by Dalal Boland
If you ever asked me to name one of the bravest things that I have ever done in my entire life, then my answer would bring up a memory of a journey that I took back in 2013, which required me to start a new life dreaming abroad as a graduate student. I was fortunate enough to obtain a fully-funded scholarship, covering medical insurance and monthly allowance, given to me by the PAAET (Public Authority for Applied Education and Training) in Kuwait. In a reaction to that, I applied to Florida State University, Tallahassee, and I was blessed to be accepted there to pursue my master’s degree in the College of Education. As a scholarship student sponsored by PAAET to pursue higher education, there are five things that needed to be done in the same week of arrival:
Mobile Phone Service
- Locate the nearest mobile service provider (i.e. AT&T, Sprint, Verizon in the U.S.) to purchase a mobile service that has a well-working Internet plan in order to reach out to Kuwait’s Cultural Office.
- After purchasing the mobile service, you need to check in with them to confirm your arrival to your designated city. You can do so by either sending them an e-mail or by calling them by accessing the list of phone numbers that are available on their website (www.kuwaitculture.com). You will be required to send them your information about your place of residency, mailing address, and your bank account number in order for them to deposit your monthly allowance.
Open a Bank Account
- After checking in, you need to visit one of the American banks in order to open a bank account; I personally advise Bank of America since most of the Kuwaiti scholarship students use this bank.
Find an Apartment
- Explore the area in order to find a suitable apartment that fits your needs and that is close to campus, especially since at first it will take some time for you to find a car. The closer you are to campus, the better. After you sign the lease on the apartment, and have it under your name, drop off your luggage and take a trip for the store to buy the necessary items to put in your apartment, like dishes, cooking utensils, and food. It is important to note not to forget to e-mail your place of residency, along with the mailing address, to the Cultural Office, so they can mail you the medical insurance and can even get a hold on you in case of an emergency.
Get Familiar With Surroundings
- Explore the town and getting familiar with its surroundings. You can search in Google for the town’s attractions or read online about what to do in your free time.
Moving Abroad is an Adventure
At first, the list of things to do when moving abroad may sound overwhelming, but you can manage your time through setting different days to work on each, just remember that you need to finish the to-do list in a week, maximum. The feeling of starting a new journey at a place that you are visiting for the first time is astounding. Whether you are going for your bachelors, master’s, or even a PhD, make sure to follow the five tips when moving abroad so you can start your adventure right and be fully prepared as a scholarship student.