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Top tips for studying abroad in Asia

This article appears in: Learning abroad
Stock image of study abroad student reading a map in Asia

Completing a portion of your studies overseas can not only make you more employable in future; it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As an Australian student, choosing to study abroad in Asia is a great option because it's close to home and has strong business ties with Australia. These top tips – firsthand from CDU study abroad student, Joel - will help ensure your exchange goes as smoothly as possible.

Tune up your tech

Ensure you take a travel adaptor and a good quality power bank with you as you don’t want to be left without access to your mobile phone or other devices.

Use a local SIM card to make calls and data cheaper but take your Australian SIM card with you.

Verification codes can be sent to this number as most carriers don’t charge to receive text messages overseas.

Free Wi-Fi is also quite easy to come across; use this to avoid spending unnecessary money on data.

Protect your pockets

When travelling internationally, exchange rates, transaction fees and ATM fees can take a big chunk of money dedicated to your trip.

Before leaving, do your research to find a bank account that will give you ATM returns or not use a currency exchange mark-up.

To save money while on exchange it is important to be on the lookout for scams, which are especially prevalent in developing countries. Ensure taxi cab meters are running because drivers may take advantage of tourists and charge them inflated prices. Alternatively, you can use ride-share apps. If you’re feeling adventurous, a cheaper version is motorcycle ride-sharing.

Be open to different ways of living

Time management is especially important in countries where heavy traffic is a regular occurrence. For example, in Manila, Philippines, what’s regarded as a typically short trip in Australia can take hours. Make sure you allow for this in travel plans and give yourself enough time to reach destinations.

Another tip is to always have toilet paper on hand! In Asia, the bathroom situation can be quite different to Australia. Some places use squat pots instead of toilet basins, and many places don’t allow toilet paper to be flushed down the toilet because of sewerage issues.

Attitude is everything

Having the right attitude when travelling overseas can make or break a trip. Keep an open mind; you are likely to experience some sort of culture shock. Also remember to stay positive. At first, making friends can seem daunting.

Remember that smiling and laughter is a universal language and will make everyone feel more at ease.

Before you leave Australia, learning some of the local language is a good way to show that you are willing to fit in with the international culture. Use what you have learnt once you get there; being vulnerable and making mistakes will let you form a deeper bond with locals.

CDU offers a wide range of study abroad opportunities for CDU. Explore study abroad programs in Asia, North America and Europe.

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