crucial document to consider when preparing for your trip is your health insurance ID. In case of an emergency, it’s good to know that you can get medical help right away. A number of study abroad insurance plans will ask you to print your card, while other insurance plans may mail you a physical card. When it comes to your health, dress warm and carry your health insurance ID wherever you go.
International Certificate of Vaccinations
Before you depart for foreign countries, you will need to meet medical requirements and get vaccinated against some diseases, after which you will receive a certificate that will also enable you to enter a foreign country. This certificate is available in a travel agency or at a local health department. If you need to bring medication with you, make sure you ask your doctor for a letter of prescription.
And don’t forget to bring:
In the end, don’t forget to bring your positive attitude. Sorting out all the papers seems like a tedious and endless job that you really don’t want to undertake. Indeed, it is. Keep in mind that it’s only temporary. Without the right documents, you cannot enter a foreign country, even if you got accepted into a foreign university. And when you’re there, replacing lost or stolen documents isn’t easy. Bureaucracy should be the last thing preventing you from studying abroad. Sort your paperwork out on time, make enough copies, and you’re ready to go!
This article was contributed by guest author Cate Palmer.