General Advice

Be Prepared

1) An academic tip, I discovered the hard way. Unlike Indian universities, study abroad involves substantial course reading prior to the scheduled lectures. While you might assume that Week 1 reading is to be completed after you attend the 1st lecture, it is in fact meant to be finished before you step into the classroom for the first time. It might thus be a good idea to go through the reading lists & finish off your Week 1 readings while you are having a fun time at all the orientations. The first few weeks can otherwise be rather grueling.

2) Once you have your timetable for the university, you might find that some of the courses you were hoping to take clash with another. Many universities allow you to "audit" courses (sit in on classes from other departments that you're not going to be graded on). A good way to explore your diverse interests (without giving exams!)

3) It is always a good idea to seek out alumni from the university you are visiting. Share a cup of coffee and feel free to bounce of all your doubts (even if seemingly stupid). Most of the alumni have been through the same concerns and will be happy to put yours at rest.

4) Many universities have Facebook pages for new students of a particular batch. Always a useful resource if you want to find fellow students from your country who are also travelling to the same university/city.

5) Most universities are extremely accessible via email. Don't hesitate to send them any concerns about scholarship opportunities, course details etc. Often professors themselves make time out to answer these queries.

(MadhaviRajadhyaksha)